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, Louise Reynolds, and her recipe for Tropical Fruit Salad with Lime and Lemongrass Syrup along with an introduction to her book, Red Dirt Duchess. Please join me in welcoming Louise and savor her recipe for Tropical Fruit Salad as you read about her new book!
Down here in Australia we’re heading into summer and it’s a time of year that always excites me. It’s time to sink our teeth into wonderful tropical fruits and the following fruit salad is one of our favourites. How can three fruits together taste so good? It can be fiddly peeling and pitting the lychees and pitting the cherries but the effort is well worth it. The recipe comes from fabulous Australian chef Neil Perry.
Tropical Fruit Salad with Lime and Lemongrass Syrup
- 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 500g lychees, peeled, cut in half and pitted
- 500g cherries, pitted
- ½ bunch mint leaves
- Lime and lemongrass syrup
- 225g caster sugar
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 5 limes
- 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 5cm lengths
To make the syrup, combine the sugar and 185ml water in a small, heavy-based saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Add the lime zest, lime juice and lemongrass, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 8 minutes. Strain.
Combine all the fruit in a large bowl. Toss with the syrup and place in the fridge for a couple of hours. Gently toss through the mint leaves and serve immediately.
When English society playboy Jonathan Hartley-Huntley is sent to outback Australia after a disastrous affair with his editor, all he wants is to take a few pictures, do a quick interview and get back to his usual life of luxury as soon as possible. Until he meets his host, the irresistible Charlie Hughes, and suddenly the back of beyond is a lot more appealing.
Running the pub is a labour of love for Charlie and she has no desire to ever leave the tiny town of Bindundilly. That is, until Jon discovers an old painting that raises questions about both their lives. Charlie impulsively decides to follow him to London, and as the feelings between them begin to deepen, she starts to wonder if there’s more to life than the pub. But at Jon’s family home, the magnificent Hartley Hall, they become acutely aware of the differences between them, and it soon seems clear they have no future together – especially if Jon’s mother has her way.
Family and tradition threaten the course of true love in this warm and witty novel from the author of Outback Bride and Her Italian Aristocrat
‘My bloody lettuce!’ Charlie grabbed a set of keys and threw them across the bar. ‘Neil, can you whip over to the airstrip and save my lettuce? Oh, and there’s some mail and a —’
Her eyes swivelled back to the man in front of the bar. Oops.
Sensing that the entertainment was finished for the moment, the crowd drifted away until only the stranger stood in front of her. Perspiration beaded his forehead and gleamed along a razor-sharp, finely-stubbled jawline that was raised just a fraction too high, as though challenging her. His hair was short, dark and well-cut with the merest touch of silver at the temples. City hair, that looked like it saw the attentions of a barber regularly. Her eyes moved lower. An expensive-looking linen shirt clung to his chest. He’d worked up quite a sweat for the piddling walk from the airstrip to the hotel, and it wasn’t even high summer. She almost said as much, but when she raised her eyes to meet his, she paused. Dark grey, with long lashes and a slightly haughty look, they stared her down with a stiff self-assurance that would get him nowhere in Bindundilly.
‘Gosh, sorry ’bout that. I got a bit carried away. Anyway, all for a good cause.’ She smiled brightly and wiped her hands down the front of her apron.
He looked like he couldn’t give a damn about the cause.
She plastered on her best smile and shot a hand across the bar. ‘I’m Charlie. Welcome to Bin.’
He looked at the hand for a second then reached out and shook it. ‘Jonathan Ha . . .’ Laughter from a nearby group drowned out the rest of his response.
She jerked a thumb towards the other end of the bar. ‘The reservations book is back there. It’s a bit quieter.’
She could feel his eyes on her as he followed her down the other side of the bar, lagging a step or two behind. She hit the corner and reached under the counter for the battered school exercise book kept there, along with an avalanche of paperwork. Charlie pulled the book out and leaned her elbows on the bar, glad to take a break. But she could see him out the corner of her eye, standing stiffly in front of her, a leather-clad foot tapping impatiently on the bare floorboards.
‘Okay.’ Charlie flipped the pages until she found the right date, then ran her finger down the page. ‘I’ve got you here as Jonathan —ʼ She squinted at the untidy scrawl and tipped her head to one side to see if it made more sense. ‘Hmm, Jonathan Hardly Hunky. That can’t be right.’ She chewed the nail on her index finger and heard a sharp intake of breath. She glanced up. ‘Or is it?’
She had to agree. He wasn’t hunky, at least not in the muscled, six-pack and low-slung jeans kind of way. But as well as the classical good looks, there was something about him, something sophisticated and urbane, that made her skin prickle with awareness. She ran a hand through her hair, trying to remember if she’d brushed it since breakfast.
His face tightened. ‘Hartley, hyphen, Huntley,’ he enunciated. He pronounced the ‘h’ in Hartley and Huntley like an exhalation on a frosty morning. It was the sort of name that might suggest wealth and breeding elsewhere. Out here a name like that was more likely to be owned by misfits and square pegs. She wondered if Jonathan Hartley-Huntley was a square peg, and decided he had to be. He had a hyphen and he was in outback Australia.
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Louise Reynolds is an author of contemporary romantic fiction. Born in Sydney, she spent her childhood frolicking on beaches before moving to Melbourne at age 10. After one look at Melbourne beaches she got a library card and started to read. It was a logical step to take her love of romance novels to the next stage and tell her own stories. After some success in writing competitions she’s thrilled that her warm, heartfelt romances have found an audience.
By day, she works in the commercial lighting industry, lighting anything from bridges to five star hotels. By night, she’s working her way through a United Nations of fictional heroes.
After a lifetime of kissing frogs one finally turned into a prince and she lives with her partner in Melbourne’s inner north. She loves live jazz, cooking complicated meals that totally destroy the kitchen, and dining out. She has embraced Melbourne by wearing far too much black.
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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!