When you think of a romantic dinner, beer probably isn’t on the table. I guess it’s the legacy of years of “Budweiser Bros” commercials where beer is linked with man caves and The Big Game. So why did I decide to write a romantic trilogy about a brewery? Well, living in Colorado—aka, Craft Beer Central—has taught me a few things about beer.
First of all, if your idea of beer is a lukewarm can of Bud Light, you’ve got a whole world of delights awaiting you, from the rich decadence of chocolate stout to the crisp citrus of a summer saison. There’s something for every taste. As a beer aficionado once told me, “People who say they don’t like beer just haven’t tasted the right beer yet.”
But more importantly, beer wasn’t always a male thing. Until beer production was commercialized, women were the primary brewers in most societies. A good housewife could brew beer just like she could bake bread, and the same grain might be used for both. The ancient Sumerians even had a beer goddess, Ninkasi.
My heroine, Bec Dempsey, is a part of that tradition. She’s a talented brew master with her own brewery, Antero Brewing. But the brewery has fallen on hard times, and Bec needs to get back on her feet again. She’s got one asset to bargain with—a barrel of her legendary imperial stout. And she’s got a potential buyer—Denver gastropub owner Wyatt Montgomery. The only thing standing in her way is this crazy attraction between the two of them. But she can deal with that. Right?
He brought his mouth to hers, breathing in her slight gasp of surprise, his hands dropping to her shoulders. For a moment they stood joined, her hands pressing against his chest, and then her mouth opened beneath his and his tongue darted in to taste. Sweet, so sweet. But something else too, like salted caramel, sweet and savory and unexpected. He moved closer, sliding a hand down her back, and heard her purr of arousal as her arms went around his neck. He cupped her ass, tight with muscle, and his pulse beat hard.
What he’d been wanting all night. What he’d been wanting longer than that if he was honest. Touching, tasting, moving. Yes, yes, yes.
Or not. Bec stepped back, eyes wide, lips slightly open as she gasped in a breath. “No,” she whispered. “This can’t… We can’t… I can’t do this.”
“You can’t?” He narrowed his eyes. It seemed to him they not only could, they should. As soon as possible.
She shook her head, looking a little like a frightened child. “No. No, we can’t. I mean we’re working together. We can’t…do this. It’s not a good idea for people who work together to get involved. It causes all kinds of problems.”
Wyatt paused, letting his pulse slow down. He had a feeling she was on the verge of either rethinking her decision or telling him to get lost. He’d rather it wasn’t the latter. “Okay,” he said slowly. “We can think about it.” God only knew he’d be thinking about it, probably for the rest of the night.