Just one taste isn't enough…
I ran into Rex Keene—literally—when I was trying to catch my flight and his muscled, tattooed arms stopped my fall.
Then our flight gets canceled, and we're stranded in the same hotel room together...it ended up being the steamiest night of my life.
All I knew is that I had to see him again.
I just didn’t expect him to show up a week later in the restaurant I manage…as our new head chef.
But the generous, tender man I spent that night with is gone; instead he’s arrogant, demanding, and terrorizing the staff.
But he won’t give up until we’re together – and I’m not sure I can stay away.
Which man is real?
Who is Rex Keene?
From bestselling author Opal Carew, take a bite of Meat.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Opal Carew is the author of Total Abandon, Pleasure Bound, Twin Fantasies and other erotic romance novels. “So why do I like writing erotic romance?” she asks. “I like being able to push beyond traditional boundaries.” Opal loves crystals, dragons, feathers, cats, pink hair, the occult and all that glitters. While she writes, she listens to inspirational music, lights candles and keeps crystals near. Before devoting herself to her passion as a writer, Opal spent 15 years as a software analyst, and she has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. She lives with her husband and two sons in Ontario, Canada.
Read an Excerpt
By Opal Carew
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Opal Carew
All rights reserved.
Oh, God, I'm going to miss my flight!
Rebecca raced from the gate, trying to dodge past the slower passengers ahead of her. The flight from Florida to O'Hare was delayed, and now she had to get across the terminal to catch her flight to Minneapolis, but she had little chance of achieving that goal if she didn't run.
She saw an opening in the crowd and surged through, then raced forward, the wheels of her carry-on clattering along the hard floor. She darted to the right to get past a group of six people walking together and turned a corner.
She ran right into someone. Her eyes widened as her body bounced back, throwing her off balance. A strong arm encircled her waist, stopping her from falling flat on her ass.
She glanced up to see the most gorgeous pair of eyes she'd ever seen. Cerulean blue with darker blue rims and tiny speckles of gold, like stardust. Set in the most masculine, sexy face, with a square jaw dusted with a shadow of whiskers, high cheekbones, full lips ... and eyebrows arched up quizzically. His dark brown hair was cropped very short all over.
"Oh, um ... I'm so sorry," she stammered. "I have to make my connection and I'm late."
He smiled, and the handsome-scale on that face shot up several notches.
"That's all right," he said in a deep voice that was smooth as silk.
She continued staring at him, a little stunned, then realized his arm was still around her. Their bodies pressed close.
And she liked it.
She cleared her throat and drew back. Then her left heel dropped from under her and she started to tumble backward. He caught her again before she went down.
"Are you all right?"
"Damn it. Yes, but the heel's broken on my shoe."
She eased away from him again, rather wishing she didn't have to. She leaned down and snapped the heel off the rest of the way.
"You'll probably be okay making your connection," he said. "With the bad weather, a lot of flights are delayed."
"Really? I hope so. I really don't want to spend the night in the airport. It's the last flight out, and I can't afford to take a hotel room for the night."
Why was she telling him that? He was just a stranger who'd stopped the crazy woman who'd run into him from falling on her butt. He probably wanted to get off to his home, or to whatever flight he was here to catch.
"There's a display just down here," he said. "I was just going to check my flight. Why don't I give you a hand?"
He slid his arm around her waist.
She knew she could walk on her own, but she rather liked him looking out for her. The feel of his warm, masculine body so close, his strong arm around her, felt wonderful. She knew part of it was because she was so vulnerable right now. So off-kilter because of all that had happened. Having someone look out for her was very ... welcome.
She walked with him past the stores and restaurants until they came to the video display with all the flights listed. She glanced up and found her flight number. Sure enough, it had been delayed about an hour.
"Thank heavens. I still have time," she said.
"Would you like me to walk you to your gate?"
