Early Review: A Good Vintage by Ashlyn Kane, Homemade Vegan Pizza and A California Petit Syrah

a good vintage cover

I’ve been waiting for a new book from Ashlyn Kane from pretty the moment I finished American Love Songs a couple of years ago. I loved the book and her writing style, so when I saw the blurb for this I jumped on the getting an ARC. Wine, food, and a” second chance at love” story?! It’s like she wrote the damn thing for me! Luke and Mal were amazing, such a great love story.   Luke and Mal’s have a history. A summer eight years earlier they worked together at Mal’s vineyard. Mal had lost his wife to cancer a year before,  and Luke was trying to outrun a bad family situation. Luke was 19, Mal was 28. Things could not work THEN…But now eight years have passed, and they are right back where they started. Things could be different now.

For this lovely story I had to make something yummy, and homemade vegan pizza seemed like a clear option. It was a meal served in the book, and since my mouth pretty much watered reading about it, I thought I’d go with it. For the wine, the only choice was a California Syrah (you will know why when you read the book!), so I went with  a 2011 Petit Syrah from Concannon Winery in the Livermore Valley. The Petit Syrah (or Durif) is a forgiving grape, and is almost always a very nice choice of wine, it is so flavorful. This one specifically, is the total package. After a couple minutes breathing time this wine is a full flavored, deep red, that is sweet, but not too much and has tremendous body. Lot of spice to it, without anything standing out too much to steal the show. Lots of balance here, and for $9.99 a bottle. A fool proof wine choice.

pizza agv

Now back to Luke and Mal...This story has an interesting format where we get quick flashbacks in between each present time chapter…I am usually not a big fan of the flashbacks, but in this story they served as  quick snapshots of information. They broadened my sense of the situation, and allowed me to get some sense of where either Mal and/or Luke were coming from. It was a VERY useful device, and because the author kept them short they didn’t get tedious.

Luke has been unlucky in love for awhile, he seems to be going from bad to worse when it comes to partners. Men or women, they just all end up disappointing him…The last breakup left him wrung out, and feeling like this time he really needed to think about the choices he was making. His brother took him in for a little bit, and then rented him a cottage at a B&B winery in Napa Valley for a few weeks, so that he could thing about things for a bit. Napa Valley, brought back memories. That summer working with Mal and the things he experienced, they way he left, the thought that it had been the last time he had felt truly happy. Mal had been a revelation, a scary one, but absolute. He fell in love with the man, and when his father came knocking, once again disturbing his life and his plans, so he left. That’s were things ended back then.

Luke gone to pursue his professional goals. Mal with no real explanation of what happened, went on with his life, and for him that meant a life that put his vineyard at the top of the list, and romance at the bottom…That is until Luke walked into the picnic dinner of the B&B his brother had booked for him, and realized he had stepped right into a place of his past. Mal’s place, his brother’s intentions were not so innocent after all…So there they were, eight years older, a little wiser, and a bit more weathered, but with that feeling of rightness at the center of everything. Luke had his insecurities. Mal had his. They had baggage, and a lot to work out, there were secrets and a past that could ruin whatever future they might hope for with each other.

I liked these guys a lot, and their difficulties made their story all the more genuine. I liked that it was rough for them, that just because they had something strong, it didn’t mean they could get away with not thinking. That they could bypass how they could gowrong or what were the things they could do better. These guys earned their happy ending and they did it with a lot of courage. They just kept moving forward even if they were scared to death the whole time. The chemistry was NUCLEAR, I love them together, in bed, immersed in their passion, even with that they took their time. The secondary characters brought all kinds of flavors to the story, some levity, some angst, some clarity, some humor and even a little added drama, they well worked as a supporting cast.

Highly enjoyed this one and absolutely recommend it. I look forward to more from Ashlyn Kane in the near future.

A Good Vintage will be released on December 6th on by Dreamspinner Press, you can pre-order a copy here.

Check back this Friday, because I will have Ashlyn for a visit, answering a few questions about her book, her plans and her favorite wine and pizza!

