Is there anything that goes better with football than food? The perfect Super Bowl gathering this Sunday has to include recipes that are delicious, fun and easy to eat. Each dish is the perfect opportunity to score big for the home team!
The top five must-serve football foods for the 2020 season are:
I’ll be serving all these dishes this Sunday as we enjoy the game! I think Leo, Quinn and the rest of the gang would approve of this menu!
“Gideon.” I stopped in front of him, the side of my leg brushing against the skirt of the chair upon which he was leaning. “I’m so glad to see you here tonight. I wanted to talk to you.”
His eyes met mine, that vivid blue slicing through me, traveling down the length of my body and then returning to my face.
His voice was a rumble, low and intimate, and I nearly lost my nerve. But . . . in for a penny, in for a pound.
“I needed to see you tonight . . . to tell you that I’m carrying your child.” I pressed the hand not holding my beer to my flat abdomen. “You’re going to be a daddy in a few months.”
It had been a gamble, using this preposterous lie to shock Gideon into relaxing a little and chatting with me, and for a terrifying moment, I was afraid I’d overplayed my hand. His face went as white as his dress shirt, and his eyes were blank with shock. Those full, sensuous lips that had brought me so much pleasure parted as he gaped at me.
I couldn’t torture him any longer. Doubling over, I snorted in laughter before I raised my beer bottle to my lips and took a long swig.
“Breathe, QB.” I lowered the bottle and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. “Oh, my sweet Jesus, you should’ve seen your face.”
Color was returning to his cheeks, and along with it, a flare of anger in his eyes. “That wasn’t funny, Sarah. Not one damn bit.”
“Oh, it was just a little funny.” I held up my finger and my thumb about half an inch apart. “If you had stopped to think one minute before you reacted, you would have realized that, for one, we practiced safe sex, and two, here I am, drinking a beer. Not exactly expectant mommy behavior.” I poked his ribs. “Besides which, what kind of woman would do that? I would hope you’d think better of me than that, Gideon, even if we’ve only known each other a little while.”
“You have no idea.” Gideon tilted back his head and drained his glass. “That kind of thing . . . it’s the subject of too many cautionary tales to make it a joke. From the time I was in high school, my parents have been warning me about safe sex and not putting myself into a position where a woman could claim I was the father of her child. That’s why hookups and one-night stands are so dangerous. No wonder they were so happy when I was with—” He broke off abruptly. “Anyway, safe sex or not, accidents happen. So no, that wasn’t at all a funny joke, Sarah.”
I rolled my eyes. “Point taken, but honestly, you deserved it.”
“Oh?” He quirked one eyebrow in that way that made him look like the lord of the manner. “How so, exactly? What have I done to you to earn that kind of treatment?”
I set one hand on my hip and tilted my head, giving him my best scolding stare. “You totally ignored me from the minute you got here today. You cut me dead earlier, before the ceremony. You didn’t even bother to stop by my table and say hello during the cocktail hour. Which, okay, well, that’s your prerogative, if you’re going to insist on being anti-social. But I finally walk right up to you, and all you can say is, ‘Hey, Sarah’? Seriously?”
Gideon flushed and rubbed one hand over his jaw. “What did you want from me? Was I supposed to sweep you into a kiss or some shit like that?” He shook his head. “This is why women make me crazy. You say one thing, but really, you have a completely different agenda in mind. A whole other set of expectations.”
“Oh, pul-ease.” I pretended to gag. “That’s utter bullshit—and you’re spouting it off because you know I’m right. If I was a guy who you spent the night with four months ago—”
“Never would’ve happened, princess. I don’t swing that way.”
I ignored his snarky interruption. “—a guy you hung out with at a party and then had a drink with at a bar after, then you would’ve waved the first time you saw me today, and you would’ve made sure to say hello at some point this evening. We would’ve tossed back some beers and caught up.”
A tick in his cheek twitched. “Maybe. You could be right. But we’ll never know, because you’re not a guy, and we did a hell of a lot more than hang out.” He shifted, and I sensed how uneasy he seemed, how uncomfortable he was—and that wasn’t just because of me.
Of course—he hated parties, and here he was, stuck at this one, forced to give the appearance of socializing . . . and too far from home to sneak away to his own space. I caught my bottom lip between my teeth, considering my options here.
“Hey.” I reached down and picked up his hand, holding it loosely in mine. It was just a friendly gesture, nothing seductive or romantic, but Gideon stared at our touching fingers as though we held a ticking bomb between us.