She gazed up at his smiling face. She didn't know anything about this man — except that instead of yelling at her when she'd physically collided with him, he was kind and helpful, which in itself was saying a lot — but she knew she liked him. And trusted him. It was just a feeling, but it was undeniable.
He was tall and broad-shouldered, and, from the feel of his arms when he'd caught her, there was a lot of muscle under that shirt. Of course, just looking at him, she could see it was true. He didn't wear a coat — it was tucked over his carry-on — and the fabric of his light blue shirt was stretched taut over his broad chest and thick arms.
Then there was that gorgeous face ... and those heart-meltingly warm eyes of his.
Just being close to him set her hormones simmering. Was the attraction mutual?
"Thank you. You've been very kind, but I have another pair of shoes in my carry-on and I'm going to take some time to freshen up before the flight."
She stuck out her hand. "I hope the rest of your travels go well."
He took her hand, his big fingers enveloping hers. His handshake was firm. Solid. She could just feel he was someone she could depend on.
"And you. I hope we meet again."
His eyes glittered with his smile, and she wished she could just accept his offer and let him walk her to her gate. But as much as she'd like to get to know him, what was the point? They were two travelers crossing paths between flights. It's not like they'd have a future together.
And she didn't really feel like chatting.
She nodded, then drew her hand away and, limping on her broken shoe, headed to the ladies' room she'd seen back the way they'd come.
Once in the bathroom, she set her suitcase on the counter in front of the mirrors, then unzipped the case and pulled out her sneakers. If she was going to wear those, she might as well get out of her black suit and into something more comfortable. She slipped off her coat and pulled out her jeans and cozy sweater, then slipped the shoes on and tied them up. She unfastened the clip holding her hair up, letting her long, dark hair tumble in waves around her shoulders, and ran a brush though it.
Feeling much more stable, and actually glad to be out of the black high-heeled pumps, she tossed her coat over the handle of her case and walked back into the terminal, then headed for the gate.
Rex headed to his gate, his mind still on the beautiful young woman who'd run smack into him. He wished she'd taken him up on his offer to see her to her gate. They could have stopped and talked, maybe gone for dinner, since he fully expected his flight to Minneapolis to be delayed again. Maybe even canceled, and then ... what possibilities, if he'd only had a chance to get to know her a little ...
With her hair pinned up, the black suit he'd seen under her open coat, and her simple black pumps, she looked like a present he'd love to unwrap. Often, a conservative woman like her was the wildest in bed.
He sure would love to find out.
He arrived at the waiting area for his gate and sat down. The snow was still falling heavily outside. He pulled out his book and started to read. It was an actual old-school print copy. He liked the tactile feel of a book in his hands. The smell of the paper. The sound of the pages turning. He enjoyed engaging all of his senses as much as possible in anything he did.
A while later, he glanced up to see a young woman pass by, with long, dark hair that flowed past her shoulders in shiny waves, snug jeans that showed off her delightfully round ass, and a sweater that looked heavy enough to be warm, but was snug enough to show off her full breasts.
She continued walking to the outskirts of the sitting area, finding a short row of three chairs that was empty. She sat down and set her carryon and coat on the middle chair.
He recognized that coat and suitcase. She was the whirlwind who'd run into him.
As he watched her, he felt a yearning build within him. To glide his fingers through her silky hair and breathe in the delicate fragrance of cherry blossoms he'd detected earlier. To feel the soft yarn of her sweater under his fingertips. To run his hands over the softness beneath the sweater.
Damn it, his body was hardening just thinking about it.
He drew in a calming breath. He'd been highly focused on his new venture for the past few weeks, putting aside his sexual needs until things were more settled. But clearly that wasn't the best approach, since all he could think of right now was getting that woman alone and in his bed. The fact that her heart-shaped lips looked sweet and sensual — and eminently kissable — and that her brown eyes were large and doelike, giving her a charming innocence, just amplified his desire.
