Welcome back to the Fresh Fiction Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup! Every day this week, some of our favorite authors will be on the blog chatting about their new books, their main characters, and a recipe for a meal or treat those characters would enjoy this festive week. Today we’re featuring contemporary romance authors from St. Martin’s Press! Enjoy, and come back tomorrow for more fun!
Missed our previous roundup post? Check it out here!
LAURA TRENTHAM, THE MILITARY WIFE
Harper Lee Wilcox (yes, named after the Harper Lee) is the widow of a decorated Navy SEAL and living with her mom and young son in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, NC. Bennett Caldwell is a former Navy SEAL that served with Harper’s husband, but now runs a survival school in Virginia Beach.
Bennett got to know and love Harper through the emails and letters she sent her husband while they were deployed together. When he meets her face-to-face years later, he discovers the real woman is even stronger and more fascinating than the one he imagined. Standing between them is the memory of Noah, Harper’s dead husband and Bennett’s best friend.
A common mission brings them together and helps them resolve their pasts so they can build a future together. I hope Harper and Bennett make readers laugh and cry and leave them ultimately satisfied!
And, I hope this recipe for Shrimp and Grits will leave you satisfied as well. A southern staple, especially along the coast, it’s easy and delicious! Enjoy!
Shrimp and Grits (Recipe by Bobby Flay, https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/shrimp-and-grits-recipe-1911862)
4 cups water
Salt and pepper
1 cup stone-ground grits
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 slices bacon, chopped
4 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 large clove garlic, minced
Step 1: Bring water to a boil. Add salt and pepper. Add grits and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.
Step 2: Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; drain well. In grease, add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turn pink.
Step 3: Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, scallions and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.
Step 4: Spoon grits into a serving bowl. Add shrimp mixture. Serve immediately!
LORA LEIGH, ONE TOUGH COWBOY
Hunter and Samantha hadn’t thought they were destined to be together, and at first when they saw each other again, might have denied it was meant to be. Sometimes love is shy, uncertain, and hides behind the lust until it feels it’s safe to show itself. I hope you enjoyed their adventure, as well as their love story.
I think a snack they’d really enjoy after one of those intense, love and lust adventures they shared would be something a bit messy, a bit spicy.
I thought Hot Wings would work.
Lora Leigh’s Hot Wings
10 – 15 chicken wings with tips removed and separated at joint.
2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek (Chinese Chilli Paste)
1 stick of butter
1 cup Blue cheese or Ranch dressing
- Pre-heat oven to 425.
- Deep fry wing portions until done.
- Melt 1 stick of butter and pour into a deep bowl.
- Add 2 Tbsp. Samal Oelek (Chinese chilli paste).
- Whisk together until butter and chilli paste are sorta blended.
- Add Chicken wings and toss well.
- Lay wings one layer deep on a baking sheet and bake for 5 – 10 minutes. Just enough to dry the butter/chilli paste a bit.
- Remove from oven and place on a platter with 1 cup of dressing for dipping.
- Dip, eat, and enjoy.
Lots of finger-lickin’ good, and spicy kisses later… well, you know… 😊
HELENA HUNTING, SHACKING UP
Ruby Scott is a feisty, aspiring Broadway performer who is determined to live her dream instead of taking a cushy job at her father’s company. Unfortunately, an accidental kiss from a sick stranger ruins Ruby’s chance of getting the part she’s dreamed of when she tosses her cookies all over the director, Exorcist-style.
Enter Bancroft Mills, recently retired rugby player who is now stepping into the family hotel business, which means a five-week trip across the ocean. It also means he needs a pet sitter for his exotic fur baby and his terrifyingly (adorable) tarantula. And since he also happens to be the reason Ruby is currently unemployed and homeless, he gives her a job and place to stay while he’s away on business.
As daily phone check-ins turn into lengthy, flirty video chats, Ruby and Bancroft find themselves looking forward to finding out just how real the chemistry between them is when there isn’t an ocean separating them.
