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WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Romance book talk, reviews, recipes, and dog pictures

Blogger Site: WhiskeyintheJar Romance

Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

Currently reading

Deeper Than Midnight
Lara Adrian
A Rogue of Her Own (Windham Brides)
Grace Burrowes
An Extraordinary Union
Alyssa Cole
Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules for the Reckless)
Meredith Duran
Progress: 30%

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

Menu Monday

Thank you for all your comments on last week's Menu Monday, BLs was being a poop and wouldn't let me comment back on the two days I tried. 

And BLs is still being a poop. SIIIIGH. Second week in a row that a scheduled post didn't post. Hopefully this maintenance has taken care of it and it would be awesome to get notifications for comments. 

 

Favorite Chinese Green Beans with Ground Turkey

 

 

This one was so good, y'all. The seasoning/flavor was great, hoisin and chili garlic. I put it on top of white rice and it was a pretty easy quick meal that seemed fancy and was tasty. Probably a decent amount of salt though because of the soy sauce and hoisin but turkey meat to make you feel more healthy! Definitely a recipe I'm going to keep around.

 

 

Shrimp Fried Quinoa

 

 

 

 This one has all the markings of being one I really liked, but I didn't. The bf really enjoyed it but the taste just wasn't there for me. It suggested frozen vegetables and I'm wondering if that was what put me off, more sodium and all. I think it would work better as a side dish, it was supposed to be my appetizer pick for the week but it made a good amount so we just ate it as a meal. Sometimes less really is more, I guess. 

 

 

Chicken Avocado Burrito

 

 

 

First off, yes, I did almost forget to take a picture of this one, lol. You can also probably guess by the name of the recipe, that you wouldn't need a recipe to make these. Super simple but oh so good. Chicken, avocado and some salsa on top for me.

 

 

Biscuits and Gravy with Sausage and Egg breakfast casserole

 

 

 

Why yes, I almost forgot to take a picture again. I LOVE this one. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. It's my day after New Year's Eve brunch meal because it is so simple to make, again, I use turkey sausage, and is a hungover person's dream. If you love brinner (breakfast at dinner time) you'll love it too. I like to put some sriracha on top for a bit of a kick but yeah, you won't be disappointed in this one. Easy to make and a dream to eat. 

 

 

Chocolate Hand Pies

 

 

 

I really couldn't care less about Valentine's Day but I like to have themed dessert months so Feb is full of pink, red, and heart things. I think I didn't roll the dough thin enough and I'm more of a cake person, but the pie crust was a bit chalky. If I made these again, I would sprinkle the sugar on top like was suggested. The ganache was very rich but worked with the less so pie. These took a while to make and were a bit meh for me. Again though, I'm not a big pie crust person. Strangely, I thought these tasted better three days after I made them. Probably wouldn't make them again though, taste not worth the effort. 

 

Any fun or romantic foods to show for the week?

Eek

My Man, Michael - Lori Foster

A MMA fighter gets into a car accident, a woman from the future asks him to help teach her people how to fight in exchange for fixing his leg. They lust after each other, the hero(?) made me want to strangle him with his sexist comments, heroine who was supposed to be strong just disappears, heroine's mother and father storyline is simplistic, can be seen from a mile away, and there is next to no world building. 
Simplistic, sexist, and not good in my opinion.

For more comments and thoughts - My Man, Michael Buddy Read

50%

My Man, Michael - Lori Foster

I'm wanting to stab the the so-called hero and am shipping the computer system and heroine super hard. 
This buddy read pick is going super great! Lol

More comments and quotes - My Man, Michael Buddy Read

Reading Update: 25%

My Man, Michael - Lori Foster

MMA fighter gets injured in car accident.

MMA fighter gets visited from woman from the future. 

MMA fighter gets transported to future to teach them to fight and “It would be wonderful if you filled our ranks with your offspring.” 

 

This book is wild, y'all.

 

More quotes and comments - Buddy Read - My Man Michael

Menu Monday

Ravioli with Sauteed Asparagus and Walnuts

 

 

I loved this one. It was super easy to make and  maybe around a half hour. I halved the butter and added more lemon juice. More filling than I thought it would be and had a great flavor. I paired with red wine and felt like a fancy gal.

