Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, NANCY YEAGER and her favorite recipe for Cointreau Croissant French Toast!
THIRD HUSBAND’S THE CHARM
Harrow’s Finest Five Series
BY NANCY YEAGER
An irreverent gentleman, an abandoned wife, and a secret marriage. But is anything really what it seems?
Fun-loving Percy, the Captain Lord Granston, is everyone’s favorite cad, but his easy charm hides his fear that he’s losing his grip on reality. Then his wife arrives in London. The only problem is, he doesn’t remember marrying her.
Twice-widowed Finola Tenney Simmons has lost her hard-earned fortune and needs a pretend husband to help her reclaim it. She turns to her old acquaintance Captain Granston to play the part. There’s just one complication. The captain inexplicably believes they’re truly married.
When Percy learns the truth, he agrees help her secure her fortune in return for her assistance in settling his family affairs before he loses his faculties. Their plan will work like a charm, if only they can deny the passion between them and keep from falling in love.
In need of a good, stiff drink, Percy stepped into his spirits room and perused the shelves for just the right bottle of brandy. He chose an interesting one and gathered two snifters. He entered the sitting room between the lord and lady’s bedchambers only to find it empty. For a moment, his heart sank, thinking Finola might already be abed. Then he noticed the patio door was ajar.
As he reached it, he caught a glimpse of her sitting on an outdoor chaise, her pale skin glowing in the moonlight, her long, red hair plaited in a braid that hung over her right shoulder, her luscious curves outlined by the thin material of her blue and gold nightgown and wrapper. She was too beautiful to be real, too extraordinary to be true. It occurred to him that if he were to postpone his trip to Buenos Aires by a week or two, he could settle Finola’s financial affairs and ensure his sister Zinny’s life was well in hand. And if it allowed him to enjoy his wife’s company that much longer, he would consider it a gift he didn’t deserve, but would damn well take.
“Ah, my lady,” he said. The flagstones were cool and damp under his feet as he stepped out onto the patio. He set down the glasses and uncorked the brandy. “Can I interest you in a drink?”
She smiled up at him, seemingly unsurprised to see him. “That would be lovely.”
He poured brandy into each of their glasses and handed hers to her. “To the lady, my wife,” he said as he lifted his glass. “And the care you have shown for my sister.”
He clinked his glass against hers, then sipped his drink. It was rich and smooth and worth the long night he’s spent playing American poker with an arrogant French ass to win it.
Finola took a sip from her glass, then raised her eyebrows. “That’s wonderful. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it.”
He couldn’t help smiling when he surprised her with something she truly enjoyed. How he would relish sharing all kinds of sensuous pleasures with her.
She grinned at him. “What are you thinking?”
That I’d like to see you naked under the moonlight.
“That it was a very nice evening,” he said. “I must warn you, my friends’ wives were quite taken with you. They will no doubt have you roped into their circle in no time.”
“They did invite me to tea and needlepoint next week.”
He laughed. “Tea means sherry, and needlepoint means Luci’s gossip. Oh, and discussion of Emme’s mercantile for women in need. And occasionally an odd scientific treatise on something or other Tessa is studying.”
She arched an eyebrow. “In that case, I’ll have to consider the offer more seriously. And they were all quite lovely. Luci was rather blunt about our unusual situation and curious about our future plans, but she still managed to be quite charming about it.”
Percy closed his eyes and sighed. “That’s just her way. I’m sorry if she upset you.”
“She didn’t. But I should warn you, I told her our situation isn’t settled.”
“Not settled.” He turned over the phrase in his mind. She could have chosen a less charitable one. “I suppose that suits us. I’ll tell my friends the same thing when they inevitably ask me the same questions. They’re terrible pests that way, I’m afraid.”
She finished her brandy and set down her glass. “That’s because they care about you. I’m already fond of them for that reason alone.”
“That’s very kind of you to say,” he said. “You’re very kind, and not just to me. Insisting Zinny come stay with us and looking after her the way you did was quite generous.”
