I love a happily ever after, and I love a yummy salad. Today is Dark Sexy Knight and crunchy chickpea chopped salad. A match made in Camelot?
Happily Ever Afters are why I’m such a fan of romance novels. I loved fairy tales growing up. The Disney sort. It wasn’t until college that I developed a love of the real fairy tales. Those are much…darker. (Seriously, everyone loses an appendage or dies. Tale of Bluebeard? Shudder.)
For many fairy tales feminine curiosity=doom. “I wonder what’s in that room?” “Why is that rose under that dome?” And don’t even get me started on Pandora. Poor Pandora.
But with time, Gloria Steinem, and female authorship, we finally have the fairy tales we deserve. (Please, please let Trump be an Ogre that will be defeated and humiliated by the heroine. Please.) We’re finally in a place where Disney has self-rescuing princesses, not all black cats are evil, (Thanks, Totoro!) and the Princess gets an orgasm…or four. In a night. Like all grown-up fairytales should have.
Arthur doesn’t look this great during the whole shebang.
You know, Camelot, right? Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, a very fashionable circular table.
It was BEGGING for a reboot.
No, not that one.
Now you’re just being silly…
DID I NOT JUST SAY I WANTED ORGASMS AND HAPPY ENDINGS!?! (not always the same thing)
This gem by Katy Regnery is a retelling of Camelot–sort of. It has the players, but the game is different. Instead of kingdoms to conquer and people to tax, these characters have some serious inner-demons they need to work through.
Loosely inspired by the legend of Camelot, Dark Sexy Knight tells the story of dinner theater knight Colt Lane, who meets down-on-her-luck Verity Gwynn on the worst day of her life. Evicted from their home, Verity and her special-needs brother, Ryan, must find jobs or risk being separated. Colt, who is the furthest-possible thing from a white knight in real life, comes to their unlikely rescue, quickly cementing his place in Verity’s heart.
Colt has dark, deeply buried secrets that keep his smile hidden and his eyes down, which has kept people away . . . until he meets Verity, who seems immune to his gruff manners and taciturn ways. The more time Colt spends with her, the more he longs for her sweetness in his life and yearns to be the knight in shining armor she so desperately needs. Certain he will lose her if she learns the truth about his past, he must decide if he can trust her with his yesterday in order to build a beautiful tomorrow.
There is a second theme in this novel that isn’t stressed by the blurb. Verity and Colt both have family members with developmental disabilities. This is almost never in romance novels. In romance novels, if someone is differently-abled, they’re not DD, but a baseball player that should be playing hockey, or a dog trainer who is actually better with cats.
Dark Sexy Knight doesn’t dehumanize or over-simplify the disabled community. Instead, Katy Regnery creates main characters that accurately reflect the utter devotion families of differently-abled people feel, and also the struggles, and the sense of responsibility the caretaker assumes when a family member is disabled. That was wonderful.
Colt and Verity themselves are a beautiful couple that shine through their struggles. Their chemistry is hot and immediate, and their love makes sense.
And who couldn’t love a couple that falls in love in the fictional equivalent of Medieval Times. MEDIEVAL TIMES, PEOPLE. Turkey legs, goblets of shitty wine, families looking like they HATE life! If that’s not the breeding ground for true love, I don’t know what is.
Well I’m not saying I’d build a summer home here, but the trees are actually quite lovely.
Dark Sexy Knight is pure joy. No quest for the holy grail could be more satisfying than discovering that love can grow and bloom in even the darkest of forests, even snared by the thorns we battle daily.
When I was thinking about recipes for this, I wanted to stay true to the issues of the characters. Colt and Verity are NOT rich, but Colt is VERY fit, and Verity is no slouch. So the recipe has to be healthy. It has to be economical, and it has to taste good. It also had to be something that would appeal to everyone.
But I managed.
Everywhere you look is a new recipe for crunchy chickpeas. And they’re DELICIOUS. But if you eat several handfuls of those? You’ve eaten HUNDREDS of calories. HUNDREDS. But if you add a GREAT dressing, and fresh, seasonal veg, and LET IT MARINATE? A crunchy chickpea chopped salad? Holy wow. Yum. Proteins, fats, magical fairy deliciousness. All of it.
Crunchy Chickpea Chopped Salad.
What Goes In?
- 1 large cucumber, chopped into 1/2" cubes
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped into 1/2" dice
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 cup roasted chickpeas[http://readereater.com/2015/01/23/salt-and-vinegar-roasted-chickpeas/]
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Whisk together all dressing ingredients
- pour over vegetables and chickpeas
- toss gently
- place in sealed container and marinate at least 1 hour
- serve cold.