Book Title: TASTE
(London Love #2)
Cover Artist: Christina
Release Date: November 1,
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Trope: Enemies to
Theme: Hotel, London,
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 91 000
It is a standalone story and
the second book in the London Love series.
Buy Links – Available in Kindle
Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK
There is a fine line
between love and hate.
“Emotional, funny, gripping, and heart-wrenching, Sophia
Soames’ books pulled me in and stuck with me well after. Highly recommend.” —Jennifer
Cody, author of the Diviner’s Game and Shattered Pawns universe.
Finn Christensen doesn’t do feelings. He doesn’t do
relationships either and when he has an itch to scratch, there are always clubs and
hook-ups. He works every hour of the day as the Front Office manager for the Clouds
Westminster Hotel in central London. He’s respected in the industry, and as senior
management, deserves the reputation and fear his name carries.
Then award-winning restauranteur Mark Quinton
swans in like he owns the bloody place, and Finn’s carefully managed world starts to fall
Mark Quinton needs. He’s impulsive and stupid and
childish and probably the last person in the world who should be allowed to run the Food
and Beverage department at the Clouds Westminster Hotel, however many brilliant ideas he
has and seems to manage to miraculously pull off. He needs. And he needs Finn
It’s a match made in hell. A recipe for disaster.
There will be a bloodbath one day. They all know. Everyone knows.
TASTE is the second book in the London Love
series, following four extraordinary ordinary couples living real fairy-tales in the city of
London. TASTE is a hurt/comfort, enemy-to-lovers romance set behind the scenes in a busy
inner-city business hotel.
Trigger-warnings for off-page mentions of
domestic violence, kleptomania, depression, ADHD and culinary crimes involving cheese.
Finn Christensen, though, was just that. Textbook dull and
insanely boring. The man only owned slick, grey suits, wore the same black tie every
goddamn day and needed to learn how to grow a beard. Despite being well into his forties,
he had a babyface and a crown of almost angelic blonde curls on the top of his head. He
must have mislaid his halo at some point because there was nothing angelic about
He never spoke to me, apart from random snide remarks
and the trademark eye-rolls he seemed to have honed on me. His thick curls were always a
mess of natural perfection, his lips always pursed in a tight scowl, and there were definitely
firm muscles showing through the fitted shirts that were his preferred attire. I’d caught him
staring at me a few times during these meetings, just a glance, and then he would take a
swig of his water bottle and look away. I knew he disliked me. Fuck that—he bloody hated
me for some reason I didn’t fully understand.
The problem was, I couldn’t really peg him down, however
much I wanted to. He was way above my league professionally, having worked himself up
from the ground, gaining experience on the back of some posh hotel management degree.
His office displayed an impressive wall full of hospitality diplomas from well-known
establishments, and he always looked immaculate, in his bloody posh suit-and-tie combos,
while I was happy to slum it in one of my favourite floral shirts and black jeans. I’d heard
whispers he’d wanted the F&B gig, but I didn’t believe that. He was the front-of-house
manager, which held a lot more clout in the management world than the dude who fiddled
around with room service yields and made sure the breakfast service made a profit.
And still he hated me.
I knew he was gay. Everyone did, like they knew I was an
equal opportunities kind of guy, swinging freely from having a hot girlfriend to being the
man-whore of the moment when I felt that need. We didn’t hold back with those personal
need-to-knows in the Clouds hotel world, so we knew most things about everyone in the
company. I didn’t even have to fill people in or ask for the low-down because my wait staff
were the biggest gossipmongers in the world and happily kept tabs on all the current drama,
telling me before things got out of hand, which they did, on a daily basis. Not only did my
happily bed-hopping staff shag like rabbits and fall in and out of favour at the drop of a hat,
but I had to reluctantly admit to having caused some of that drama myself. My last bed
partner had been a woman, but that little affair had conveniently come with no strings
attached, like my thrusts usually did.
Hence there I was, staring back at him across the table,
noting how his hair was, as always, on the edge of needing a trim. How his angular face lit
up in a rare smile at a particularly complimentary comment. The squareness of his shoulders
in that well-cut suit. The pout of those lips just made for, well. Ahem. Activities between the
sheets, preferably of the kind where he was on his knees with my cock in his mouth. That
thought had already been well and truly entertained and had made me ejaculate into my
own hands more nights than not these days.