Homemade Vegan Pizza with a Italian Style Veggies and Basil Pesto Topping

For the dough: (Makes 2 large pizzas)

2 cup. warm water

3 Tablespoon yeast

2 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoon salt

¼ cup  oil

2 cup whole wheat flour

4 cup white flour

Directions:

In mixer place 2 cups warm water, add 3 scant T yeast, 2 scant t sugar.  Mix.  Add 2 t. salt, ¼ cup oil.  Mix.  Add 2 cups whole wheat flour, then 4 cuts while flour. Use immediately.  That is, don’t bother letting it rise.  It will rise enough in the oven.

Don't manipulate it too much, just let it rest for a minute and stretch.

Don’s manipulate it too much, just let it rest for a minute and stretch.

For the pizza:

1/2 cup of Basil Pesto (see recipe here)

2 cups of Marinara Sauce (I bought it fresh at my local grocery store, but any organic pizza sauce will work)

2 bags of Go Veggie!  Mozarella Flavored Rice Shreds (If you are not Vegan, fresh Mozarrella sliced thinly would work great too)

1 cup of sliced mushrooms ( I used Baby Bellas)

1 sliced yellow bell pepper

1/2 sweet onion sliced thinly

1/2 cup of marinated baby artichokes chopped coarsely.

Directions (makes two pizzas):

Pre-heat oven at 425F. Spray pizza pans or cookie sheet with oil, and stretch your dough, until it covers most of the pan. Then spoon one cup of the marinara on each of the crusts, make sure it is evenly distributed. Use one bag of cheese for each pizza, and then top with your veggies. Spoon small amounts of the pesto on top of the pizza and bake for 18-20 or until crust is golden brown.

 dugh with sauce

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

I hope you give the recipe and wine a try, with this book, it is really a trifecta that cannot lose.

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Laura

Advertisements

How I Met Your Father by LB Gregg, Butternut Squash & Mushroom Empanadas with Cilantro Pesto Dipping Sauce and a California Chardonnay.

18591051Well folks the Holiday Season in the M/M Universe is off to a GREAT start for me! “How I Met Your Father” by LB Gregg was a perfect way to get me in the mood for the season. First of all, it had been a long while since we had anything new from Ms. Gregg. Her brand of humor is unique in this genre, and I for one am super glad to see her name back in my kindle. This story is part of the Home for the Holidays collection coming out from Riptide Publishing this and next month. The anthology will  have stories from what I can only catalog as a heavy All-Star group of ladies, the likes of Ally Blue, Z.A. Maxfield and my beloved Amy Lane.

This story was so funny. I mean HILARIOUS. I could not stop laughing. I don’t even know what it was, it just hit my funny bone. Just from the title I was expecting comedy, something a little edgy, a little silly, a little gross, but hilarious nonetheless. The kind of story that is more about getting the laugh, than about taking itself too seriously…Campy, and it TOTALLY was that. I loved the humor, and in the process really got to like the characters.

The setting for this story is Nevis island in the Carribean (West Indies specifically). I’m an island girl myself, hailing from Dominican Republic. So for my recipe I wanted to make something that was festive, and also with ingredients common to this season.  I made a staple island “celebration food”, empanadas. Empandas sre a kind of pastry that looks a lot like a turnover, and can be filled with pretty much anything. For today I made a roasted butternut squash and mushroom filling, with a bit of cilantro pesto on the side for dipping the empanadas. I can only say they came out AMAZING. For the wine pairing I chose a 2011 Chardonnay from Butterfield Station Winery in California which is the perfect match for the fresh tastes in the empanadas. This wine has a nice fruity taste, with some vanilla undertones, perfect with the squash’s buttery taste. Also it has no oakiness, which I particularly dislike in Chardonnays. For about $8.00, what’s not to love?! Now that we have food and drink on the table, on to the story!

