I suppose one of the biggest things I looked forward to when my family said bon voyage and we set sail a few weeks ago for a week-long California coastal cruise was the reading time. I also figured I’d enjoy indulging in cocktails like… well… like the blue number above–a Hurricane something-or-other. And, to be totally real, who doesn’t adore having their bath towels turned into a swan?
So, as the boat sailed away and the kids settled into the Ocean Adventures sea-camp program, I snuggled up with Mr. Hovland and my Kindle.
Months previous I’d pre-ordered the newest Elle Kennedy book, The Goal. Here’s the thing about finding a new series to read… I never stop in between the books. But this was a forced stop, because The Goal hadn’t released yet. So I clicked pre-order and waited for Tucker and Sabrina’s story to hit Amazon. Let’s just say when Elle writes steamy, I swear the mirror in my stateroom fogged up from the heat coming off my e-reader. Trust me, the abs on Mr. Tucker that grace the cover of the book absolutely tell the story.
And, Lordy, it’s a good one.
If you don’t like spoilers, stop reading now.
Here’s the gist of the series: you’ve got four hockey players who live in the same house and each of them takes the tumble down the rabbit trail of happily ever after. Tucker’s the last hold-out, but after Book Three (Dean’s Book) we know that Tucker’s gone and gotten a girl pregnant. Not just any girl, but Dean’s nemesis: Sabrina James.
The Goal rewinds a bit and we get to see some of those months from Tuckers point of view (and ladies, it’s a niiiiiiiiiice point of view).
Okay, so we know he’s gonna be a baby daddy and we know Sabrina is an over-stressed pre-law major who is about to find herself knocked up.
Toss in some hot sexy time and the trademark Elle Kennedy humor (“I wish Tucker had shot me up with some of his patience rather than his sperm.”) and ladies and gentleman, we have ourselves a novel.
If you’re just starting the series, definitely read it in order for the best experience, in my humble opinion.
Onto the next story…
Coming off my Tucker high, I slipped into some literary fiction. Not just literary fiction but historical fiction. What I loved most about Sara Dahmen’s fiction is the unexpected seems to emerge from every page. I’ll admit I was concerned because I *need* my happily ever after. But this book isn’t classified as a romance, so I knew going in I wasn’t guaranteed my HEA. Heads up though, it happens, so all is well in the land of Christina.
Here’s how it goes: Widow (Jane) loses husband from a marriage of convenience and she finds herself pregnant and in need of work. She’s hired by an Irish doctor (Patrick) in the West as his housekeeper. (Hence the title: Dr. Kinney’s Housekeeper.) She arrives and is set to live with a Native American widow. The woman, Widow Hawks/Esther, is estranged from her daughter (who happens to have her eye on Dr. Kinney–the daughter, not the widow.)
If you’re feeling a love triangle coming on, you’re correct! And it’s brilliantly written where the reader is rooting for Dr. Kinney and Jane, but aware that Kate (Widow Hawk’s estranged daughter) could end up being a good match for the doctor, too.
The story weaves together beautifully and the characters stuck with me well after the book ended.
There you have it. That’s what I kept myself busy with on the boat–when I wasn’t hanging out at the buffet or visiting the ports along the California coast.
(P.S. When you’re in San Francisco you MUST go to the Buena Vista Cafe and order the Irish Coffee. In honor of Patrick.)
You may notice in the comments we discussed Irish Coffee and our resident infusionista C.R. Grissom piped in with a recipe. I’m adding it here in the post (with a picture) for all of your who can’t make it to the Buena Vista Cafe and want to make your own. Cheers!
Irish Coffees made by the non-Irish girl…
1. Place a food-safe medium-sized metal bowl in your freezer about twenty minutes before you plan to make your drinks.
2. Brew your favorite drip style coffee so it’s ready to pour.
3. Add boiling water into your Irish Coffee Mugs to heat the glass(es) and set aside.
4. Remove your bowl from the freezer. Add a pint of Heavy Whipping Cream to your bowl. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form (I use my hand mixer to do this, no need to work hard for your cocktail). Play U2 or The Script for musical inspiration because waiting for your cream to get hard can take a few minutes.
5. Make sure you have Jameson’s, Paddy’s, or Tullamore Dew on hand and ready to pour.
7. Dump the hot water from your mugs.
8. Add one or two sugars per mug based on drinker preference.
9. Add one and a half ounces Irish Whisky to each mug. Stir briskly to dissolve the sugar.
10. Add coffee to each, filling to the point about one-half inch below the rim of your mug. Stir once more to mix the whisky and coffee.
11. Now spoon your cream on top of the coffee to form a thick layer.
DO NOT STIR. EVER. Because ten leprechauns will die. Trust me. Don’t be a murderer.
Raise the mug to your lips and pull the elixir through the cream. In other words, drink this like you would a pint of Guinness. Sláinte.