High and Tight by Vanessa North and more SUMMER WINE PICKS!!

This was lovely. Seriously packed the stuff I love in a story, it had the angst,  the “latch on to your heart and don’t let go” characters, and it had STYLE. Yeah that’s right style, those boys were smoking, those tattoos!! *swoons*. What’s more these heroes were approachable and present from the word. I was IN IT with them from the moment I started reading. Even when fuckery ensued-because there WAS angst-I was still with them.  Harris and Adam had long hard history together. They’d had a lot of good, but there was lots and lots of bad and sad. Adam had to step up and show Harris he would be the man he deserved, and Harris had to to trust this time it would be what he had always wished for.

For this story I chose another Vinho Verde mostly because it was a fast and lovely read, that left me yearning for more, but not so much that it affected my enjoyment. That pretty much sums my experience with vinho verde, goes too fast, but it’s SO NICE while you’re having it. I chose the Vera Rose for another recent title and I put the white with this one. It is delicious and a perfect sampling of a verde, if a bit on the expensive side. Regardless it’s a nice treat, the 2013 Vera Vihno Verde is about $10 a bottle and definitely one to try if you are curious about this wine variety.

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Now to the story. Adam Walker has been a Navy pilot for the last 12 years, he LOVES his job. He loves his experiences in it, he loves what he’s achieved. It’s cost him dearly though. It cost him 12 years in the light with Harris. Harris King who he met at 17 and fell madly in love with, he was locked in heart and soul with Harris from the first and it never abated. Harris loved him back too, gave Adam EVERYTHING he had, loved him like he needed. But never in the light, always a secret, because Adam couldn’t risk his career.

Harris was understanding with Adam all those years as much as he could, because he knew as soon as it was OK for them to be together Adam would come for him. The loved each other so much, fulfilled each other so completely it was like they were inside each other. Harris KNEW they were meant to be together forever, even if it hurt to hide, he believed in their happy ending. But once Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed and there was nothing from Adam but radio silence that belief turned into anger. Adam broke Harris’ love.

When Adam shows up for the holidays unexpectedly, you’d think Harris would relish the chance to throw just how how far he’s moved on…Except the only thing that has never worked for him is denying Adam. Being the one person that can give him just what he needs has always made Harris whole. He wishes he could stomp on Adam’s heart just like he did his. He wishes a lot of things…But Adam isn’t taking NO for an answer and Harris never could turn his back the love of his life.

I don’t have much more to say other than I completely enjoyed this novel, the heroes were layered and surprisingly flushed out for such a short book. There were layers upon layers of feeling, things were tough for these guys to work out, but I stuck with them, because I believed they had earned their happy ending. The erotica was top notch, the humor kept things from getting too angsty, and the tougher moments felt warranted and integral to their journey. No gratuitousness here, and I really appreciated it.

I totally recommend this one will be looking for more from Vanessa North in the future.

High and Tight will be released from Carina Press on May 9th and can be pre-ordered here.

Hope you look for the wine and the book, both well worth exploring.

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Laura

 

 

Perfect Imperfections by Cardeno C…Vegan Calzone and Vihno Verde

PerfectImperfectionsLGI read my first Cardeno C book recently when she joined forces with one of my all time faves the most lovely, Mary Calmes in the PNR novel Control (which I LURVED). I liked her style of writing and specially loved the character she wrote. So, when she had a novel with a rockstar (one of my favorite tropes!) coming up I snatched it up!

Perfect Imperfections is a very sweet and no angst story, and  there is a bit of a mystery which kept things interesting. The build-up to the more smexy scenes was nice and made the payoff that more delicious. Here is the jist of it, Jeremy Jameson is a big rockstar, who is feeling a bit like there is not much in his personal life that is worth getting excited about. One night, before his upcoming tour, he walks into a bar in Arizona and ends up hiring the bartender, Reggie Moore, to be his tour companion…Like his “fake boyfriend” to basically keep him company while he does his shows around the world. A bit unusual situation, but these two get pretty adorable early on in the book, and that snuggly deliciousness keeps going for the remainder of the story. They were so cute!!!

So for this book, I wanted to do a comfort food like recipe with a summer wine as we are having that kind of weather these days. I went for a Spinach and Mushroom Vegan Calzone with a delish Portugese Vihno Verde. Vihno Verde is produced in Portugal and has been quite popular in the last few years, as it inredibly refreshing and ususally very affordable…I buy it by the case in the summer! This particular bottle, 2012 Vera Vihno Verde,  is more than I would normally pay at $11 (although it may be less in your area), but I was curious of the Rosé. It is delicious with the usual super subtle carbonation of VV, and a zippy bite that just makes you want to keep drinking. The Calzone is my little crazy creation, and I think it will pass even Cardeno C’s melty cheese test!

photo 3Now back to the story. Once Reggie goes on tour with Jeremy, it is pretty obvious that his presence is a good influence on the singer. He feels fulfilled and cared for like he never has before,. Reggie’s presence in his life becomes more of necessity with each passing day. It’s confusing too, because as far as he knows he is straight! Jeremy is known for having dated all the up and coming startlets in LA. He’s never really been attracted to men before.Reggie just pushes all his buttons though and pretty soon the chemsitry between them it getting to be too much to ignore. Reggie on his end is head over heels for Jeremy, and is pretty sure the feeling is mutual, he doesn’t want to push and scare Jeremy off, but the man’s sexiness is getting hard to resist.

This novel is a pretty light and easy romance. There are a few stressful twists, but none that involve our heroes, they are pretty steady with each other. There are so hilarious moments, specially with Jeremy which made for solid romcom fare. Reggie and Jeremy’s dance around each other was done well, there was a lot of tension without getting frustrated. Reggie and Jeremy were so dear, those two were certainly smittlen. As far as the rockstar trope there aren’t really many scenes showcasing performances and such, but that was alright, we got the other side of being a musician. There were a lot of pretty intense scenes regarding the kind of pressure starts face with the media, it made for a more coherent story given the plot.

I liked this one, will probably pick it up again when I need light read with cuteness and smexy.

Perfect Imperfections is available on for purchase here.

Spinach Mushroom Vegan Calzone

1 pizza dough (see here)

1 cup of crimini mushrooms chopped

1 cup of baby spinach

1 small onion chopped

1 garlic clove minced

1 bag of Go Veggie! Mozarella flavored rice shreds

1/3 cup of Go Veggie! Parmesan Style Grated Topping

1/2 block of extra firm tofu (drained)

1 tablespoon of nutriotional yeast

a few basil leaves (2-4)

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven at 425F. In the food processor place tofu, basil, nutritional yeast, a teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Run the mixture until it has consistency of ricotta cheese.

spinach_mushrooms

Once the mixure is done, mix with the rice shreds and grated topping, and set aside.

cheese

In a sautee pan, heat about a tablespoon of oil. Sautee onions, garlic and mushrooms until they are softened, about 4 minutes, and add spinach at the end for like a minute. Remove from heat.

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On a floured counter top take the dough, divide it into two halves and roll out to rectangular shape. Place half of “cheese” and half of veggies on lower part of rectangle, fold over and pinch edges to that it is sealed. Once you have the calzone sealed properly then brush the top with oil.

filling calzone

calzone

Prick the calzones with a fork on top a couple of times and place in a pizza stone or pan with nonstick oil for about 22 minutes. Serve with marinara sauce or pesto for dipping and enjoy with a nice chilled wine!

 

Hope that you guys give the book and recipe a try. Uncomplicated and tasty is always a good combination!

 

Cheers and Happy Reading.

Laura