emp5

Justin Hayes is on a plane to Miami, on his way to his friend’s wedding in the Caribbean.  He is STRESSED OUT. Between the turbulence, and the nerves of missing his connection, and the impassiveness of the hot guy next to him (who seems to not notice that the plane is about to go DOWN!!!!), he is cursing himself for not taking that Ambien at the beginning of the flight. Here’s the thing…Justin is on his way to St. Kitt & Nevis to serve as best man at a wedding. Justin used  to be part of an all boy band named Rhythm Method and Chuck  one of his band mates, and best friend, is getting married. All the guys will be there, it’ll be kind of a reunion, for the four of them. The wedding seems to be planned pretty much on the fly, but Chuck sounds happy, and it’s always good to see the guys, they are the closest thing to family he’s ever had. Now, if he could only make it out  of the flight with his life, that would be awesome. He’s wound up, and barely notices when the giant hot blond man next to him grabs, his hand and starts soothing him?…Ummm what the hell? The kicker is it actually helps! His strong presence is like a balm to his soul…Except the whole thing freaks Justin out, AND turns him on at the same time! Where is all this groping coming from?! I mean did this guy recognize him?! If he did why is he touching him?! Because the world at large has NO CLUE Justin is gay, he made DAMN SURE of that…His sexuality was always under wraps. He never let his preferences be a reason for the band’s reputation to suffer in any way.

So, the guys is rubbing away, and despite himself Justin is INTO IT, like “I just got a boner in a potential life-and death situation” kind of way and now he’s pissed. Who does this guy even think he is?! As soon as that damn plane landed he jumped out of his seat and got out of there as fast as his legs could take him…Except the hot blonde god comes after him, and right in the airport family friendly restroom, shows Justin just how good those hands could feel, ALL OVER his body. After the quick and dirty airport sexual encounter they each went their own way…Hopefully  one would be the wiser…Yeaaaahhhh right….Fast forward to Justin’s arrival in Nevis, and his happy discovery that Mr. Golden God himself is none other than his best friend’s future father-in-law…So yeah things get a little tense…In every sense of the word. Jack (Blond God) is not making it easy for Justin, he’s not giving up on the obvious attraction they share, and Justin just cannot shed his crazy neurosis of being in the closet. Even though these days he isn’t really in the limelight. Jack is like the man of his dreams and obviously wants him, he makes it VERY clear. Justin must finally give up all that baggage, and stop using his old life as an excuse not to actually have a future with someone. All kinds of shenanigans ensue, and Chuck’s walk to the altar is filled with laughs and unseemly situations, and Jack and Justin, despite many interruptions, and a couple near death experiences, manage to make a go of things in the end.

I had a fabulous time reading this story. I loved every minute of it, and there was not a five minute period where I wasn’t laughing my ass off…It was like some sort of National Lampoon’s meets UK based Holiday Rom Com…The interactions between Justin and his band mates Chuck, Matt and TJ were for no better word irreverently politically incorrect and they were FABULOUS. These guys clearly loved each other like brothers, but that did not keep them from giving each other a hard time. The sexual jokes alone made me practically roll on the floor laughing.These boys did not pull punches with the puns. This was just a fun fun story, which to be honest was light on the romance, but in the end it did not make a difference for me…I was happy enough with how things worked out, since the story for me was a lot more about campy goodness than anything else. That being said, I got a pretty sweet and neat happy ending regardless, which in Christmas story is kind of what I want to see anyway. After all who doesn’t love a good boy band holyday rom com?!

Totally recommend.

How I Met Your Father is out today on Riptide Publishing and can be pruchased here.

