One of the best things that go together is food and romance. After all, what’s more sexy than having your partner cook (or buy, for those of us who are challenged in the kitchen) our favorite meal for us? So here are 10 romance novels for foodies.
1) New Free Chocolate Sex by Keith Lowe
Page Count: 336 pages
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.14/5 stars
Can your sworn enemy become your romantic obsession? What lies between sugar and spice? Do personal tastes ever change? And when should we try something new? As this irresistible novel reminds us, sometimes love is the least predictable flavor in life’s box of chocolates.
Matt, the brilliant young marketing director of the confectionery Trundel & Barr, loves chocolate. To him it represents sensuousness and innocent joy; it is to be adored, worshipped — and exploited — at every opportunity. For Samantha, however, chocolate represents something more sinister: While researching for a television documentary she learns that there is a darker side to Trundel & Barr, in the horrendous conditions of its African cocoa plantations. So Sam sets out to expose Matt — until she finds herself locked up with him in his own chocolate factory. Stuck together, they are at risk of having a complete meltdown. But if Sam and Matt can find a way to confront their differences and learn to accept each other’s passion for chocolate, their bitter situation stands a chance of turning out sweet….
300 years ago, Raven St. James was hanged for witchcraft. But she revives among the dead to find herself alive. She is an Immortal High Witch, one of the light. A note from her mother warns that there are others, those of the Dark, who preserve their own lives by taking the hearts of those like her.
Duncan Wallace’s forbidden love for the secretive lass costs him his life.
300 years later, he loves her again, tormented by hazy memories of a past that can’t be real. She tells him of another lifetime, claims to be immortal. Though he knows she’s deluded, he can’t stay away. And the Dark Witch after her heart is far closer than either of them know.
Lana Campbell is the author of Forever and a Night vampire romance series. I’m pleased to have her on Lover’s Quarrel today. Thanks, Lana!
1) Introduce yourself.
I’m Lana Campbell, author of the Forever and a Night vampire series. I preface telling you about myself by talking about my writing because I absolutely love to write and use all my spare time doing so. Still I have to make a living so I work part time in a local restaurant. I enjoy reading paranormal romance as well as writing it. I live in Rogers AR with my husband and cat named Felix.
2) When did you start writing and why?
I started writing romance in 1994 because I’ve been an avid fan of romance since my teens. I thought to myself, I can write a romance. Well, I sucked at it at first and never even tried to publish anything in my early years. Eventually, I got serious about writing shortly after my restaurant closed in 2014. A year later I published Forever and a Night the first book in my Forever and a Night series. From there I started looking at writing as a business and I’ve been busy ever since.
3) Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
My favorite book is Forever and a Night Dark Experiments. It’s about a vampire OB/GYN, Dr. Christian La Mond who falls in love with a human, Tiffany Peebles who wants nothing to do with romance. Especially with a vampire. The external conflict is about an angel of death poisoning Christian’s pregnant vampire patients and he’s losing his mind trying to nail down the culprit. Throughout the chaos the couple fall in love, but Tiffany gets poisoned and nearly dies. Christian can only save her by turning her vampire. The reason I loved this story so much was Tiffany’s character. She’s funny, spunky, impulsive and unable to filter her tongue. There’s a lot of drama in this story, but humor too and I had a ball writing the story even though it took nearly a year.
4) How did you come up with the title for your book?
Every romance must have a happily ever after, thus the word Forever. The night part came from my vampire fetish. They’re night creatures of course and when they find love they hang onto it tightly, forever and a night.
5) Who helped you with the cover?
For my first book, Forever and a Night, the cover designer was Tate Publishing, my publisher for this book. They did an excellent job in my opinion. I love the cover and the male on the front looks just like I envisioned Nathan Davenport to look. My second book Forever and a Night Dark Experiments cover was designed by me. Right now it’s on Amazon Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited. However, I have sold the book to a publisher, Bella Tulip and once it comes out I’ll have a new cover design.
6) What are some of the themes of your stories?
I’ve already described Forever and a Night Dark Experiments. In book one, Forever and a Night, the premise is billionaire Nathan Davenport is trying to hide from his evil sire vampire, Isabella and chooses New Orleans to lay low. There he meets a human, Mia Peebles, a sous chef and quickly falls for her because of course she’s beautiful, but she has such a pure spirit. Mia is a Christian and her spiritual beliefs are filtered throughout the story. It’s also the heart of the conflict she endures when she finds out Nathan is a vampire. At this point she is in love with him, but raging mad that he’s lied to her about what he is. She refuses to believe he’s a real vampire. She thinks he’s part of a sick cult.
Right now I’m writing book five in my series, which I haven’t named yet, but it will be a fun one. It’s about Nathan Davenport’s son Nate Davenport (Yes, he and Mia get together.) and a beautiful female vampire who is the daughter of an evil vampire drug lord. She steals drugs from rival drug lords for her father and in one of her stings meets Nate Davenport. They are a most unlikely pair and I’m having a lot of fun writing this one.
7) What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book?
Since I’m writing a series, I already know the characters I’m going to write about in my next book. All of the subsequent stories of book one, Forever and a Night are about Mia’s children. In book one she has three grown girls from her first marriage, Tiffany, Chelsie and Dannie. With Nathan she has two more vampire children, Nate and Beth. Each story is about one of her kids. I have no formula for how I come up with the plot lines, I just know my characters so well, I already know what they’re going to do before I ever start writing about them. And I write by the seat of my pants. I’m not an organized writer.
8) Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
Mia, the matriarch of the family, is my favorite heroine from a spiritual aspect. She is a devoted
Christian with a big heart and lots of love to give. She’s in each consecutive story as Momma with all the right advice to give her children as they’re going through their own internal and external conflicts.
