Title: Rock House Grill
Author: D. V. Stone
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Aden House, successful but driven chef and TV personality, refuses to slow down. His life implodes one night, damaging him both physically and emotionally. He’s rescued by a woman he thinks of as his angel.
Shay McDowell has rebuilt her life after her divorce. She juggles volunteer EMT duties and her job, while dreaming of becoming a chef. She finds her way to Rock House Grill and back into the life of the man she helped save.
Can love be the ingredient needed to survive the many obstacles they face?
He stiff-armed the door open, and it gave a satisfying crash against the outside wall. Striding to his car, he didn’t even feel the sense of satisfaction usually brought about by seeing his restored white ‘68 vintage coupe. Somewhere along the line, the joy of living and doing what he loved had disappeared. Sticking the key into the lock, he twisted it and opened the door. Hot air rushed out. The sun had gone down a little while ago, but it was still warm and humid.
A bead of sweat rolled down his neck as he slipped behind the wheel and sat, staring out the windshield. He’d never been so tired. The looks he’d been getting recently, from those closest to him, flooded his mind. A couple of times they’d tried to talk to him, but he shut them down. It’s my life.
It’s ours as well, Aden. Olivia, his beautiful twin sister, had gazed at him sadly a few days ago. It’s my, Eli’s, and Margaret’s lives, too.
When they’d opened Rock House Grill, Aden hadn’t planned on starting a second restaurant. Then, one night, after the grand opening, he and Olivia were sitting around with glasses of wine, talking about their dreams.
When I see the Rock House, and how you’ve attained what you wanted, I think back to all the hopes Manny and I had. Her voice was wistful. When Manny died, part of Olivia did too.
He saw something in her he hadn’t for years—the spark of life. It only took a moment for him to decide they would expand, and Olivia would get Jazz House. He’d forgotten how much work was required to get a restaurant up and running.
The overhead light went out when he pulled the car door shut and shoved the key in the ignition. A throaty rumble emitted from the pipes as the engine started. He rolled down the window, adjusted the mirror, and then pulled out of the parking lot.
Classic rock pounded out through the speakers when he turned on the radio. He cranked up the volume and listened. Appropriate. Maybe a hurricane wasn’t blowing, but a bad moon had risen. Tapping to the beat with his fingers on the steering wheel, he tried to sing along but had a hard time remembering the words.
Fatigue beat at him. He hadn’t been home in days, only napping on the couch in his office at the Grill whenever he found a couple of minutes. Always too short a time before someone came hunting him down. Come on, man, stay awake. You’re nearly home.
Twenty minutes out, Aden’s head began to bob. When his head snapped forward, it occurred to him he should pull over. He talked himself out of it. “No, you’re almost there.”
He switched from classic rock to a country station and cranked it up further.
And now for a real oldie, the smooth voice of the evening host purred.
When the chorus came on, Aden tried to focus on the words. The song was about a man burning through life. His friend telling him he needed to change his ways.
His head bobbed again.
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This engrossing story had it all, mystery, suspense, and romance. The twists and turns made it impossible to put down. I enjoyed the supporting characters as well. I will be looking for more from this talented storyteller.
This book is a delightful, savory, hopeful, fun, romantic, and warmhearted read!!
I really enjoyed this romantic suspense. The author portrayed a vivid description of the glamorous world of the high-end restaurant business. The characters were believable, and I rooted for Shay, the heroine, to overcome the many obstacles in her quest to find true love with Aden, the physically and emotionally damaged hero.
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Born in Brooklyn, D.V. Stone has moved around a bit and even lived for several years on a dairy farm in Minnesota before moving back east. Becoming an Emergency Medical Technician led her to work for ten years in a women’s state prison. She’s been an owner of a coffee shop and a small restaurant.
Throughout her wandering, she always considered herself a Jersey Girl. She met and married the love of her life, Pete—a lifelong Jersey Man, and moved this time to Sussex County. D. V. is looking forward to traveling the country and finding more inspiration for stories of hope, family, and friends.
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