Exclusive Excerpt from Catch Me
by Beth Bolden
“I got fresh supplies,” Ryan said, pulling out a bottle of Grey Goose from the paper bag he was holding.
“Should have gotten tequila,” Wyatt said, forcing his voice to stay even and normal. “I’m making barbecued shrimp. Great with a margarita.”
“I probably have some somewhere,” Ryan said. “But Tabby was determined to drink all my vodka.”
“I was trying to make you feel better,” Tabitha said with dignity. “And I’ve been telling you for years not to call me that.”
“Someday,” Ryan said, slinging an arm around his friend, “you’re going to realize that every time you say that, it makes me more determined than ever to call you that.” His affectionate gaze was completely platonic, but Wyatt couldn’t help it; he burned with jealousy anyway.
Even if they couldn’t be a thing—fake or real or anything else in between—he still wanted to be Ryan’s friend. Not just his employee. And Wyatt was terrified that turning down his proposal had left him his job, but had demolished everything else
He couldn’t imagine how much it would burn when Ryan moved on and found someone new to pretend to date, and fuck for real.
No matter how much he needed this job or how much he didn’t want to leave, Wyatt wasn’t sure he could stick around and watch that.
“You are an asshole,” Tabitha said. “Even though you went and bought me more vodka.”
“Yeah, I’m still trying to figure out how you coming over and drinking all my booze was supposed to make me feel better.” Ryan was smiling, but Wyatt thought he could see the bad mood lurking behind his dark eyes. Present, but concealed. Just like his own.
It shouldn’t have made Wyatt feel any better, but it did, a little. If Ryan felt bad, at least that meant he’d cared. He’d really wanted it to be Wyatt, and Wyatt still felt incredulous that Ryan had cared so much. It shouldn’t have mattered. Wyatt should have been pissed as hell that he’d concealed his motives, but there had been genuine understanding in his eyes when Wyatt had told him why he couldn’t accept.
“It’s a secret talent of mine,” Tabitha said. She turned to Wyatt. “Don’t you feel better, too?”
“I’m fine,” Wyatt said stiffly, even though they all knew it was a lie. Nobody knew it more than Ryan.
“Then it’s time for me to get out of your hair,” Tabitha said, gracefully sliding off the barstool. Even though Wyatt was beginning to suspect she’d drank quite a bit of Ryan’s vodka.
“Wyatt’s making dinner, you can’t leave yet,” Ryan said. They all knew what he really meant was, you can’t leave me alone with Wyatt.
Tabitha reached over and patted him on the cheek. “I’m sure I’ll be back.”
Wyatt threw a towel over his shoulder. “I’m holding you to that.”
She batted her eyes exaggeratedly and it didn’t even make her look ridiculous, only more beautiful. “It isn’t every day that I get to enjoy the efforts of a Michelin-starred chef,” she said.
He wasn’t really Michelin-starred. That had been his boss, Bastian Aquino, but he didn’t correct her, only smiled.
“I’ll call you an Uber,” Ryan said, “you are so damn drunk.”
“Don’t worry, I already texted Calvin, he’ll be here in a minute.”
Ryan rolled his eyes. “Next time I’m not calling you.”
Tabitha’s expression was dead serious. “Of course you will. That’s why we’re friends.” She tugged Ryan into a quick, tight hug.
Wyatt turned back to his corn in the sink. He didn’t want to cry again, but he felt close and he didn’t even know why.
About Catch Me
Chef Wyatt Blake is finally ready to move on from his thankless job. He gets no wiggle room, zero praise, plenty of abuse, and on a good day, he might only spend twelve hours in the Terroir kitchens. A friend of his recommends a private chef position, but despite the boost in pay, Wyatt doesn’t want to babysit some spoiled, rich LA family.
Imagine his shock when the family isn’t a Kardashian clone, but Ryan Flores, the only professional baseball player to ever come out of the closet.
Ryan is also at a career crossroads. His team’s management wants to see his more responsible side, which means no more late night hookups and no more adrenaline-charged stunts. When his agent suggests he find a fake boyfriend to give him an air of domesticity, he’s only reluctantly interested.
Until Ryan goes to a local bar and spies the cute private chef he’s supposed to be interviewing the next day. Maybe a quieter life wouldn’t be so bad, as long as Wyatt is part of it?
Wyatt believes Ryan could be more than just a crappy boss, but he isn’t sure about leaving the kitchen for the life of a professional boyfriend. Especially when he wants the reality so much more than the fantasy.
Don’t forget to check out Nikyta’s review of Catch Me to see what she thought of it!
Available at: Amazon
About Beth Bolden
Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eight novels and two novellas, with Catch Me, the next novel in the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in May 2018.