Tiffany is my favorite gutsy girl character. She cusses a lot and has a sarcastic sense of humor.
Christian is by far my favorite male character. He has long blonde hair and honey gold eyes. He’s so dreamy and he possesses the patience of Job. He has to in order to love Tiffany.
Chelsie Peebles is in book three which isn’t published yet. I had fun writing her character because she is a human OB/GYN for vampires that moonlights as a country western singer. Chelsie is very intelligent and practical and a good match for her love interest Asa Bradley who has a bit of a temper.
9) Who are some of your favorite authors?
Christine Feehan who writes vampire stories and Nora Roberts.
10) Are you currently working on anything?
I’m currently working on book five in my series which I haven’t named yet. My heroine is Alabama Rain Holden a vampire who is a drug thief for her evil father drug lord. Her love interest is Nate Davenport who is a billionaire real estate mogul. Nate discovers her stinging a rival drug lord one night and begins to have her followed because he wants to get her in trouble for her drug dealings. But he soon finds out Rain is not a ruthless drug dealer, but a poor, abused girl who can’t get free of her father. He’s determined to help her, but Rain doesn’t want his help as much as she wants free of her father. But circumstances push them together and the sparks of passion begin to fly.
11) If you could have any super powers what would they be?
In my stories my vampires can enchant humans into doing their bidding. I wish I could enchant a big time editor to buy my entire series.
12) If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
I love New Orleans which is where several of my stories are located. I wouldn’t mind living there.
13) Where do you hope to be in five years?
A writer who can actually make a living doing what I love most in the world–writing.
Welcome to the life of Max Bascom, whose home is Bascomville. Bascomville has its own special kind of normal, where fathers can get job leads from their sons and Christmas dinners can end up to be Chinese take out. Max does his best to navigate Bascomville and to keep it running as smoothly as possible through good times and tragedy. And he also forms a special bond with the girl next door, Janice, who understands Bascomville despite coming from a world much different.
This book is so fabulously written. I usually don’t take review requests, but I’m glad I did for this book. It’s part romance, part literary masterpiece, and it captures “growing up” so well. I wish I had this book when I was in middle school or high school because I can relate to making your own kind of normal.
“How do you know we aren’t? How do we know everybody doesn’t make their own?”
She considered this for a moment then dismissed it. “If everybody made their own then nothing would be normal. Nothing could ever be normal.”
That’s my kind of definition of normal. And I think everyone needs to remember that normalcy doesn’t really exist a little bit more.
I didn’t see the plot twists coming ahead of time and I never got bored. On top of that, this book is incredibly quotable. There’s some good life advice in here, like when Max helped Janice cover up vandalism on her house:
And I knew then that ultimately we can save neither ourselves nor our loved ones from life. We can only live it.
Max is a complex character that I like and dislike. He is, ultimately, human, not a hero. He tends to overreact sometimes when Janice is involved, but for the most part he’s likeable. He’s loyal to his family, loves his little sister, and wishes for a world with a level playing field.
My favorite character is his little sister Lily, though. She actually has it worse than Max. She lives at home with her parents after Max goes to college and has to deal with her mother pretending she doesn’t exist and her father pretending to be her best friend to make up for it. Her home life is lousy at best and she practically raises herself for her last years of high school. But she’s strong enough to not break under pressure and she’s not one for self-pity.
“Fair is for dorks. I don’t need fair to make things work.”– Lily Bascom
So why only a 4.5 instead of a 5?
It’s because of the long descriptions, like this one that characterizes Mr. Birnbaum, Janice’s father, through his workshop.
I stepped inside and caught my breath. It was, to me, a foreign wonderland, this workshop. I am not a particularly handy person, and the panorama of neatly arranged rows of tools hanging on pegboards, the fittings categorized in plastic bins, the copper piping slung above the rafters, the worktables and vises and clamps and braided electrical cords all echoed the prowess of this man. I felt humbled, and strangely calm. I still wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing but I was no longer nervous about it. I could leave disappointed, even chastised, and be all right with it. Such was the power of Sheldon Birnbaum and this place.
While these descriptions certainly add character and depth to the story, they can sometimes be a little excessive and make my attention lag. This book is certainly not a fluff book and isn’t meant to be one, but the long descriptions make it slightly more harder to get through than it has to be.
This is a good book for anyone to read and I can’t recommend it enough, especially to teens. It helps us remember that we all need to make our own normal.
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Recently, Evangelist Franklin Graham started urging people to boycott the Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast movie because Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou is gay, or at least sexually confused. In a Facebook post, he accused Disney of “trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts and minds of your children– watch out!”
Yes, how dare Disney tell children that people different than them exist. They are monsters.
Here are 5 fairytale retellings that would also piss off Graham.
Recently I started watching The Ranch on Netflix, mostly because Danny Masterson who played Hyde in That 70’s Show, who was the stuff of romance novels himself (Hyde, that is. Danny Masterson isn’t the stuff of romance novels. He’s kind of a douch.) While watching The Ranch, I’m usually laughing or being horrified by the amount of alcohol the characters drink. But there’s definitely a lot of romance in the show, from Colt and his high school sweetheart Abbey to Beau and his estranged wife Maggie.Here are five romance novels to read if you like The Ranch
These guys are the ultimate romance novel bloggers. With snarky reviews, cover snark, shopping lists, giveaways and Help a Bitch Out (for when you can’t remember the name of that book you love) there’s plenty here for everyone. SBTB is great for when you want to find new romance recommendations, or just need some laughs. One of my favorites is reading the Cover Snark, because it’s hilarious. Here’s an excerpt from one of their most recent Cover Snark, this one for the cover of the box set Dirty Desires.