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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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Kyraryker’s quotes


"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

New Release! It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian #Giveaway

 

It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian

Series Seducing the Sedgwicks

Genre Adult; Historical Romance; LGBTQ Romance

Publisher Avon Impulse

 Publication Date December 12, 2017

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Some of Ben Sedgwick’s favorite things:

• Helping his poor parishioners

• Baby animals

• Shamelessly flirting with the handsome Captain Phillip Dacre

 

After an unconventional upbringing, Ben is perfectly content with the quiet, predictable life of a country vicar, free of strife or turmoil. When he’s asked to look after an absent naval captain’s three wild children, he reluctantly agrees, but instantly falls for the hellions. And when their stern but gloriously handsome father arrives, Ben is tempted in ways that make him doubt everything.

 

Some of Phillip Dacre’s favorite things:

• His ship

• People doing precisely as they're told

• Touching the irresistible vicar at every opportunity

 

Phillip can’t wait to leave England’s shores and be back on his ship, away from the grief that haunts him. But his children have driven off a succession of governesses and tutors and he must set things right. The unexpected presence of the cheerful, adorable vicar sets his world on its head and now he can’t seem to live without Ben’s winning smiles or devastating kisses.

 

In the midst of runaway children, a plot to blackmail Ben’s family, and torturous nights of pleasure, Ben and Phillip must decide if a safe life is worth losing the one thing that makes them come alive.

 

 

Excerpt:

After the fact, Phillip thought he might have handled the situation a bit more gracefully if the children hadn’t been in a tree. But he was not at his best, having walked the distance from the coaching inn to the house, with each step growing more disoriented by the sheer familiarity of the terrain. Surely the place ought to have changed. But every rock and tree aligned precisely with memories Phillip hadn’t even realized he still had.

Despite having sent a messenger ahead with the approximate time of his arrival, the children were not waiting in the hall to greet him. Of course they wouldn’t be, he told himself. That had been Caroline’s doing, and she was gone. Their failure to appear was just further proof of how badly Phillip’s intervention was needed. He needed to get to work turning them into well-behaved, competent midshipmen. Children, he corrected himself. Yes, children.

The servant who opened the door told Phillip he’d find the children in the orchard with the vicar. Phillip found this surprising, as nothing in Ernestine’s final letter had indicated religiosity as part of the children’s reign of terror. But instead of discovering the children at work in prayer or singing hymns, he found them high up in a cherry tree.

The plain fact of the matter was that children did not belong in trees, at least not when they ought to be in the hall awaiting their father’s return. Nor did vicars belong in trees at any time whatsoever. He might not have much experience with either, and thank God for it, but he knew trees were not the natural habitat of either class of person. He had expected to see his children for the first time in two years in a setting that was slightly less arboreal. Somewhere he could properly see them and they could properly see him and they could all say whatever the hell they were supposed to say in this situation without Caroline to manage things. Instead all he got was a glimpse of booted feet vanishing higher into the branches accompanied by the sound of stifled laughter.

The vicar spotted him first, and promptly swung down from the tree to land at Phillip’s feet. At least, Phillip assumed it was the vicar, and not some stray stable hand who had taken to capering about the orchard. But didn’t vicars wear uniforms of some sort? Special hats or black coats? The chaplain on the ship always had. This fellow was in his shirtsleeves, and if that weren’t bad enough, his sleeves were rolled up. The chaplain had never done that. The chaplain had been about sixty. And bald. This fellow had wheat-colored hair that needed a cut and freckles all over his face. He was nothing like the chaplain. Unacceptable.

“Oh damn,” the vicar said. Phillip gritted his teeth. Swearing was another thing the chaplain had never done. “I mean drat,” the man said, his freckled face going pink. “Bother. You must be Mr. Dacre.”

“Captain Dacre,” Phillip said frostily. This fellow had to go. No discipline. No sense of decorum. No wonder the children ran amok if they spent time in this man’s company. “You have the advantage of me,” he said, not bothering to conceal his frown. He never did.

“Ben Sedgwick,” the vicar said, smiling in a lopsided, bashful way. He stuck his hand out, and Phillip had no choice but to take it. The vicar’s hand was warm and his grip was firm, and Phillip’s gaze automatically drifted down to the man’s exposed forearm, sun-burnished and dusted with light hair.

“Thank you, Mr. Sedgwick,” Phillip said. “You may take yourself off.” His effort to dismiss this careless young vicar was interrupted by a rustle of leaves and the thud of a child landing at his feet.

 

The child was tall, lanky, and excessively rumpled. “Edward,” Phillip said, briefly startled by the changes a lapse of two years wrought in children. Phillip had last seen his older son as a coltish child of eleven. Now Phillip could discern two things—one, that he looked very much like Caroline, and two, that he was not best pleased to see his father. For an instant, Phillip could hardly blame him. Phillip had never much enjoyed seeing his own father either. When the navy had taken his own father away for years at a time, Phillip had rather thought they had all been the better for it.

He held out his hand and noticed the barest hesitation before his son took it. “You look so much like—”

“I know I look like Mama,” Edward said coolly, dropping his father’s hand. “I have a looking glass.” His scowl was so intent that Phillip opened his mouth to scold the boy. “Mr. Sedgwick,” Edward said, turning to the vicar, “I’m going to finish my history lesson.” Without waiting for a response from Sedgwick or so much as a by-your-leave from Phillip himself, the child dashed off towards the house. 

While Phillip had always striven to keep order on his ship in less brutal ways, some captains wouldn’t have hesitated to have boys flogged for even less blatant insubordination. Phillip swallowed his anger and turned his attention to the tree, where he could see two pairs of dangling feet.

“Margaret,” Phillip called up into the tree. “James.”

“Oh, they won’t come down,” Sedgwick said cheerfully. “Not a chance.”

“Excuse me?”

“I wouldn’t even bother calling them. They’ll stay up there until the sun sets or until the spirit moves them otherwise.” He seemed utterly undisturbed by this. His eyes were actually sparkling, for God’s sake.

“And you permit this?”

