For some, the kitchen represents a sanctuary of the senses—a mergence of soul and sustenance that licks at the flesh while teasing the mind’s pleasure. To others it’s but a steely hive of horror. Then there’s Jessica Ames, a canned soup kind of girl in a land of haute cuisine whose aversion to culinary adventure once seemed all but incurable. When she catches the eye of celebrity chef Marco Adriano at a pretentious rooftop soiree, his uniquely sensual take on food whets an appetite that may just prove insatiable. If only they’d had more time.
Months later, when fate and mischief bring them together again for a dangerously intimate lesson, Jessica vows to jog Marco’s memory of that evening and repay his inspiration. But is she the only one their initial encounter left hungry for another taste or was that night a simple apéritif for the main course still to come?
For years, one thing kept troubled young Christine Bexley on the right side of a life beyond salvation—the promise of a unique apprenticeship, as soon as she came of age, under childhood crush and world-renowned orchidologist, Richard Mitchell.
After three years of flirtation and shameless attempts to seduce her mentor, Christine now stands at the eve of her twenty-first birthday, a gifted orchidologist in her own right. But is she truly ready for the fabled Orchidarion? An exceptionally cruel test of skill and concentration, it can only be administered by those who have already mastered it. Success would place her among the absolute best in the world. But can Christine overcome this final obstacle to complete her ascendance, or has Richard’s opportunity just blossomed for a long and hard payback?