But he did not do one-night stands. He liked to spend time getting to know a woman. To understand her and discover what she enjoyed.
And to ensure she would be amenable to his particular type of sexual predilection.
She pulled out her phone and flicked her finger across the screen.
He fought his growing urge to go and talk to her, knowing he should probably let it go. Why torture himself — specifically his raging hormones — being near her when he wouldn't be doing anything about it? Even though they were both going to Minneapolis, he wouldn't have time to see her for a couple of weeks, and he didn't know how long he'd be staying in the city after that.
But as he watched her read from her phone, he saw her eyes shimmer and he was sure she was close to tears. He stood up, grabbed the handle of his bag, and headed toward her.CHAPTER 2
Rebecca read the e-mail from her younger sister, Allie, thanking her for all the support she'd given her and their other sister, Gina, while Rebecca had been home visiting. While they'd spent long days and nights at the hospital. Going in shifts.
Watching their aunt die.
Rebecca had organized everyone — her sisters, cousins, and other aunts and uncles — so that Auntie Gail had several people by her bedside every hour. She'd even taken the lead with Auntie Gail's own children, who'd been struggling to keep it together. They had always looked to Rebecca as they would an older sister, ever since they were children, Rebecca being the oldest of the children in the two families.
She'd organized people to look in on them and help with meals and housework during the long two-week ordeal of their losing their mother.
Rebecca had been their rock, and through it all had not shed a tear. She'd stayed strong so they didn't have to.
But now, here, alone in this airport terminal, so far from both her new home and her old home ... she didn't feel strong. The touching words of the minister at the funeral this morning ... of the experiences everyone had shared of their loving aunt — the woman who had practically raised Rebecca and her sisters after their mother died when Rebecca was nine years old — all came tumbling back to her now.
She couldn't help herself. As the tears welled in her eyes, she clicked on the link for the memorial page, showing the picture of her beautiful aunt at the top. She hesitated, knowing if she browsed through the pictures posted on the site now, she'd start blubbering like a fool.
"Is everything all right?"CHAPTER 3
Rebecca glanced up at the familiar voice. The man she'd bumped into earlier. The handsome and very kind man who'd been so nice to her.
She found herself shaking her head.
His compassionate blue eyes filled with concern, and he shifted her bag and coat to the next chair and sat down beside her.
She hesitated, drawing in a slow breath.
Then it happened. All the pain she'd kept bottled up ... all the tears she'd left unshed ... flooded to the surface. To her horror, she felt droplets stream down her cheek and fall onto her sweater.
She turned her head away and tried to wipe them away with her hand, but he presented her with a tissue.
Then he slid his arm around her.
She'd never felt so in need of a shoulder to cry on. She rested her head against his broad chest and just let go.
He drew her in closer and stroked her hair. She was worried that others must be staring at her, but then realized that with the way he'd positioned his body, and with them facing the window, probably no one even noticed.
He slid his other arm around her, too, his chin resting on the crown of her head. Anyone watching would probably just think she was napping.
She let the tears fall, allowing her sorrow its release. But after a few minutes, even though the tears faded, the pain was still there, searing her heart. She continued leaning against his warm chest, listening to his heartbeat.
It was nice like this. In his big, strong arms. Feeling protected.
Her hand was resting on his shirt, and she realized she'd crumpled the fabric in her hand. She drew away a little and saw that she'd drenched his blue cotton shirt. He handed her another tissue, but instead of drying her eyes, she patted his shirt with it.
He captured her hand and drew the tissue from her fingers, then gently wiped her eyes.
"Don't worry about my shirt."
She gazed up at him, then bit her lip and nodded.
She reached for her purse and took out her compact. Her eyes were red and puffy. Great — here she was sitting beside this sexy, attractive man and she looked like a bug-eyed monster. Not that it really mattered after colliding with him on their first encounter and blubbering all over him on the second.
