Title: Fed Up
Author: Kathleen Duhamel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 13, 2019 Cover Design: Deranged Doctor Designs
Together, they sizzled like butter hitting a hot skillet, but will their passion incinerate what’s left of her shattered heart?
Chef Shelby Faith Durand, 54, is struggling to make sense of her life following the untimely death of her husband/business partner. She’s sold the successful restaurant they co-owned in a small Virginia town and has been living off insurance proceeds while drowning in grief and worrying about an uncertain future. When a former colleague asks her to fill in on a short-term personal chef job, she reluctantly agrees at the urging of her bossy and concerned adult daughter.
Ian James is troubled, moody, and much too handsome for his own good. An Englishman who’s relocated to the United States, Ian is a 51-year-old television actor whose believes his best years are behind him. He’s been cast in a “wretched” antebellum drama about a family of ghost chasers, shooting on location during a steamy summer in the Shenandoah Valley. He’s worried about his sagging career and failing looks, a teenage daughter who cuts herself, and the fallout from a messy divorce. Isolated and disillusioned, Ian takes consolation in being overfed at night by his new French-trained personal chef.
Neither Shelby nor Ian is looking for romance, yet their mutual attraction is undeniable. While Ian longs for a quiet life away from public scrutiny, Shelby struggles with guilt and regret over losing her husband, while wondering if she can trust a charming man who makes his living pretending to be someone else. Is their tenuous relationship based only on mutual loneliness and lust? And is Ian really the changed man he claims to be?
I set the dinner plate in front of Ian, who gazed at it with nothing short of awe. When he looked up, I noticed for the first time that his amber eyes were flecked with green. Was there no end to this man’s physical attributes? “Would you like a glass of wine? I have a Pinot Noir that’s slightly chilled.” I received a skeptical glance. “I thought seafood should be served with white wine.” “Why don’t you try it first, and if it’s not to your liking I’ll open another bottle.” “You’ll have a glass as well?” “Only one. I have to drive home.” I retrieved the wine and poured two glasses. He pulled out a chair and motioned me to sit. My eyes couldn’t help but linger over his classic profile, and I concluded that Ian must have no shortage of female attention. He bit into a scallop, closed his eyes and sighed, before taking a sip of wine. “These are perfection.” He set down his glass. “And you were correct about the wine,” he added, surprising me with his honesty. “The soft, fruity taste marries well with the scallops. Where did you say you went to cooking school?” I hadn’t said. Swirling the wine in my glass, I paused to take a generous sip. The Pinot Noir was beautifully soft and far more expensive than the mid-priced wines I usually bought for myself. “Le Cordon Bleu.” One of his eyebrows lifted in surprise. “In Paris?” “I lived in France for a few years after college graduation. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my idol, Julia Child.” “And yet here you are in this…” He cleared his throat before continuing in a spot-on southern drawl. “This charmin’ backwater Virginia town, of all places, cookin’ for a bad-tempered television actor.”
Kathleen wrote and illustrated her first short story at the age of eight and has considered herself a storyteller ever since. After growing up in a small Texas town, she earned a master’s degree in communications from Texas Tech University. Her love of the written word continued throughout her varied career as a newspaper journalist and editor, public relations executive, freelance travel writer, and owner/operator of two small businesses before becoming a published author in 2015. She is the author of the contemporary romance novels Deep Blue. Deeper, and Deep End, along with a companion novella, At Home with Andre. Kathleen’s stories feature vibrant, smart, and attractive older women—a vastly underrepresented segment of the romance market—who experience love and satisfying sex, despite the various pitfalls that accompany later-in-life relationships. Her newest release, Fed Up, features two troubled Gen-Xers who meet and fall in love at precisely the wrong time. Kathleen has spent most of her adult life in Colorado, where she lives in the Denver area with her husband, an enormous standard poodle, and a big, friendly cat.