His Desire, Her Surrender was released in March. It was a relief to have it finished after so long. It is the sequel to His Need, Her Desire, which was released in October. As you can see, it took me some time to get it down.
My characters, Marcus and Tabitha, embark on a whirlwind romance when they meet on vacation in Hawaii. Back to New York, the challenge is making it work with the real world pressures around them.
At one point in the story, they go away together for the weekend and Tabitha whips up a great chicken and rice dish for the two of them to enjoy. I based the dish on one I actually make for my own family. It is easy and a tasty favorite at our house.
The recipe is from the great Mark Bittman and his book How to Cook Everything. I’ve simplified his directions a bit. The taste is subtle but yummy! Leftovers freeze well.
4 T butter
Large diced onion
Salt and pepper
10 cardamom pods
5 cloves (whole)
1 cinnamon stick
1 T minced ginger – I use jarred.
1-1/2 cups basmati rice
3 cups chicken stock – I use broth and it works fine.
Chicken (1 whole, or 3 – 4 lbs. pieces) I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut up.
1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)
1. Sauté onions with 2 T butter, salt and pepper in a large pan for 5 – 10 minutes.
2. Add spices (saffron, cloves, cardamom, ginger) and stir together for 1 minute.
3. Add the rice, stir until glossy, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add the stock/broth, the chicken and more salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then lower heat bubbling gently.
5. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until the chicken and rice are both tender and liquid is absorbed. About 25 minutes. If using a whole chicken or large pieces, they should reach 165 degrees.
6. If necessary, add more stock/broth, recover and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Heat remaining 2 T butter in separate pan. Add almonds. Brown lightly for 3 minutes. Pour over the top of your chicken mixture.
Blurb for His Desire, Her Surrender
Tabitha Quinn’s Hawaii vacation was anything but ordinary. Dominant billionaire Marcus Granger saved her life, swept her into his bed, and then left her heartbroken. Now she’s back in New York, mourning the man she’s sure she’ll never see again.
Marcus may have left handprints on her skin, but Tabitha’s left handprints on his heart: he tracks her down, and they resume the sizzling affair they began in the islands.
Tabitha belongs to Marcus body and soul in bed, but she worries she doesn’t belong in his high-stakes world. They’ve already dodged a murder attempt, and now Marcus is fighting off a competitor’s takeover. When the rival company obtains critical information, suspicion falls on Tabitha. She has to prove she’s innocent–and worthy to wear Marcus’s collar.
Excerpt from His Desire, Her Surrender
Marcus tapped his stomach. “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting hungry. If you fix something, I’ll reward you later. Deal?”
“Sure.” Tabitha pulled chicken from the refrigerator as Marcus left her to find her way around the kitchen. She planned to cook something quick and easy on the stovetop. She located onions, chopped them and tossed them into a sauté pan. Further searching turned up rice and spices. A little saffron and cardamom and she’d have something tasty.
Once everything was in the pan, she tracked down the makings of a salad. That would do, she thought, chicken and rice with salad. Simple but appetizing.
As she set the table, Marcus reappeared, towels in hand. “I thought you might want one for sitting.” He spread one on the chair at the head of the table and the other on the chair to the side.
Tabitha handed Marcus the salad bowl. “This whole nudity thing. I’m not sure if I’d get used to it. Might get chilly.”
Marcus stole a carrot slice out of the salad and tossed it in his mouth. “I imagine so. But it can be a fun change of pace.”
“Yes.” Tabitha brought the chicken and rice to the table, and they settled in.
Marcus gazed on the food with appreciation. “This is great. I’m starving.”
“I hope you like it. I make it quite often.”
Marcus placed one hand on her thigh as he took a bite with the other.
Tabitha’s fork stopped in mid-air as heat flooded her. She was glad for the towel underneath her. The last thing she wanted was to stain the upholstery.
Marcus massaged her skin and slid his hand between her thighs.
Tabitha set down her fork. “Marcus!”
He continued eating. “Yes?”
“I can’t eat when you do that.”
“You can’t?” He took another bite of chicken, clearly enjoying it. His fingers searched her intimate recesses.
Tabitha pursed her lips, displaying an amused frown. “No. I’m too distracted.”
“Mmm. That is unfortunate. This meal is wonderful.”
“It’s hard to think about eating right now.”
Marcus maintained his innocent air while he explored her moistening skin. “Really? I’m having no trouble at all.” He ingested another bite.
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