There's A Fly In My Soup!

enimies to lovers

This is my kitchen, my rules.

Cerys works as a chef at the prestigious Clifton hotel, where her bubble is about to be burst. By the new owner of the hotel, the charismatic, intimidating, and all round annoyance - Trent Callaghan. A millionaire hotelier with a reputation for being cut throat, chauvinistic, with a take-no-prisoners attitude.

Cerys has worked hard on her way to the top, and now Trent Callahan stands to make her lose her job, favouring another chef to re-design the new restaurant and develop a new menu. Cerys must think fast to retain her place as head chef, to prove to Trent Callahan that she is worth keeping. Along the way she endures his supermodel girlfriend, Ana Carolina, and his upper class friends, along the way she discovers Trent Callahan isn't all he appears to be.

His mother arrives and puts a spanner in the works, immediately attaching herself to Cerys and revealing Trent's weaknesses. Cerys decides to play the playboy at his own game, discovering he may have another weakness. Her.

Free preview
Chapter One
You'd think the way everyone was acting, that Queen Elizabeth was paying a visit. No, no, scratch that. The Queen and the Pope riding on the back of a magical Pegasus with rainbow coloured hair. I'd only seen the Clifton Hotel this manic with worried looking chamber maids, and doormen with faces like slapped arses one time before. When Beyoncé and Jay Z came to stay during Summer 2013. I heard squabbling, and the sounds of two voices I knew very well. Marianne, head of housekeeping, arguing heatedly with Kevin, one of the bellboys. And my self-professed partner in crime. I ducked behind an ornamental statue, of some half naked Grecian God, and finished the piece of toast I’d grabbed before running over here. It looked like ‘feather-gate’ part two. Marianne was fiercely possessive over her dusters. We wondered whether she slept with them, different strokes for different folks, Kev always said. We'd once watched a tv show where men married their cars, and that was miles more mental.  Once, Kevin and I had used one of Marianne's extending dusters to force down the back of a radiator. We were on our lunch break and Kev had dropped his ‘weight watchers’ nougat bar down the back of one of the huge ornate radiators in the conservatory. Within seconds Marianne was spitting feathers, her highly coiffured hair bouncing around like an excitable parrot. I literally had to bite my lip to avoid snorting. I drew blood and everything. Kevin never did recover the bar. It was probably still festering down there.  I twisted my curly black hair into a bun, cursing the rogue tendrils that weren't quite long enough to be included in the hairstyle. My hair, much like Marianne's, has a life entirely of its own. Kevin left his adversary to squawk on her own, and grabbed my arm as I made my way down the service corridor. Unlike the hallways used by guests, the place reminds me of a morgue. It's cold, drafty, and the carpets are covered in stains that look no less than repugnant. We've theorised that Marianne drags errant workers down here on Halloween and punishes them for smears on mirrors and poorly constructed towel swans.  'She's bloody mental!' Kevin seethed, readjusting his red bow tie. 'Then again it was a full moon last night.' He pointed out, with way too much seriousness, might I add. 'The cow accused me of stealing jay cloths from her cupboard. Jay cloths! What the friggin' hell does she think I'm doing with them?' 'Beats me.' I sniggered, punching him on the arm. 'What are you doing with them Kevin?' 'It's not funny Cerys.' He pouted, jumping in front of me and dramatically blocking my path of escape. 'They've said twenty of us are being made redundant today.' Oh. Nothing like the threat of being fired to cast its long overbearing shadow on your day. So, this was why everyone was running around like they had bees up their arses. Great. Happy Monday morning, Cerys. The tone changed, just like that. 'Have they said which departments?' I scoured Kevin's face. He was way too pretty. Then again, all the hot bellboys round here are, and ninety percent are gay. My gaydar has always been way off the mark, so I rely on Kev to set me straight. Pun intended. He ran a hand through his glossy auburn hair, unfairly glossy when mine takes five hours of straightening to even achieve half the reflectivity of his barnet. And then one ounce of humidity and I look like a poodle during a hurricane.  