Shacking Up is a sexy, flirty, steamy romance, and Bancroft Mills has a gooey sweet center, exactly like a chocolate lava cake.
CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, plus more for coating ramekins
8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (64 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh raspberries or strawberries
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray 6 (6-ounce, 170 gram) ramekins with nonstick baking spray. Coat the insides of the buttered ramekins with granulated sugar, tapping out the excess.
Combine the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, then continue heating in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Gently stir in the flour and salt.
In a medium bowl vigorously whisk the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until thick and pale in color. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Divide the batter among the ramekins.
At this point the batter-filled ramekins can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are firm but the center is runny. Add an additional minute of baking time if baking straight from the fridge.
Run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates, if desired. You can also serve straight from the ramekin. Serve with fresh berries and powdered sugar.
You can bake the batter in 10 paper-lined muffin tins for 10 minutes for smaller, more portable servings. You can also easily cut this recipe in half.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS FEATURED IN THIS ARTICLE:
Heart of a Hero
A young widow embraces a second chance at life when she reconnects with those who understand the sacrifices made by American soldiers and their families in award-winning author Laura Trentham’s The Military Wife.
Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.
Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.
In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.
In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?
Women’s Fiction Contemporary [St. Martin’s Griffin, On Sale: February 5, 2019, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9781250145536 / eISBN: 9781250145543]
About Laura Trentham
Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Northwest Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she majored in Chemical Engineering (in order to avoid becoming a starving artist!) and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.
Now living in South Carolina with her husband and two children, she writes historical and contemporary romances that are a little dark, a little funny, and a whole lot of sexy.
First in a brand-new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh and Veronica Chadwick about one man’s pursuit of justice—and unbridled desire.
LAW AND ORDER.
For as long as Samantha can remember, Hunter—a man as strong as steel, with a heart of gold—has been her hero. It came as no surprise to Samantha when she found out that the ranch-hardened cowboy who always protected her from bullies went on to become the town’s sheriff. What does surprise her is how incredibly hot he still is. And how much she still wants him…
PRIDE AND PASSION
And, lo and behold, Hunter still has feelings for Samantha. The long-smoldering heat of their innocent flirtation has grown into a full raging fire. But when tragedy strikes, and their small-town community is shattered, Hunter vows to do everything he can to keep his childhood sweetheart safe. But can Samantha trust that Hunter has her best interests at heart…and that, after all these years, his love is true?
About Lora Leigh
Lora Leigh dreams in bright, vivid images of the characters’ intent on taking over her writing life, and fights a constant battle to put them on the hard drive of her computer before they can disappear as fast as they appeared.
Lora’s family and her writing life coexist, if not in harmony, in relative peace with each other. Surrounded by a menagerie of pets, friends, and a son who keeps her quick wit engaged, Lora finds her life filled with joys, aided by her fans whose hearts remind her daily why she writes.
From New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting, Shacking Up is a hilarious, swoon-worthy novel about sex and the city–and everything in-between.
SHE’S IN THE DOGHOUSE. WILL HE TAKE HER ALL THE WAY UP TO THE PENTHOUSE?
Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with an important audition. But instead of getting her big break, Ruby gets sick as a dog and ends up with her tail between her legs. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed her–and then coughed on her– at a party the night before.
Ruby’s BFF might have found the perfect job opportunity: pet-sitting in the lavish penthouse apartment belonging to hotel magnate Bancroft Mills. But when the newly-evicted Ruby meets her jet setting employer, she realizes he’s the same guy who got her sick. Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. . .and maybe back into his arms?
“Fun, sexy, and full of heart…Helena Hunting has done it again!” — USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow
Romance Contemporary [St. Martin’s Paperbacks, On Sale: November 27, 2018, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781250199669 / ]
About Helena Hunting
NTY and USA Today Bestselling author of The PUCKED Series, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance to romance comedy, sports romance and angsty new adult romance.