Better Than Chocolate
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by Maddie James
Description: A Matchmaking Chef II Tale When Scott Matthews escapes to Legend to visit his brother, Brad and family, he has only one request-he doesn't want to see, hear, smell, or taste chocolate. Nor does he want to talk about the chocolate business, or about getting fired from his job as chocolate taster for world-renowned Bianchi Chocolates. Or the scandal in Italy, or his former boss-slash-girlfriend, or the tabloid article.... What he needs is a palate-cleanse, women and chocolate being on the top of the list. What Jillian Bass needs is to make it in Legend. This Manhattan transplant knows nothing about small town living other than she wants to make it big here real bad. Forget New York, she's trying to set up her small chocolate shop and impress the locals-especially the foodie duo of Sydney Kellerman and Suzie Matthews. Of course, she doesn't tell them that she really owns Jeaneva Chocolates, or that her father is a big publishing mogul, or that she's lied about how she makes her chocolates.... But all is fine until the day she smacks straight into Scott. Who at first, refuses to eat her chocolate, but after one whiff of her exquisite Belgian truffle, forgets his vow and takes a bite. Then against his better judgment, he takes another....
eBook Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC/Resplendence Publishing, LLC, 2010 2010
Filament eBookStore Release Date: August 2010
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [119 KB]
Reading time: 69-96 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
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Jillian Bass had a lot of good things going for her. She'd sailed through her liberal arts degree at Vassar in three years, rather than four. She'd landed a to-die-for internship right after college at Thurston House Publishing, working under the senior editor who handled the notorious crime author, Stephen Crown. And thanks to her grandmother's foresight, Jillian had acquired a nice trust fund when she had passed on.
Money wasn't an issue for Jillian Bass.
She missed her grandmother, and their talks, tremendously; however, she said a prayer of thanks each and every day for having had her in her life for all of her twenty-three years.
Much to her father's chagrin.
Because you see, there were some not so good things in Jillian Bass's life too.
She'd quit the internship a few weeks after her grandmother had died, left New York City in her wake, and pretty much had told her father to stuff his influence and his money where the sun don't shine.
She was tired of working with words. Tired of diva authors, incompetent copyeditors, and liquid lunches. Truly she was tired of all of it. It had only taken her a little over one year to realize that her heart wasn't in the publishing world.
Her father's world.
Oh yes, her father owned Bass Publishing Conglomerates, the country's premier publisher of mass market genre fiction, true story magazines, and a couple of tabloids to boot. Since she was the sole heir to his kingdom, he'd planned on her taking over the business someday.
And if all that weren't enough, she also broke her engagement. Rand Hart had been hand-picked for her by her father. Not that it was an arranged marriage, or anything like that; she did really and truly like/love Rand. But he was just like her father. In fact he was her father's right hand man in his company, and so, well, while she was cleaning house, she just decided to make a clean sweep. Rand was upset, couldn't understand at all why she would want to run off to the hillbillies of Tennessee, and when he had actually made that statement to her, she knew she was making the right choice.
It was time to cut all the apron strings.
So when Grandma Jean passed on and left her a quite healthy sum of money--enough to live on for years if her business idea fell through--she decided to go after her dream. A dream that only Grandma Jean knew about. Life out of the rat race, small town, and owning her own little business.
Oh, and chocolate. She loved chocolate. And somehow, chocolate would fit into this equation. Somehow.
You see, because Grandma Jean was the Jeaneva of Jeaneva Chocolates. World renowned Jeaneva Chocolates.
And with her passing, Grandma Jean had left Jillian with all of her secret recipes and the full rights to use them and the Jeaneva Chocolates name in whatever manner she wished. She'd also left her the company, although Jillian had never told her father that. She didn't plan to tell anyone that; she wanted to make it on her own merit. It was the one thing she had convinced her mother to go along with, since her mother had always kowtowed to her husband since their marriage. But this? Well, she wanted Jillian to be happy, and she knew she wasn't, so she'd caved and given in to her daughter's request.
After all, had her mother taken her own mother's, Jeaneva's, advice all those years ago, she would never have married the man anyway.
It all was kept on the hush. Her father thought that her mother had inherited the business.
Jillian kept the management with the man who had run the company with her grandmother for years. She trusted Robert Knowles, to the nth degree, and saw no reason to make changes. He kept her informed, they made some decisions together from time to time, and she could go off on her small town adventure and live her life.
Which is how and why she landed in Legend, Tennessee with a small establishment called Bittersweets. Sweet, because of the chocolate, and bitter, because she wouldn't have had this at all had her grandmother not died and left her the money. Bittersweet.
It was a nice play on words, and her Grandma Jean would have enjoyed it. Probably already had.
The bell over her door chimed, and Jillian looked up from her books. It was barely half-past eight in the morning, but the first coffee rush had already come and gone. She'd taken advantage of the lull to glance over the numbers from yesterday, her opening day. She expected that her next rush would be after lunch, for some sort of chocolate confection dessert or drink. At least that was the way it had happened yesterday.
But all of that was forgotten when the two women walking into her shop gave her pause for concern.
Jillian sucked in a breath. So, there they were. She'd been waiting for them.