Sedgwick’s brow furrowed. This was the first lapse in the blithe and idiotic good cheer he had displayed since Phillip’s arrival. “Well, I don’t know what you expect me to do about it. Rope them like a couple of stray sheep? They’re safer up there than they are getting into whatever devilry they might seek out elsewhere. Really,” he said, lowering his voice and leaning close in a way that made Phillip instinctively mirror the pose until he realized what he was doing and straightened up. Proximity was the last thing he needed with this man. “The tree’s been a godsend. They haven’t been capering about the rooftops even once since they discovered how climbable the cherry trees are.”

Phillip blinked. “What I meant,” he said slowly, “was that perhaps you would like to tell them to come down.”

“Tell them?” the vicar repeated, as if Phillip had suggested a satanic ritual. “Won’t do a blessed thing other than inspire them to more mischief, I’m afraid. No, no, leave them safely up there, and when they’re hungry they’ll come inside.”

“Thank you for everything you’ve done,” Phillip said in precisely the tone he’d use towards a sailor about to be assigned morning watch for the foreseeable future. “But now that I’ve returned I’ll see to engaging a proper tutor.”

The man had the nerve to look hurt. Really, what had he expected? If Phillip had wanted his children to run about like South Sea pirates, he could have stayed on his ship where he belonged, thank you very much. But instead he would hire a tutor for the boys and a governess for Margaret. And when they were ready, he’d send them off to school, where they belonged.

“About that,” the vicar said slowly. “I’m not sure you’ll find a tutor. They’ve run through a good half dozen and I fear that well has run quite dry.”

“A half dozen!” Ernestine hadn’t mentioned that in her last letter. Or at least he was fairly certain she hadn’t. He knew there had been some trouble engaging suitable help, but quite possibly she had obscured the details. Well, it was a good thing he was here, then. He would see to it that his household was as it ought to be, that his children were on a safe course, and then he’d go back to sea. Two months. He had turned far more insalubrious characters into perfectly disciplined first-rate sailors in less time than that, hadn’t he? He was used to commanding dozens of men in clockwork precision. Surely he could make a couple of children—his own children, at that—fall in line.

“Never mind that,” he said. “I have everything in hand. Good day,” he added when the vicar didn’t seem inclined to take the hint and leave.

“Good luck,” the vicar said, gathering his discarded outer garments and carelessly dropping his hat onto his head.

Phillip thought he heard the man laugh as he made his way towards the house.

Ben gave it fifteen minutes before Captain Dacre came begging for help. Half an hour at the outside.

Likely as not, the captain would be tied to a burning post before Ben had his valise packed.

 

 

 

My Review:

Phillip has spent most of his life at sea, as the Captain, he knows his place and is effective in managing his people. When his ship finally berths after two years, his shore leave allows him to go home for awhile, a home where letters have informed him that his wife has died and his three children are running wild. 
Ben enjoys his job as the vicar; it allows him to see to everyone. When he gets tasked with taking care of the absent Captain's children, he may be in over head. 
Phillip and Ben haven't been able to fully admit certain truths to themselves but as their relationship grows, they begin to become whole through each other. 

Phillip hadn't planned on lusting after the vicar. 

The first in a new series, the author introduces us to Phillip, the stern rigid naval captain and Ben, the affable mellow vicar. Both characters were very contained people in their own way. Phillip has dyslexia but has managed to figure out how to hide it and be effective as captain and he also carries around some melancholy which seems to be due to not being able to fully be his self. Ben had to essentially be the father to his brothers as theirs ascribed to a very bohemian philosophy that led to a lack of structure or responsibility. Both acknowledged their attraction to men but kept it in a contained box that as long as they didn't make it personal, putting real feeling in to it, they could lead "normal" lives. When they meet each other and start to develop those more emotional feelings, beyond just sexual, hard truths have to be recognized. 

But comfort and ease suddenly seemed like pale and flimsy things. 

I loved how Ben and Phillip's personalities played off each other. Ben's effortless charm and lightness cracked open Phillip's hard walls and helped him be at ease more, while Phillip's strength and willing to prod at Ben helped Ben release his more passionate side. They became more themselves through the other and there is nothing more romantic than that. For how much Phillip's children played a part in the story plot, I thought they were strangely more absent from the story than warranted. We get some scenes with Phillip bonding but I never felt like I knew them; they felt like obvious plot elements instead of woven into the story. I also thought Phillip's relationship with his former Lt. McCarthy needed to be flushed out more. It started off like there was a big emotional attachment but then it seemed to be more on the physical side, not quite fully explained well enough. 

"When we're together it feels right. I want to go down that path and see what's there."
"With me?" It was a hoarse whisper.
"Together."
 


This is my first book by this author and I was impressed with the ease of her writing flow, how secondary characters felt complete and added so much to the story, and the historical feel. This had faint whisperings of the Sound of Music to it and I could read all day of Ben taking some starch out of the Captain and Phillip igniting some fire in the vicar. There's a slow burn feel as their relationship starts off challenging, to tentative, to heated and I enjoyed how they both were, somewhat, virgins not only emotionally but physically and we got see them explore and learn together. There's also a hot desk scene that you won't want to miss. 

I missed interaction scenes with Phillip's children to get to know them better which in turn would have created more depth in Phillip's character, the middle seemed to meander a smidgen as the outer story took over more, but I delighted in Ben and Phillip's relationship. There's some bitter sweetness to the ending as Phillip and Ben don't quite get the full happily ever after they deserve due to the time period and country they live in, but they worked for and got more than most do. The author's talent with emotions will have me searching out her books from here on out.

 

 

 

 Buy the Book

 

Amazon http://amzn.to/2xmRhNS

 

Avon Romance https://goo.gl/uuuv6U

 

Barnes & Noble https://goo.gl/X2ZMjP

 

Google Play https://goo.gl/egZeyN

 

Walmart https://goo.gl/vikmPZ

 

 iBooks http://apple.co/2yJAmsL

 

 

 

ABOUT CAT SEBASTIAN

Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.

 

AUTHOR LINKS

Website - https://catsebastian.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/catsebastianwrites/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CatSWrites 
Goodreads: https://goo.gl/kJNw5X 
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2y6QUGC 
Newsletter: https://tinyletter.com/catsebastian

 

TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY DETAILS

LINK: https://goo.gl/JTwVBJ

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian.  This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance.  Giveaway ends 12/22/2017 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one 

 

 

 

Menu Monday

Hope a recipe entices you to try it :)

 

 

 



I think I added too much oil (used Canola) and it took me a slightly burned and not cooked enough one to get a good cook. They kind of didn't hold together very well for me either but I made these with pancakes and just let them fall apart and called them hashbrowns instead of cakes. C'est la vie! Since I was doing a brinner thing, I just drizzled them with some maple syrup but I can see a green goddess or hummus tasting really good. 

