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Once Upon a Thyme

By Lateda All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Romance

Blurb

Conner Montgomery is a thirty-five-year-old painfully shy executive chef at The Imperial Arms Hotel, who has spent most of her life hiding in her kitchen, but dreams of getting out from under the thumb of Wilhelmina Tate, her boss and benefactor. Her chance soon arrives when she's given the esteemed assignment of preparing the menu for the social event of the year – an extravagant gala for the very wealthy and sophisticated hotel empire heir Philip Garrity.  Philip wants to break away from the family business and be a restaurateur and thinks Conner's unique cuisine can help him do that. The only problem is – he thinks Conner Montgomery is a reclusive, old man.  Afraid if she were to tell Philip the truth it would ruin her chances of getting hired, Conner tells Philip her name is Helen and she's the sous chef – if he needs to ask Conner anything, it can go through her. Things start to really get complicated when Philip, thinking Conner is Helen, asks her to accompany him to a the social event of the season - that Conner, the male chef, is catering.  Conner is quickly tangled in a madcap escapade in mistaken identity to get what she thinks she wants.

Chapter 1

Birthdays sucked. At least, that’s what Conner thought, as she lay in bed wishing she were one of those Zen types who, with the assistance of some deep breathing, could put her body instantly in a comatose state. No such luck. She lost the fight. The day she hated more than any other had arrived, and there would be no avoiding it by sleeping through it.

Quickly dressing in her customary black pants, she grabbed a matching shirt from the pile of unfolded laundry on the chair. Tugging the shirt down to stretch out the wrinkles, she briefly regretted not ironing it before throwing it on. Putting her hands on her hips, she examined herself in the full-length mirror. She looked like a crumpled-up Hefty bag with a Brillo pad sticking out of the top. Perfect. It was the same look she managed every day for the past ten or so years.

Conner flipped a wave at her reflection, dismissing her ruffled appearance. Throwing open the door, she almost tripped over a beautifully wrapped present sitting in the doorway. With a smile, she picked it up. Birthdays sucked, but birthday presents were great.

Setting the box gently on the bed, Conner took a few minutes to stare at it. The present was truly a work of beauty. Impeccably wrapped in silvery paper, the box was tied with great love and precision with an extravagant blue bow. She hated the idea of untying it. Unable to hold in her curiosity, she tugged it free, ripped off the paper, and tossed off the lid. Inside was a small note:

Every woman needs a dream pair of shoes.

Dare to dream, Cookie!

Love,

The Girls

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