Now for the food. Folks this is some delicious grub, a FOR SURE hit if you bring to any parties this holiday season.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushroom Empanadas

2 Packets of Goya Turnover Dough (You can find these in pretty much any Latin Food section freezer) or 2 Pie Crusts

1/4 cup of water

1 cup of vegetable oil

For the filling:

3 cups of butternut squash peeled and cubed

6 cloves of garlic minced

1 small yellow onion chopped

1 1/2 cups of mushrooms chooped (I used Baby Bellas)

1 Tablespoon of fresh oregano

1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast (optional)

4 Tablespoons of extra vrigin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven at 400F. Take the butternut squash half of the garlic, 2 TB of olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste and toss with the squash. After the squash is tossed well, place on a lined cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes flipping it once. Separately in a skillet, put the rest of the oil and sautee onions stirring until the soften, add mushrooms and sautee until they soften, about five minutes at medium heat. If they get dry at a little bit of water. Add the roasted squash to the mix and stir until the squash is mashed a  bit. After the filling is done time to make your empanadas. If you are using the pie crusts roll them out until they are about 1/8 of an inch thick and use a saucer to make cut out about 4 inch diameter discs. On one half of the disc put on about 1 1/3 tablespoon of filling. Dip your finger in the water, and run it over the edge of the pastry disc. Fold over the the disc and make indentations all along the edge until the pastry is sealed. Once your empanadas are done. Heat oil in a large skillet and fry the empanadas. They should cook for about a minute on each side or until the look golden. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Empanada filling.

Empanada filling.

Fold over and then seal.

Cilantro Pesto Dipping Sauce

1 cup of fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon of raw almonds

juice of half a lime

1 clove of garlic minced

1/3 cup of extra olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Put all ingredients in the food processor and pulse until they have pesto consistency. Adjust salt and pepper if neeeded or add oil if necessary.

Pour a bit on a small dish and add to your empanadas…Enjoy with a glass of chilled Chardonnay while reading this delightful Christmas story in the tropics!

The Finished Product. YUMMM!! These go FAST!

The Finished Product. YUMMM!! These go FAST!

Alright ladies and gents that is all for me today. Stay tuned this week, because I will have a post with an AMAZING Vegan Sticky Toffee Pudding and Ms. Heidi Cullinan will be visiting and making veggie pot pies with me this Thursday on her Let It Snow blog tour! Yay!!

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Laura

Sugar Daddies and Cheap Wine…My Favorite “Age-Gap” stories and the perfect wines to read them with!

I’ve been working on some “Top Ten” lists for a series I want to do, mostly so I can get some sense of order of all the things I’ve read…There is a LOT of volume in this genre. I feel like a veteran for having discovered it about four years ago, I’ve  read A LOT of books. I’m sometimes amazed when I see the sheer amount I’ve read in the years since I discovered M/M romance.  Just recently at GRL in Atlanta, I was surprised by the amount of readers that have just discovered M/M in the past year, and still *gasps* have not gotten around to reading some books that I consider “Classics”. I found myself wanting to regroup, and take some time to work through some of these amazing stories I’ve read, and share my absolute favorites

I’ve been thinking of doing Top Ten lists for awhile, and I figured I’d start with one of my absolute favorites tropes, the May-December couples. One of the beauties of writing about relationships between two men is that there is a lot more freedom, gender roles are not so restrictive and a “significant” age difference actually seems to really benefit some love stories. I have MANY MANY favorites in this category, so I HAD to come up with a cutoff (or I’d have 50 books on this list). I have only counted couples with a “12 year or more” age difference, and in terms of where they rate, I’ve listed them in the order I have read them from earlier reads to most recent, with a BONUS SELECTION at the very end….Of course to make this list complete I had to bring in the other parts of my “addictions”…So for my May-December Romance Favorites List I have also come up with some nice wine to add to the mix.

So here we go!

nowhere ranchNowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan: This book. I can’t even say how much I love it. It’s truly, TRULY one of my most favorite stories. Roe and Travis embody acceptance and finding home in the person who you love. The idea that the person you love can give you what you need with respect and tenderness…Just slays me EVERY TIME. This book has very intense erotica, and it will push those readers who are not very into BDSM, but it is a wonderful love story. I actually had a chat with Heidi during GRL about how this story came to be and it only made it more special.

