Updated: Jun 16
I hope you enjoy this sneak peek at the 1st 2k of Liam: One Night with the Wicked Chef!
I cancelled the preorder because of some personal issues going on right now with my health. If you are subscribed to this blog, you will receive an email as soon as it’s live next week. I’m so sorry for any of you who are waiting, right now I’m dealing with some things that are out of my control. I will check in with you guys very soon and thank you for tuning in.
Liam Campbell checked his appearance for the third time and shook his head. What was it about, Irene James? The Gabrielle Union look-alike could turn him inside out with just a single look.
Something about her called to something profound inside of him. For some reason, he wanted her to like him. Knowing Irene was going to attend dinner tonight filled him with excitement.
Why couldn’t he get the damn woman out of his head? She was beautiful, that much was clear to anyone with eyes. In fact, yesterday at Mel and Cole’s brunch, he’d had to bite his tongue a few times when Javier, one of Cole’s friends, repeatedly tried to capture her interest.
Luckily, Irene’s frost wasn’t reserved for him alone. He’d hid his smile as the confused Spanish man wandered away. Something had put Irene’s guard all the way up, and Liam was determined to be the only man around when she lowered it.
Liam had given up on the idea that his intense attraction to her would fade. He’d realized that wasn’t going to happen after he’d woken up for the tenth time with a hard cock, and her image still fresh in his mind.
Irene James had made an impression on his mind and his body. He needed to work her out of his system if he wanted to move on. She was making that option difficult, to say the least.
It wasn’t as if he believed she was utterly uninterested. He’d caught her a few times staring at him the way he stared at her. But, she still kept him and every man who worked up the nerve to approach her at a distance.
Liam shook his head, someone had hurt her, and they’d done a bang-up job of it. He didn’t know how to approach Irene, and his brothers were unhelpful.
Cole and Brodrick were too caught up in their own love lives, and Tatum was in some sort of war with his colleague. The only one left in the family to talk to was Ansley, his young niece, and he’d learned recently that she was trying to marry them off.
Ansley had taken an instant liking to kind-hearted Irene. If Ansley knew he was interested in her, she would probably try to plan the wedding. No, he was going to have to figure this out all on his own.
His other friends would laugh at him. Liam pursuing any woman, was a surprise. He made it a rule to never chase, and to be honest, he’d never had to before.
Generally, by the time he was interested in someone, they were chasing him.
But Irene was different; he’d known that from the second he’d met her. There was something about the shy beauty that appealed to him on a base level.
Slowly but surely, Liam had become obsessed with the idea of getting to know her. He’d hoped that his attraction to Irene would wane the more he learned about her, most of the time the image that someone presented was typically destroyed upon closer inspection.
Unfortunately, when he’d met up with Mel and her best friend earlier this week, he’d learned Irene was precisely as she seemed. There was no way he could pretend that he wasn’t interested in her.
It wouldn’t work anyway. Liam trusted his instincts, and they all led him back to Irene. Liam was different from his brothers. He wasn’t afraid of having relationships. It was merely that no one had ever grabbed his attention quite like Irene.
Liam turned around to grab his watch and sighed; he needed a plan to entice the beauty out of her shell. What was she interested in right now? He’d already quizzed Mel, and she’d politely told him that if he wanted to know about Irene, then he could damn well grow some balls and ask her himself.
Liam chuckled; he still couldn’t believe Cole had landed someone like Mel. Both Cole and Brodrick were blessed. Somehow, they’d found the only women in the world who could put up with them.
He checked his phone. It was almost time to meet up with the others. Cole and Mel’s small wedding had been a success, and now they were in Vegas at Mel’s request.
Brodrick, Gabby, and Ansley were already on their way back to Scotland. Gabby’s pregnancy was really wearing down her energy, and Ansley and Brodrick refused to leave her side.
Tatum left early as well. His little war with the new professor of the Geology department at his university was heating up, and according to him, he needed to keep his eye on the sneaky woman.
Liam smiled; he was sure there would be a story waiting for him when he returned to Scotland. Right now, he needed to focus on tonight. Irene James wouldn’t remain a mystery to him for long.
He wanted the sexy woman, and it was time for him to show her how much. Something told him this may be his last shot. Irene was a runner; every time he got close to her, she took to her heels. She was elusive enough to disappear forever if he gave her the chance.
Tonight Irene James was going to catch the full brunt of the Campbell charm. He was tired of waiting on her to warm up. What they both needed was a good push in the right direction.
Irene James better watch out; tonight, Liam Campbell was coming for her, and somehow, he would convince her to take a chance on them. There was no use fighting their attraction—everyone knew that Campbells always won.
Irene James shook her head as yet another man tried to get her attention. She wasn’t here for any of that. This week was for her best friend alone. Mel had finally met her match with Cole Campbell, and Irene couldn’t be happier.
