5 Romance Novels for Foodies

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

cvr9780743482103_9780743482103_hrGenre: Contemporary

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….

Buy this at your local bookstore now.

Continue reading “5 Romance Novels for Foodies”

Book Review: Eternity by Maggie Shayne

6baad4c8166fb3b89d4ff0a592bfab85300 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.

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Inteview with Lana Campbell

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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?rozpvtnx
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.

 

You can find Lana on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. Also, please visit her website at http://foreverandanightla.wixsite.com/website.

 

 

Book Review: Bascomville by Mark A. Calde

Genre: Contemporary, Teen

Page Count: 284

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.67 out of 5 stars

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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.

“Us? 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.”

“Exactly.”

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.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to get my list of high quality free romance novels when it’s finished, as well as updates about my blog and exclusive content. I’m in the final stages of editing and hope to be done soon. Have a good day!

Book Review: Grind by Edward Vukovic

51m7qvaf84l-_sx322_bo1204203200_Genre: Contemporary, Literature

Page Count: 391 pages

Average Goodreads Rating:4.2/5 stars

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Ziva has the ability to read fortunes in coffee grounds, passed down from her grandmother. She does it for her family and friends. But then Ziva uses her ‘gift’ for herself.

Throughout her life, her talent had been freely given to those desperate for a glimpse into destiny’s promise: love, loss, life and death, and everything else along the way.

 Ziva revels in the semiotic arts and their ability to bring joy and comfort to those she meets. But with the blessing of enlightenment comes the curse of knowing all that is toxic, harsh and flawed in the future. To tell or not to tell? When face-to-face with imploring eyes, begging to know what’s to come – are they sometimes better off not knowing?

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Book Review: DreamZ by A. R. Von

25421901-_uy472_ss472_Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian

Word Count: 12,470

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.54/5 stars

My rating: 3/5 stars

To be honest, I automatically started to dislike this book because “Dreams” is spelled with a Z. And while it was okay, it was not as good as it could have been.

Wunder has been dreaming about a man for as long as she can remember, always the same man. The dreams leave her aroused to no end at night. Unfortunately, this man doesn’t exist in her life, at least not yet. But her love life is nonexistent and thanks to her being half zombie, that’s not going to change any time soon.

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Her Wicked Ways

51wuzpp2b40lGenre: Historical

Word Count: 101, 790

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.62/ 5 stars

My rating: 4/ 5 stars

This book has a slightly shaky start, like most romance novels do, but it pulls me in pretty quickly. It starts off with Montgomery “Fox” Foxcroft committing highway robbery to save an orphanage. Yeah, starts off like your run-of-the-mill soap opera.

The job is supposed to be simple for Fox. Rob a corrupt MP to support the orphanage he runs. Unbeknownst to him, this MP is carrying something even more precious than money. He’s transporting a disgraced heiress named Miranda Sinclair. Miranda’s a beautiful woman who distracts Fox so much that he forgets he’s committing a crime to save some kids and ends up making out with her. Not his finest moment. But it does give him an idea. To seduce Miranda and marry her for her money. But when she starts volunteering at his orphanage, he realizes that she’s not just a spoiled heiress, but also likeable, capable, and someone that he might even grown to love.

This story is fantastic! I re-read it when I realized I hadn’t written a review for it, and it was good even the second time around. Both Miranda and Fox are excellent and the chemistry between them is spot-on.

Miranda comes off as entitled at first, and she is, but she grows out of that pretty quickly. In truth, she’s a very strong person who regularly rebels against the restricting rules of London Society, because come on, why would anyone want to live by those rules? Despite everyone calling her incompetent and useless, she’s smart and very capable. She steals a kiss out of Fox the first time she meets him, and she raises more money for the orphanage in one night than Fox managed to raise in an entire year.

Where I shall stay when we get there. Is this Stratham’s house adequate?” (Her brother asked)

“Yes, more than. You’ll be quite comfortable. Are you sure you’re allowed to stay there?”

“Ah, sweet sister, when will you realize the rules are not the same for you and me?”

But Miranda knew all too well. Perhaps that was why she always broke them.

The only irritating thing about Miranda is that she bends easily to her parents’ will. And while I get that they are her parents, it frustrates me to no end that she complied so quickly, even when it hurt Fox and she didn’t agree with them to begin with. I also hate that she didn’t figure out that Fox was the highwayman. Sure, she might not associate a random, masked stranger with the impoverished owner of an orphanage right away. But then she meets the highwayman again… and then sees Fox again…. she knows she feels the same lust with both of them, and she still doesn’t figure it out? Oh please, she’s smarter than that.

Fox is incredibly lovable, despite his ridiculous jealousy over just about every man that Miranda comes in contact with. He gets jealous over Miranda’s former lover who’s so unimportant he doesn’t even turn up, and he gets jealous over Stratham. He even gets jealous over one of his charges when Miranda compliments the boy’s new haircut. Possessive much?

However, I do like how wonderfully insecure Fox is. Despite being confident in most areas of his life, and refusing to think people in higher class were better than him,  Fox is constantly unsure around Miranda. He thinks she’s totally out of his league, even at the end.

 “That you would give yourself to me is incredibly humbling.”

A twinge of embarrassment heated her face. “Why?”

He smiled. “Because you’re Miranda. A goddess to my mere mortality. I am a beast beside you.”

Damn. Montgomery Foxcroft sure knows how to woo a woman.

And he is so hopelessly in love with her. Even when he was desperate for money, he wasn’t willing to force Miranda to marry him by compromising her because he didn’t want her to hate him. And even though his original intention in courting her was to get her money, he started appreciating her for much more. Unlike her parents, he saw her for the brilliant woman she was and was quick to defend her to anyone who said otherwise.

Love.

The word drove a knife clean through his heart. Did he love her? He didn’t know, but he wanted her for more than money. More than desire. He wanted her here. With him. With all of them. He’d never seen the children so happy. So light. He’d never felt so happy or light—and that said a lot given his cursed financial woes.

He also doesn’t ever want her change. Unlike everyone else in this story, including her brother, the only immediate family member she has who is remotely nice to her, Fox doesn’t think she has to change, and doesn’t even want her to.

“You’re staring at me like I’m food again.” His words heightened her arousal and further emboldened her.

She feasted on his male beauty. “I’ve never seen anything as delicious as you.”

“Christ, Miranda. Ladies don’t talk like that.”

She traced her fingers around his nipples and watched them tighten. Her own hardened in response. “You don’t like it?”

He swallowed audibly. “I like it fine.”

Her Wicked Ways has an excellent story that I could read again and again. And I probably will. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes historical romance novels and even those who don’t. You can read it for free on Smashwords.

If you do decide to read it, let me know in the comments. I’d love to know what you thought about it.