June 25, 2014

Year 3.4: TRUST: Pandora's Box by Cristiane Serruya + Desser Recipe & Giveaway

TRUST: Pandora's Box
Trust Trilogy 3
Cristiane Serruya
April 16, 2014

TRUST: PANDORA'S BOX, the last installment of the TRUST TRILOGY, follows Ethan, Alistair and Sophia as each one of them strives to live happily ever after. But a greedy man, who has uncovered the many secrets and wrong deeds committed by Ethan, Alistair and Sophia, realizes they could be worth millions. Many are invited to join his team. Each one has an agenda. Each one has a target. Things get out of control when Pandora's Box is opened and the demons are let loose. With so many enemies out for revenge, what will the future bring to Ethan, Alistair and Sophia? Eventually, wishes and nightmares come true... Will hope survive? This book is the last installment of the TRUST TRILOGY and contains graphic sex scenes and mild violence. Indicated for mature audiences.

NOTE: This scene is based on a true story. Carolina is based off Cristiane's brother who according to her is an even better cook than she is. Gotta love inspired stories, don't you?!

He grasped her hand, lacing his fingers with hers, drawing her attention back to his face. “Do you still miss your parents, Sophia?” 
She almost choked with the unexpected change of subject. She put the glass on the table, swallowed the juice and dabbed her mouth with her napkin, clearing her throat. “Yes. I do. Very much. It’s a… An eternal void. It’s been fifteen years. I only remember flashes; my father pushing me on a swing or my mother helping me with my homework. But mostly, what I remember are…” She sighed and raised her eyes to his. “The senses. Her smell and her caresses. Her soft bosom. His laughter and booming voice. The feeling of freedom when he would throw me up in the air and catch me.” Her lips trembled. “Cherished memories.”
Whenever she looked at him with those sad, dark brown, emotion-filled eyes, Alistair wanted to wrap his arms around her, shielding her from all harm and pain. To make love to her until she was laughing again, that tinkled sound that made his heartbeat accelerate to a thousand per minute. “How did you cope with it?” 
“Family love and a special friendship between me and my siblings. We were very close. My family was only us. No uncles, no aunts, no cousins. When they died, Felipe, Carolina and I, we… We became inseparable. We had all our meals together. We slept in their room all the time. And we spent all the time we could with the twins. The best thing my grandparents did was to send me away. Me and Carol. After a week in Lausanne, I missed my parents so much, I missed my brother and my little sisters so much, all I wanted was to go back. I went through a month of unparalleled anger.” She gazed up to the blue sky and the sparse soft clouds, seeing her parents’ fading faces on them, remembering those times. “I know anger is acceptable when you’re grieving, especially when you’re a ten year old girl. Carol was eight, but she grew ancient in just a few weeks. And Felipe, he carried the weight of it all on his shoulders. He closed himself off and, like Carol, became an adult instantly. Always worrying about the future that he forgot to live his present. He was only sixteen. I think he thought he had to fill my father’s shoes.” 
He brushed a lock of her raven hair behind her ear just to touch her. If he could, he would have pulled out all that grief from her soul. 
Sophia leaned her face on his hand for a moment, closing her eyes and letting his warmth seep into her. “It was hard. It was a pain that went on and on and it never ended. It’s perverse to lose both parents at the same time,” she bit her lip and shook her head. A tear fell down her cheek when she whispered, “It was too soon to say good-bye. And what is even worse… Time dulls the pain, but then it also bleaches the good memories...” her words trailed away with a helpless gesture with her hand.
Instinct overcame him and he brought her onto his lap, nestling her back on his arm. Her pain unveiled his own. He couldn’t imagine Nathalie’s memories fading away. “I’m sorry, mo gràdh.”
Sophia sank on his chest. Solid. Warm. So real. When she looked up into his eyes, she saw her own heartache mirrored there, as if he felt her ache as his. Oh, Alistair Connor. You had it even worse than I did, didn’t you? She regarded him with love, as his pain-filled eyes reminded her he had lost a child. Nothing more perverse than that. 
“That’s why I want Gabriela to have at least another sibling. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I were an only child. Yeah, my grandparents were there. They were supportive and loving. But... my sisters and my brother… We shared the same pain and we bore it together. In that year in Lausanne, I was always with Carol. Joined by grief, by need, by love. We helped each other the best way we could. We dealt with our, quote unquote, acceptable anger, by doing things like fencing and skiing and all sorts of mad things, the worst young girls that ever passed by that school. We won every fencing competition. And every horse race, giving the horses rein as if we were chasing their killer. We punched our dough in the Cordon Bleu class, instead of kneading it delicately for hours, like it was responsible for their death. After a while, every girl in the class was passing us their dough behind the teacher’s back for us to knead it.” She smiled sadly at him. “The teacher, he knew, of course. But he closed his eyes to that. Those were acceptable things. The only time we were punished was when we fought over something ridiculous with a schoolmate and we had a flour war in Monsieur Putton’s kitchen. He had a fit and called the head-teacher.” Her smile was sad and his fingers combed her hair, bringing solace to the dull ache that was always waiting to resurface. 
“What was the punishment?” His voice was intense as if he would take revenge on the teacher who dared punish her. 
Her eyes turned wistful. “It was not that bad. Monsieur Putton had a very gentle heart. He was fun and talented. We lost our weekend outings for three months in a row. He said he was going to teach us to respect our elders, other people’s opinion and food.” Her lips curled up softly. “We learned to respect the kitchen. Oh, we did. For a few weekends, we were in the kitchen from ten in the morning to four in the afternoon. We peeled vegetables, we polished the pans and cooking utensils. We cleaned the kitchen until it shined. And we cooked. So many different recipes that we were never the same again. Carol cooks even better than I do. She’s always wanted to be a chef.” Her smile grew. “The sacrifice was rewarding. A lesson taught with love and sweets. That is the way lessons should be taught. With love.” She licked her lips and took an apple from the fruit plate. “I promise I’ll bake cookies and my decadent chocolate and fresh wild berries tartlet for you next week.”
Before she bit the apple he snatched it from her hand and bit it himself and offered it back to her. 
The sinful look he gave her made her mind reel. 
She was unable to make sense of the changes that came over him without explanation. One minute he has profoundly sad and the other, extremely aroused. She’d never experienced anything like it. 
“You are scandalously debauched, Lord Mercurial,” she whispered to him.
He brushed her hair away and kissed her neck, nibbling the soft skin under her ear and sucking her earlobe lightly, before he confessed, “I’ve become so many different men since I met you that sometimes I don’t even recognize myself,” he said  inhaling her vanilla scent deeply. 
“And that’s a good thing? Becoming Lord Multiple Personality?”