Still, I didn’t let go or move away. I couldn’t articulate, even to myself, why this mattered to me—but it did. Gideon Maynard, football legacy, sizzling hot and gifted quarterback with a bright and shiny future ahead of him, was the most alone man I’d ever met. It wasn’t my job to care, but I found myself in that place anyway.
“Hey,” I repeated. “It’s warm in here, isn’t it? I was thinking that I’d like to get out of the tent and maybe walk on the beach a little.” I pointed to the opening that led into the velvety darkness. “But I probably shouldn’t go by myself. The boogeyman might snatch me.”
Gideon’s lip curled. “I have a feeling he wouldn’t keep you long.”
Pretending I didn’t hear him, I tugged his hand. “C’mon. Keep me safe. I promise that I won’t compromise you out there.”
Still he hesitated, until I blew out a long breath of exasperation. “Gideon. Listen to me. I don’t have designs on you. I don’t want a reprise of our night in Richmond. But you promised to be my friend of convenience at stuff like this, and I’m holding you to that. Friends of convenience go for walks on the beach when the other friend needs it.”
“And you really need to go on a walk, out there in the sand?” Gideon wore an expression of long-suffering tolerance.
“No, QB, you need to go for a walk out there in the sand.” I pulled him again. “Come on. Trust me.”
2. GIA. She’s one of the most complicated and tortured characters I’ve ever written, and that is saying something. Gia’s upbringing and family are at direct contrast to Tate’s: she’s the fifth and youngest daughter in
her well-to-do family, but her parents split up when she was young. Sassy and tough, Gia has a take-no-prisoners attitude . . . until she fell for Matt Lampert. He turned her inside out for four years, his self-destructive bent nearly killing her before he took his own life. When Tate finds her again, she’s not sure she wants to be rescued, and she fights him at first. But in this guy–who is a sort of anti-Matt–Gia’s met her match.
3. PUMPKIN PIE: There is a scene in this book that will make you look at the traditional Thanksgiving/holiday dessert in an entirely new way. Let’s just say that Tate has a unique way of enjoying his leftovers. So when you’re enjoying your pie and whipped cream today, let this drift through your mind . . . and use your imagination. Tate does.
4. MUSIC: All of my books are influenced by music, but none quite so much as this one. The play list is varied and rich–and it actually could have been longer. The songs on this list got me through some tough parts of the story, and when I wasn’t sure how to go on with it, I’d just play it again . . .
A few highlights: Goodbye to You was for Matt and Gia. It was what Gia was trying to say to Matt when she left him that last time. Missing You was how Gia’s friends thought about her after Matt’s death. Use Me was Tate’s anthem to Gia after he found her in the grocery store. Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough is Gia talking to Tate at the end of Part One. Head Over Feet is Gia talking to Tate . . . later. And Hearts Don’t Break Around Here and Not Broken Anymore are both the happy ending.
5. ROMANCE: Yes, this book gutted me. But it’s also one of the hands-down most romantic stories I’ve ever written, because . . . Tate. This man–he loves Gia with a single-minded devotion, a patience that is beyond anything else and a steadfast hope and trust in the future. He treats her with deference and humor. Nothing else comes ahead of Gia. Not one thing. If Tate’s guilty of anything, it’s of not wanting to see the pain that was still tormenting Gia, even when she wanted to love him.
One of my favorites snippets:
I laughed a little. “You know, dude, if you were any other man, when I asked why you were here, you would’ve just fed me the friends-only line. I might not have bought it, but it would have given us both plausible deniability.”
Tate rested his chin on his hand and smiled serenely at me. “I’m not any other man.”
For a solid moment, I felt electricity crackle between us, and I couldn’t breathe. This was new, this hyper-awareness of another person, and I didn’t know quite what to do with it. I stared at Tate as my brain scrambled to figure out what to say or do next.
6. SEXY TIME: Any time you have a love story that involves a super-hot football player and a woman whose sexuality is vital and strong, expect fireworks of the very steamiest type. What Tate might lack in experience, he makes up for in single-minded devotion and attention to detail. And although Gia isn’t sure at first that she’s ready for another relationship, when she makes her move, it’ll take your breath away.
7. TATE: So . . . yeah. Oh. My. Tate. I’ve written strong and sexy male leads before. Sam Reynolds, Cooper Davis, Rafe Brooks–all of them are insanely hot. So what it is about Tate that made fall totally and completely gaga in love? So. Many. Things. First of all, he’s a talented football player. Then he’s also a devoted grandson who isn’t ashamed of being proud of his Pops. He’s a good and loyal friend to Leo. He is steady and strong. He can cook. (And EAT!!) But mostly, Tate is incredible because once he found Gia, she was it for him. He waited for her, and he did whatever he had to do to win her trust and her heart.