To say her best friend was a handful was one hell of an understatement. Mel would keep Cole running in circles for the rest of his life, and the Scot would do so with a smile. Irene was so happy for her, Mel deserved the best. Cole Campbell had come out of nowhere and turned her best friend’s life upside down.
Irene looked around the opulent lobby with a frown. So far, this wedding trip had been a lot of fun—other than the sexy Scottish man haunting her every move.
One thing was certain, Liam Campbell was a man who knew what he wanted, and for some reason, he wanted her. It wasn’t as if she was unfamiliar with a man’s interest; the problem was she’d never really felt the same about them.
Her ex, Bryce, had done a great job of making her doubt her own instincts. She never wanted to be in a situation like that again, where she loved someone so much that losing them nearly broke her.
It wasn’t just their breakup that had caused her dating freeze. It was how they’d parted. Bryce’s departure had been horrific, and his betrayal had left deep scars on her heart.
Mel still didn’t know that Irene had decided to start dating again. It was a personal choice that Irene still wasn’t sure about. The one thing she knew for sure was that she was tired of being lonely.
Irene had been single for long enough, and the more time she spent alone was yet another win for Bryce. In the back of her mind, she knew every man couldn’t be like her ex. But heartbreak was hard to forget.
She looked down at her phone. Good. She still had a little bit of time before everyone started to arrive. The wedding party had shrunk significantly at this point. Most of Cole’s family had left already, and to be fair, his people made up most of the crowd.
The only ones left for him were Alek and some other private investigators that worked with the couple.
Irene wandered into the brightly lit gift store and looked around. She braced herself as a horde of teenage girls pushed past her. Irene narrowly missed knocking over a display of gaudy crystal globes with a tiny Las Vegas lit up inside. She picked up the globe and inspected it. This would be the perfect souvenir for a place like this.
Contrary to popular belief, she was enjoying herself, and she wanted something to take home that reminded her of their time here. Las Vegas was a lot like New Orleans—the people were full of life.
In another lifetime, she could see herself living here. Irene carried the globe to the front and paid for it. She needed to get back to the lobby. Irene was always the first to arrive in these types of situations. As she turned to leave, she started to feel the usual butterflies that began fluttering in the pit of her stomach.
Her nephew said it was because she had social anxiety, whatever that was. His mother said all she needed was prayer. Irene thought the answer was somewhere in between the two.
Mel had only invited her and Rose, her cousin, for her part of the wedding party. Surprisingly, Rose left early; she’d had a concert planned in New York City. That meant that the dinner tonight would be much more intimate.
Irene leaned against the marble counter and watched the stairs intently. She was so focused on seeing who would arrive first that she didn’t notice the man who walked up behind her.
She felt his presence first. Whenever Liam Campbell was nearby, her body reacted as if it had a mind of its own. She tingled from head to toe. She turned around slowly and granted him a serene smile.
The Scot did not need to know how easily he affected her. She braced herself against the instant attraction she felt for him.
“Liam, how are you?”
“Better now that I’m here with you,” Liam said softly. His accent curled her toes. She stepped back as his sultry cologne hit her nose.
“Do you know where everyone else is?” Irene asked. She pulled out her phone and was surprised to see two missed messages. Oh, no, please don’t do this, Mel.
Liam’s smile confirmed her fears. The big man already knew what happened. Irene clicked on Mel’s name and read the message.
Sorry, girl, Cole had a sexy surprise waiting for me at the hotel. Not going to make it out the door tonight. The others canceled as well but I know one guy who won’t. Have fun with your adoring chef and tell me all about it in the morning. Love ya lots. - Mel
This situation had setup written all over it.
“Well, it looks like it’s just us tonight. Do you want to reschedule with the others for another time?” Irene asked.
Liam’s eyes narrowed at the hope he heard in her voice. “Absolutely not. Listen, Irene, I feel like you’ve been avoiding me a lot lately and I don’t want that. We both know that Mel set this up, so let’s just enjoy the night.”
“I don’t know, it’s been a long week…” Irene ignored her fleeting desire to spend time alone with him.
Liam Campbell was too much like her ex, Bryce. She’d learned the hard way that powerful men made dangerous partners.
“Did I do something to offend you?” Liam looked genuinely confused by her reaction. To be fair, he hadn’t really done anything offensive. Sure, he was interested in her, but he’d always been respectful.
It was time for a little honesty. “Liam, you’ve done nothing wrong. I just don’t date men like you anymore. I can’t…”
Irene paused as she tried to find the right words to explain how she felt.
Liam’s eyebrows rose. “Men like me?”
Well, hell, she’d offended him. “What I mean is…”
“You can’t possibly know what kind of man I am. We’ve only met a few times.”
“You’re famous and powerful, Liam, and men with those kinds of stats tend to be dangerous.”
“I’m not famous and I’m damn sure, not powerful. What lies has Cole been telling you?”