GIVEAWAY + Blog Tour: Dinner For One by Meg Harding

We're so happy to have Meg Harding stop by today to talk books, food, French chefs and Russian hockey players. Who could ask for anything more?

Thanks for having me today! Dinner for One is the start of a series following four of the Carlisle brothers. This one focuses on James, a food critic, and his soon to be romantic partner Bastien—a French chef. A lot of the scenes in this book feature foods. Cooking is something both men like to do for one another and for themselves, and it’s a fun and sweet way for them to connect. Dinner for One takes the saying “the way to a man’s heart is his stomach” very seriously.

Most of the foods mentioned in this book are French, but there’s one scene in particular where I decided to have Bastien cook outside of his comfort zone for James. I opted for Russian cuisine. I’ve never made or eaten any of these dishes myself (I’m afraid I’m not an adventurous type of eater), but thankfully there’s Pinterest and Buzzfeed to somewhat educate the clueless. I went with Russian because when I was writing this book, I was spending a good amount of time falling in love with Evgeni Malkin—a Russian hockey player, who coincidentally has a Youtube video of him making one of the dishes mentioned in the exclusive excerpt below.


     “I can help,” James offers, but Bastien waves him off. He comes back three more times with a variety of covered plates, and one last time with two empty plates and silverware.

     “We’re eating buffet style,” he says, holding one out to James, his hair gleaming copper in the soft white lights.

     “Did you make the food?”

     Bastien smiles, looking a little nervous. “I did. So. I tried. And hopefully it tastes good? It’s not my normal area.”

     James is intrigued now. He removes one of the covers and reveals a plateful of Golubtsy. It’s ground beef and boiled rice, wrapped up in cabbage leaves. He uncovers the plate beside it to find Piroshki—stuffed bread, though with what he can’t yet tell. “You made me Russian,” he says wonderingly. The dish beside the Piroshki is Pelmeni, a meat dumpling. There’s a steaming pitcher of Sbiten beside that, a mulled honey drink that smells absolutely delicious. And finally there’s black bread and Syrniki—cheese filled pancakes. Bastien has gone all out.

     He turns to him. “This is….” He’s at a loss for words. “Thank you.”

     Bastien is blushing, dull red staining his cheeks. He shrugs. “You mentioned that you loved Russian food, but you didn’t get to have it often. I looked up some recipes, but I mean, you really shouldn’t thank me till you try it and see if it’s edible.”

     He surges forward to press a clumsy kiss to Bastien’s lips. “I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.” He stacks his plate high with a little of everything, aware of Bastien’s pleased look as he does so. “Are you going to get anything?” he asks when Bastien doesn’t move.

     Bastien startles a little, like he’d forgotten he was supposed to eat as well, and moves forward. “Any recommendations?”

     “Piroshki and Syrniki are fairly safe. You should like the Pelmeni.” He looks at him from the corner of his eye while he spoons Pelmeni onto his plate. “You didn’t try any of it?”

     “No. I’ve never actually had Russian before. I figured I’d wait till the dinner.” His blush darkens. “I’ve got a pizza inside in case this was botched.”

     “You’re adorable,” says James, the words bursting from his mouth, and he can feel his own cheeks flushing. He holds up one of the Syrniki he’d put on his plate. “Here, try this.” Bastien doesn’t say he could simply grab his own; he leans in, teeth closing on the Syrniki and lips brushing James’s fingers. His blue gaze meets James’s the entire time. He pulls away, tongue swiping over his lips to get any crumbs. He chews slowly.

     “It’s good,” he says, looking pleased with himself, and he leans back in to the take the other bit of it from James. His tongue licks over the pad of James’s index finger as he does, and he sucks the remaining flavor from his skin.


Bastien isn’t used to bad reviews. His French restaurant is the toast of the town, and when a well-known critic insults it, he’s left off-kilter. Luckily for him he’s found a distraction. He’s just met an attractive writer at his niece’s school bake sale. He’s into food, into Bastien and the touch of kink they share, and there’s a chemistry between them that might make the perfect recipe.

James isn’t expecting to meet a good-looking French chef at a bake sale, but he’s not going to let the chance slide. It comes as a surprise when the chef turns out to be the owner of a place he knows—and has reviewed—and it puts James in a sticky situation. So he might have to omit some pertinent information to make it work… at least for now.

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Author Bio: 

Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF and Anglia Ruskin University. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.


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