Opposites come together for a spicy surprise.
Bradford “Tully” Tolliver has everything—money, a great car, a beautiful condo, and a promising career as one of Portland’s hottest young lawyers. Sure, he puts in long hours and has no social life to speak of, but who needs romance when corporations pay top dollar for his expertise? He hesitates when a colleague asks if her cousin can live with him, but the arrangement will last less than a year, and then the cousin—Sage Filling—will return to his tiny hometown.
But Sage is handsome and intriguing, and his cooking makes Tully swoon. Sage has obligations back home, though, and Tully has offers he might not refuse from a persistent—and very wealthy—ex. Since Tully and Sage each have a full plate, can they make room for a side of love?
Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, and I’m very excited to announce the arrival of my new Dreamspun Desires book, A Full Plate! If you’re in the mood for a sweet little opposites-attract romance with a hint of spice, this may fit your tastes exactly.
Are you a city slicker or a country bumpkin? Neither of those are very positive terms, so let’s put it another way. Are you more comfortable amid the high-rises of the urban jungle, where the hustle and bustle and the 24/7 lifestyle keep you juiced? Or would you prefer to remain in the quiet of the country, with nature at your doorstep and a slower, steadier pace?
I think both locales have pros and cons. I love the convenience of the city, the variety, and the opportunities for people-watching. But I also appreciate the peace of the countryside and the relative lack of stress.
To be honest, I live in neither environment. I’ve spent most of my life in the burbs or in cities that are too big to be towns but far too small to be metropolises. My current home is two blocks from almond orchards and cornfields, but the freeway roars nearby, and I can buy pho or a microbrew without leaving the city limits.
My day job and other practicalities keep me where I am for now. But if I were completely free to choose, I’d opt for a big-city condo—with frequent vacations to the mountains, the desert, and the beach. The best of both worlds, right?
In my new book, A Full Plate, the main characters face the basic question of where to live. Tully is a corporate attorney, born in Manhattan and now living in a Portland high-rise. Sage, however, is from the tiny central Oregon town of Hair Shaker—one of those places where everyone knows everyone else’s business. He aspires to nothing fancier than being a good cook, but he must temporarily live in the city in order to support his family.
So there we have it: a classic conflict. How can these two very different men ever find happiness together?
Where would you prefer to live, in the city or in the country?
Here’s a nice country-inspired recipe from my childhood.
Fruit Coffee Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp grated orange peel
½ cup butter
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 ½ cups fresh fruit of your choice, washed, pitted or hulled, and cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp butter
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
Make cake: In a bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange peel. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles cornmeal.
In another bowl, beat eggs lightly, then stir in milk and vanilla. Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in egg mixture; stir just until moistened. Spoon batter into well-greased 7 ½ by 11 ½ pan and arrange fruit evenly on top, pressing in lightly.
Make topping: Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With fingers, work in butter. Stir in nuts.
Squeeze together handfuls of topping, then break into chunks and scatter over fruit.
Bake at 350F until pick comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool 20 minutes on wire rack.
Sigh. I just love a happy ending. Not just when it ends on a good note, but when we get to see the characters in their new lives, enjoying each moment. It’s one of the reasons I love the Dreamspun Desires series. That happy ending is never far away.
I really enjoyed this one by Kim Fielding. A Full Plate gave me all the good feels. Sage was happiest right where he felt at home, in the kitchen, make those around him happy with his food. Okay, there was that one time with Tully, but it led to happy, so easily forgiven. J
What I loved most was Tully though, and not simply because the book was written from his POV. Tully grew up rich in Manhattan, going to private schools, having the best of everything, until he came out. That kind of childhood could have led to him being a snob, and looking down on Sage for “only wanting to be a cook”. Yet he didn’t, he told people with pride what Sage did. He treated him with respect and care, not caring that Sage didn’t have a college degree, or that he didn’t work for a Michelin starred restaurant. Tully was a person of great integrity-although I think he should have given Eddy hell for destroying wetlands-and treated everyone respectfully.
Tully and Sage were so compatible deep down, that it seemed odd that it took them so long to make that connection. But they did, and all cylinders seemed to fire from there. Love was inevitable.
I would love to see them pop up again somewhere else, just to get more of a glimpse into how their lives have evolved.
4 pieces of eye candy
Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
A complete list of Kim’s books: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/kim-fieldings-books/