Wine: Anew Riesling (White)

Anew

Opening with aromas of bright fruit, subtle spice and citrus, Anew Riesling offers a harmonious blend of pure fruit flavor, heightened aromatics and balanced acidity. Expressive flavors of fresh peach and a hint of spice give this wine a crisp, refreshing essence.

This wine is perfect on its own or paired with food. Try it with spicy Asian dishes, smoked salmon, lobster salad, pasta with light sauces and blue cheese.

The 2012 Anew Riesling was sourced from vineyards throughout the state of Washington, one of the most highly-acclaimed Riesling regions in the world. Grapes were sourced from vineyards in the Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Wahluke Slope and Yakima Valley. The blend is almost entirely Riesling, with just a touch of Gewurztraminer and Muscat to bring spice to the palate. A warm summer and cool fall allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, giving the wine a purity of fruit flavor and balanced acidity. 2012 was an ideal season for growing Riesling—warm through the summer and then cooling down through fall, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. As a result the wines have a lovely purity of fruit combined with a nice balance of acidity.

Well would you look at this. Another wine post. :-) I’m trying to be better.

I picked up this Riesling on a humbug this week. I originally planned to look for a nice red to pair with an ethnic dish but grabbed this since my Mother-in-Law is in town. She rarely (if ever) drinks so I needed something light and airy.

I decided to pair this with one of my husband’s favorite dishes: Crispy Rum Salmon. It was delicious. I felt the Anew was very light and refreshing with no alcoholic aftertaste. It’s a little fruity and a little flowery with a hint of crispness. My MIL also seemed to enjoy the quarter cup that she tried. My husband said he thought it was a good match for the meal and he liked it quite a bit. It didn’t supplant the Chateau Ste Michelle but it’s a good option.

Box of 1Night Stands Anthology Review: Dominique Eastwick, L.J. Garland, & Desiree Holt

Box of 1Night Stands

Decadent Publishing presents some of the very best of the 1Night Stand series featuring NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors Jennifer Probst, Jen McLaughlin (writing as Diane Alberts) and J.M. Madden, along with 18 other trendsetting authors such as HOLT Medallion winner Desiree Holt. When Madame Eve arranges a date, you are guaranteed more than you’ll ever expect. More heat, more heart, more SIZZLE…

Strawberry Kisses – Dominique Eastwick
Can two introverts gamble on love and win…with the help of Madame Eve and a bowl of Strawberries anything is possible.

Dead or Alive – L.J. Garland
She’s a bounty hunter on a mission…but when she captures her man, will she shoot him or kiss him?

Night Mission – Desiree Holt
For Navy SEAL Gabe Walker his one night stand with Maggie Fitzpatrick might turn out to be his hottest mission yet.

As a recap:

Box of 1Night Stands contains 21 stories by 21 different authors. Each story is roughly connected to each other by the framework of a dating service named “1Night Stand” run by Madam Evangeline. The dating service allows people to pay absurd amounts of money to be hooked up with someone “suitable” and willing to have a night of sex. The service includes reservations to one of the Castillo hotels and resorts (owned and run by one of satisfied 1Night Stand clients). Madam Evangeline seems to be the world’s best match-maker as all of her single night stands turn into committed relationships. Thus far the included stories are all either vignettes or very short shorts. Most seem to be between 3-5 chapters long as well.

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Review: What a Goddess Wants (Forgotten Goddesses #1) by Stephanie Julian

What a Goddess Wants

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Tessa, Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, is desperately fighting off a malicious god, but her powers are weakening. She needs a hero and fast, because only sexual energy can give her strength. So she seeks out Caligo, whose sexual prowess is legendary.

Caligo is a fabled Cimmerian warrior determined to stay away from spoiled goddesses who trample hearts after they’ve had their fun. But there’s something irresistibly hot and inviting about Tessa, and he knows he’s her only chance to escape the encroaching darkness.

 

 
What a Goddess Wants is the sixth book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Forgotten Goddesses series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $10.09. Stephanie Julian is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

I’m not sure what made me decide to read What a Goddess Wants – it surely wasn’t on my radar. Once I cracked open the book I was a little hooked! There are a lot of things to enjoy about the Forgotten Goddesses series and I have a special soft spot for mythological people/creatures pulled into the modern era.

