I want to welcome Lisa Kessler to the blog again! She has graciously nudged her leading couple into supplying me with a list of their top ten favorite foots (well I think they gave it their best shot!! You know how HOT those shifter couples get!). In honor of her and the book I am also sharing a recipe that will wet even the most picky of spaghetti eater’s appetite! I have shared it before but I think this fits well! In one scene, Adam cooks for Lana (our leading couple) on one of their first dates. He cooks his spaghetti sauce in a crock pot all day… Well, I got a treat for you. Just look behind the tab labeled Mama’s Kitchen Monday Recipe and be in for a treat. I realize the shifters are meat eaters, but I am thinking this may even fool them!! Yep, you can trick them! I guarantee no one who is a meat eater will know the difference, if you follow my secret vegetarian ninja directions! On my Bacon Whisperer’s Honor! (I maybe a meat eater but I have tons of favorite vegetarian dishes I love to make and eat!)!
First off I want to tell everyone who thinks they are going to point their fingers in my direction and go “HAHAHA YOU love hot shifter reads!!” Ya ya ya ya, I think I can no longer fall back on the “I have Harlequin PTSD” excuse anymore. Writers like Lisa Kessler have driven the flashbacks far back into a cobweb infested corner of my demented mind. I loved this book. I read three books of a paranormal nature last week, one was my #TEAMVAMPIRE review book, this one and probably should have read Moonlight last because it ruined me for the other shifter book I read.
How do I love it? Well let me count the ways, or at least give you some examples..
Though written in a somewhat formulaic paranormal romance style of an alpha female meets alpha male and butts heads until she realizes she needs him to rescue her… Lana still ends up making the story fresh for me. There is no hint of a churned out story, Lisa Kessler has a gift.
Lana is wonderful! She has survived after being a foster kid and never fitting in, and as she has gotten older she starts to have black outs once a month during the new moon. Why do I like this about her? Well I like how she deals with it, proactively! Sure it gets her hunted, when truthfully it is her who could be hunting them *wink* but this, this is one of the reasons I adore Lana. She is one HELL of go getter!
Adam is actually a blend of the myriad of alpha male characters you find in paranormal romances. He is a brooding, indecisive individual who always wants to save the day and the woman he is with. Driven by the rules of the pack and his immediate attraction to Lana, which is beyond his control, his personality sometimes seems to go on Swing Ride for a bit. Made me wonder if he would ever get off! There were times I wanted to choke him!
But I was going to tell you what I love about him… I love the way he loves her. So passionately with every ounce of his being. I love how he loves his family, though will walk away from her for the woman he is meant to spend his life with, despite their differences.
What makes this completely different than most cookie cutter paranormal romances is Lisa Kessler switches back and forth from Lana and Adam’s point of view. Each chapter is labeled with whose name (turn) it is and we see each of their inner struggles from their voice, not from the outside of what is going on around them. Lana’s struggle to let her guard down, let Adam in and allow herself to be loved. Adam’s struggle, as I mentioned, to be part of the pack or to embrace his destiny with Lana and her Jaguar shifter and to let Lana be her own woman, along with many others. It was very refreshing and very well done.
I have read a lot of books with shifters, I don’t live on a hill looking down at all the urban fantasy books with my high literature and (shoving my zombie books under the couch) umm nose in the air, I swear! *snickering* Seriously! But I am not a paranormal romance reader unless it really has a good hook. Yep, I think I am taking Lisa on my next fishing trip, we will clean up and I will have a freezer full! She had me (excuse the cliché) hook line and ……… totally hot yummy werewolf …sinker! Though I gotta admit, I liked the villains! Gotta love me the bad boys and girls, no matter how horrible they are to the team! Of course, who led those guys wrong? Just how bad were they? Could it be those who are chasing Lana? Oh heck.. wait… is that a spoiler? CRAP! HAH!
I read this almost straight through. I fell asleep after swearing at Lisa telling her she kept me up till 6 AM and woke up to finish it only go and get all fangirl on her cute ass! She really outdid herself! Thanks for giving me a great read, I have to agree with Froggarita, this may be going on my favorite reads for Urban Paranormal Romance/Shifter/HOT/reads of the year!
But between the hot yummy shifting goodness? I think this is a wonderful message of how differences do not have to be what keeps us apart. Just because one group “kills” your kind, doesn’t mean all are the same… right? *wink* again .. good job…
5 – double paw prints, my friend! In honor of Lana! (cuz she’s my fav)
This is my base recipe and is for 12-15 servings which can easily be divided, multiplied and monster-sized for the masses!
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) mix – I can’t believe it’s not MEAT!
Noodles and Sauce
Start your kettle going with some fresh water and put the TVP (TRUST ME they will NEVER know!), your Italian Seasoning & the onion powder, in a metal bowl (this is important), mix well. When the water whistles loudly (more like screams and causes cat to run upstairs so quick she can possibly trip and end up stuck in the winter sweaters hanging up about 8 feet up), add 2 cups o water and mix with a wooden spoon.
Spaghetti with Vegetarian Lasagna Sauce – SEE, looks just like meat!
- While stirring add 1 tbsp of the minced garlic into the TVP, cover with a plate to let it re-hydrate and steep in that lovely mix of savory goodies!
- Pour both jars of sauce into a large saucepan. Pour about 1/2 cup of water into each jar, put the top back on and shake, pour into sauce.
- Heat up the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat, add the onions and saute till just starting to become translucent, then bump up the heat to medium high and get them just a TOUCH of crispy on the edges. This also will allow for the sound of sizzling and people may actually think you are cooking meat! *wink* (about 2 minutes max)Add to sauce.
- With a fork, crush up the cottage cheese a bit more and add to the sauce mixing well.
- Uncover the TVP mix and stir up one more time before adding it to the sauce. I add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes it needs more and sometimes it doesn’t need much. Let your spoon do the walking!
- Heat over medium heat till bubbling and move to a back burner set on simmer to low, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom while you make the cookies.
NOTES: When I am cooking this much pasta if I do not want to deal with going to the storage shed and digging out the lobster pot, I do it in two – three batches. After each round of pasta is done (time it for about 15 minutes for each round of pasta) I add it to a huge foil serving pan (I nest two together so the walls of containment are shored on that lovely mess of happy goodness.. in other words, prepare for the possibility of a disaster and protect the carpet. When having celebrations Chaos Reigns! So always prepare well for disasters… shore up the serving dishes. Keep covered in the oven while you finish everything else.