"The flight's been delayed again," he said. "Apparently, the plane hasn't arrived yet. I suspect we'll be waiting a couple of hours. Why don't I take you to dinner and we can talk about what's bothering you?"
"But I look a mess."
He smiled. "Actually, you look beautiful."
At the sincere look in his warm eyes, she almost believed him.
"Shall we?" He stood up and offered his hand.
She took it and stood up, too.
"My name's Rex, by the way," he said as he put his bag on top of her carry-on. Then he laid her coat on top and grabbed the handle.
"Hi." She smiled. "I'm Rebecca."
She grabbed her purse and he led her through the terminal, still holding her hand.
It felt good around hers.
He led her to an upscale steak house and had them seated in a quiet corner. He ordered a bottle of wine — something French — telling the waitress they'd order after she brought the wine. Once she was gone, he took Rebecca's hands in his.
"Now, tell me."
She bit her lip. "I'm sorry. I don't usually burst into tears in the middle of an airport. Or sob all over a stranger."
"No need to apologize. Just tell me what upset you. Did you receive some bad news?"
She shook her head. "No, the bad news came a few weeks ago, when I found out my aunt was dying. She had bone cancer and the doctors told the family she only had about four weeks or so. I went to visit her right away, planning on making several visits over the following
month ..." Her lip started to quiver. "But when I saw her ... I knew ... it wouldn't be long." She shook her head. "I had to stay. I'm lucky my boss was so wonderfully understanding. He gave me the time off, and he even insisted I take another week off when I get back."
And she knew she needed it. She hadn't been sure before, thinking that maybe getting back to work would be the best thing for her. But what had just happened made it very clear that wasn't the best choice. She'd spent all her energy being there for everyone else. The next week would allow her time to grieve on her own terms.
"The funeral was this morning and ..." Her gaze dropped to their joined hands, not really seeing them. "I guess it's all just sinking in now."
He squeezed her hands. "I'm sorry for your loss." His kind eyes were filled with compassion. "I wish there was more I could say."
"No, that's okay. I really appreciate what you did ... I mean, letting me cry all over your shirt and all."
He smiled. "Any time."
The waitress arrived with two stemmed glasses and the bottle of wine. He released her hands as the waitress filled the glasses.
Rebecca took a sip. Although she managed a restaurant, she didn't know much about wine. She didn't have to, really, because in the hotel she worked at, the chef decided the wine they carried on the menu and made recommendations for which wines went well with each meal so her staff could offer the best advice to their customers.
What she did know was that this wine was spectacularly delightful.
She sipped again. "This was a wonderful choice."
"I like it. And it's a perfect choice with the Steak Florence, which is a specialty here. They rub a New York sirloin with pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper, cook it exactly to your liking, then serve it with a cream sauce made with chanterelle mushrooms. Have you ever tried them?"
She shook her head.
He smiled, and his eyes lit up. "Ah, then you're in for a real treat. They are the most delectable of all mushrooms." He looked wistful as he raised his hand to his face and rubbed his fingertips together while breathing in, as if experiencing some wonderful aroma. "They have a fruity smell ... like apricots ... and a mildly peppery taste."
"That sounds wonderful. You know a lot about food."
"I enjoy gourmet cooking."
"A man who cooks. You'll be a wonderful catch for some lucky woman." Her eyes widened in horror. Had she actually said that? "I mean, not that you want to be caught."
He rested his hand on hers and laughed. "I don't mind the idea of being caught ... if it's by the right woman."
At that moment, the waitress showed up and asked if they were ready to order.
Excerpted from Meat by Opal Carew. Copyright © 2016 Opal Carew. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A quick, steamy read. Thoroughly enjoyed the Rebecca and Rex.