Here is what she had to say:

“My inspiration for Nowhere Ranch was my friend Jan prepping to marry her partner of fifteen years but having to wade through caustic, painful naysaying from her family. Jan did receive hateful letters couched in Christ and “tough love,” and they broke her heart, turning what was meant to be a happy milestone into one fraught with sorrow. As Jan and her partner are also devoted foster parents who made their wedding a dual-ceremony, formally adopting their four children, it made me furious to hear them taken down by people who couldn’t see past the fact that Jan and Sarah were both women and some dusty old book said that wasn’t right.

 Roe appeared in my head one day as I washed dishes, fuming about Jan’s situation–he started talking, and I wrote down what he said. I never dreamed the story about my friend Jan’s wedding would end up with such intense kink, but once it started I embraced it. I wanted them to be as “taboo” as they could be and yet so loving and wonderful only those with hearts of stone could say they would be bad parents, bad people. For me the story has always been about how dangerous it is to not see people for who they are, to let our fears and presuppositions get in the way of the real people beneath.”
This story is genuine and wonderful. I’ve read it many, many times. It is an absolutely a MUST READ for any serious M/M fan, and for those who have not read it in a while it holds up on the re-read AMAZINGLY.
******************************
Slow BloomSlow Bloom by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox: This one is an early read, and still one of my favorites. Very heavy on the erotica (delightful cross-dressing kink…YUM) and a very humorous and DEEP romance. Jack is a journalist in his late forties and Ricky is his neighbor’s son home for the summer from college. Things get HOT and HEAVY and SMEXY very FAST with these men and things progress slowly but surely to a charming love story. Ricky and Jack are the embodiment for this saying…You want an older lover in your younger years to teach how to enjoy sex, and an younger lover in your older years to remind you why you love it
******************************
goldilocks and his three bsa man a jersey and tight endThe Goldilocks Series by Am Riley (Book#1 Goldilocks and his Three Bears; Book#2 A Man, A Jersey and a Tight End): First of all just from the titles and the covers you can infer you are in for a MAJOR ROMP!! Brian is a blonde spastic twink trying to make it in LA, one night he goes to a leather club and meets a HOT LEATHER DADDY named Paul, and when I say daddy, I mean D-A-D-D-Y…They go to Paul’s (Daddy) house and things are perfect,…But Paul has to go away, and Brian is lonely again…One day Brian is walking around town and meets a BIG MOMMA BEAR…Ok it’s a dudenamed Jim, but he is cuddly and a caretaker and well Brian needs to be taken care of…He discovers Jim and Paul are roommates…Then Jim leaves too, and while Brian is plantsitting for him he runs into the third roommate, a stocky bear who just loves TO PLAY…These books are HIGH on the kink, and it is a full on clusterfuck of men doing all kids of naughty things, but the relationships are great. There is a lot to this book reagarding the dynamics of D/s couples, their needs and how it is so important to find someone who can give you what you need, while loving you. I’ve read these a few times. It’s intense in the kink, and definitely not for everyone, but I love the men and how they traverse the complications of polyamourous relationships.
This one is a stretch for those that like it nice and simple…But it is FUN, HOT and so so different, why not try it?
******************************
its not shakespeareIt’s Not Shakespeare by Amy Lane: If any of you have read any of my reviews for Ms. Lane you know that Amy Lane is MY LADY. Her books are a soothing balm to my soul, and everything she writes I love…This one though, THIS BOOK, it’s very close to my heart…I myself am in an interracial relationship. I am Latina, my husband is white, and my cousin Rafael and his partner could be James and Rafi. Seriously I love this book, because it captures the beauty of, as Amy puts it, finding deep good love where two people meet halfway. So, given that these men are totally close to my reckless romantic little heart I asked (begged!) Miss Lane if she could ask Rafi and James what it was like to be with each other.
Here’s what they said! :O)
TB: Rafi what is it like to have an older lover?

Rafi: Jimmy ain’t that old–but you know, that old man can toss a mean salad, you feel me?

