Month: May 2016

Book Review: Lux Book Series

Lux Book Series

For the past few months I have been in love with a new book series, The Lux Series.  It’s a romance/sci-fi, young adult series, written by Jennifer Armentrout.

It all started with Obsidian.  I downloaded the audio book on a whim and loved it!  The story revolves around a young girl named Katy.  She and her mother just moved all the way from Florida to a new house in West Virginia.  Her mother pressures her to go out and make new friends.  So she walks next door to slyly ask for directions and introduce herself. Well guess who opens the door? Her shirtless, totally hot, new next door neighbor, Daemon.  Unfortunately, their first meeting did not go so well.  Daemon, was rude and cocky as can be.  Of course that is just the beginning. Katy, heads to town with Daemon’s directions and runs into his sister Dee.  Dee will eventually become Katy’s best friend.  But Katy is not completely oblivious that something is a bit off with the town and her new neighbors.  The truth is eventually revealed about their alien origins, and the plot thickens.  Their race has their own enemies. And what about the government? Are they friends or foe?

One of the things I like about the book series is that Katy is a bit more independent and brave than other female protagonist in other series.  However, her need to do what she wants, and to act in contrary to any of Daemon’s advice always gets her in trouble.  But of course the constant bickering and sexual tension between her and Daemon is what also makes it a great romance novel.  You are constantly wondering, are they going to get together? Are they not going to get together?  Are they going to have sex already?  Get it over with already! But that is the fun part of reading these types of books. It’s all about the build up.

Daemon is a great character, he is cocky, arrogant, great body (just look at the book covers!), but of course a kind heart…swoon.  Once you get to Origin, you are treated with his point of view every other chapter.  In fact, I liked reading the book so much I ended up buying Oblivion which is Daemon’s point of view of Book 1, Obsidian.

Since it’s a series, all the books pretty much end in cliff hangers leaving you wanting to read more. But luckily they are YA books, so the dialogue is in modern English and slang, so you breeze right through the books.  For you Twilight fans out there, it will be a funner, more erotic read.  Jennifer Armentrout even pokes fun at the books at one point:

“Will you show me what you really look like? You don’t sparkle do you?” – Oblivian

I don’t want to spoil anything for you guys, so go read them!  You can also look up more information and other books written by Jennifer Armentrout’s  on her website.  I’m definitely looking forward to reading her other books.

I’m currently, in the middle of reading Opposition, maybe I will update this post once I’m done.  If you have any comments, or have any other book recommendations, leave a comment!

Thanks for reading – Gio

  • Obsidian – Book 1
  • Onyx – Book 2
  • Opal – Book 3
  • Origin – Book 4
  • Opposition – Book 5
  • Shadows – Prequel – This is Dawson’s story
  • Oblivion – Obsidian, but from Daemon’s point of view (The ebook comes with Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal)

 

 

Brew at the Zoo 2016

Sample Mug
My Sample Mug

Last Saturday I finally got to go to the New Times & Zoo Miami Brew.  I have been very curious about these type of beer tasting events.  Overall I had a good time, but It was a bit different than what I had imagined.

So this event is referred to as Brew at the Zoo, but it should really be called ‘Brew Adjacent to the Zoo’.  I’m sorry to say we did not see any zoo animals that night 🙁

My friend had invited me along with some of her friends that had purchased the tickets as a group discount for $25 each.  We ended up meeting up at the Zoo Miami parking lot. We saw people tail gating and pre-drinking before the event and were giggling and thinking that was redundant.  Later, we found out exactly why people were pre-drinking. Once the event started, we followed the crowd to an entrance along the right side of the Zoo.  We also received sample mugs as we walked in (they were adorable). The event was on an open lot adjacent to the zoo parking lot.  It reminded me of going to a food truck event.  Instead of food trucks on an empty lot, there were beer vendors.  There was a ton of people, and each little stand had a big line.

We sampled several beers from Magic Hat, Ballast Point, Wood Chuck, MIA Brewery and a few others.  Some tasted pretty good and some were pretty bad.  Around 9 or so, Arrested Development took the stage and some of the people went to see the show.  Someone in line told us that they came to the Brew just to see them.  They sounded great from a distance, but I honestly missed it all.  We ended up standing in line for some arepas and pinchos (pork kabobs).  The food was delicious, but basically those were the only food options.  By the end of the night we had really only sampled about 7 beers due to the long lines.

