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Carley Mercedes is a romance writer who lives in Missouri with her husband. A sucker for love and happy endings, she started writing HEAs when she was in high school. With a need for caffeine and bookshelves stacked to the ceiling to inspire her, she writes best in libraries and coffee shops. She’s happy to be a writer cliché, but when she’s not working, she enjoys painting, plays racquetball, and travels.

You can find out more about Carley’s work at

Dirty Cooking

Their love could set the kitchen on fire.

Melanie is a broken-hearted chef who has a passion for fine food, but without any other job prospects, she’s stuck at the Jivin’ Diner, where grease is the main ingredient on the menu. She’s desperate to get a new job so she can start cooking the food of her dreams, and when her best friend calls her about an opportunity as a live-in chef, Melanie jumps at the chance. Not once did she consider that her boss would be hotter than her oven.

Growing up in foster care, Erik had a rough start. He escaped to Arizona to save himself and his foster brother from their abusive foster father. Now the owner of a successful app development company, Erik has more money than he knows what to do with. He has a huge home, fast cars, and even faster relationships. His life seemed perfect, but something was missing. That is…until he hires Melanie. This little chef makes Erik’s blood sizzle more than the oil in her frying pan.

The fire between them burns hot, and though they try to resist the delicious temptation, the attraction proves to be too much. Emotions flare up, but the past hangs around like the smell of burnt popcorn, and neither can fully trust the other. Will Melanie and Erik overcome their past fears and embrace what is bubbling up between them? Or will their romance flop like a ruined soufflé?

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