Taste:  B

Ease to Make:  Hardest part was grating the sweet potato and getting the little poops to stick together. Took only 10mins or so, super easy.

 

 

Sheet Pan Salmon and Avocado Fajitas

 

 

Even though it didn't call for it in the recipe, I took the visual from the picture and sliced up a lime and put the slices on top of the salmon and peppers on the sheet pan. It gave everything a great taste. I also didn't have cojita cheese and instead used feta, still good! These were a simple, clean, and great subtle taste meal. Next time, I'd serve a Corona on the side or a big margarita. Definitely will keep for a quick easy breezy summer meal.

Taste:  B+

Ease to Make:  Super easy, hardest part was cutting up the three peppers. Probably took around a half hour (cut up peppers during salmon defrosting).

 

 

Honey Garlic Turkey Meatballs

 

 

Probably can consider this my first Menu Monday fail, the taste was pretty bland. If I was going to make it again (spoiler alert: I won't be making this again) I would double the honey garlic sauce and use the other half to dip the meatballs in.

Taste:  D

Ease to Make:  Very easy, just mixing and mashing up ingredients with turkey and baking them up. I think it took around a half hour.

 


Rum Glazed Eggnog Bread Pudding

 

 

So disappointed in this one, I was looking forward to it all week! When I started making it and added the Tbs of nutmeg, I started to get rumblings of worry and then when the "splash" of rum took much more to get close to a thin icing, I knew I was in trouble. The bf liked it but the bread had way too much of a heavy taste because of all the nutmeg for me. I had to add enough rum (not my favorite alcohol) to the icing that the smell made it really off putting to me. I thought there would be a hint of rum and more of an eggnog taste. The disappoint was real, people.

Taste:  D-

Ease to Make:  Not hard to make but time consuming, I think around an hour or little more. I don't know, I'm bitter I didn't enjoy it so when I think back it took forever to make, lol.

 

 

BBQ Ranch Chicken Casserole

 

 

After my two failures, I had high expectations for this one and it sort of made it. I went with a sweet and tangy bbq sauce and I think that was a good choice, mixed well with the Monterrey jack cheese. This was good but I couldn't help feeling like something was missing. The bf crumbled ritz crackers on top and really liked that. I don't, if you could figure out a seasoning to mix in, it might make this go from ok to great.

Taste:  C

Ease to Make:  Easy but time consuming, you have to cook the chicken and noodles before mixing it all together and then putting it back in the oven for 20mins. Other than that, shredded the chicken was the most labor. Around an hour and 15mins to make.

 

Try any good recipes this week?

It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian

It Takes Two to Tumble: Seducing the Sedgwicks - Cat Sebastian

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Phillip has spent most of his life at sea, as the Captain, he knows his place and is effective in managing his people. When his ship finally berths after two years, his shore leave allows him to go home for awhile, a home where letters have informed him that his wife has died and his three children are running wild. 
Ben enjoys his job as the vicar; it allows him to see to everyone. When he gets tasked with taking care of the absent Captain's children, he may be in over head. 
Phillip and Ben haven't been able to fully admit certain truths to themselves but as their relationship grows, they begin to become whole through each other. 
 
Phillip hadn't planned on lusting after the vicar. 
 
The first in a new series, the author introduces us to Phillip, the stern rigid naval captain and Ben, the affable mellow vicar. Both characters were very contained people in their own way. Phillip has dyslexia but has managed to figure out how to hide it and be effective as captain and he also carries around some melancholy which seems to be due to not being able to fully be his self. Ben had to essentially be the father to his brothers as theirs ascribed to a very bohemian philosophy that led to a lack of structure or responsibility. Both acknowledged their attraction to men but kept it in a contained box that as long as they didn't make it personal, putting real feeling in to it, they could lead "normal" lives. When they meet each other and start to develop those more emotional feelings, beyond just sexual, hard truths have to be recognized. 
 
But comfort and ease suddenly seemed like pale and flimsy things. 
 
I loved how Ben and Phillip's personalities played off each other. Ben's effortless charm and lightness cracked open Phillip's hard walls and helped him be at ease more, while Phillip's strength and willing to prod at Ben helped Ben release his more passionate side. They became more themselves through the other and there is nothing more romantic than that. For how much Phillip's children played a part in the story plot, I thought they were strangely more absent from the story than warranted. We get some scenes with Phillip bonding but I never felt like I knew them; they felt like obvious plot elements instead of woven into the story. I also thought Phillip's relationship with his former Lt. McCarthy needed to be flushed out more. It started off like there was a big emotional attachment but then it seemed to be more on the physical side, not quite fully explained well enough. 
 
"When we're together it feels right. I want to go down that path and see what's there."
"With me?" It was a hoarse whisper.
"Together."
 

 
This is my first book by this author and I was impressed with the ease of her writing flow, how secondary characters felt complete and added so much to the story, and the historical feel. This had faint whisperings of the Sound of Music to it and I could read all day of Ben taking some starch out of the Captain and Phillip igniting some fire in the vicar. There's a slow burn feel as their relationship starts off challenging, to tentative, to heated and I enjoyed how they both were, somewhat, virgins not only emotionally but physically and we got see them explore and learn together. There's also a hot desk scene that you won't want to miss. 
 
I missed interaction scenes with Phillip's children to get to know them better which in turn would have created more depth in Phillip's character, the middle seemed to meander a smidgen as the outer story took over more, but I delighted in Ben and Phillip's relationship. There's some bitter sweetness to the ending as Phillip and Ben don't quite get the full happily ever after they deserve due to the time period and country they live in, but they worked for and got more than most do. The author's talent with emotions will have me searching out her books from here on out.

Reading Update: 30%

It Takes Two to Tumble: Seducing the Sedgwicks - Cat Sebastian

Sedgwick lifted his eyebrows questioningly.

Phillip lifted one of his in return, and moved his hand to cover Sedgwick’s. They were alone, and it was only hands, innocent to any observer, he told himself.