'Oh god, I dunno chick.' He shrugged, a pained expressed on his face. He could so easily front an aftershave ad. With those cheekbones. 'Cerys' he whined. 'That last one in last one out thing doesn't bode well for me does it.' 'Oh Kev.' I gave him a bear hug and rubbed his back. 'Try not to worry mate. I'm sure it's all rumours. Probably witch face Marianne's doing.' 'Speaking of witch face, I'd better run.' He checked an imaginary watch and sighed. 'I'm supposed to be helping the girls at the front desk put up their Christmas tree.' He blew kisses as he hurtled off towards the lifts, and I pushed open the double doors to my domain. The hotel kitchen. Gerry, the grumpiest bugger in the world was sitting at a stool peeling a mountain of potatoes and listening to radio four. He barely raised his eyebrows in a greeting, and I headed over to the cloakroom, brushing toast crumbs off my Aerosmith t-shirt, and putting on my scrubs.  That's what I call them, anyway. And hey, I can butcher a chicken with the same finesse a surgeon uses. Kev tells me that anyway. Then again, what does he know, he can't cook for toffee. I once tried his version of an omelette after a night out. Let me tell you, it's worse than a hangover and a stomach bug rolled into one. Back in the kitchen the night staff were clocking off, and usually I get a few high fives as I secure my hair net and turn on the stove. Not today. I felt dread swirling in my stomach. I had to stay focussed.  We seemed a bit thin on the ground, and as breakfast specials streamed in, I wondered why it was only me and Gerry. The kitchens are so vast, and the hotel is so busy that at all times we have four chefs working a shift, then our sous. I could cope with rustling up a few extra dishes, but I could see that Gerry was getting more and more irritated. And that never ended well. Whilst Erin and Colin, two sous chefs took over, I ventured out into the lobby to look for Andrew. He was the hotel manager, a tiny man with a floppy toupee and a squeaky voice, but woe betide you if you get on the wrong side of him. I could see him in his office, nodding his head like one of those dogs you get in the back of car windows. But less cute, obviously. I rapped on the door, trying to look less obvious. I mean of course I was eavesdropping, who doesn't when they've just been told their job is on the line. I nearly fell backwards as Andrew swung the door open, cheeks flushed, brow furrowed. Oh dear. This was not good. I prayed I hadn't angered the beast. If Gerry found out I'd gone walk about he'd be in a mood with me too and well, then I might as well just resign to avoid the day from hell. 'What is it, Cerys.' He positioned his hands on his hips, looking up at me. And I'm not tall. 'Well....' I began, wringing my hands. 'Serena and Vojtek....' He cut me off, looking more than a little proud. 'They aren't with us anymore.' He finished, jaw muscles twitching. 'Oh.' Well what else do you say to that? 'Any more questions, Cerys?' 'Nope, that will be all sir.' I don't know why I went all formal. I guess I didn't know what to say. As I walked away, I felt that ball of dread work its way from my stomach right up the back of my throat and I sorely regretted that slice of toast. Serena had a son, and she'd really struggled through the recession. Poor Vojtek had a baby on the way and he'd just patched things up with his estranged wife. I only know these things because Kevin tells me. But still. I didn't tell the others, Gerry didn't need irking any more than he already had been, and the waitresses and waiters were so busy and so hardworking I'd feel like a right t**t having to go in there and break the bad news. That morning I burnt two white sauces, broke a glass bowl and walked into Gerry twice. After the lunch time service ended, I couldn't get out of the place fast enough. I needed to go home and lie down for a few hours in a dark room. Maybe I'd snuggle up to a bar of Cadbury’s dairy milk and a trashy magazine and pretend all was well with the world.  But I didn't get that far. Today really had it in for us. Andrew blocked my exit. 'Ladies and Gents, a week ago our beloved hotel was bought by a hotelier desperate to land himself the most beautiful acquisition in London Town.' The hotel was sold? And what was all that flowery language about? Who says London Town? It's a city. Nobody had called it London Town since Oliver Twist was galumphing about with Fagin's band of juvenile delinquents.  