a bad boy for christmas
Second chance, book 3 ・featuring Connor & Faith
"With charismatic characters, stirring situations and enough sexy to fill an entire town’s worth of stockings, this latest in Lemmon’s Second Chance series is 400-plus pages of Christmas magic." ~USA Today
‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE NAUGHTY
Connor McClain knows what he wants. And after four harrowing years in Afghanistan, that’s a quiet life in the lakeside town of Evergreen Cove. But coming home has land mines of its own-the most dangerous of them being long-legged bombshell Faith Garrett. Now getting her into his arms this holiday is going to require more than mistletoe . . .
With a cheating ex behind her, all Faith wants is a relaxing holiday free from man drama. And even though every moment with gorgeous Connor is a sweet temptation, Faith is determined not to give in. But Jack Frost has other plans, and soon Faith and Connor are snowbound in a winter wonderland with only the sparks flying between them to keep them warm. As one hot kiss leads to another, they’ll have to decide if they’re ready to give each other the best gift of all-love.
Ahh, the holidays! When my editor suggested I make Connor’s book a Christmas book, my first reaction was O.O See, I had envisioned his book as a spring book and Christmas, as you know, typically happens in DECEMBER, which is so not spring. But after we talked about structure, suddenly, I thought of all the fun things that can happen in the winter. To name a few:
- Warm fireplaces
- Hot cocoa
- Snuggly socks
And my favorite:
- Getting SNOWED IN!
Confession time! Snowed in is one of my favorite tropes EVAR. Any weather issues that leave the couple stranded, actually. (If you recall, Tempting the Billionaire features a little flash flood that traps Shane and Crickitt in Tennessee for an extra day.)
A Bad Boy for Christmas starts in October and we hit some of the highlights: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Each event had such significant growth for Faith and Connor, the story just flowed.
So yeah, I may have balked at first over Connor’s book taking place in the snow, but now? I can’t imagine it any other way.
Every Second Chance book featured a recipe in the back, but there was one that was more popular than the rest: my recipe for Devil Dog Cupcakes.
Devil Dog Cupcakes
- 1 ½ c. flour
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ c. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ c. coconut oil (melted)
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 can coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, soda, and salt into a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine oil, vinegar, vanilla, and coconut milk.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full. If you have leftover batter, line a few cups in another tin, or just eat the batter. (That’s what I did.)
- Bake 16-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out dry.
- 1 c. non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 3 c. powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3-5 Tbsp. non-dairy milk
- Using beaters or a stand mixer, beat vegetable shortening, adding powdered sugar a cup at a time. When mixture becomes dry, add non-dairy milk a Tablespoon at a time.
- Continue adding sugar until all three cups have been added. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Spoon frosting into a large plastic bag (or a frosting bag), twist and cut the corner off. Set aside.
Chocolate Wine Sauce
- ¼ cup non-dairy creamer (or milk)
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 cup chocolate chips
(I couldn’t resist adding wine to the chocolate sauce. I mean, this recipe is in honor of Faith, after all! If you don’t want the wine, simply swap out for extra creamer. Leftover chocolate sauce will solidify in the fridge, but will melt in a few seconds in the microwave.)
- Warm the creamer or milk over the stove until simmering (but not boiling) and add to a bowl.
- Stir in chocolate chips to melt (it takes time, so be patient), while warming the wine on the stove to simmering. Once wine is warmed, add to the chocolate mixture.
- Continue stirring until smooth. If the chips are not melting, pop bowl into the microwave for 15 seconds and stir. Repeat if necessary until sauce is smooth and glossy.
- Once cupcakes are cooled completely (good luck—I ate one warm), unwrap from cupcake liner and put on a plate.
- Pipe a generous mountain of frosting on the top, then spoon on the chocolate sauce. Top with a tiny bit of frosting and a maraschino cherry.
- Enjoy with a fork and a smile… preferably at your next Girls’ Night Out.