The Romancies - Part 2: Favorite Secondary Character

 

 

*Books eligible could be published in any year, they just had to be read by me in 2017.

Clicking on book cover brings you to my review of the book.

 

 

Nominees:

 

27416037  9447878  29422692

 

215643  33574182  110296

 

64950  28439648  35896539

 

813099

 

 

1.  King A Duke to Remember by Kelly Bowen

 

This is a quote in my review about my thoughts on King:  "He seems just shady, heartless, and honorable enough to knock my socks off." He's a top anti-hero authors put in the wings and play with reader's emotions in will they or won't they be redeemed. I'm jonesing for his story.

 

2.  Chayden - Born of Shadows by Sherrilyn Kenyon

 

The heroine's brother and an assassin, pirate, etc. combo. His charisma jumped off the page at me and I can't wait to read his story.

 

3.  Gabe and Eve - Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

 

Not quite existent relationships can be a secondary character, right? Knowing that they are indeed paired up in this series' book 3 has me DYING to read their story. She's shy and he's bulky teddy bear. NEED.

 

4.  Cast - Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

 

The whole world and cast Singh has created here steals the show from the main romance. I was infinitely fascinated with each character and can't wait to continue on in the series to get each and everyone's story.

 

5.  The Rook - The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

 

He's has been talked about before in the series and here we get an appearance by him. His shady dealings and mechanisms seem to have affected the characters and their lives throughout the series. I'm excited to learn the story behind this secretive pirate.

 

6.  Aled - Truly by Mary Balogh

 

Childhood friend to the hero, he helps the hero gain a footing as he comes back home. Aled is shy but also bold in his strength; he's the friend who tells it like it is, without hate or anger towards the hero but with a calm, open your eyes and educate yourself. Aled also features in a secondary romance that was so beautifully emotionally painful. Such a great character who added depth and emotion to the story and brought out nuances in the hero.

 

7.  Einstein - Watchers by Dean Koontz

 

This could be cheating a little bit because Einstein could be argued to be a main character. He's a dog who was scientifically experimented with and can think just about on the level of a human. I don't know if anything needs to be said why I picked him because of my already cemented crazy dog lady status but he was smart, funny, cute, and improved all the relationships around him.

 

8.  Rahul and Kimi - A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev

 

This couple's love/hate relationship positively vibrated off the pages and did a little bit of show stealing. Rahul is a detective trying to work a blackmarket case with some high-up conspirators and Kimi may only be alive because of those conspirators. There is obviously a deep and hurtful past here with heaps of passion and I can't wait to read their story. 

 

9.  Jo Pennington - Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick

 

The sister to the hero, its revealed that she is in fact adopted and because of who her mother is thought to be is looked down upon by society. She has a broken engagement with a man who looks like might be coming back into the picture. Her vulnerability, anger, and strength had her shining and I'm looking forward to her story.

 

10.  Setting of Akora Island - Dream Island by Josie Litton

 

I was lost into the world the author created with such lush and detailed descriptions of the island and their culture; it became a character in its own right to me. I felt transported and shows how greatly the story can be enhanced when the author takes the time to flesh out all the details.

 

*Honorable Mention - Super Volcano - Essential Beginnings by Kennedy Layne

Super Volcano, y'all!

 

 

Winner:

 

Aled

 

110296

 

Aled just improved the story so much, even created a side story and romance that almost stole the show. He's the epitome of what a secondary character can and should do, he brought out different facets in the hero and the story. 

 

 

2016 Winner

 

25317443

 

2015 Favorite Secondary Characters

 

2014 Favorite Secondary Characters

Who were your favorite secondary characters from 2017?
 
Next Tuesday, Best Scene...

 

The Romancies - Part 1: Best Cover

Like the Oscars but way more prestigious ;)

 

Glancing at the GoodReads Romance nominees and winner (same author for the 3rd yr in row? c'mon now) has me twitching again. So, you know what that means, I have to open my big fat mouth and talk about the books I think should get some recognition. After doing this a couple years in a row now, I really enjoy the wrap up to the year this gives me and reminiscing about all the great stories, lines, and moments romance books have given me. 

 

The books eligible could be published in any year, they simply had to be read by me in 2017. There will be 9 categories and I'm going to try and post them every Tuesday and Thursday, with the final category and wrap-up coming sometime after Christmas. 

 

Without further ado, let me kick off the award show tonight with BEST COVER

(click on cover for my review if I wrote one and if I didn't directed to GoodReads page)

 

 

Nominees:

 

27209422  311182  7747921

 

22328559  28439648  1210863

 

33574179  32148398  27015395

 

28109694  29422692  Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

 

 

 

 

1.  Addicted by Elle Kennedy - I thought the cover perfectly captured the sexy rough and tumble vibe of the story. I like how the blue is eye catching but still manages to pull of a gritty feel. Even though I want to tell the hero to let that shirt go, the cover still entices me to pick up the book.

 

2.  These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer - It looks like a painting and helps give an authentic feel to it being a historical romance; I feel like the historical part is actually going to show up in the story. The pinks pop and if I had the book, I'd probably display it front cover facing out. 

 

3.  Seized by Love by Susan M. Johnson - Look, my first romances were Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, and the like. While I've been able to move on or better understand some of the problematic issues of these trailblazers, I can't let go of their dramatic covers. They sing to my soul and I get giddy thinking of the crazy pants ride that could be hidden inside. Thee Drama, y'all!

 

4.  The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr - This is eye catching simply for the fact it looks dark, intense, and fresh. I feel like the story is going to be paranormal fun and something new. 

 

5.  A Change of Heart by Sonali Dev - Her eye catches my eye. :)  This cover gives me the impression the heroine is going to be sly, adventurous, and daring. I'll sign up for that ride every time.

 

6.  Good Girls Do by Cathie Linz - This cover epitomizes what Chik-lit books should be:  fun, wild, and a little crazy. 

 

7.  The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman - Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. The pretty pink, sweep of her dress, and the night time setting combine for one gorgeous cover. 

 

8.  Slow Burn by Pamela Clare - I had a fireman book cover make the nominee list last year, so, tradition? Again, come to mama lust Reasons at work here.