 

 

General Tso's Chickpeas

 

 

If wanting to have a meatless Monday, this would be an excellent pick. The sauce was great, I don't like things very saucy and if you're like me you'd want to be careful with how much you add because broccoli soaks up sauce like crazy. Probably only around a half hour to make and super good. Felt like a healthy gal with this one :)

 

 

Frosted Lemon Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

 

 

 

I would add some yellow food coloring to the cookie because as you can see, when I added it to the frosting (maybe too much?) it popped almost too much making the cookie look pale in not the most appetizing way. I probably doubled the lemon juice (from fresh lemons and bottle) for the frosting because I love tart things. The cookie consistency was a little different, more cake like I guess I would say. The recipe makes a crap ton, I would definitely cut it in half next time. Took maybe an hour to make. I refrigerated half and left half out. The frosting was better on the fridge one but the cookie part was better left out as it was softer. Would make a good little cookie plate for an Easter dinner. Felt like a tarty gal while eating these ;)

 

 

Baked Spaghetti & Meatballs

 

Italian Meatballs

 

 

 

 

This one took more effort and time, probably close to 2 hours all together. If you just bought frozen meatballs instead of homemade, definitely save you on time. The homemade meatball recipe though was really good but did have a decent amount of Parmesan added. Since the spaghetti recipe called for Parmesan too, I halved both of them. Very filling and good but not sure worth the time and effort of putting everything together. Felt liked a tired gal after making.

 

 

Tater Tot Enchilada Bake

 

 

 

Tired from making my own meatballs, I bought frozen tater tots instead of homemaking. Still good because even a meh tater tot is a good one. I let it bake a little longer so the tater tots would get crispier. I think this took around 40 mins and was worth it. Great on a cold day and a good comfort food. Yummy. Felt like a comforted gal after eating. 

 

 

What culinary adventures did you all go on this week?

Reading Update: 30%

Sins of Lord Lockwood (Rules for the Reckless) - Meredith Duran

“The truth is never satisfying. The truth is either too plain to make sense, or too bizarre to be believed.”

Great older published book

Only In My Arms - Jo Goodman

This is an older published gem in my opinion. The couple were such a delight with their back and forth, snark, humor, and sexiness. The heroine was strong and had such an amazing character build with having the emotional struggle of leaving the nunnery and how that affected her relationship with her mother and the hero was the strong, dry humor, snarky, and sexy man I read these stories looking for. These two together are definitely worth the price of admission. 

The story starts off a bit slower but does an amazing job introducing you to the hero and heroine, getting you to really know them. They then come together and spend the rest of the book together with the middle specifically focusing on them and giving the reader an incredible romance relationship to read. The middle starts to drag a smidgen and the ending dealing with the mystery/conspiracy, why Ryder is on the run, gets a bit rushed as it becomes a bit too twisty turn-y for the limited time left. 

This was a great finish to the series and the author did a great job wrapping everyone's story up and giving us a fond look and goodbye to this family. You could read this without reading the others in the series, you'd miss some family relationship connections but worth it I say to read about this couple. Ryder and Mary are the couple you read romances looking for. 

I read this as a Buddy Read, for more quotes, comments, and in depth conversation, Only In Your Arms buddy read

80%

Only In My Arms - Jo Goodman

"Because you have always been part of me," he said. "From the beginning. Not from the moment we met, but from the moment we were. There has been a place for you in my heart, under my skin." 

Declarations of love from hero/heroine were, swooooon.

More Buddy read quotes and comments - Only In My Arms buddy read

Hot with some sneaky raw emotion

Bad Neighbor - Molly O'Keefe

"Pretending is easier for you, isn’t it?” It stung, it stung deep and hard where a lot of my secret stuff lived. The things I didn’t like to acknowledge about myself. The things that kept my life so small. So small it felt like a jail. The fucking book tour. Simon. Jesse. Wanting more, taking less.

 

The first half of this gave me some strong Willing Victim by Cara McKenna vibes because of the awkward, shy, and doesn't quite have the confidence to know or address her sexual needs heroine and tough, man of few words, underground fighter hero. There is not quite as much kink, as the focus isn't on sexually finding yourself while falling in love but the heroine and hero had some hot moments.

