Hello and welcome to Romance Recipes where I am happy to introduce you to a new author and a new recipe! Two of my favorite things! Today I am bringing you author, Jane O’Reilly, and her recipe for Apple Charlotte along with an introduction to her contemporary romance, Once A Bad Girl. Please join me in welcoming Jane and savor her recipe for Apple Charlotte as you read about her new book!
The heroine of Once a Bad Girl is called Lottie, and there’s a key scene that takes place in an orchard, so this seems pretty appropriate! Yummy and easy, serve with cream or custard or just on its own.
1kg cooking apples
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons apricot jam
125g softened butter
12 slices of bread with the crusts cut off
15cm square cake tin
Peel, core and slice the apples. Put them in a saucepan with the sugar and the water, and cook on a medium heat for about 15 minutes until soft but still holding their shape. Stir in the apricot jam.
Lightly butter the cake tin. Butter the bread on one side, then cut into enough strips to line the cake tin, butter side down. Spoon in the apple mixture then cut the remaining slices into triangles and arrange on top, butter side up.
Bake in a preheated oven (gas mark 6, 200 degrees centigrade, or 180 for fan oven) for about 40 minutes until golden brown.
Desperate to save her family’s auction house, stubbornly sensible Lottie Spencer needs a high-profile client—who better than a reclusive film star? Unfortunately for Lottie, this client comes with strings attached—an overprotective son who will do anything to shield his mother from the prying eyes of the press. But Lottie is sure she can handle it. If only being around a bad boy didn’t make it so hard to be good…
Lottie felt the scratch of anxiety as the driver opened the door and the sound of a thousand screaming girls crashed into the small space. She froze in her seat, heart pounding furiously as her eardrums threatened to burst.
Josh winked at her, then unfolded himself from the car. He turned round and beckoned. ‘Moment of truth.’
Lottie grabbed the edge of her seat with both hands and held on for dear life. ‘What is that racket?’
‘By the looks of it, the teenage female population of London has turned into a hysterical mob and has descended on Leicester Square, hungry for flesh.’
‘Are you chicken, Lottie?’
Her insides twisted and turned, as panic warred with excitement. She was a step away from walking the red carpet at a film premiere. She’d be mingling with the stars. When would she ever get an opportunity like this again? The memory of the last time she’d had that thought threatened to resurface, but she shoved it right back down. No-one was getting naked. No-one was going to get hurt. ‘No,’ she snapped out. ‘I’m just waiting for the right moment.’
Which, hopefully, would be along any minute now. She was still gathering her courage when Josh reached across, locked strong fingers round her wrist and tugged. She zoomed forward and fell out of the limo.
Straight into his arms.
A roar went up from the crowd. Those big hands clamped round her waist and held her steady, his fingertips grazing over sensitive slivers of bare flesh. She shivered. ‘Remember,’ he murmured, dark brows flicking up, a smile playing at the corner of his mouth, ‘as far as everyone here is concerned, we’re together. Very together.’ He slid one hand up from her waist, stroking past the curve of her breast, then lifted her hair back over her shoulder. ‘We want them to think we can’t keep our hands off each other.’
Each caress lit a fire inside her, made the noise around them dial down a little more. Lifting her hands, Lottie set them on his wide shoulders. He smelled warm and clean, just as a man should, and she couldn’t stop her hormonally charged body from curving into him. But it was okay, she told herself. She was selling it. As long as she didn’t sell it in private, she was doing nothing wrong.
‘Perfect,’ he said, flashing a wicked grin that made her legs wobble. ‘Now, we’re going to walk the red carpet. We’ll do a 30-second photo call at the far end.’
‘We should probably kiss for that,’ Lottie heard herself say. ‘I think if we’re going to do this, we should really sell it.’
He slid his hand back down her arm then linked his fingers through hers. ‘Oh, absolutely.’
Every part of her brain told her this was a bad, bad idea but her body was ready to sprint to the finish line to get a taste of him. This is for the crowd, she told herself firmly, as they strolled along the carpet. This is what you agreed to. It would be a quick peck, nothing more. What could go wrong?
Buy the Book:
Jane O’Reilly started writing as an antidote to kid’s TV when her youngest child was a baby. Her first novel was set in her old school and involved a ghost and lots of death. It’s unpublished, which is probably for the best. Then she discovered contemporary romance, and that, as they say, was that. She lives near London with her husband and two children.
Jane is giving away a copy of Once a Bad Girl to one lucky commenter so be sure to leave your EMAIL so we can contact you if you won!!
Thank you for joining us for another Romance Recipes! I hope you’ll stop by next week to meet another author, try a new recipe and pick up a new book!