"Stir Until Thoroughly Confused"
This book is especially enjoyable for me since it includes some of my favorite past characters: Candice and Ian and Larissa from "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo", Jen and Forrest and Tess from "Go Small or Go Home", and the sexy but occasionally impossible Kegan Underwood from both of these books.
If you'd like to read more about Kegan, and find out what the others have been up to, this is your book!
Mary's given up everything, including an unsatisfying marriage, to become a chef. But the career comes with a side dish: Kegan, her sexy but controlling new boss.
They're soon in a relationship, and in all-too-frequent arguments, and when it becomes clear they can't work together and be together Mary faces a dilemma: keep her dream job or her dream man?
One of my favorite reviews for "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused", on Tiffany's Bookshelf: "Once again, Heather Wardell has completely captivated me, and doggone it, I think I can no longer say I am not a fan of romance novels. Because this is one seriously romantic novel, and I just love it."
"Stir Until Thoroughly Confused" is part of my "Toronto Collection Volume One", which gives you four full novels for only $8.99!
You can download "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused" on its own for $2.99 from:
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The book is also available in paperback at:subscribe to my mailing list. I promise I'll never use your information for anything but letting you know about my writing. You can also see other places to follow me online.
PrologueAfter everything I've learned and all the ways I've changed over this last year, how can I possibly be here again, trapped between a man and work?
This time is different, though. It is. Charles didn't want me to have a career. Kegan does. But he wants our relationship too, and we've more than proven we simply can't work together and be together.
My shaking legs carry me away from Steel and I wonder what will happen when I return tomorrow. I love working here, and I love Magma even more. I've dreamed of being a chef forever, and now that dream's come true twice over.
But I've also found Kegan, of whom I didn't dream because I'd never have been able to imagine someone so right for me. Why does he have to be my boss? But if he weren't, would I have fallen for him? Without his amazing work with his restaurants, without his focus and attention and drive, would I have fallen hard enough to consider leaving the kitchens I adore?
After the emotions of last night I knew something had to give, but I didn't expect him to say, "We can't go on like this, Mary. I want you, and I want full control of my restaurants, but I can't have both. I can't decide which I want more, which I'll resent less for making me lose the other. I need you to decide for me, for us."
His words ring in my head and the shock mixed with fury I felt as he spoke tenses my body again. The shock makes sense but I don't know why it made me so angry. I understood. He's lost too many girlfriends to his control issues to risk letting it happen again. He has to leave the decision to me.
But understanding doesn't make deciding any easier.
I need to find something that will, so I call the spa where Tanisha sent me to relax post-Christmas and book myself an overnight visit and a long massage. It's not cheap, and it's a good hour's train ride from Toronto, but I need a quiet and peaceful place to think and I've never felt more peaceful anywhere else.
Except maybe in Kegan's arms after the first time we made love.
I take a deep shuddering breath and make myself push the memories away. I have to be strong, stand on my own two feet, and choose: stay as the chef of Kegan's two restaurants and end our relationship, or stay with him and try to find a job that's even close to as perfect for me.
I know for many women there'd be no question: career comes first. And a huge part of me wants to make that choice. But I also know Kegan himself has been amazingly good for me and I don't want to lose him either.
I turn off my phone so I won't have to talk to anyone. I need to listen to myself. After a quick stop at home for overnight gear, I take a taxi to the train station and am soon on my way.
I don't get any closer to resolving my dilemma on the train, and once I've checked into the spa and am resting in my room before heading down for a late lunch I wonder if replaying everything that's happened between Kegan and me from the day we met will help. It might, but it'll hurt too.
But I need to find the answer for us, so I give in, close my eyes, and relive the last four months of my life.