 

I was wearing fucking glasses. Who wears glasses to your neighbor’s orgy?

 

Funny heroines who feel out of their depth with heroes who are living their best sexual life are a delight to read and I quite enjoyed how this hero read the heroine's signals and didn't let her wriggle out of what she wanted.

 

“I don’t do that kind of thing. On the regular.”

“No shit,” he laughed, but it wasn’t joyful. Or kind, really.

“Why…why are you being mean?”

“Because I am fucking mean. What did you expect?”

“Okay,” I said and stood up on shaky legs. “This was a mistake.”

“Running away?” he asked. “How am I not surprised?”

“You’re being awful. Am I supposed to just stay here and take it?”

 

 

“I’m sorry I’m a dick,” he whispered, his breath washing my lips, my face. Covering me in his scent. I swallowed back the words I’m sorry I’m so sensitive because I was tired of being that girl. The girl who made the people who hurt her feel better for having hurt her. I said instead, like I was in a movie: “Make it up to me.”

 

 

Stunned that in letting him know how badly he’d hurt me, I actually felt better. I felt stronger. I didn’t have to swallow down every pain every person visited upon me. I could hold my head up and let people know I was here. That my feelings mattered. That I mattered. I’d never done that before.

 

Also quite enjoyed how the heroine being awkward and shy didn't stop her from standing up for herself. 

 

“I don’t want to stop fighting. I just…” These were things I never said. Never even thought.

“I get it,” she whispered. “You just want a little more for yourself.”

That was it. Exactly.

“It hurts sometimes,” she said, “trying to have more.”

 

The family drama with the heroine always taking care of her sister and the hero trying to pay off his father's debts with losing connection with his older brother added some serious emotional depth. These were two very deep characters with emotional baggage trying to fight and find their way in the world. The heroine worrying about her twin sister who was on the run from a dangerous guy, who in a very too contrived twist, turned out to be the hero's brother, and the hero hating the life he felt he had to live. This was sexy, deep, emotional, dark, and humorous, a good read that had me curious and searching out the sister and brother's story but moved a bit quick and had some very too coincidence moments.

50%

Only In My Arms - Jo Goodman

"Now don't flirt with me anymore," he said. "I can make you hurt a lot worse than you can make me. " Ryder only hoped she would believe him.

 

I am loving this book. The hero and heroine together are hitting all my snark dry humor female agency sweet spots.

 

For more of my comments and quotes (I'm quoting the hell out of this book) - Only In My Arms Buddy Read

Reading Update: 40%

Bad Neighbor - Molly O'Keefe

Getting serious Willing Victim by Cara McKenna vibes from this one

Reading Update: 20%

Only In My Arms - Jo Goodman

"You're not like anyone else here," she told him. 
Ryder was not particularly flattered by her observation. Not only did it have the easy comfort of a prepared speech , but there were men at Fort Union he admired. Not being like anyone else wasn't always a compliment.


Buddy Reading this, for more quotes & comments thru ch3 - Only In My Arms Buddy Read

Menu Monday

Finally feeling caught up after the rush of the new year and starting to feel better after being sick for twoish weeks, Menu Monday is back. I hope you all didn't starve ;)

 

Garlic Ginger Glazed Salmon

 

I love salmon and it's versatility, the many flavors and seasoning you can mix with it. It's also quick and easy to make. This wasn't my favorite one, the taste not as strong as I like but still good for a weeknight meal. I didn't keep the recipe but probably only took a half hour to make (w/out counting defrosting salmon) and I pan fried them, super easy.

 

No-Bake Avalanche Cookies

 

Y'all, these may look tame and innocent but holy mother of god these are f*cking amazing. They take like 10 minutes to make, with maybe an hour in the fridge to harden up a bit. But, zooomygod, prepare yourselves to gorge. A+++++ Seriously, make these. MAKE THESE NOW

 

Skinny Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake

 

Probably took around 40ish minutes, another easy one. Good, warmed up well the next day. I would say a little more energy to make simply because there are a lot of moving parts. I wanted everything to be done all together, so I started the pasta and alfredo while the shrimp defrosted and things got a bit busy. Not terribly wowing but still really good nonetheless. 