I tapped my foot impatiently. I needed to get home. Behind me, you could hear a pin drop as the saying goes. And it was never quiet in here. Someone was always banging a pan, singing along to the radio, or grumbling. Usually Gerry. 'You may have noticed that some of your colleagues aren't here today, and this isn't a decision we took lightly.' Whatever, slimy toad. Everyone knew Andrew liked throwing his weight around. There were shocked murmurs behind me, and I folded my arms narrowing my eyes just enough that Andrew realised how disgruntled I was about the whole thing. 'So, without further adieu, please help me welcome Trent Callaghan. Our new owner.' Further adieu.  What a t**t. Andrew moved aside, but his gut was so sizeable we didn't catch sight of our new boss until he had awkwardly reversed back into the hallway. 'Good day to you, kitchen staff.' Trent Callaghan was a good foot taller than Andrew, with square shoulders and a level, measured tone. He smiled, but that smile didn't reach his eyes. I'm good with intuition, and my first instincts said corporate bore. They also told me this bloke was an arsehole. Those were my first impressions. Bore. And arsehole.  'There's no time like the present to start this new regime, and I know that the previous owners had a chain of hotels, but I wanna make some vast changes.' I detected the lilt of an Irish accent. Southern to be exact. 'That's why I'm making some cut backs. And the redundancies, well, they're part of life.' He shrugged, like he'd just told us something really trivial. I could feel my teeth grinding together. 'But I'd like you all to stay until five. I'm making a presentation to the whole team.' I wasn't having that. I had somewhere to be. I raised my hand. He ignored me completely, talking about new menus, changing our suppliers, and bringing in two chefs from his Michelin starred west end restaurant. I don't like change. Who does? I'm used to what I do, and I enjoy the creativity of it. Gerry and I, along with Serena and Vojtek had worked hard on the menus, as we had with developing relationships with our suppliers. We didn't need anyone barging into our kitchen and telling us how to cook, he could get stuffed. This wasn't personal, but it felt like it. 'Mr Callaghan.' I spoke up, just as the bloke was enjoying the sound of his own voice, leaning on my work station, boasting about his chefs and how they'd change us for the better. He didn't hear me, and if he did, he was an ignorant arsehole. He had proven his arsehole credentials.  'Mr Callaghan.' I said again, this time louder, and more forceful. I'm no wallflower. Still no response. 'Oh for god’s sake!' I shouted, suddenly feeling very hot and bothered and as irritated as Gerry does every single day. 'Will you bloody listen to me?' Trent Callaghan raised his eyebrows, tucking his hands into his pockets. 'Can I help you love?' First of all, don't call me love, Mr I'm coming in and taking control of your kitchen. My. Bloody. Kitchen. I felt like every drop of blood in my body soared to my face and ears.  'I can't stay. I have somewhere to be.' I explained, 'So I guess I'll catch up with whatever's said tomorrow?' I turned my back and headed towards the cloakroom. I heard footsteps behind me, and within half a second the new guy was breathing down my neck. 'If you've got somewhere to be, sure, off you toddle love. I've got a queue of people a mile long lined up to take your job. People who'll take this a little more seriously.' He said, in this low, no nonsense, don't mess with me tone. I blinked at him. He wasn't serious. He was testing me. Say something, Cerys. Don't look like you're swallowing flies while you think of your come back. Close. Jaw.  He looked like a statue, all stoic and emotionless, save for the swirling ice grey in his eyes.  'Then get somebody else.' I retorted, picking up my bag and my ratty old pleather jacket. From somewhere in the room I heard gasps, horrified whispers. I tried to walk away as confidently as possible, but the truth was, I didn't feel all that confident. Why was I such a bloody stubborn mare. I couldn't quit my job. But I carried on walking, the doors swooshing closed behind me. .............  

Dreame-Editor's pick


Crimson Princess and Her Fated Lover


The Vampire's Servant


The Hunter’s Mate


Sold To a Mafia King


Lady Dhampir


Dr. Luna (Book 1-4)


The Lycan Prince's Huntress


Scan code to download app

download_iosApp Store
google icon
Google Play