A Tale of the Curious Cookbook
Boone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He's invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.
Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone's past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim across to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.
IT SMELLED like jasmine.
In the whole city of New Orleans, jasmine was the scent hanging heavy in the air, and no one could tell me any different. When I first moved to NOLA five years ago, I would walk around sniffing, asking people what it was, and after answers of crawfish or gumbo, dogwood or honeysuckle, the river or the rain, it always came back to that one underlying current: jasmine. It wafted through the Garden District or came in on a faint breeze off Dumaine, and when I walked the uneven, broken sidewalks in the quarter early in the morning or very late at night, it’s what I inhaled deep in my lungs. My friends thought I was nuts, especially my closest one, my best one, the guy I’d not gone a day without talking to since I met him two years ago. Scott Wren.
When he’d walked into my gallery to give me the flyer touting that he was moving into the French Quarter and bringing his semitraditional Spanish cuisine with him, I noted the gray eyes first, then the thick dirty-blond hair swept up, longer on top, short on the sides and in back, his graceful artist hands, long legs, and lastly his perfect, tight round ass. I was planning to lay a line on him when his mouth dropped open as he glanced around the main room.
It wasn’t my art—I was an interior design guy, not an artist, but I ran a very successful gallery that had my name, Boone Walton, on it, and the fact that he was gazing around in awe gave me pause, made me rethink.
“Holy crap,” he whispered. “I’ve been to ten or so galleries today, but this one is amazing. No wonder everyone said to skip…