Friday, March 11, 2016

The CEO's Unexpected Child & Bon Appetit and a Book with Andrea Laurence

Bon Appetit and a Book

The hero of the book THE CEO'S UNEXPECTED CHILD is the owner of a large family-style Italian restaurant chain called Moretti’s Italian Kitchen. One of the featured dishes at the restaurant is cheesecake, which makes a special appearance in the epilogue. I've personally made a lot of cheesecakes in my day and this is one of my favorite recipes. There are fancier ones, and more complicated ones, but this has always turned out for me. It’s a pretty simple one, although the top is prone to crack. I haven’t had any luck with waterbaths because my springform pans always leak. So, if the top cracks – put on a layer of chocolate ganache or fruit topping. Problem solved!

  • 1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted 
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar, divided 
  • 3 pkg. (8 oz. each) brick cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling or other topping of choice 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F if using a silver 8- or 9-inch springform pan (or to 325°F if using a dark nonstick 8- or 9-inch springform pan). Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Press firmly onto bottom and 2-1/2 inches up side of pan; set aside. 
  • Beat cream cheese and the remaining 1 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour into crust. 
  • Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Turn oven off. Open oven door slightly. Let cheesecake set in oven 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Loosen cheesecake from rim of pan; remove rim. Top cheesecake with pie filling just before serving. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Title:  The CEO's Unexpected Child
Series:  Billionaires & Babies
Author:  Andrea Laurence
Publication Date:  March 1/16 by Harlequin Desire
Length:  192pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

A shocking fertility clinic mix-up has resulted in Luca Moretti fathering a child with a woman he's never met. There's no way the CEO will walk away from his baby girl. But he has thirty days to convince her distractingly beautiful mother to do exactly what he wants.

Widow Claire Douglas is still reeling from the loss of her husband when she discovers a stranger has fathered her child. And the rich bachelor will stop at nothing to gain joint custody. How can she possibly fight a man with such money and power…and a charm she can't resist?

My Review:

Holy cow! Could you just imagine? Laurence had definitely drawn the fates out with this one, creating a premise that’s so completely captivating that I couldn’t put this one down for a moment. This intricately crafted plot combines love, loss, renewal, and learning to trust again. The combination was highlighted by the realistic emotions throughout, drawing me further and further into the world. I love how Laurence writes drama without being overly dramatic.

This plot is backed up with some phenomenal characters. I love how they were developed. The way that they lived their lives was so real, yet at the same time separate from how I live my daily life. They were also so approachable. I love reading about individuals that I want to see succeed. I felt completely invested in their lives by the end of the novel.

All in all this was a completely unforgettable tale. Laurence had me engaged on multiple levels throughout with characters that I truly wanted to know and telling a story beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

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