Book Review: Love Takes the Cake

Posted by Katrina Roets at 1:03 PM

Friday, October 16, 2015

Meet the people who make it all happen—the planners, the photographers, the musicians who have helped orchestrate the perfect day for countless couples—as they find their own happy endings in the second Year of Weddings novella collection.

She’s known for her delicious cakes, but there’s no recipe for dealing with the new man in her life.

Charlotte owns the best bakery in Louisiana, and clients come from near and far for her renowned wedding cakes. And while the wedding scene is Charlotte’s place to shine, her own love life is more dull than ever. After a string of failed relationships—and men who actually were too good to be true—she has decided to throw herself into her craft and leave love and marriage to her clients.

Will is a successful entrepreneur but devotes much of his spare time to caring for his ill mother. He knows he doesn't have much time left with her, so he has done everything he can to guard his heart from relationships. And what girl would understand that he needs to spend all his time with his mother? But when his best friend calls in his help for his September wedding, Will can’t refuse. He's always been there for those closest to him. And when he finds out they don’t have a wedding cake yet, he knows exactly where to go—the bakery owned by the beautiful, mysterious young woman he buys treats from.

Charlotte assumes Will is just another party boy who flirts with all the bridesmaids. But is Will hiding something that explains his behavior? And despite their reservations, will they be able to deny the chemistry between them?

We all know that I love this series and that nine times out of ten, I simply gush over each one as I read it. Nothing new here then. I loved this one. The story is great. The characters are great. The writing is great and if the publisher doesn't do a third year of these, I'm going to be very sad. These are the perfect "guilty pleasure" for a quiet afternoon.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Book Review: Fried Chicken

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:05 PM

Friday, October 9, 2015

An irresistible cookbook featuring more than 50 family-friendly fried chicken recipes--including classic Southern, globally influenced, and skillet- and deep-fried variations.

     Fried chicken is comfort food at its finest. Served alongside a biscuit, atop waffles, or just on its own, fried chicken is one of the most universally loved foods around. In Fried Chicken, Southern chef Rebecca Lang collects 50 of the most tantalizing, crowd-pleasing variations on the classic. There are perennial favorites like Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken Smothered in Gravy; Tennessee Hot Chicken; kid-friendly Chicken Fingers; and even Gluten-Free Southern Fried Chicken. Also featured are internationally inspired recipes, such as Saigon Street Wings, Chinese Lollipop Wings, Mexican-Lime Fried Chicken Tacos, and Korean Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce. All of these recipes are impeccably tested, foolproof, and will have the whole family singing the praises of perfectly fried poultry.

It's been a while since I've sat down with a cookbook and simply drooled. I did that with this one. How can you not love fried chicken in all of its varieties? I honestly don't know and I'm so glad that Ben requested that I pick this book for review. I loved the opening section with all of its tips, tricks, and information. I appreciated the fact that if a recipe called for a side, the author included that recipe as well. The pictures all looked incredibly delicious and I am looking forward to many delicious fried chicken dinners over the coming years.

Want to add this book to your shelf? I don't blame you! It's full of yummy!

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
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Crockpot Monday: Orange Ginger Chicken

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, October 5, 2015

October. Holy what the heck where is time going Batman! There's something about this time of year that simply screams warm and inviting smells and foods. I'm pretty sure that this orange ginger chicken falls under both of those categories. I know the house smells soooo good when I'm cooking it!

Orange Ginger Chicken:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c. orange juice
3 Tbsp ginger
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a gallon sized freezer bag. Squeeze to remove excess air, seal, and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw in refrigerator over night. Empty bag into crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve with rice, if desired.


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Book Review: Alice Hill in Silent Wonderland

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:37 PM

Friday, October 2, 2015

Take a journey through Silent Wonderland to Looking Mansion, where bells toll to warn of the house's cycles, and lavender doors are the only thing to save you from the Centaur that prowls the halls with fiery eyes and an agenda.

Alice Hill arrives at Looking Mansion to support her friend, Buck Glass, while he's on trial for the theft of 6 bullion. Forced to wait outside while Buck testifies, Alice cracks open the doors to watch from the halls. Unfortunately, she's too distracted by the events unfolding in the court room to notice the tolling of the bells. When the shadows start to seep from the walls, Alice knows she must find a safe place to hide or else face the evil that has come to find her.

Alice's adventure through the house and surrounding gardens sees her introduced to a motley crew of interesting characters. Unsure of who is friend or foe, she makes her way back, with her dog Rabbit, to the courtroom and the friend that needs her, all while being stalked by the determined centaur.

Join Alice Hill in Silent Wonderland as she unravels the mysteries of Looking Mansion.