Overall,  I had a pretty good time.  I went with cool people, and the food was also good.  But of course food is not included in the ticket price.  But I guess I’m not too big on the beers we sampled.  Also, it would have been cool to get admission to the Zoo and walk around. The musical guest was a bonus to me.  I didn’t even know there was going to be one.  So in the end, I am not sure if I would pay for a full ticket price of $40 and up.  It would seem more economical to try a new bar and order a few pitchers.  But if you are curious like I was, getting the group discount (I believe it was a Groupon) would be your best bet for the next Brew at the Zoo.

Thanks for reading, and as always leave a comment – Gio

Swensen’s Beer Party

Swensens Glass Window

Last week, me and a few other bloggers were invited to a special tasting event at Swensen’s. Swensen’s has been located in Coral Gables by US 1 since 1971.  They have revamped their menu, adding fresh new items and ideas, including craft beers and gourmet burgers for a more gastro-pub type menu as opposed to a diner.  The owners along with their dedicated staff have been busy coming up with delicious new combinations of Adult Shakes as well, pairing some of them with their latest selection of craft beers.

Our first tasty treat was a truffle oil mac and cheese.  We had a few options of beer to try, Brooklyn Blast from Brooklyn Brewery, La Rubia from local Wynwood Brewery, Pineapple Sculpin from Ballast Point Brewery just to name a few. But I decided on a cider, Kopperberg Premium Cider. This is definitely, the best cider I have tried so far.  It taste and looks similar to pink champagne. Bubbly, and sweet, with a light fruity flavor.  I think it was a good contrast to the mac and cheese since it is heavier and bit more salty.

Truffle Mac and Cheese
Truffle Mac and Cheese
Kopparberg Cider
Kopparberg Cider

Our next menu item to try was dolphin fingers.  They were battered and fried, but very tender and light to eat. They were served along with a lemon garlic aoili sauce. The sauce was a delicious flavor boost to the dolphin fingers.

Dolphin-Fingers
Dolphin Fingers

Next, the awesome staff from Swensen’s brought out duck confit sliders.  They were deliciously made with their in house Asian BBQ sauce and ranch sauce.  The meat was super tender and juicy.  I guess I can describe the consistency as similar to pulled pork.

Duck-Confit
Duck Confit

So you think I would be full by now.  Yes, I was getting there.  But then they brought out their Nica Burger.  Guess who is Nica?  Me!  These sliders were made with Angus beef patties, slice of Nicaraguan style fried cheese (queso blanco), crema (yogurt type sauce), a sweet plantain, and Nicaraguan style cabbage salad (repollo).

Nica-Burger
Nica Burger

In between all this food tasting, I tried another beer.  This time a Monk in the Trunk.  According to our very nice server Riky, it is comparable to maybe an AmberBock.  It was not too hoppy or dark, but not as light as a bud light or similar beers.  So I liked it.

Monk-in-the-Trunk
Monk in the Trunk

Our final food sample, was a mac burger.  It consisted of fried mac and cheese of course, a hamburger patty, bacon, and was topped with a pepper-jack cheese sauce. I think the cheese sauce was my favorite part of the burger.

Mac-Burger
Mac Burger

For desert we sampled their new Adult Shakes:  Cafe Con Leche and Bananas Foster shake.  The Cafe Con Leche Shake was made with Cigar City’s Maduro Brown Ale and their delicious coffee ice cream. The Bananas Foster shake consisted of bananas, warm caramel, and Due Soft’s Caramel Cream Ale.  They were both delicious.  I can’t wait to go try more flavors.

Cafe-Con-Leche
Cafe Con Leche Shake
Banana Fosters Shake
Banana Fosters Shake

I had a great time and left very full and satisfied.  I would definitely recommend anyone to stop by and check out their new menu items, shakes and selection of craft beers.   The owner would like to keep adding more in the future as well.  Not only is their food good, but their staff is very polite and friendly.  This includes Chef Carlos Laherra, who came out to greet us, and our awesome server Riky who came up with many of the shake combinations.  They have even updated the music selection that plays while you eat.  Alternative bands like Pearl Jam, and other indie bands were playing while we ate.  It was a nice atmosphere and as always, it was nice to meet other bloggers and try new things.

Swesen’s is located:  1586 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables, FL 33146