Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Child Under His Tree by Allison Leigh and Recipe for Fudge Drop Cookies

Tis the season for second chances…and secrets!

Forget the mistletoe maneuvers. Kelly Rasmussen isn't planning on having that reunion kiss with Dr. Caleb Buchanan any time soon. Things had long ago gone south for these former high school sweethearts. Except for that one night six years ago—which resulted in an explosive secret Kelly's kept till this very day.

Now career and family have brought them both back to Weaver, Wyoming. Their unavoidable clashes—and instant chemistry—make them realize this town isn't big enough for the two of them. Or three of them—counting Kelly's son. Because there's something about that little boy… For one thing, he has Caleb's eyes…

There’s nothing better than yummy cookie to nibble on while reading a good book so I would like to thank Alison Leigh for this lovely recipe. I can’t wait to try it.


Series: Return to the Double C Ranch| Publisher: Harlequin Special Edition| Genre: Contemporary Romance  | Source: MLM Media| Rating: 3.5 Cups
Kelly Rasmussen left her hometown six years with a secret and had no intentions of returning. Although when her mother—whom she hadn’t spoken to since she left town— suddenly dies, Kelly finds herself suddenly back in her mother’s house and face-to-face with the man she would give anything to avoid. Caleb Buchanan never expected to see his high school flame sitting in the exam room as the mother of his patient. He’s even more surprised to find that those old feelings are still there and stronger than ever. He knows he wants to start over with Kelly, but the past has a way of haunting them both.
Okay, so I rarely read a blurb before accepting a book to review. I normally just go by the title, or the cover, or sometimes both. Well, it sort of bit me this time. I’m not saying that this was a bad book—hey, I gave it a 3.5 Cup rating—I’m just saying that if I had known this was a secret baby book, I would have checked it out before accepting it because it’s not really a trope that I’m wild about.
So, Kelly’s life wasn’t the best when she was growing up. Her mother showed her no love and constantly told her she ruined her life, then the man she was madly, head-over-heels in love with—yep, that’s Caleb—broke her heart when he decided he wanted to marry someone else.  To get even with him, she decides to have a night of wild truck sex, then walk away. Although truck-sex night left her with a little parting gift in the form of her son, When she discovers she’s pregnant, rather than telling Caleb, she decided to flee town. When she does finally come in contact with Caleb again, she still keeps the fact that Tyler is his son from him.
There’s just something unredeemable about a woman that keeps a father in the dark about his son. And I was really hoping that somewhere in the plot something would come to light and give me a better understanding about why she did what she did but the reason that she gave—that Caleb and his family would step up and take care of her and her unborn child—just didn’t fly with me.
Okay, so while I liked Caleb—he’s actually the reason I continued reading this book—he wasn’t perfect either. I mean, he broke up with Kelly to propose to another woman, who turned him down—yeah, I think that’s called karma. Anywho, I never understood the reason behind this and, once again, nothing was explained about why this happened. But there was just something about Caleb, I mean, he goes into the hospital nursery at night and rocks babies that need a little extra love and attention. Le sigh… He’s great with Tyler and, even though she keeps snapping at him, he’s trying to make things right with Kelly.
The romance was a little odd at times. These characters obviously have a history that left them both weary and wounded and they’re both battle scarred because of it. There’s still a chemistry and attraction between them and it’s obvious that Caleb wants more but Kelly is constantly pushing him away. Even towards the end when they are together as a couple I never really felt that Kelly wanted to be there or let go of the hurt.
My big problem with this book is that the vital events from the past and the reasons behind them were never explained. Given what was going on between the characters, a backstory really should have been added.
Overall, while I had problems with the book and neither character was perfect, I still enjoyed watching Caleb grow close to his son.

There’s nothing better than a yummy cookie to nibble on while reading a good book, so I would like to thank Alison Leigh for this lovely recipe. I can’t wait to try it.
Fudge Drop Cookies
1 ¾ C sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ C sifted unsweetened cocoa
2 eggs
2/3 C vegetable oil (Canola works well)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1 C granulated sugar
2 C sifted confectioner’s sugar
¼ C sifted unsweetened cocoa (can be omitted if you prefer a plain glaze)
2/3 TBSP milk
Dash salt
Dash almond extract
Sift flour with baking powder, salt and cocoa and set aside. In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly. Stir in oil, extracts and sugar until combined. Beat in flour mixture until smooth, then refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Drop chilled dough in slightly rounded teaspoons about 2” apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in 400° preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack and cool. Make glaze: In medium bowl, combine all ingredients, stirring until smooth. Spread tops of cooled cookies with glaze and enjoy! Makes about 3 dozen

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