 

9.  Discovery of Desire by Susanne Lord - Adventure shouts from this cover. I, of course, instantly start imagining a The Mummy or Indiana Jones like ride awaiting and that makes this cover irresistible to me. 

 

10.  My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly - The coloring, such a pretty peach, draw my eye but what really has me itching to pick up the book is the way the hero is gripping her dress; there's some great trying to contain want and desire but failing.

 

11.  Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai - When I pick covers for this, I really try not to let my feelings for the story bleed over into my feelings on the cover; try to keep it strictly visual. I'm not sure I fully accomplished that here (this book will popping be up a lot in future categories). The couple are visually perfect for how I envisioned the hero and heroine (her tattoo!) and their sexy heat from a sort of tame neck kiss (no one's clothes are off and their hand placement is fairly innocent). The purplish words popping against the dark background and gah, just perfect. I feel like this was truly snapped while they were making out.

 

12.  Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton - I'm convinced this cover just plays Arabian Nights when you look at it because that is all I can hear. I want to pick this cover up because it is seducing me with its promise of adventure.

 

 

Winner:

 

#7 The Right Kind of Rogue

 

33574179

 

This cover was, again, too gorgeous for me not to name the winner. It is kind of visually why historical romance is my favorite sub-genre; the pretty dresses, sweeping romance, and fairy tale factor.

 

 

2016 Winner

 

26114184

 

 

2015 Best Covers

 

2014 Best Covers

 

 

Feel free to share your favorite cover in the comments :)

 

Stay tuned, next category will be Favorite Secondary Character...

New Release! Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt #Giveaway

 

Once Upon a Christmas Eve (A Maiden Lane Novella) by Elizabeth Hoyt

From Forever Yours / $1.99 eBook

Add to Goodreads!

 

A heartwarming stand-alone novella from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt!

 

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holidayand Adam loves his grandmother, so he’ll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they’re forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he’s ever met . . .

 

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she’ll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it’s the one gift this mismatched pair can’t wait to unwrap.

 

The reason for the season is d'Arque

My Review

 

 

 

Buy the book here!

 

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Social Media Links:

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Follow Elizabeth Hoyt on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2uvYH2N

 

 

 

 

 

Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Christmas Eve - Elizabeth Hoyt
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Disillusioned early on about rakes, Sarah St. John has always given Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, the cold shoulder. When he shows up unexpectedly at her home and is forced to spend Christmas, the complicated feelings she's always had, start to get even more complicated.
Adam would do anything for his grandmother; even spend a week celebrating Christmas at the St. John residency. Thinking to entertain himself challenging Sarah, he soon finds it backfiring on him, as he's the one left feeling outgunned. 
 
The last installment in the Maiden Lane series, you could easily pick this up as a standalone; you would miss an early glimpse of d'Arque in a previous book but there is really no connection to the series overall. 
 
Sarah St. John should have been utterly forgettable. 
 
This is a novella slightly under 100pgs and I'm here to tell you that you're going to end up feeling cheated. The weather is cold, there is a search for some holly and an ending Christmas Eve ball but I did think this lacked a solid holiday read feel. However, this doesn't matter because the reason for the season is d'Arque. Nothing else. The absolute caring way he treats his grandmother was shown brilliantly and provided some depth of character. His sheer sexiness though, steals the show. He's able to keep himself rather emotionally contained, except when he gets around Sarah and then we get to see cracks form in the façade; I live for the cracks. He's sexy, smooth, sparking, and a bit unraveling when he's with her and I loved every second of it. 
 
Sarah St. John loathed rakes. 
 
Sarah was the perfect combination of stiff and melting when she was around d'Arque. Her past hurt helps us understand why she tries to keep d'Arque at a distance but it also ends up feeling rushed and forced as the emotional pain isn't given enough room to develop with the small page count. I loved how she stepped up to d'Arque's challenging but also how she softened to his touch. Her family round out the secondary characters and I missed seeing more interactions with her sisters as I think this would have filled out her character even more. 
 
"Careful, sweetheart," he rasped in her ear, his breath brushing her neck, and it was strange because she could've sworn there was real concern in his voice. "you nearly fell at my feet just then." 
 
There's some mini trials and tribulations going on in this novella but the core of the story and why you're going to want to read it, is the interaction between Sarah and d'Arque. They are the couple who give you shivers up and down your spine. They snap, spark, crash, and melt together in a way that make you want to reread their story as soon as you finish. I will spend more time of my life than is healthy wishing the author had chosen to write a full length novel for them. There's a point where d'Arque says:
"I want you." He fought to keep his voice level. Civilized. "In every way."
The way this is dragged out of him had me thinking of Sebastian St. Vincent. In a full novel, I think d'Arque would have seriously challenged St. Vincent in the eyes of many romance readers for favorite rake. 
 
Hoyt is very good at small impactful emotions and outside the main couple's relationship, there is a scene where Sarah's sister starts to blame herself for a man's actions and after her family support, their mother says the line: "I shall have to warn my friends about him.”. This may be a case of what's in the news timing but this little scene hit me in the feels. The women's network; created out of necessity, caring, and bravery. In the past and present, sometimes we women have been the only recourse and this added scene is again one of the numerous reasons I read romance, it understands, tells, and celebrates us women.
 
Look, issues get brought up and moved on from quickly (d'Arque's parents' death) and the ending is so outrageously abrupt. Seriously, Hoyt gives us one of my favorite proposal lines ever and then slammed me into a "the end" wall. I loved what Hoyt gave me of d'Arque almost as much as I hated how little she gave me of d'Arque. At the end of the day though, if you're looking for a quick escape, d'Arque won't disappoint.
 
He broke their kiss and laid his forehead against hers. "Make me stop."
"I can't," she whispered.
"Then we're doomed," he said, his voice husky and low. "For I'm unable to stop myself. I want you. Day and night and all the time in between. I want you."
 

 

Menu Monday

Welcome to the first Menu Monday! Hope a recipe entices you to try it :)


Vegan Tacos with Lentil Walnut Meat

 

 

 

I'm so happy to start with such a winner, I LOVED this one. Definitely don't skip on the sour cream (didn't remind me of sour cream at all but whatev) because it was delicious and added so much to the taste. I was kind of shocked at how much (roll with me here) the Lentil Walnut meat, well, looked like meat and kind of had the texture. The bf said it was really good for something trying to taste like meat. I count this as a Win :)

Taste:  A+

Ease to make:  Not hard and not incredibly time consuming, took me an hour I think.

