Monday, March 20, 2017

Make Me Beg

With: Rebecca Brooks

Giveaway Alert!

I have to admit, I was never one of those girls who grew up planning their weddings and knew what song they going to play for their first dance before they knew who they’d be dancing with. When my husband and I decided to get married, we picked out simple bands together and then talked about how we wanted to celebrate. Those who knew us well were not surprised that the whole thing wound up revolving around good food and even better company.

We got married six years ago on April Fool’s Day with our parents as witnesses. Our families met for the first time for dinner the night before we all went to City Hall. I was so nervous, I barely remember anything about the meal. But the wine was good, everyone got along, and I learned a valuable lesson about high heels: if you’re planning on wearing a new pair for your wedding day, don’t try to break them in the night before. Ow ow ow.

The next morning, we all went for an epic brunch at a place with French toast slices the size of my head. No way was I going to start off married life on an empty stomach! Then we went to the New York City Marriage Bureau, which turns out to have some of the best people watching I’ve ever experienced. There were women in full-on wedding gowns and women in jeans. I know it’s not what everyone dreams of for her wedding day, but I loved it. If anyone wants to make a documentary about the man who does all the vows and watches these couples come through, I would watch that in a heartbeat!

Dinner that night was one I’ll never forget. First we went to celebrate—and finally relax—at a nearby bar with whiskey bottles lining the shelves and a menu as large as a book. Then we had the kind of meal I’ll be dreaming about for the rest of my life. We went back to the same restaurant for our one-year anniversary and loved it even more because it felt like “our place.”

The day after we said “I do,” we hosted a brunch at our apartment for our parents and a few close friends. We had a make-your-own omelet station in the kitchen, waffles in our home office, a mimosa bar, and a tower of cupcakes. It was low key and fun, and it meant the world that even though it was just brunch, our loved ones came from near and far to be with us. A month later, my parents hosted a second brunch in their backyard so that my grandparents and other family could be part of the celebration. I really love that people know the way to my heart is to get together and feed me!

I guess it’s not surprising that I wound up writing a book that’s all about good food and friends. My newest release, Make Me Beg, is about a smart-mouthed bartender and the dirty-talking chef who brings her to her knees. Connor and Mackenzie are full of fireworks in the kitchen. And the bedroom. And just about everywhere else, since they can’t keep their hands off each other! They drive each other crazy trying to open a new place together, until they realize how much they need each other—not only to make their dream bar/restaurant a reality, but to make their lives complete.

To celebrate the release of Make Me Beg and the success of Mack and Connor’s awesome new bar, I want to hear about your favorite hangout and why you love it. Enter my Name Your Favorite Bar contest and you could win a $100 VISA gift card! Use it to treat your friends, family, or just yourself to a fabulous night out. To enter, all you have to do is post on Facebook or Instagram telling me in 75 words or less about your favorite bar/hangout, past or present. You must include this hashtag in your post:  #MakeMeBegContest. Photos are fun but optional, except in Instagram where, of course, you need something visual to post. I have a team of judges who’ll select their top five entries, and then readers will vote for the winner. The deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2017, so go enter now! I can’t wait to read about your favorite spots. For some inspiration, read on for an excerpt about the creative way Connor finds to make Mack taste his new menu creations!

Excerpt of MAKE ME BEG

All Mack’s senses strained, hoping for something—anything—to tell her what was going on. Panic bubbled within her, the certainty she’d made a terrible mistake. It was so dark under the blindfold, there was no way to cheat and say she couldn’t see anything while secretly saved by a sliver of light.

Then she heard a click, the sound of a container opening. She smelled lemon. Garlic. And something else—vinegar? Herbs?

Suddenly, it all made sense. He’d made a picnic. Before she got here, he’d set up a picnic.

And then hog-tied her to make sure she’d sit and stay for it.

What a prince.

“Okay,” she said. “I get it. Is this supposed to be romantic? Can you untie me now?”

She tried to rein in her annoyance since she didn’t exactly have the upper hand, but
it was hard. If he’d wanted a date, he could have asked for one. She would have spared him the trouble.

Which, on second thought, was undoubtedly why he hadn’t brought it up.

“No and no,” he said in response to her questions. “I know you don’t do romance, Mack. This is strictly business.”

Mack stopped struggling against her bonds. Was he kidding? Of course she did romance! Not with him, obviously, but how could he think a woman wouldn’t want to be swept off her feet? 

“Open your mouth,” he said.

“Aren’t we bossy.”

“Do it.”

His voice was level, calm. A man of infinite patience. Of course he could sit here forever. He had the view of the mountains, the lake, and Mack completely at his mercy. She bet he liked the look of that best of all.

“What are you feeding me?” she asked warily.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“Of course it matters.”

“No,” he said. “It doesn’t. Just taste it. Don’t think about what it is, or how it’ll sound on a menu, or what kind of restaurant it belongs in. Don’t worry about marketing, business, all that BS. Don’t ask what it looks like, where it came from, what it goes with. Close your eyes, open your mouth, and taste.”


  1. We like to get-together at Pizzeria Uno -large screen tvs and pizza. It's centrally located for everyone and the bartenders are great.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  2. Really enjoyed this book! Frenemies to lovers? Yes please! :)


Sign up for the JCR newsletter!