This was a fun short & sexy read. I liked the stranded in a snow storm hookup & how they reunited a few weeks later. Rex as a boss is hot! The only complaint I have is that the story was too short ;) Advanced Reader Copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Meat is a very apt name for this erotic romance by Opel Carew. The story pairs Rex and Rebecca as strangers who hook up in a blizzard and then later learn they are working together. The story is steaming hot and some of the descriptions were over the top. The story combines light BDSM with romantic suspense. This is a short novel/novella for the strictly 18+ crowd. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
STICK A FORK IN ME… I’M DONE!!! WOW! I have no idea why I never picked up an Opal Carew book before but sign me up for all the releases! Meat sweats for everyone for this short, short read that is full of good food, drama, and deliciously wickedly kinky *fun times*! Why is it only in books do you run into a person for a night of hot and sweaty sex with a stranger only to have that said stranger to show up at your work. *Fist Pump* Yes more sexy times! Rebecca while returning from her beloved Aunt’s funeral runs into Rex spilling precious COFFEE (the horror!!!!) at an airport. But this short collision doesn’t end there, turns out they are on the same flight to Minneapolis, the same flight that gets cancelled due to a snowstorm forcing the two to share a hotel room. Of course, serendipitously a hotel room is not the only place they end up sharing. Nor is it the only time they run into each other again. Turns out Rex is the new Chef at a Hotel where Rebecca works. However, the story is not without some drama as people are getting fired left and right, a new owner has acquired the hotel promising some big changes that rocks Rebecca’s world even further. Luckily she has trusty Rex with some good old MEAT therapy for her. I’ve simply loved the story! Short as it was I enjoyed the characters, the drama, and the very real instalove connection between Rex and Rebecca. Not a huge meat fan… but I’ll have some of the MEAT served up in this book.
This was a short, hot read! I'm not a fan of BDSM but it wasn't so blatant in this story so it didn't bother me. I loved Rex. Rebecca annoyed me a little just because she kept cutting Rex off when she should have let him explain things in a few scenes, but overall this was a fun read. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rex and Rebecca share a steamy night when there flight get cancelled and they end up spending a steamy night together. Rebecca is surprised to see him show up at her work as the new head chef at the restaurant she manages. This is a fast paced steamy read. I really liked it. I did have a few issues with the characters and I think the story may have been better if there was a bit more story. Overall, I did enjoy the story, the chemistry is great between Rex and Rebecca and the sex is oh so steamy.
Rebecca meets Rex when she runs into him at the airport. Things get hot very fast between them. Then, the next time they see one another the sparks fly for multiple reasons. Rex has secrets that he is hiding from everyone. He has his reasons, but they make for lies and deception all the same. Rebecca resents that he could not trust her. Seriously HOT read! Really sweet in many ways, Totally unexpected but really liked it. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review only.
Meat is quick easy read. I enjoyed this one and love how it follows the story through. The characters are very well written and the story line is easy to follow. Making the book a fast read. Rebecca and Rex have so great chemistry from the start and their passion is incredible. Rex is dominant in and out of bed and that is easily to be seen through his actions. He is also very stubborn and determined and once he has a goal he will do anything to achieve it and this time his main goal and prize is Rebecca. Rebecca is going through rough period in her life and it seems that she is losing her true family and family she had with her coworkers. But in her life comes Rex. A strong dominant man who turns from charming man in to a tyrant. Will she give him the chance to show her his true color??? Light and sweet. A good story with no surprises. *ARC provided by Netgalley and author in exchange for an honest review
3.5Stars Just one taste isn't enough… I ran into Rex Keene—literally—when I was trying to catch my flight and his muscled, tattooed arms stopped my fall. Then our flight gets canceled, and we're stranded in the same hotel room together...it ended up being the steamiest night of my life. All I knew is that I had to see him again. I just didn’t expect him to show up a week later in the restaurant I manage…as our new head chef. But the generous, tender man I spent that night with is gone; instead he’s arrogant, demanding, and terrorizing the staff. But he won’t give up until we’re together – and I’m not sure I can stay away. Which man is real? Who is Rex Keene? Review: I admit it, the one of the main reasons I picked up this book for review is the title...I mean come on "Meat", the curiosity got the better of me. Then I read the blurb and it sounded interesting and it was through most of the book. Snowed in at the airport with a handsome stranger, spending one night together, I liked it. Then they find out they are going to be working together, a little work place romance, its all good. Throw in some secrets, a little mystery and you get a good little sexy story. What could have been left out in my opinion, is Rex's "Big Package or Meat" as you would. It kind of killed it for me. Comes off as cheesy in a book about a chef who specializes in meat. In another story, which I have read some, it is fine and adds a little to the sexy scenes, here just too close to the title. Other than the "Big Meat" the sexy scenes are hot with a little light BDSM in them. Overall, I liked the story other than what I said before. 3.5Stars *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
I had really high hopes for this one. I mean tatted up super sexy chef - hell yeah! Ummmm....no!! This just seemed to be a book that was trying to be too much on too few pages. It's super short and while it had some super hot sexy times there just wasn't much meat to the story (yes, I went there)! It started out well enough but I soon tired of the dual personalities of Rex and the flip flopping of Rebecca. Sorry to say I have to give this one a big no.
