Squeezing the lemons, I carefully measured out the juice. Though I had made lemon meringue pie many times before, I was a little nervous. This was my first time cooking for my boyfriend and I really wanted to impress him.
Looking in the measuring cup, I realized I had let a seed get into the juice. Just as I was about to remove it, I had a second thought. “If there is a seed in the pie, it will be obvious I made it from scratch.” So I shrugged and left it in.
Everything seemed to go so well through the main course. When it was time for dessert, I carefully took the pie and started to slice it. When I started to scoop up the first piece I saw it. The lemon filling hadn’t set enough! Though I had never had trouble before, the one time when it mattered – failure! I was so embarrassed, I didn’t want to leave the kitchen. My friend and her husband were also dining with us. She helped me scoop the juicy pie into bowls and brought it into the other room while I remained in the kitchen, mortified. Before I could even think about how to bring myself to walk into my parent’s dining room, she returned with an empty bowl, letting me know that he had requested seconds.
It was one of the kindest things he could have done. He realized how I felt and wanted to reassure me. As I took the bowl to add more pie, I saw it. The lone seed had ended up in his bowl! But instead of feeling proud like I had planned, I was now even more humiliated because what had seemed like an announcement “I’m homemade!” now was a cry of “I really messed up this pie!”
Thankfully, the runny pie didn’t chase him away. My boyfriend proposed shortly afterward and we have been happily married for almost 33 years now.
by Sarah Monzon
Series: Carrington Family #3
Publication Date August 6, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Florida Contemporary, Age of Reform - US - 1800 - 1840
Main Character Ages: 25-34, 18-24
Written for: Adults
They were both prisoners of their past. Could legacy be the key to setting them free?
Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie.
A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart.
Florida, 1816 Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the west shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?
I would like to thank Sarah Monzon for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: With You Here
Creating her own menus from custom recipes was a dream Olivia had held on to for a long time. Financial difficulties kept her from even being able to enroll in culinary school. The closest she got to a commercial kitchen was dropping off tickets and picking up plated meals as a waitress. Until she blew into Adam’s life and his food truck. (Adam thought of her as a hurricane!) Olivia was so passionate about reaching her dreams. I love the way she saw an opportunity to get her foot in the kitchen in Adam’s truck and jumped into it with her whole heart.
As a touching kind of person, I loved that Adam was always wanting to be touching people. He was quick to pull Olivia into a hug before he even really knew her – not in a romantic type of way; it was a gesture of excitement and friendship. He was such a man of integrity that he suffered from horrendous guilt over a case he had to handle as a criminal defense attorney. He did so much in an attempt to atone for it.
Adam and Olivia fit together so well and from the very start they just made sense. I enjoyed the picture of them in the food truck as they worked in such harmony to prepare the food. They also fit together as friends. Each had a desire to stand by the other and help and encourage in every way they could. I loved the scene at the farmer’s market with the fish when Olivia tried to cheer Adam up! It was such a riot.
The story, like the others in this series, flashes between the past and the present with the tie between the two times not necessarily obvious until further into the story. In Freedom’s Kiss, the flash was back to the same place, Florida, 200 years earlier. Winnie and Nokosi are the characters from that part of the story. Winnie is a slave who escaped along with her father, sister, brother-in-law, and brother when she was just 17. Sadly, her sister and her husband were lost along the way. Her adventures as her remaining family made their way to Florida and began a new life among the Seminole there were touching and fascinating.
In addition to the things I learned about the Seminole, escaped slaves and early Florida history, I was delighted to learn more about the otters and how tough those playful critters are!
Along with the romance, adventure and fun were some deep spiritual threads about forgiveness, guilt, hope and true freedom. While I have really enjoyed other books by Sarah Monzon, I was astounded at how good this one was. It is very much the type of book that you need to just curl up with when you want to escape from the world.