 


White Chocolate Peppermint Fluff 

 

 

I like to make themed desserts during certain months. Finding Hershey's peppermint kisses might be a tad difficult in June, too. This was super yummy, I only got one bar of peppermint bark so I ended up adding about half of what the recipe requested of bark. I still think it had a strong peppermint taste. Bf and I got stomach aches the first night eating too much. Winner!

Taste:  A

Ease to make:  Very easy, but recipe does call for whole milk which some might not always have on hand. And like I mentioned, a pretty seasonal dessert as the peppermint kisses and bark might be hard to come by other times of year. 10 mins to make and needs to sit for 2hrs in fridge.

*If making it to take somewhere, I'd let it sit overnight, the peppermint red bled a little and created a pretty pink color. Three day max probably though as the marshmallows started to unravel a bit sitting in the pudding mixture, lol

 

 

Firecracker Salmon

 

 

Salmon is one of my most favorite versatile meats. You can season and marinate it with just about anything, add some rice, and have a super yummy meal. This seemed a bit sweet but still had a nice hotness to it but if you lean more towards spicy, I'd add more hot sauce and red pepper flakes.

Taste:  B+

Ease to Make:  Very easy, it doesn't say to marinate salmon so that cuts back on time. Even without marinating, I thought it had a good taste. I wouldn't skip broiling, it slightly caramelized the sauce, which I love. Around 40mins to make; made sauce while salmon was defrosting.

 

 

Jalapeno Popper Deviled Eggs

 

 

I try to make Wednesdays my app day, this is supposed to make Weds easy for me and give me something to snack on for two days. However, my apps usually turn into full meals, so my save some work for myself often fails. Not here, unless you wanted to get egg belly, I guess. I cut this recipe in half and they turned out great. I made 4 eggs for myself and then mixed in the chopped up bacon and made the rest for the bf. We were both fans. Nice touch of jalapeno spice from them and they kind of looked adorable with the sliced bacon and jalapeno decoration.

Taste:  B

Ease to Make:  25 mins counting the egg boiling time. Super easy!

 

 

Skinny Chicken Parm Sliders

 

 

I just bought the 1lb chicken tenders from the refrigerator section, there ended up being two tenders per two normal size buns which was a good amount for us (ok, so, I ate half of the second and had to donate the second half to bf). Really good, kind of tasted like a chicken pizza sandwich. They were a bit too salty tasting for me and a bit too much Parmesan (I'm not the biggest fan).

Taste:  B

Ease to Make:  Pretty easy (sensing a trend yet with what recipes I pick out ;). I think this took about 40mins. Nothing that took mad skills, just baking and mixing!

 

Hope everyone can find a recipe to try!

Any recipes for me?

75%

Once Upon a Christmas Eve - Elizabeth Hoyt

Call the police.

 

The novella story ended at 75% on my Kindle.

 

 

Abruptly. ABRUPTLY. 

 

 

Reading Update: 50%

Once Upon a Christmas Eve - Elizabeth Hoyt

Don't mind me, just over here desperately gobbling up crumbs (it's a novella) Hoyt has bestowed upon me of d'Arque.

 

 

Finally, my lust of comte St. Germain has a noble purpose, this is what d'Arque looks like in my mind
#GimmeMeMoard'Arque

New Releases for December

New release I'm reviewing and excited to read

 

 

 

5th

 

29776219Title:  Once Upon a Christmas Eve

Series:  Maiden Lane #12.6

Author:  Elizabeth Hoyt

Format:  eBook, 96pgs

Published:  Dec. 5, 2017 by Forever Yours

ASIN: B01DSTTRIK

Links: Goodreads Amazon B&N

 

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday—and Adam loves his grandmother, so he'll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they're forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met.

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she'll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it's the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap.

 

 

12th

 

 

35230501Title:  It Takes Two to Tumble

Series:  Seducing the Sedgwicks  #1

Author:  Cat Sebastian

Format:  Paperback & eBook, 217pgs

Published:  Dec. 12, 2017 by Avon Impulse

ASIN:  B0714J1PY2

Links: Goodreads Amazon B&N

 

Some of Ben Sedgwick’s favorite things:

Helping his poor parishioners
Baby animals
Shamelessly flirting with the handsome Captain Phillip Dacre


After an unconventional upbringing, Ben is perfectly content with the quiet, predictable life of a country vicar, free of strife or turmoil. When he’s asked to look after an absent naval captain’s three wild children, he reluctantly agrees, but instantly falls for the hellions. And when their stern but gloriously handsome father arrives, Ben is tempted in ways that make him doubt everything.

Some of Phillip Dacre’s favorite things:

His ship
People doing precisely as they're told
Touching the irresistible vicar at every opportunity


Phillip can’t wait to leave England’s shores and be back on his ship, away from the grief that haunts him. But his children have driven off a succession of governesses and tutors and he must set things right. The unexpected presence of the cheerful, adorable vicar sets his world on its head and now he can’t seem to live without Ben’s winning smiles or devastating kisses.

In the midst of runaway children, a plot to blackmail Ben’s family, and torturous nights of pleasure, Ben and Phillip must decide if a safe life is worth losing the one thing that makes them come alive.

 

 

19th

 

 

31933234Title:  Can’t Forget You

Series:  Risking It All #3

Author:  Rachel Lacey

Format:  Paperback & eBook, 353 pgs

Published:  Dec. 19, 2017 by Forever

ASIN:  B06XFFKLVC

Links: Goodreads Amazon B&N

 

 

YOU NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST LOVE

Jessica Flynn can't wait to buy up that patch of unspoiled North Carolina woodland next door and expand her spa. What could be more sensuous than a hot-tub soak under the stars? Jessica would love to bask in the romantic view herself-but first she needs to find the right man to join her in this fantasy. Back in high school, she thought that was the dark and brooding Mark Dalton. But then he left to join the Special Forces, and when he returned to town, it felt like their teenage love affair had never even happened.

