Tamed by a Texan
Chef Grace Torres had inherited her Irish mother’s fiery nature and her late father’s impressively thorough knowledge of Spanish swear words, both of which were about to boil to the surface on this gloomy February morning.
“I can’t believe you two!” Grace gripped the edge of the stainless-steel workstation so she wouldn’t do anything stupid, like start throwing plates. The restaurant had enough financial burdens without having to replace dishes.
Ben’s and Victor’s nervous expressions might have been funny under different circumstances. Both of her brothers were older than Grace—who’d been an unplanned souvenir from her parents’ fifteenth-anniversary cruise—and they each stood close to six feet. Not that Ben could stand right now—he’d been injured during an arson investigation and would be in a wheelchair for another few weeks. Grace was the runt of the Torres family and claimed to be five-three, which was true when she wore heels. In height, she’d taken after her aunt, small but fierce Tia Maria, instead of her parents.
“Now, Graciela...” Victor was the oldest, and his tone bordered on patronizing.
Her already simmering temper began to bubble and pop.
“We know you love this place,” Ben quickly interrupted, secure in the knowledge that his broken leg and still-mending ribs would keep her from smacking him upside the head with a rubber spatula. “We all love it, but—”
“Ha! You love eating here, trying out new specialties before I put them on the menu and bringing your dates to woo them with the nostalgia factor. But you don’t...The two of you have never—” She broke off, eyes burning, and spun abruptly, turning her back on her brothers. I will not cry in front of them. It would be such a cliched girl thing to do.
She battled the threat of tears with a stream of words that would have made her dad grin and her mother threaten to ground her from the kitchen. Colleen Torres had once said Grace was the only teenager in Texas who got more upset about losing cooking privileges than being forbidden to go to the movies with friends. Grace and her friends had rarely gone to the theater, though. They’d had movie nights at her house, where Grace prepared a menu of snacks themed to go with the rented DVDs.
“Guess I should brush up on my Spanish,” Victor said behind her. “I consider myself bilingual, but I only understood half of that.”
- Chapter One
- Chapter Two
- Chapter Three
- Chapter Four
- Chapter Five
- Chapter Six
- Chapter Seven
- Chapter Eight
- Chapter Nine
- Chapter Ten
- Chapter Eleven
- Chapter Twelve