TB: So Jimmy? or Umm Do you prefer James, what do you find you enjoy the most about having a younger lover?
James *blushing*: Uhm, playfulness. He likes to play, and it makes me happy. You need to remember how to play or you get old.
Rafi *blushing now too*: Aw, man– and the fact that he says nice shit like that.
So *ahem* now that we’ve heard from the guys themselves…I asked Amy what the perfect romantic evening meal would be for her guys…This blog has food and wine in it after all…
Her answer:  Rafi and James? Something surprising that would fascinate Rafi and delight James.  Something like a boat ride in the bay and dinner with a view of the ocean, or sipping wine on a balcony after watching bull races– as long as Marlowe was there too. 
Like I said this book was a pleasure for me because it got the dynamics of interracial couples so well, so I wanted to know from Amy who inspired these characters…
TB: Amy what was your inspiration for Rafi/James and their story?

AL: Rafael came from my students, and from the students I saw growing up to be productive, happy people, even if it wasn’t the way academia thought they should be growing up to be productive, happy people.  James came from the middle-aged divorcees I kept running into–they were trying so hard not to be bitter, trying so hard to find something to believe.

So Rafi and James, amazing and two of my all time favorites. Completely and totally worth a read.
******************************
bad boyfriendBad Boyfriend by K.A. Mitchell: Oh sweet heavenly porn gods…Eli and Quinn. Just ummmm….I love this book! First of all the erotica is EXQUISITE, like delicious. This book is one of those classic premises, younger affeiminate guy with older assertive (Ex-Navy) man…The thing is Eli he has NO SCRIPT, he breaks all the rules, and Quinn is just kind of in awe of this amazing thing that is just plowing through his life. The erotica in this book is second to none, even for K.A, who can BRING IT with the sexy. I’ve read this book over and over, and every time I fall in love with these two. It is a MUST read for any M/M Romance fan. Cannot recommend it enough.
******************************

WINE BREAK: The Younger, The Better

protosI promised some wine selections. For my first pick I have a wine that is always better when it’s younger…White wines usually are, this one is a 2012 Spanish Verdejo from the Protos Wineries. It is just delicious, not too fruity, not too tart. Pretty much the perfect glass of white wine. For about $13 bucks a bottle it’s also great value.
******************************
out in the fieldOut in The Field by Kate McMurray: This is my book. Mine.  Like the one I wanted from the moment I read my first romance novel. Rationally I know Kate didn’t actually write it for ME, since she didn’t acutally know me when she wrote it. But she might as well have! This book is perfect. Just how I wanted a story like this to go. First of all, baseball. Second, New York City. Third, a Dominican player! My wishlist…This book for any baseball fan is a delight, and the way these men loved the game and how they loved each other…BIG LOVE. This one is a gem. Again with the 1,200 re-reads. Still I fall in love with them every time.
******************************
 acrobatAcrobat by Mary Calmes: Nate and Dreo…What can one possibly say? Mary Calmes writes the Alpha-Male like NO ONE in this genre, she makes these men that are so passtionate, and so protective of the ones they love. She calls to that primal thing in all of us, for some, it’s the need to be protected, for others is the need to care and keep our loved ones safe. The age difference between Nate and Dreo is 17 years, yet they are equals, they are without a doubt one of my all-time favorites.
I love the story of how these characters came to life for Mary, and how Anne Cain came up with the cover, which in my opinion is a true work of art…Here is what Mary has to say about how
Acrobat came to be:
I was inspired to write Acrobat after seeing Steve Walker’s painting Parallel Dreams http://stevewalkerartist.com/galleryparalleldreams.html
it is so beautiful and I got to thinking, what is the story of these two men? After I thought about it, I realized that the man you could see most in the painting was not the one with the story, but actually the one who was obscured. And the cover that Anne Cain ended up creating kept that idea intact. Anne’s words in the dedication of Acrobat, for Steve Walker, are truly beautiful. I would urge everyone to take a moment and look at all of his stunning work. http://stevewalkerartist.com/menupage.html
So there is the backstory on Acrobat, I also encourage anyone who hasn’t seen it to go and see Andrew Walker’s work it’s beautiful.
******************************
sidecarSidecar by Amy Lane: Two Amy Lane books? Umm yeah!!! This is what you can call the classic epic love stories, spans through years, decades. Two men who love each other deeply, but need to get to a place where there love has enough roots to never falter. So again Amy was kind enough to get me some boy time to ask some questions and here is what they said:
TB: Josiah, what do you find you enjoy the most about having a younger lover?
Josiah *uncomfortably*:  It’s not the age so much as the vocation.  The kid can work a computer like no one’s business.
TB: How about you Casey, what is it like to have an older lover?
Casey: Having an older lover?  Mostly, the best thing about having an older lover is that he’s Joe. If he was Joe my age, he’d still be Joe.  If he was Joe younger than me, he’d still be Joe.
Josiah *kissing Casey’s knuckles*:  Jesus, kid.  You want honest? 
TB: *NODS HEAD EFFUSIVELY*
Josiah: Okay. The having someone by your side.  That’s all you can ever ask. 