It's been a while since I broke down a book by the good, the bad, and the summary, but I really feel as if that format is going to work best for this book, so let's jump right in, shall we?

The Good - Fun story that kept me interested right up to the very end. A lot of short story formatted books reveal too much information too soon, but the author kept everything well paced so that the ending was as much of a delight as the beginning.

The Bad - This is advertised as an illustrated story and it just isn't. The pages have a border around them, but it's the same border and I don't honestly consider that illustration. I also felt as if this fit within something else. I didn't really know the characters and that bothered me. If I were the author, I would consider writing more to this and turning it into either a book or a series.

The Summary - All in all, a short, enjoyable read. I had some spare time waiting at a restaurant for someone and breezed right through it. I really do hope that the author goes back and writes more to this because I know that I would enjoy reading about this alternative Alice and her world.

If you want to know the mysteries of Looking Mansion, I can assure you that this book is worth the $2.99 price on Amazon.


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Last Chance Hero

Posted by Katrina Roets at 11:32 AM

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn't know a first down from a home run. Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it's not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player--whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field--they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.

With the flair that has made her Last Chance books a favorite among readers of contemporary fiction, Cathleen Armstrong draws on the passion Americans have for the traditions of small-town high school football.

I'll be honest. I'd completely forgotten about this series of books. This sometimes happens as the mom of two boys who keep chaotic schedules. When I first started reading, I kept thinking that something seemed really familiar about the book and sure enough, I have read at least one of the other books in this series. In some ways, this made the book feel like coming home. I already knew most of the characters. I can't say that I always understood Jess' stubbornness, but I certainly know people like that so I did enjoy that she was another totally real character. I enjoyed her story with Andy and catching up with everyone else, but again I'm going to be honest. I didn't enjoy the ending. It seemed abrupt and that there were a lot of loose ends. Now, if there's going to be another book in this series, I'm okay with that. However, I did read that this is the last book in the series and it just doesn't feel concluded and that always leaves me feeling unsettled.

Still, if you enjoy every day life in a small town with some serious sports fanatics and love thrown into the mix...I can for sure recommend Last Chance Hero.

I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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Crockpot Monday: BBQ Meatballs

Posted by Katrina Roets at 12:00 PM

Monday, September 28, 2015

Okay, I have to tell you that I am super excited to be sharing this next recipe with all of you. As a sports mom, I'm part of quite a few team dinners and team dinners always require some sort of passing dish. Meatballs are absolutely perfect for this! My football boys like to toss them onto some bread and make sandwiches, so sometimes I throw a bag of sub buns down on the table next to them! I don't think I've ever come home with leftovers!

BBQ Meatballs:

Meatball Ingredients:
3 lb. ground beef
5 oz. evaporated milk
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. italian breadcrumbs
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chili powder

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl. Shape into walnut sized balls. Place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets. Freeze. When totally frozen, place into gallon sized freezer bag.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
2 c. ketchup
1 c. brown sugar
1.5 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. onions, chopped

Mix all ingredients together. Once meatballs are frozen and placed into the bag, pour sauce over the top, squeeze out any remaining air, seal, and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Place into crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours *or* on high for 1 hour, then switching it to low for 6-8 hours.


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Book Review: The Mistress of Tall Acre

Posted by Katrina Roets at 11:30 AM

Friday, September 25, 2015

The American Revolution is finally over, and Sophie Menzies is starved for good news. When her nearest neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, finally comes home to Tall Acre, she hopes it is a sign of better days to come. But the general is now a widower with a small daughter in desperate need of a mother. Nearly destitute, Sophie agrees to marry Seamus and become the mistress of Tall Acre in what seems a safe, sensible arrangement. But when a woman from the general's past returns without warning, the ties that bind this fledgling family together will be strained to the utmost. When all is said and done, who will be the rightful mistress of Tall Acre?

Triumph and tragedy, loyalty and betrayal--readers find it all in the rich pages of this newest historical novel from the talented pen of Laura Frantz. Her careful historical details immerse the reader in the story world, and her emotional writing and finely tuned characters never cease to enchant fans both old and new.

I've been slowly easing my way back into book reviews since life got so chaotic around here and I strongly believe that I made a good choice with this book! I loved the characters and the way that the author made everything feel so real. I was drawn into Sophie's life as if she were my best friend. I fell in love with little Lily Cate. Did I mention that there's a bit of mystery and intrigue involved? Honestly, I can't think of a single negative thing to say about this book. I loved the way that the romance aspect of this book didn't overtake the story, but worked alongside it to bring a well rounded book that had a bit of everything.

If you're a lover of historical romance, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to you. As a matter of fact, feel free to head on over to Amazon and pick it up right now. That way we can sit down and talk about it later!


I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

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