What I know about wine could fit on the head of a pin. A teeny-tiny pin. (Red, white, rosé. Done. ) What I know about food could fit on a…thumbtack, maybe. After all, I do like to eat, though I’m not familiar with a lot of different cuisines. Which is why in my books, my characters eat Italian or Chinese or bake bread.
In Forbidden Fantasies, Alex and Jess wind up in a secluded corner at an Italian Restaurant on the same property as Bondage & Breakfast and spend more time focusing on the show in front of them rather than their own meals:
After the waiter brought his chocolate mousse and her coffee, they sat close together, watching the dancing and listening to the music. Alex seemed content, calmer and happier than she’d seen him in a long time. She relaxed against him, and he held her tightly, an indulgent smile on his face as they watched a couple in their eighties dancing close together.
A movement at the table across from them caught her attention, and she turned her head. She blinked twice to clear her vision, but the scene stayed the same. The table was isolated, tucked into an alcove where the occupants wouldn’t be disturbed, and lit only by candlelight. She watched for a few minutes, her heart speeding up and her breath beginning to hitch.
“Oh,” she sighed, but it was enough to catch Alex’s notice.
He bent his head toward her. “You okay, babe?”
“Look,” she said softly, inclining her head just slightly.
Alex’s eyes followed her direction, and she felt him jerk in surprise. “Christ.”
She’d never been a voyeur to anyone’s sexual encounter before, and she was shocked at how arousing it was. It wasn’t just any encounter, though. It seemed brought to life by her fantasies. Most of it was out of her view, hidden by the long white tablecloth that covered the round table, but there wasn’t a damn thing wrong with her imagination. Or her eyesight, even in the dim candlelight.
There were three occupants of the table, two men and a woman. She sat between them, and each of them had his mouth on her in some way. The man on her left was kissing her mouth, and the one on the right had his lips at her bare shoulder.
A flood of moisture pooled between Jess’s thighs when the men pulled back, switching tasks. Now the man on her right was kissing her mouth, and the man on the left was—Oh, my. He slid the thin strap of her dress low, baring the top of one creamy breast.
“Jesus.” Alex shifted in his chair. “I don’t know if we should keep watching or if I should arrest them.” But instead of turning his gaze away, he slipped the fingers of one hand off her shoulder onto her back, and then inside the straps of her dress, letting his fingers graze the side of her breast.
Damn, that felt good. When she didn’t stop him, he moved his hand again and ran his fingers over her already aroused nipple. Jess nearly choked. With the way they were seated, no one could see what Alex was doing. No one, except for the table they were watching.
The men at the other table lifted their heads and Alex hesitated, his fingers squeezing Jess’s breast reflexively. The guy on the left raised his wineglass as if in toast. The guy on the right whispered in the woman’s ear, and her eyes widened in panic as she looked over at their table.
Alex was torn. Part of him wanted to intervene on her behalf, but he didn’t. Instead, in a move he’d never have imagined himself making, he raised his wineglass back.
And in Forbidden Desires, three nonagenarians tell Marcus and Bella about the kinky fun you can have playing with food:
He stared bemusedly at Alice, who was still working on the biggest, richest piece of chocolate cake Bella had ever seen. “Alice, where are you putting all that food? Hollow leg?”
Alice smiled demurely but kept eating.
Bella laughed. “She can eat us all under the table. You should see her at the Chinese buffet.”
“She has a food fetish,” Myrtle added with a wink. “Why, she told me she and her husband used to have sex in the garden all the time.”
“Cucumbers and ears of corn make good toys if you’re in the mood to play.” Alice took another dainty bite of cake.
Marcus choked on his drink, but cleared his throat and shook his head wryly. “My nonna would’ve loved the three of you.”
Bella smiled at his words. So many people made the mistake of believing the elderly were sexless, but not Marcus. She didn’t either, not after meeting these three several years ago. Having Alice, Edna and Myrtle for friends was like having three bawdy grandmothers.
So it’s not the specific food or the wine itself that sets the mood in my books, but the meals and the places and the people.