I couldn’t quite pinpoint the time when I’d realised I
fancied him. Perhaps even a small part of me wanted him. Yet I could feel the hairs on the
back of my neck stand up whenever he was in the room. His voice grated on my nerves to
the point where my teeth would grit, and his pompous PowerPoint presentations in these
weekly meetings made me sigh a little too loudly.
Which made him stare at me with murder in his eyes. Yup,
the feeling was mutual.
Instead of displaying my own totally professional
PowerPoint presentation, I found myself standing up and throwing numbers off the top of
my head because I was a cocky twat. And all the while, the almighty Mr Christensen sat
scowling with his arms crossed over his chest.
“Christensen, don’t you agree?” I smiled at him. He didn’t
smile back. “Was my prediction for the new lunch menu not right on track? You were the
one who disagreed with the proposed changes. I’m pleased to see that, once again, I was
right.” I sprinkled the words lightly, maintaining my pleasant smile as I took in the room,
which was mostly amused stares. This showdown had become a weekly thing, and everyone
was eagerly awaiting what would most certainly be a brutal comeback.
Right on cue, Finn Christensen raised his hands in a
deliberately slow clap.
“Mr Quinton, congratulations on the one per cent profit
you added from last week. Less than one per cent. I am more impressed with the massaging
you must have done to come up with those figures, because according to Saffiya’s
more truthful calculations, looking at last week’s accounting breakdown, you
made a further 392-pound loss on the food side.”
Damn. Now Saffiya, our immaculate financial controller,
was nodding as well. So yes, we’d made a bit of a loss, but I’d cooked the numbers well, and
the reduced staffing figures and portion size reductions were more than covering those
numbers for next week.
“Those losses are already considered, and we look forward
to a profit-making food side next week with the introduction of our Incredible Desserts
concept. The test customers were raving about them last week, and as always, we welcome
visits down to our kitchen to sample our wonderfully talented head chef’s new creations.
Ben and his team are truly an incredible asset to the chain.”
In another of his signature moves, he was on his feet
before I’d even finished the sentence, showing his displeasure by going to stand against the
back wall of the room. It made him look taller, angrier, more confident, as well he
“Come on, Quinton,” he droned. “You’re deluded, and we
all know it. Demand for in-house meals is high, but unless you want our customers to cross
the square and grab McDonald’s from the corner, you need to up your game. We’ve had
several complaints about the lack of comfort food on your menu, and Mr Proctor once again
demanded we comp his bill due to the lack of fish and chips. You know how important our
premium customers are, don’t you, Quinton?”
He banged his head back against the wall as he spoke,
clearly annoyed with my dumbass attitude and overbearing confidence. But that was the
way I rolled, and the fact that it seemed to annoy him just egged me on.
“No need to speak to me like I am a child.” I smiled
demurely. “But if you want me to break down the figures for you…” I paused deliberately.
“Then I can explain like I would my five-year-old niece’s maths homework. We made a profit
overall and scored 4.92 on customer satisfaction. Seventy-two per cent of last week’s guests
took one or more meals in our restaurant.”
“We offer free breakfast, mate,” he cut back. “Which
means twenty-eight per cent of our clients couldn’t face our breakfast. Not a particularly
I hated him. I hated him so fucking much.
About the Author
Sophia Soames should be old
enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over TV
shows, has fallen in and out of love with more popstars than she dares to remember, and
has a ridiculously high-flying (un-)glamourous real-life job.
Her long-suffering husband
just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The Au Pair just sighs.
She lives in a creaky old
house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia.
Discovering that the stories in
her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis
ever, and she hopes it may long continue.
Find me on social media
@sophiasoames on all platforms
Christina Stern is a
Russian based artist. Quick sketches and portraits drawn in pencil are what she likes to do
the most. Her work can be found on @christinastern on Instagram
Aurelia Morris is a
cover artist, photographer, Photoshop wiz and eternal fangirl. She works in many mediums
under more aliases that she can keep track of.
Social Media Links