I went into this story knowing absolutely nothing except that I loved the cover and the blurb also sounded good. So imagine my surprise that this book turned out to be quite good and on top of that the sexy scenes were mild BDSM that I enjoyed a lot. ;) It all starts with a flight delay and with two people that got stuck at the airport because of it. They start talking, find each other to be a pleasant company and decide to explore that attraction a bit furder, since it's cold and all that. I mean somehow they have to keep themselves warm, right? Anyway, once they return back to their normal lives, they find a surprise or two about who they will be working with in the future. And lets just be honest, we don't always like who we work for... The book isn't a very long one. It's a mix of sexy and suspense. There is also a cover up going on, so that ws a bonus, too. Rex or the T-Rex as they call him is a great character and I really liked him. He knows how to be in charge, in and out of the bedroom. I wasn't such a huge fan of Rebecca's at times but otherwise she's not such a bad character. At times naive but with a good heart. I found it quite enjoyable and I definitely don't regret reading it.
RATING 3.5 STARS Meat, by Opal Carew, was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and by the author. I was first drawn to this book by that cover, I mean, just look at that muscled mass of…yes, I have to say it…meat! Rex Keene is on his way to Minneapolis which was to be his new home. But his flight was delayed due to a terrible snow storm. In the airport he was quite literally bowled over by a beautiful woman when she ran right into him. It seems she was on her way to the same gate, not realizing the flight was delayed. Rebecca Winston has been away from work for three weeks. She is a manager of one of the restaurants in a large hotel in Minneapolis. Her beloved aunt became ill and then passed away so Rebecca stayed until after the funeral. On her way back home, while rushing to make her plane, she runs into the most beautiful man she has ever seen. When the flight is delayed overnight, well, you can guess what happens next. A night of passion like either of them has ever experienced. “It was like he was a part of her that had gone missing long ago, and her heart and soul shimmered in delight at the completion she now felt.” Rebecca is taking an additional week off to grieve so when she returns to work, she was shocked to say the least to see the same man she shared the most erotic night of her life with, working as head chef in one of the restaurants in the hotel where she works. But this isn’t the same man. This man is intimidating, over bearing, and has fired fellow workers that Rebecca thinks of as family. “Who is Rex Keene?” Rebecca has trouble fusing the man she met in the airport to this man. But still, that attraction is there and she can’t get away from it. As soon as he touches her, her body says yes. It doesn’t take long, though, for Rebecca to realize there is more to this man than he is willing to share. Is he really just a chef? What will happen when he is through doing whatever it is he is doing? Is she going to end up with a broken heart? This is a short, very sexy story about a VERY well endowed chef with secrets, and the woman he is willing to do anything for to gain her trust. What will happen when she finds out who Rex Keene really is?