Mark Dalton has his eye on the same property for his own business. Yet there's something he wants to have even more. Because Jessica is sweeter than he remembered, and he's finding it hard to resist his attraction to the competition. When they finally find themselves alone, deep in the forest, nature can't help but run a little wild. But if she ever finds out what he's been hiding all these years, she may never forgive him...

 

 

26th

 

 

 

34814863Title:  The Art of Running in Heels

Series:  Chinooks  Hockey #7

Author:  Rachel Gibson

Format:  Paperback & eBook, 384pgs

Published:  Dec. 26, 2017 by Avon

ASIN: B06Y12BDFN

Links: Goodreads Amazon B&N

 

Running in five-inch stilettos is an art form

Leaving your fiancé at the altar on live television is a disaster. Lexie Kowalsky thought she was ready to get married in front of millions of people, but at the last minute she fled the set of television’s hottest reality show, Gettin’ Hitched. Wearing a poofy white dress and a pair of five-inch sparkly shoes, Lexie hopped a float plane for Sandspit, Canada. She figured no one would find her there. But she was wrong.

Sharing her flight was the Seattle Chinooks biggest star, Sean Knox. Lexie wasn’t just a reality-show runaway, she was his pain in the butt coach’s daughter. She was chaos and temptation and definitely off limits, but getting her luscious body out of that wedding gown, he couldn’t resist getting her in his bed for one amazing night.

Then a photo of Sean and Lexi breaks the internet—and suddenly they’re both swept up in a crazy plan to spin the whole story. But you can’t run from love—

 

 

34845112Title:  A Distant Heart

Series:  Bollywood  #4

Author:  Sonali Dev

Format:  Paperback & eBook, 352 pgs

Published:  Dec. 26, 2017 by Kensignton

ASIN: B06XZR97YK

Links: Goodreads Amazon B&N

 

Her name means “miracle” in Sanskrit, and to her parents, that’s exactly what Kimaya is. The first baby to survive after several miscarriages, Kimi grows up in a mansion at the top of Mumbai’s Pali Hill, surrounded by love and privilege. But at eleven years old, she develops a rare illness that requires her to be confined to a germ-free ivory tower in her home, with only the Arabian Sea churning outside her window for company. . . . Until one person dares venture into her world.

Tasked at fourteen-years-old with supporting his family, Rahul Savant shows up to wash Kimi’s windows, and an unlikely friendship develops across the plastic curtain of her isolation room. As years pass, Rahul becomes Kimi’s eyes to the outside world—and she becomes his inspiration to better himself by enrolling in the police force. But when a life-saving heart transplant offers the chance of a real future, both must face all that ties them together and keeps them apart.

As Kimi anticipates a new life, Rahul struggles with loving someone he may yet lose. And when his investigation into a black market organ ring run by a sociopathic gang lord exposes dangerous secrets that cut too close to home, only Rahul's deep, abiding connection with Kimi can keep her safe—and reveal the true meaning of courage, loss, and second chances. 

Infused with the rhythms of life in modern-day India, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s candid, rewarding novel beautifully evokes all the complexities of the human heart.

 

 

 

35059558Title:  Beautiful Lawman

Series:  Devil’s Rock  #4

Author:  Sophie Jordan

Format:  Paperback & eBook, 368 pgs

Published:  Dec. 26, 2017 by Avon

ASIN: B06Y118YR2

Links: Goodreads Amazon B&N

 

From the wrong side of the tracks and with most of her family in jail or dead, Piper Walsh is used to everyone in town thinking the worst about her. It doesn’t seem to matter that she’s worked hard to build a good life for herself. So she isn’t surprised that when she comes into contact with Sweet Hill’s wildly irresistible, arrogant sheriff, Hale Walters, they’re instant adversaries. Piper has nothing in common with the town golden-boy-turned-lawman—and she refuses to be a notch on his bedpost.

Despite rumors, Hale avoids fooling around with the women of Sweet Hill, many of whom are hoping to get him to the altar. But staying out of Piper’s path is proving near impossible. The infuriating troublemaker clearly has no respect for his badge. As she continues to push his buttons, it becomes clear to Hale that he must either arrest Piper—or claim her as his own.

 

 

34848221Title:  The Pretender

Series:  Games People Play  #3

Author:  HelenKay Dimon

Format:  Paperback & eBook, 368 pgs

Published:  Dec. 26, 2017 by Avon

ASIN: B06Y5HKWGY

Links: Goodreads Amazon B&N

 

They say it takes a thief to catch a thief, and Harrison Tate is proof. Once a professional burglar, he now makes a lawful living tracking down stolen art. No one needs to know about his secret sideline, “liberating” artifacts acquired through underhanded methods. At least until one of those jobs sees him walking in on a murder.

Gabrielle Wright has long been estranged from her wealthy family, but she didn’t kill her sister. Trouble is, the only person who can prove it is the sexy, elusive criminal who shouldn’t have been at the island estate on that terrible night. She’s not expecting honor among thieves—or for their mutual attraction to spark into an intense inferno of desire.

Under the guise of evaluating her family’s art, Harris comes back to the estate hoping to clear Gabby’s name. But returning to the scene of the crime has never been riskier, with their hearts and lives on the line.

 

What new books are you all looking forward to?

A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

A Duke in Shining Armor - Loretta Chase
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Olympia is dangerously close to being on the shelf but when she serendipitously catches the attention of a duke, she has a chance to help her large family from financial ruin.
The Duke of Ripley is doing all he can to help his bestfriend not flub up his wedding but he should have been paying attention to the bride. When he sees her make a run for it, he chases her.
They're not meant to be together but they also wouldn't have it any other way.
 
He was trying desperately to find a way out of whatever it was he'd got himself into. 
 
The first in a new series, A Duke in Shining Armor introduces us to the three Dis-Graces, dukes who have a bit of a tainted reputation because of the antics they have gotten up to over the years. The Duke of Ashmont has the face of angel but a bit of a drinking problem. Through some reverse psychology his uncle gets him to really pay attention to Olympia and offer for her. Just returned from a trip on the continent our hero, the Duke of Ripley, has come across Olympia at balls and such but tried to keep his attention of her to the peripheral as he wasn't ready to grow up yet. This latent attraction becomes the source of his problem.
 
