To me Valentine’s Day means two things—love and dessert! I’ve got both for you today and a contest!! 🙂
I have to admit I’m not a sweets person. I rarely have dessert. For me, it’s a treat and something I look forward to. My family teases me because I savor every bite. There’s often a lot of ‘mmmm…delicious’ and ‘aww, so good’ going on when I do indulge. Some of my absolute favorites include: cookies, cheesecake, and anything chocolate!
Iona and Wyn, the lead characters from my newest release, Love Refocused, get to indulge in love and sweets. In this case, it’s chocolate cheesecake that brings them together.
Here’s my favorite chocolate cheesecake recipe. It’s pretty basic. Sometimes, I top with strawberries depending on the season. If you have a favorite recipe, I’d love to hear it! I’m always looking for something new to try.
- 18 chocolate sandwich cookies (I love Oreos), finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp. margarine, melted
- 3 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened (I don’t recommend light or fat-free)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 pkg. (4 oz. each) Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted and cooled
- 3 eggs
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 min.
- Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each. Pour onto crust from step 2.
- Bake 45 to 55 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim.
- Refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours.
Sander’s Valley, 2
Wyn Sander is surprised when his brother Kyle asks him to be best man at his wedding. Wyn’s even more shocked to learn the woman who later walks into his garage is Ronnie’s half-sister, Iona. He’s instantly attracted to her. She’s sophisticated, beautiful, and confident. At least she is until Wyn stands up. She flinches and a look of terror passes over her face. It bothers him to see. Luckily, desire replaces it, but it doesn’t stop Wyn’s curiosity. For the first time in his life, he wants to find out what made Iona fearful and fix it.
Iona can’t believe her luck. The man she lusts after is her new sister’s soon to be brother-in-law. The kiss they share shatters her, but her attempt to stop any involvement with him ends up with her agreeing to three dates. She decides Wyn is unlike any man she’s ever known, and it’s unfortunate she can’t enjoy him. She isn’t in the market for a boyfriend. All she wants is sex. The only problem is—she doesn’t think Wyn sees things her way.
Iona knelt next to the whelping box. Her heart raced and hands shook. She glanced over her shoulder. Wyn crouched near her, his gaze on her, not the adorable puppies they’d come to see. Lust simmered in his eyes, but so did curiosity. She got the impression he was judging her. Why, she didn’t have a clue. She’d made it clear her contact with dogs had been hands-off. She’d petted a few. That was it.
“I’m nervous.” Both at the prospect of holding one of the pups and the reason behind his focused study.
“You’ll do fine.”
He laid a hand on her back. The simple touch calmed her. She peeked into the box. Lucy, the puppies’ mother, lay on her side. Her watchful gaze tracked Iona’s every movement. “Are you sure she won’t mind if I hold one?”
“Maybe, but she won’t bite you. Her pups just turned three weeks. It’s time to start holding them. Get them used to humans, you know?”
She nodded, even though she didn’t understand.
Wyn moved closer. His stomach pressed against her bottom. He leaned over her and held a hand out to Lucy. No desire accompanied the brush of his body to hers. Reassurance did. She relaxed. So did the dog. Lucy tilted her head for Wyn’s scratch, and the short nub of her tail wiggled.
Iona laughed. Wyn glanced at her, brows raised and a question in his eyes. She pointed to Lucy’s stump of a tail. “That’s cute.”
He flashed her a half smile. One dimple formed with his grin, and her heart did a little flip. Her lover was devastatingly handsome. Did he know what one of his grins did to her? That seeing his dimples aroused her yet made her want to snuggle closer at the same time?
Prize—an Amazon copy of Love Repeated.
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