I've got a bit of an unintended recurring theme in my books: men who rock in the kitchen. How do you feel about Heroes who sizzle more than the BBQ?
I didn't set out to do this, I swear, and I have no idea how it happened, but I've written enough books now to recognize a trend. A good number of my heroes are just as hot in the kitchen as they are everywhere else.
William Wilson Smith, the leading alpha of the Billionaire Spy Series, is not just an arborist, a magnate and a spy, he also has mad chef skills. Which is fortunate, because his wife Mariana definitely does not.
Rick Curtis, the special-ops Hawk who rescues our wayward Pollyanna Sonnenschein in The Watch may be a hard man and a harder Dom, but he's also a big fan of cooking shows and whips up delicious Caribbean dishes for Polly. Daddy Jenkins cooks meals for her too, and is handy with a wooden spoon when she gets fussy.
Noel Castañeda (you will meet him this Christmas!) is a fisherman and pretty great catch himself, despite a wild temperament. He's chock-full of secret recipes for traditional Galician dishes which he serves up to his beloved Maribel.
Paul Arrow (coming soon-ish) can hunt his own gator then fry it up in a pan, (chicken-fried steak style, after marinating it in buttermilk). He keeps his fated mate Amalia very full and satisfied.
And Alexei Bogatyrev, the hero of my latest work in process, just made a nice Western Omelette for his gal, Anastasia. It's a sweet harkening back to the day he first found her living her new life as the worst waitress in Lagrimas, TX.
I have no idea why this seems to happen so often. I don't do it deliberately. What happens when I write is I let the characters be themselves, as they advance from scene to scene, through my key plot points. I only report on what they get up to and try to gently urge (or kick) them back to my plot if they roam too far.
Some of them get hungry along the way, I guess, and decide to do something about it.
So how do you feel about heroes who cook for their leading ladies? Hot or very hot?