What a Goddess Wants starts with Caligo catching a beat-down of epic proportions. We learn that Caligo is one of the famed Cimmerian warriors (i.e. Robert E. Howard’s Conan) and he is experiencing the rewards of those who deal with the Roman gods: betrayal. The experience hardens Caligo toward gods and goddesses so he was decidedly upset to arrive home one day to find a sleeping goddess – Tessa – on his couch.
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Box of 1Night Stands Anthology Review: Liz Crow, Becca Dale & Sara Daniel

Box of 1Night Stands

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Decadent Publishing presents some of the very best of the 1Night Stand series featuring NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors Jennifer Probst, Jen McLaughlin (writing as Diane Alberts) and J.M. Madden, along with 18 other trendsetting authors such as HOLT Medallion winner Desiree Holt. When Madame Eve arranges a date, you are guaranteed more than you’ll ever expect. More heat, more heart, more SIZZLE…

Caught Offside – Liz Crowe
A love of soccer may unite former international star Ramon Castillo and casino catering manager Gillian Winter, but their deep personal wounds won’t allow for a real connection until Madame Eve works her magic.

Erotic Healing – Becca Dale
“Together we will convert your discomfort to pleasure…before the sun rises, you will know exquisite satisfaction.”

One Night With the Bride – Sara Daniel
Can a 1Night Stand reunite Caroline with her first love, Javier, or will he see only her deception, leading one night with the bride to sever their ties forever?

Recap from the first review:

Box of 1Night Stands contains 21 stories by 21 different authors. Each story is roughly connected to each other by the framework of a dating service named “1Night Stand” run by Madam Evangeline. The dating service allows people to pay absurd amounts of money to be hooked up with someone “suitable” and willing to have a night of sex. The service includes reservations to a fabulous hotel, the Castillo hotels and resorts (owned and run by one of satisfied 1Night Stand clients). Madam Evangeline seems to be the world’s best match-maker as all of her single night stands turn into committed relationships.

Thus far the included stories are all either vignettes or very short shorts. Most seem to be between 3-5 chapters long as well.

Caught Offside by Liz Crowe (3 stars)
This was cute but forgettable. Two former pro athletes are united via Madam Eve and their love of Futbol/Soccer.

Erotic Healing by Becca Dale (2.5 stars)
I really wasn’t a fan of this one. At all. So I have a problem with deception and I especially have a problem with deception when used in context with BDSM. I feel that BDSM requires honesty and so for me this was a FAIL.

One Night With the Bride by Sara Daniel (2 stars)
This one felt very much like a Harlequin Presents book. I didn’t feel like I got a good feeling for either main character – they felt more like outlines than complete people. I’ve never been a big fan of those books where one of the main characters are in a committed relationship…but the H/h show them what real love is. Ugh. It’s like the boiler-plate language for Cheating 101.

Wine: Treana (White)

treanawine

The name Treana symbolizes a trinity of natural elements- the sun, the soil, and the ocean-elements that make Paso Robles, and the rest of the Central Coast, an exceptional area for growing wine grapes.

The Treana wines are our signature blends. The Treana Red is a blend of two varieties that thrive in Paso Robles: Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Treana White is a blend of Viognier and Marsanne, two varieties indigenous to the Rhone Valley in France that are well suited to the cooler areas of the Central Coast.

2012 Treana White 2012
This white Rhone blend displays varietal characteristics of Marsanne and Viognier; vibrant floral aromas of citrus blossom and jasmine are followed by elegant flavors of ripe stone fruit, hints of pear, pineapple and honey overtones. A wine of excellent balance and complexity, the Treana White will age beautifully over the next decade.

I’ve really been slacking on the “Wine” portion of this blog. What can I say? I have a tendency to drink more wine than I actually write about. :) I have tons of photos on my phone where I’ve planned a wine post but never get around to it. In order to combat this, I will *try* to make myself write about at least 1 bottle of wine a month (but I’m going to try for 2 a month). We’ll see.

I’m still in the search for the perfect White. My husband is a more of a White drinker while I prefer Reds. And since I buy most of all things consumable in my home, its on me to curate a selection of wines that both of us will enjoy. Which is how we came to this bottle of Treana.

I paired this Treana with a slightly spicy Mexican dish and I thought it was almost perfect. In fact, I think it could have handled an even spicier dish. The Treana was refreshing with a hint of sweetness and a small bite. As the wine warmed the sweetness was even more pronounced. Delicious.

My husband wasn’t quite as fond of this as I expected. I think he was expecting a bit more sweetness and a little less bite – he told me he thought it was a little dry for his tastes.

