Character Profiles: Dharma Café by Jessica Freely

At a magical restaurant where good food heals the soul, a waiter and a busboy fall in love. But each has secrets and in the dangerous world of food sorcery, secrets, and french fries, can kill.

Welcome to the Dharma Cafe, a restaurant like no other. There is no menu. The waiter, Samura, uses mystical powers to read what each customer needs, and the cook, Agatha, prepares the food with ingredients like love, hope, and courage.

The cafe is a refuge for the new busboy, Charlie, who was kicked out of home on his eighteenth birthday. Irresistibly drawn to Samura, Charlie soon discovers that the stern, formal waiter harbors a heartbreaking past and a dangerous secret.

Samura lives in fear that one day, the darkness inside him will burst forth to destroy all he loves. Now that includes brash, infuriating, delectable Charlie, who has broken through all Samura’s defenses and taught him to trust himself.

Just when Samura thinks it might be safe to reveal the truth, his worst nightmare walks back into his life: His father, Akio, the evil food sorcerer who runs the burger stand on the other side of town. Akio’s business is expanding and he wants his son to manage his new location, where the Dharma Café now stands.

It will take the combined resources of an ancient cook, a novice dishwasher, and a cursed waiter to fight Akio and protect the café. But when Samura succumbs to Akio’s magic, will it be enough?


Please welcome author Jessica Freely. She’s here today to tell us about her characters, Charlie and Samura, from her book Dharma Café.



Description: His long blond eyelashes cast shadows on his cheeks. The gentle upturn of his nose somehow echoed the curve of his upper lip. His generally messy hair was more tousled than ever, spilling over his forehead like waves on a beach, unruly and, if Samura were honest with himself, delightful.

Quote: “F*ck off, health Nazi! I’ll eat all the pastry I want.”



Description: Beside the Dumpster stood a guy about his age only about a head taller. He was handsome, Asian, with dark hair and eyes and a serious expression. He wore black slacks and a black, long-sleeved tunic with a tab collar and buttons running up the front.

Quote: “Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you were in my nightmare, you know all about me.”





That night Samura dreamt that Agatha needed 233,600.92 loaves of bread and it was up to him and Charlie to knead the dough.

That much dough could not be worked with just hands. It required the whole body. There was no other option but for both of them to take off all of their clothes and roll around together in the warm, fragrant, springy dough.

The human body bore a remarkable similarity to yeast dough, so when Samura first ran his hand down Charlie’s chest and over his flank, it was a pure accident.

No, really.

Well, maybe not.

But since this was Samura’s dream, it was a pure accident. Just as it was merely happenstance when Samura rolled into Charlie and their combined weight trapped them in a valley of gently undulating bread dough. There was no hope of climbing out nor indeed of doing much of anything except laying pressed against each other, skin to skin.

And then Charlie put his arms around Samura and kissed him. On the mouth.

Human imagination is a remarkable thing. When combined with desire it has the power to create in realistic detail experiences of which the person imagining them has absolutely no actual knowledge. And that is how Samura, who had never kissed anyone, felt every detail of Charlie’s soft lips against his, of their mouths opening and their tongues meeting in that first shy press. Charlie tasted like every good thing Samura had ever eaten all combined into one tantalizing morsel.

And Samura was hungry.

He longed to devour Charlie, not just with his mouth, but with his whole body. His member grew hard, but he wasn’t ashamed.

Charlie wanted him just as much. There was no hiding the fact that Charlie too was aroused. They lay pressed against one another, chest to chest, groin to groin. Charlie’s arousal nestled alongside Samura’s.

They flexed their hips and the friction sent tingles pulsing from Samura’s loins out to the tips of his fingers and toes. He kissed Charlie harder and thrust, moving his hands down Charlie’s back to cup his perfect, tight, round bottom. He held Charlie against him as they bucked together.

Charlie broke their kiss and moaned. “Samura! You’re perfect. Perfect. I want you to teach me everything.”

Charlie spread his legs and wrapped them around Samura’s hips. He kissed Samura all over his face and neck, and ran his hands through Samura’s hair.

Charlie’s hot body, his words, and his touch intoxicated Samura and he couldn’t get enough. He kissed Charlie again, hard, driving his tongue into that hot, luscious mouth. It was like licking cream out of a cannoli, and every taste only made Samura desperate for more. He needed to get closer to Charlie. Closer even than they already were. Samura opened his mind to him, but Charlie said, “No. Don’t you dare wait on me now. Come on, Samura. You know what to do.”

And amazingly, he did.

Charlie’s body opened up for him and they melded together like salt and pepper, like strawberries and basil, like cream in a cannoli.

Samura had never known such feelings were possible. Charlie was all around him, holding him, rocking him, squeezing and stroking him. “Samura!” he shouted.

Every bad and broken thing inside Samura seemed to mend and turn to golden light. That light ignited joy in every cell of his body and poured forth from him in a torrent of release. “Charlie!”

* * * *

Samura awoke in his own bed, drenched with sweat and… not just sweat.

This sort of thing had been happening for several years now—the stirrings, his body’s responses at the most inconvenient moments, the dreams. Dreams of a warm, firm body against his, a nameless, faceless someone—someone who smelled good, who felt good. Dreams from which he awoke to wet sheets.

Samura had done his best to ignore all of it, and for the most part, he’d been successful.

Only now those dreams had a face, and a name.


Had he cried it out loud?

* * * *

What a bizarre dream! Charlie awoke with cum on his belly and Samura’s name on his lips.

He was never going to look at bread the same again.

The pale blue light of predawn leaked into the room from behind the window shade. In the half light he saw Samura sitting up, looking about him in bewilderment.

Sh*t. Had Charlie cried Samura’s name out loud?

“Did you—”

Charlie panicked. “No!”

Samura nodded. “Okay. Good.”

“Good,” said Charlie.

They stared at each other.

The door burst open and Agatha swept in, a large bowl of whipped cream in her arms. “Wake up boys!” she cried, whisking the stuff so vigorously little flecks of it scattered far and wide. “I’m going to need help from both of you today. We’re making cream filled buns!”



2 responses to “Character Profiles: Dharma Café by Jessica Freely

  1. You come up with such great characters, Jessica. I just finished reading your newest book, His Own Devices, and I loved Cam and Sunshine. And this bread-making scene from Dharma Cafe is terrific.

  2. Thanks Allie! Really happy you liked HOD.

    I’ve just gotten the cover art for the print edition of Dharma Cafe. (Not sure when it will be out yet, but soon.) The review quote they used for the cover? This, from MM Good Book Reviews: “I will never look at bread dough in the same light again.” LOL!

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