“You’re her brother and this is her second home. And I was happy to help her.”
“Well, she’s quite recovered, thanks to you,” he said. “Sleeping like a baby.”
“I’m glad,” she said. “But I have a confession to make.”
Percy shifted in his seat so he was facing her. This woman was mysterious and fascinating, and he had no doubt there was no end to the secrets she kept. He wished she would confess every one of them to him.
“I had an ulterior motive in asking your sister to come home with us.” She twisted her hands in her lap and hesitated.
Percy waited, his instincts telling him to stay silent, not to spook her.
“After our dance, and then… After that, I was afraid to be alone with you.”
Percy jumped to his feet and took several steps away from her. “I apologize. I didn’t mean to frighten you or make you think I have expectations of you, given our unusual circumstances.”
“No.” She stood and stepped toward him. “That’s not at all what I meant. That’s not what I thought. You’ve been an absolute gentleman.”
Not in his mind, where he’d undressed her at least a hundred times a day since he’d brought her here. And probably a thousand or more times in the six months since they’d met. He wanted this exquisite woman more than anyone he had ever met, and the one night he had with her was lost to his sick mind forever.
He couldn’t tell her he didn’t remember, and he shouldn’t share his innermost fantasies with her, but she watched him so carefully, so expectantly, he couldn’t hide the truth from her. “I’m sorry the night we had in Buenos Aires was the only one we’ll ever have,” he said, “but I respect your wish to remain estranged.”
“That’s just it.” She took a step closer to him. “I’m not at all sure that’s what I wish. I’m beginning to think that’s the last thing I wish.”
He could reach out and touch her, pull her into his arms. Just this night, just this once. A brief affair, one he could hope to remember for the rest of his life. But he wouldn’t rush her, wouldn’t force his desire on her.
“Then it seems to me you have a choice to make, Lady Granston.”
She licked her lips. God, was she trying to kill him?
“What choice is that?” she asked.
“The choice to bid me goodnight and go off to your bed alone.” He set down his glass. “Or to take my hand and come to my bed with me.”
She stared at his outstretched hand. He was prepared to hold it there for as long as necessary, all night if that’s what it took. As long as she didn’t turn and walk away.
Nancy spent her early years longing to be an English countryside vet thanks to James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small series, and dreaming of being an adventurist-archaeologist thanks to George Lucas’s Indiana Jones character. After studying veterinary pre-med and earning an anthropology degree, she realized her true passion is story in all its forms.
Now she writes about smart, adventurous women and the sexy, intriguing men who love them in her Victorian and contemporary romances; explores the bonds of friendship and family in her women’s fiction books; and is plotting nearly perfect crimes for an upcoming Victorian cozy mystery series. She’s also a book coach, helping other authors plan and craft their novels.
When she’s not writing, reading, or binge-watching story, she’s often pursuing a physical challenge like training for a sprint triathlon or aspiring to achieve the perfect crow pose. She also spends her time drinking too much coffee, not enough red wine, and just the right amount of bourbon. Nancy lives in Maryland with her fabulous family, which includes some very spoiled rescue cats.
Links to Nancy’s website, blog, books, etc.:
I hope you enjoy the recipe Nancy is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!
P.S. We’re at 506 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu, you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.
Cointreau Croissant French Toast
8 full-size croissants, sliced lengthwise
4 large eggs
¼ C milk or cream
1.5 oz (1 jigger) of Cointreau or other orange-flavored liquor (e.g., Triple Sec, Gran Marnier)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Butter for griddle
Raspberry or maple syrup
- Mix eggs, cream, liqueur, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a bowl.
- Heat griddle or flat pan to medium high heat. Add butter to coat surface.
- Dip croissants in egg mixture to fully coat. Place flat on griddle. Toast until brown and crisp on the bottom. (Watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Flip, adding more butter to the griddle as you do so, and toast second side until brown and crisp.
- Remove from pan. Serve warm with toppings of your choice.
Thanks, Nancy, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!