I’m going to have to ponder this one. I enjoyed the bottle quite a bit but hubby wasn’t a fan. I’m not sure if I’ll buy it again – maybe the next time I’m making something super spicy.

Review: Good Girl Gone Plaid (The McLaughlins #1) by Shelli Stevens *light spoilers*

Good Girl Gone Plaid

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Falling for the bad boy is even more dangerous the second time around.

In high school Sarah fell for her best friend’s older brother—one of the sexy, Scottish McLaughlin boys. But a painful betrayal showed her she’d been a fool to give her heart to a bad boy. At least it made it easier to leave him and move halfway around the world when her Navy dad got stationed in Japan.

Eleven years later, the death of her grandmother has forced Sarah back to Whidbey Island for a month. It’s the length of time she must stay in her inherited house before she’s allowed to sell it, take the money and run. But when she sees Ian, bad as ever and still looking like sin on a stick, she can’t keep her mouth from watering.

One look at Sarah stirs up the regret lingering in Ian’s heart—and never-forgotten desire lingering in his body. He should walk away, especially since divorced single mothers aren’t his style. But when she starts showing up at his family’s pub, he can’t resist a little casual seduction for old time’s sake.

One thing quickly becomes clear, though. The heat between them is causing an avalanche of secrets and betrayal and nothing will ever be the same.

Product Warnings
A bad-boy hero who’s good with his hands, a heroine who’s trying to be good. Contains liberal consumption of Scotch whisky, a Highland Games competition, men in kilts wielding large poles, and a potential Sarah McLaughlin of the non-musical kind.

I…don’t know what to say about this one.

It is not my favorite.

The writing is fine – good, even. The characterizations, etc all worked well. I can’t say that I met a lot of cut-out characters….

But come the fuck on. There’s suspension of disbelief and then there’s taking disbelief into the back shed and shooting it.

Good Girl Gone Plaid has two of my hated tropes: a secret baby and revisionist history. Revisionist history is technically “the reinterpretation of orthodox views on evidence, motivations, and decision-making processes surrounding a historical event.” What I mean in this specific situation is that the text takes events that are known by all parties and then changes the understanding of that history based on newly received information. Work with me here…

When Good Girl Gone Plaid started I was enjoying myself, for the most part. I could tell the author wanted to take me on a more angsty ride than I was looking for but the angst made me roll my eyes more than get the feels. So I kept reading. As I read I kept thinking…these two people are really tripping considering that they were only dating a short period of time. As the book continued and I learned why the couple broke up (in high school), I still thought they were taking their issues farther than expected. Then the secret baby showed up. And I rolled my eyes.

I hate secret babies because I do not feel that there is any real justification for keeping a parent and child separate. I mean, life and safety are the only real reasons to do so…and the heroine in this book did NOT have those reasons. So it pissed me off something fierce.
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Review: Dangerous Lover (Dangerous #1) by Lisa Marie Rice

Dangerous Lover

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“I don’t want to be alone tonight.”

Caroline Lake can hardly believe she would ever say these words to someone she’d never met before. When a tall, dark stranger arrives wanting to rent a room in her beautiful empty shell of a mansion, she hesitates. Though she is in dire financial straits, the man looks dangerous—dangerously sexy. She’s overwhelmed by the desire he sparks in her—hotter than anything she’s ever felt before, making her ache to experience his sensuous touch. But who is this armed and mysterious man with danger following in his wake? He’s not who she thinks he is . . .

Jack Prescott has wanted Caroline forever. He has spent the past twelve years dreaming of her, desiring her, while fighting in some of the worst hellholes on earth. Now he’s back, with twenty million dollars in blood diamonds and a relentless enemy stalking him. But this time Jack’s determined that nothing will stop him from finally making Caroline his.

Dangerous Lover is the fifth book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Dangerous series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I was already aware of the author and the series prior to joining Scribd.

I am pretty well acquainted with Lisa Marie Rice and her characters/style of writing. While I can often find things about her characters/style of writing that bother me – more often than not I am interested and entertained by her work.

Which is why I’m so surprised that this one really didn’t work too well for me at all.

Dangerous Lover is the fifth (?) book I’ve read by Lisa Marie Rice and the second book I’ve read in her Dangerous series (the first was Dangerous Passion). Like the rest of her books, the hallmarks of an LMR book were all there: damsel-in-distress, wealthy but deadly hero, obsession by the hero, short time frame, dainty heroine, large hero. These I expected.

What I did not expect is the…complete lack of real relationship building or real discussion. Or the imbecilic plot-arc of the villain.
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