Tate is the kind of guy you might think is too good to be true. But I know for a fact that he’s not. So much of Tate came from my own amazing husband, who has been, for thirty-three years, my biggest fan, my greatest supporter, the one who’s only seen me, no matter what.
When we began dating, I hadn’t gone through anything near what Gia has, but I was slightly jaded, a bit cynical (at the ripe age of 17!) and tired of being treated badly by previous boyfriends. The man who would become my husband wooed me by taking things slow, winning my heart with humor and food and careful attention. Yes, there’s a reason Tate is so special to me.
So now it’s up to you–are you ready for some incredible reading? Are you ready to laugh and cry and swoon? Go grab your own copy of NOT BROKEN ANYMORE . . . and be ready to fall in love.
Football is everything, but love is the only game that matters.
Leo, Quinn and Nate . . . They’ve been best friends forever, but life is about to take them in different directions. Decisions about love and friendship could change their paths forever.
Nate: He’s been in love with Quinn since junior high. She’s always been his fierce protector, the one person who looks beyond his physical challenges to see who he really is. But Nate knows the hard truth. Leo holds Quinn’s heart. He’s the one she loves.
Quinn: She’s tired of waiting for Leo to realize that he loves her. But when he finally admits his feelings for her, can they be together without destroying their friendship–and each other?
Leo: He’s the football star, the guy all the girls in school want. But the one girl he secretly needs–Quinn–is the one he’s afraid to want. He knows she’s too good for him, but he can’t seem to resist loving her anyway.
Amid the joys and heartache of first love, crushing loss and unthinkable decisions, Leo, Quinn and Nate struggle to find their way forward without losing each other.
Leo Taylor, the most promising–and maybe the hottest–tight-end in college football today, is my boyfriend.
Sounds perfect, doesn’t? Dating a football star at one of the nation’s top colleges is living the dream. But our long-distance relationship isn’t easy, and I find myself wondering if the timing is ever going to be right for Leo and me. It’s not always easy to play second-fiddle to football.
One thing I do know is that my friend Nate puts me first all the time. There’s no doubt in my mind that he loves me. I just can’t feel the same way.
These four years were supposed to be the most exciting time of my life. Instead, they turn into a rollercoaster of uncertainty, complete with breathtaking highs and lows that threaten to break my heart.
Faced with a decision that means either denying one friend his last wish or losing the only man I’ll ever love, I realize that in this game, for me, winning isn’t an option.
Football is everything, but love is the only game that matters.
Once upon a time, not that long ago, I had just about everything I ever wanted. I was a star football player at one of the best colleges in the country, and I had the girl I’d always loved by my side. The promise of a future most guys can only dream about was close enough to touch.
But if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that life is unpredictable. One twist can change it all, and suddenly, I’m alone. Even football, the one constant in all the insanity, somehow isn’t enough anymore, because without her, everything else is empty. Meaningless.
I’ve got one shot left. One more chance to win her heart. We’re not kids now, and I know that being good enough for Quinn isn’t some game I can fake my way through. She’s more than the prize; she’s my reason for living. The world only makes sense when we’re together.
And this time, I’m going to do whatever it takes to give us our happy ending.
And this, my friends, is not a cliffhanger. This is the happily after forever you’ve wanted.
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Tawdra Kandle writes romance, in just about all its forms. She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Her books include young adult and new adult paranormal romance, new adult and adult contemporary romance and adult paramystery romance. She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup and too many cats. And yeah, she rocks purple hair.
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Football is everything, but love is the only game that matters.
Tate Durham, the newest Philadelphia football hottie, has been in love with Gia Capri since the moment he laid eyes on her back in college. Unfortunately, that happened the same night her destructive and doomed relationship with the troubled Matt Lampert began. Tate didn’t stand a chance.
In the year since Matt took his own life, Gia’s been sleep-walking through her days and just barely surviving her nights. She’s not sure that she’s capable of anything else . . . until Tate finds her sitting on the floor of a grocery store, crying over potato chips.
Tate’s patience and honesty begins to heal what’s broken in Gia’s soul. Still, no matter how hard he tries—or how much he loves her—making her whole again might take more than he can give.
But love never gives up. And neither will Tate.