There you have it…Love these guys and that beautiful cover…Get choked up just thinking about this love story.

******************************
in his secret lifeIn His Secret Life by Mel Bossa:  Mel Bossa is the author of two of my most favorite books from ALL the books I’ve read in this genre. This book right here is one of them. It’s a long affair and these guys go thorugh a lot in order to finally end up together. It is an unusual story and gutwrenching at times, but man what a love story. Allan Waterhouse and Davinder Lamontagne…The house of water and the mountain. Even their names came together like poetry.
Loved them completely and suffered with them the whole way through. This is not a warm and fuzzy book, and I almost would not catergorize it as a romance, but it is EXCELLENT writing, and for those up for a book more in the “Fiction” than the “Romance” genre this one is a winner.
******************************
the legend of teh apache kidThe Legend of The Apache Kid by Sarah Black: I call Sarah Black the “Warrior Poetess” of M/M romance, she is seriously one of the most courageous writers I’ve ever read. She just writes stuff that MATTERS, every time and she does it with gentleness that is brilliant. Her men can be protectors, and they can be fragile wounded souls, but the common denominator is a strong spirit. Her men have an overwhelming capacity to love. Johny Bravo (and hello what a name!) is a man who needs to be mended a bit, and Raine is a man that has been waiting for the love of his life to come. It is such a beautiful love story. Every character is magnificent, including Salome, Johny’s horse, whose name I let Sarah borrow. :O) This book is a treasure.
******************************

WINE BREAK: Aged Well

lot78__large
I love 90+ Cellars their taste for value cannot be beat! For my second wine choice I picked one which like many of  the characeters in my book picks only gets better with time. California Cabernet Sauvignons are fabuliscious. This 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley California is everything a Cab should be, deep flavor, chocolatey…YUM…and the price is amazing…About $17.99, but this really is about a $25.00 bottle of wine. If you see it GET IT. It’s nice too sip slowly. You can’t improvise experience people.
******************************

BONUS SELECTION

2403922englor affairregelence rakeThe Sci-Regency Series by J.L. Langley: I was going to leave this blank, because seriously do you even need a reason to read books with covers like these???? But, I guess I should say something! I chose the whole series, (so far! I hope the next book is out before I get my AARP card!) because all the books have characters with a pairing of a younger man, with a more Alpha/Protective counterpart. The world in this book is fabulous, and the all the guys are great. How can you go wrong in a futuristic world that lives in a Regency like society. There are aristocrats, blushing virgins, spaces pirates, lords, princes…THE WHOLE SHEBANG BABY!!!…And NO LADIES. All peni all the time…If that last statement won’t get you reading. I GIVE UP! Start with My Fair Captain and work yourself up…You won’t want to stop.
This is all for me my peeps!! Hope you enjoy the list, and find stuff you haven’t tried before. I am working on my Top Ten Sweehearts and Top Ten Cowboys  for the next few weeks, so check in soon!
Cheers and happy reading!
Laura