This is a road romance that from page one hits the ground running and doesn't let up into well into the second half of the book. Ripley and Olympia have a bit of madcap adventures as they constantly spout wit back and forth. It gave them some spark but the duration and focus of it, came at the expense of some depth. Their dialogue had a tendency to come off as them talking at each other instead of with and I had a hard time getting to know them. 
 
He'd said things and looked at her in ways other men didn't, and the combination had started to make her think she wasn't altogether the young woman she'd always believed she was. She knew rakes were dangerous but she hadn't understood how subtle the danger could be. Her ideas about a great many subjects were threatening revolution. 
 
Along with their dialogue lacking exploring other emotions for most of the book, the vast majority (I think the last 5% goes a week into the future) takes place within 4 days, the first 50% of the story is the first day. I will say, even with this time frame, it doesn't feel like insta-love, which is a credit to the author's writing. The author has Ripley admit to himself a couple times that he always noticed Olympia and liked her personality and Olympia remembering having a pining moment over Ripley dancing with someone else but we don't get the scenes of a solid emotional growing between beginning attraction that I personally look for and enjoy. 
 
"What are you doing?" he said.
"I'm being unsubtle," she said.
 

 
With the hero and heroine busy being witty and flitting around, I never gained a strong grasp of who they were. Olympia was probably the stronger of the two with her large family driving her to marriage and feeling like she didn't belong because she was voted the most boring debutante years in a row, which felt brought up more than enough. Her love of books and categorizing books is discussed but I would have liked some family interaction scenes or if she had friends; scenes that help show more personality and different nuances of a character. Ripley is given a very vague bad past with an ill father and though he has scenes with his friends, the Duke of Ashmont who's bride he's accidentally stealing and his brother-in-law the Duke of Blackwood, we're not shown how they became friends or what really binds them together. I was left with a lot of questions regarding Ripley and who he was.

Ripley was a disgrace and had been for years, but this had to be the worst thing he'd done in his life. 
Yet it seemed to him the best thing he'd ever done.
 

 
The last 15% or so was more of what I was looking for, Ripley and Olympia seemed to talk with each other more and I began to feel their emotional connection, but it would have been great to have that start more towards the middle of the book. They also start to hit the sheets more but I frankly could have done with more of the platonic growing together at the time. Ashmont definitely doesn't shine here but as I'm sure he'll get the chance to be a hero of his own book, his redemption will interesting. The other friend Blackwood and his wife (Ripley's sister) seemingly have a secret frosty relationship that raises a lot of questions. With all the dukes running around, even I started to get fatigued but it's still a hard title to say no to. In a very small side story that managed to kind of steal the show for me, Ripley’s aunt seems to have a very interesting hurt and angry past with Ashmont’s uncle. The emotion and tension could be cut with a knife whenever the two were in a room and I’m greatly looking forward to seeing what comes of them.
 
With a bit too much wit and one-upping sarcasm for its own good and short time duration, this didn't start providing enough emotional building blocks for me until closer at the end. This author's writing is always engaging though and if you're in the mood for a quick paced witty back and forth, this definitely would provide.
 
 

 

70%

A Duke in Shining Armor - Loretta Chase

He kissed her in the way of a man who wants what he can't have and has to have it anyway, the way of a man who knows only when he's got it and needs to know nothing else.

Surprise Soup!

Until noon, I was operating on the thought that today was Thursday. It is not. After realizing this and staring at my desk for a couple minutes, I decided the day was done for me. Did November happen? It's all a blur for me. I think I say this every year but holy cow is the end of the year busy for me. 

 

Anyway, I'm changing things up a bit with Sunday Soup. I've missed the last two months and I miss talking food, because food, y'all. Instead of a Sunday Soup, I'm going to try Menu Mondays. I'm going to post the recipes that I made for the previous week and if I liked them or not; less pictures and more recipes. We'll see if I can keep up with this better :)

I will send you off with two soup recipes though, to make up for missing the last two months.

 

 

 

 

From what I've been able to catch, this would qualify for a Festive square? Even when I don't have time to play, I'm playing! 

 

 

 

Not a bad start, right? Sounds pretty good?

 

 

 

A little different mash-up for ingredients but hey, we're all adventurous people here!

 

 

 

 

Looks, interesting, right? This soup was a total fail for me. I could barely eat it. Maybe, probably, my fault because I'm not sure I knew if Turmeric was totally and completely for me. I also think I'm a wannabe healthy person, I try because my stomach demands it but my heart is dark beer and donuts all the way. I would recommend not trying this soup because, Bleh. Unless you have a Turmeric cauliflower heart.

 

Onto,

 

 

 

This is another first step Olive Oil heating soup! Peppers and jalapeno sizzling together, makes my heart warm just looking at it.

 

 

Garlic and cooomin! (Everyone mispronounces it the first time, right?) 

 

 

 

Beans, beans, and beans! I swear I'm not a stinky person to hang around ;) Bananas not needed in this recipe but feel free to admire anyway.

 

 

Looooove this milk! It's like a Sunday morning on my tummy.

 

 

Looks appetizing! Stay with me, folks.

 

 

 

Avocado, lime, and chips can turn anything into a fun party! I really enjoyed this one but the bf said it tasted bland, which is weird because I more often complain of this. Looking at the comments, I see others said the same thing. Whatev. I'm counting this one as a win. I also added cheese. Come at me Vegetarian police!

 

Now for dessert and because I'm a woman of my word,

 

Champorado

 

 

 

Remember rice pudding Sunday and the talk of what if we made it chocolate? Here you go. Hold on to your excitement because pictures are going to look a wee bit less appetizing from here.

 

 

 

Melted cocoa krispies twin.

 

 

Good but, very rich. I would add less chocolate chips next time. Makes a decent amount too and this is kind of a one bowl dessert because of the richness. Alas, I did my one good deed for the bf and he enjoyed it. 

 

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and their reading. I'm lurking as much as I can and trying to keep up with posts, even if my gabbing on posts aren't as frequent. 

 

Hope some people can join me on Menu Mondays or can share some recipes. Because fooooooooood, y'all!

Reading Update: 35%

A Duke in Shining Armor - Loretta Chase

"Maybe you're the one who's bored," he said. "Maybe your brain's too large and lively for the company you keep. Good little girls. A lot of rules about every damned thing. Maybe you go on and on about the books because nobody understands you anyway, and at least it's fun to watch their eyes glaze over."