That’s What A Hamburger’s All About

by Kate Willoughby, author of Out of the Game (Carina Press)

I am a foodie. I love the Food Channel. I binge watch Top Chef. My husband can drop me off at the Sur La Table store and not come back for a couple of hours. So it’s no surprise that food comes up a lot in my books. Yes, they’re hockey romances, but hockey players gotta eat, right?

In my new release, Out of the Game, Alex Sullivan is at a rehearsal dinner as the best man. He’s sitting next to the maid of honor, Claire. Neither of them is impressed with the haute cuisine and Alex surreptitiously tries to lure her to the Dark Side.

When they took the plates away, Alex leaned close and whispered in her ear, “Burger run. After dessert. You and me. I’ll buy.”

 She smothered a giggle. “No.”

 “You know you want to. Bacon cheeseburger. Fries. Vanilla milkshake.”

Because Alex is irresistibly sexy and charming, she agrees to go with him. Can you blame her? Did you see the guy on my cover? If not, go look now. I’ll wait.

Okay, see? To be in close proximity to abs like that? I dare anyone to resist.

Anyway, in California there is a fantastic burger chain called In-N-Out. They have a very simple menu with only four food items.



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What I love about these burgers are the grilled bun and the grilled onions. The proportion of bun to burger to veggies is perfect. And that sauce! YUM. The first bite of an In-N-Out burger is always sublime. Their employees are always very friendly. I’m serious. I can’t recall ever seeing a not-smiling face there.

So tell me about your favorite burger place. What is it about their burger that makes you want to go get one right now?

About the book:

out of the game Book three of In the Zone

Alex Sullivan may be the San Diego Barracudas’ resident playboy, but he hasn’t been able to forget the woman who kissed him like her life depended on it ten months ago. When he sees her again at a teammate’s wedding, he can’t think of anything but spending more time with her. Preferably naked.

Claire Marzano lost years catering to an overbearing husband, and she’s not going to answer to anyone ever again. A hot fling is just what she needs to get back in the game, and that’s exactly what sexy Alex offers—one wild long weekend away, with no promises or obligations.

But that one weekend changes everything. Despite knowing full well Alex isn’t the kind to ever commit, Claire is falling for him. And Alex secretly imagines a future with his strong, smart “accidental girlfriend.” Until a surprise announcement and an on-ice accident threaten to derail everything…or cause Alex to finally ditch his old ways and become the man Claire needs him to be.

About the Author:

Kate Willoughby happily writes her hockey romances in Southern California. She is married and has two sons, a dog, and a betta fish. When she’s not writing, she’s watching hockey. When it’s not hockey season, she whines a lot.

If you’d like to keep up with Kate’s new releases, subscribe to her newsletter. You can also watch her succumb to her Twitter addiction, laugh while she flails around on Facebook, or ogle the man candy, among other things, on Pinterest.

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Comments ( 14 )
  1. Amy
    March 25, 2015 at 9:39 am

    My favorite burger place in Toronto is Big Smoke Burger. Their signature Craft Burger is my absolutely favorite – fresh beef patty, sautéed mushrooms, rosemary garlic mayo, lettuce & tomato. Yum!

  2. Kate Willoughby
    March 25, 2015 at 10:11 am

    OMG, Amy, that sounds like heaven!! I love mushrooms! And that mayo sounds fantastic. Someday I will get to Toronto and I will visit the Hockey Hall of Fame and eat one of those burgers.

  3. Isobel Carr
    March 25, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    I think maybe you have to have grown up with In-&-Out to appreciate it. As someone who first encountered it as an adult, I am baffled by the cult following for thin, grey, overcooked little patties and shredded iceberg lettuce. I’ll grant you that the fries are decent though.

  4. Kim
    March 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Nice post, Kim. Love Alex.

    My favorite burger joint is in Memphis, TN. Huey’s, original location in midtown. Burgers are thick and juicy, served with steak fries, and it’s fun to try to blow the toothpick from your burger into the ceiling tiles. 🙂

    Isobel, I’m not sure where you got your In-N-Out burger, but they don’t usually serve shredded lettuce on them and I’ve personally never had a thin, gray patty there. The lettuce is whole leaf and the patties are fresh, locally grown beef. I wasn’t a big In-N-Out fan myself when I first moved to SoCal. Figured my husband loved them out of nostalgia. But now that they’ve started to pop up around us, I order from the secret menu and get a 3×3 with raw onions, protein style (no bun, I’m on a high protein diet). The fries I can personally live without. Not a fan. I’d just as soon have potato sticks from a can. Sorry you had a bad experience. You should tweet them about that and tell them the location.

  5. Kim
    March 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Oops, meant to say nice post KATE. Duh.

  6. Kate Willoughby
    March 25, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Isobel, thanks for chiming in. What is your favorite burger place?

  7. Kate Willoughby
    March 25, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Kim, I love me some good steak fries, especially when they crack open and the oil seeps in and the broken edge gets all crispy!

  8. Christine Ashworth
    March 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Love In-n-Out – but prefer their chocolate shakes. YUM! And Alex? Totally Yum-worthy…

  9. Kate Willoughby
    March 25, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Christine, I’ve never had their chocolate shake! I am always so guilt-ridden over having succumbed to the burger and fries that I shun the shake. LOL

  10. Marcy Shuler
    March 25, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Hi Kate! You know I loved Alex. I’m also a vanilla milkshake girl, so I wouldn’t get a strawberry shake like Claire did. LOL

    I loved the Hardee’s burgers because they were so juicy, but the nearest one closed. 🙁 If I have to pick a burger now I’d pick Wendy’s because you can custom make them. No In-N-Out Burger stores here.

  11. Kate Willoughby
    March 25, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Marcy! I pretty much haven’t met a milkshake I didn’t like. I do like Carl’s Jr’s famous star, but I really hate their overly sexed commercials.

  12. Wayne Jordan
    March 26, 2015 at 4:00 am

    Ok, my mouth is watering thinking about all these burgers. In Barbados, my favorite burger Gomes from Burt’s Bar. The cheese burger is simply awesome.

  13. Susan B. James
    March 26, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    I am a secret Tommy’s fanatic. It’s been around Los Angeles since the forties. The original stand is at 3rd and Rampart. I crave their chili cheeseburger.

  14. Kate Willoughby
    March 27, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Ooh. Tommy’s. I do love Tommy’s too. It’s mostly their chili that I like. The chili fries are awesome.

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