 

Chipotle-Cheddar Broiled Avocado Halves

Obviously, very simple to make and only around 10mins to make. I made them as a side dish but they would work as a snack. I don't know, pretty meh for me but the bf really liked them. If looking for a light lunch or nighttime snack, wouldn't go wrong.

 

BBQ Turkey and Greek Yogurt 'slaw burgers

I didn't actually make these, the bf did, because I was blowing my nose and hacking like a psycho but, I'm going to say it was easy, because, yeah, I'm not sure it could have happened otherwise. I could barely taste but I think it tasted good, lol. 

 

Make any incredible tasting meals, snacks, or desserts while I was sick?

True to You by Jennifer Ryan

True to You - Jennifer Ryan
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.

With a drug kingpin father, paranoid delusion uncle, and deceased mother, Cara has learned and protected herself with her trust issues. She runs a truck stop coffee house devoted to giving parolees second chances but trying to keep her life separate from her father's is proving more and more difficult. 

As a DEA Special Agent, Dawson has devoted his life to taking drugs off the street and taking down the bad guys. When a drug dealer uses his skills as a sniper to take out a rival, he makes it his personal mission to send him to jail. Trying to get an in with the man's daughter may prove fruitless in entering the drug world but Dawson may have succeeded in finally finding love. 

So he couldn't trust her. She didn't trust him. 

Second in the Montana Heat series, True to You focuses on Dawson King, a DEA Special Agent sniper. His bestfriend was the hero in the first book and while his story was summarized nicely, I felt a little rushed and lost in the very beginning while the set-up involving the drug cartel plot opened up. Reading the first book would have definitely helped but after a couple chapters I was able to settle into the world the author had created. Even though I had a bit of a whiplash feeling as previous events were rattled off, the prologue was incredibly gripping with our DEA sniper hero being put to the fire. 

She didn't even know his name. Not his real name. 

The set-up of having our hero Dawson going undercover to try and get close to his target's daughter Cara provided a great tension filled romance. Cara was an extremely distrustful heroine, she was a tough cookie but what kept her from crossing into the stubborn for angst sake well was her willingness to put it on the line when she couldn't fight getting close to the hero anymore; she was strong and passionate. While Cara learned her trust issues, Dawson's was trained and because his work and life depended on his cover, he couldn't just reveal all to Cara. I know we're dealing with fiction but the author did such a great job of creating realness to not only the characters but the story. The focus wasn't mainly on Cara and Dawson's sexual relationship, although there are some sexy times, but their emotional one. They had a full circle of meeting, distrust, attraction, bonding, betrayal, hurt, and then coming together. All the building blocks were there to create and enjoy a rounded out romance. 

This was no lie. 

With a cover that seems to project a more light and fluffy story, this was anything but. The drug cartel plot gets slightly more attention than the romance. The suspense doesn't come from overt action scenes but more from the reader watching and learning who and how the chess pieces are moving. The author did a great job of creating a multifaceted villain, the heroine's father named Iceman, but I thought the story lacked from getting more of his point of views. I would have also liked a smidge more drug cartel action with a little less hammering of how crappy Cara's life had been, it felt like trying to force the reader to really be in sympathy with her. 

"There is right and wrong, truth and lies. We are in between those lines." 

The story has a little bit of a sputtering ending with the action being over and the emotional relationship aspects staggering to the end but this also gave the readers a fully constructed ending, however, the added epilogue then seemed a bit unnecessary and cheesy. This had trust issues that cover secrets that are too important to be openly revealed, action that occasionally flirts with believability, but hotness that endangers and seduces. True to You was an impressive, fun, and hot romantic suspense story that also had a sexy hero who made a mean cherry tart. I'll definitely be checking out Jennifer Ryan's backlist and future releases.
 
 

 

60%

True to You - Jennifer Ryan

Secrets had a way of finding their way into the light.

Reading Update: 30%

True to You - Jennifer Ryan

“You want her to think that so she’ll stay away from you.”
"As far away as possible.”


I'm really enjoying this so far! Rom suspense that doesn't feel hokey, solid plot, solid characters, multifaceted villain, and building underlining sexual tension. Know only 30%, but this has me jonesing, y'all. 
Anyone read the first in the series? Why haven't I heard more about this author and series?!?