Every time I read one of Cristiane Serruya's TRUST TRILOGY books, I feel like I'm taken on a food trip. Her heroine, Sophia Leibowitz, is such a big foodie her palate adventures always make my mouth water. 

So I have to ask Cristiane to share a recipe, something simple that maybe you and I can try at home. Something that is decadent and delectable that it'll feel we're trying a special dish at a 5-star restaurant. 

Sophia’s Cheese mousse with Guava sauce

“I have one great love: sweets,” said Sophia. “Oh, of course, first comes Gabriela, my gorgeous, sexy Alistair Connor and my family! But I'm assuming this everyone knows.

But it’s not every sweet I love. To be on the top of my list it has to be something really special, softy, smoothly and tasty. Mmmm! And with creamy sauce preferably.

So, today, I’ll tell you about a recipe I learned from my grandmother, Angelica. It can be found on every corner and it turned out to be as 'common place'. Seems nothing special, then. What is it? A kind of cheesecake with guava creamy sauce over it.

Fruit jellies or sauces have this innate ability to make my mouth water and I lick my lips with just one glance. Cheeseis sinful, lusty and an excess that would make god Bacchus even more proud of his excesses. The curious thing ischeese is nothing more than milk!

Nonetheless, when it’s mixed with guava sauce, it is luscious, creamy and fragrant.

Guava hard pasta and Minas cheese is a traditional combination in Brazil. We call it Goiabada com queijo! Cheesecake is an American staple. So this “marriage” of flavors works, again, very well for Brazilians, Americans and, oh! for everyone!

But how could I make it even better, easier to do and lighterso I can eat it and still keep fit? Simple: All I had to do was to take away the carbohydrates and the fat! Because we all know that calories count!

I am in love with my Cheese mousse with Guava sauce, so let’s do it:

Ingredients for the sauce:

3 red guavas
½ spoons of sweetener
½ cup of water

Ingredients for the mousse: ​​

1 ½ cup (10 ounces) of ricotta cheese - skim or light!
1 shallow spoon of sweetener
½ glass of skim milk
1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin, without sugar
⅓ cup of water

“First, we will need to cool our silicone or ceramic pan. How to do it? Easy. Put water inside it and wet it all over very well, throw the water away and put it still wet in the freezer.

Clean the guavas very well and, if needed, peel them. Cut them in four halves and put them in a pan with the water and the sweetener. Let them cook for 15 minutes but don't let them become too soft. Let them chill.

In a blender, mix the ricotta, the skim milk and the shallow spoon of sweetener. Process until it becomes a smooth mixture. This takes around 1 minute.

In a ceramic cup, mix the gelatin and the water. Cook it in water-bath for 30 seconds max. Be careful: the gelatin must not boil, just heat it a bit. Mix the gelatin with the cheese cream.

Take out your pan from the freezer; it’s already cold at the touch. Pour the cheese mixture into it. Put it back in thefreezer for 40 minutes.

While we wait— Hey!”

Alistair has sneaked behind Sophia’s back and tried to reach the pan with the guavas. She slapped his hand right on time.

“Alistair Connor! Don’t dare put your finger in this. Out of this kitchen. Right now!”

“Sophia, this smell came waffling through the house and my nose brought me here. I’m salivating!” Alistair flashed her a crooked smile. “Please?”

How cute! “It’s still hot, Handsome! You are going to burn your tongue.” She winked playfully at him. “I can’t stand you having your tongue burnt.”

“Then give me a kiss.” His smile grew naughtily as he bent to take her lips in a passionate kiss.

A loud ahem made Alistair and Sophia spring apart.

“Ooops, sorry, Supies and Braine! You know how I forget every thing when Alistair Connor kisses me,” she said, blushing. And pushed a pouting Alistair out of the kitchen.

“Hmmm… Right. Separate the seeds for their guavas’ outer parts and reserve the seeds for a sauce, it’s not everyone that likes them. Blend the hard parts until they become a delicious, smooth sauce. Let’s put both sauces in the refrigerator to chill.

After forty minutes, take the pan out the refrigerator and carefully run a knife around its edge. Put your serving plate upside down and turn it. If it doesn’t drop instantly, shake it gently. It will come down and won't break.

Now, we can just turn the sauce over it and decorate it with mint leaves and voilà! in less than an hour we have done a delicious and light dessert.

“The only thing better than this is Sophia’s sinful kiss,” said Alistair Connor. “Now, if you excuse us, she is going to feed me this delicacy!”

“Bye, girls! I hope you have enjoyed it!” Sophia exclaimed, chasing Alistair who had fled the kitchen with the dessert.

Now this sounds sinfully good! I'm off to hunt for guavas and attempt to make this! 

TRUST Buy Links

I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with my husband and two daughters. I'm a lawyer, who specializes in cases of sexual abuse and violence against children and women. I also have a Masters in Business Law and a BA in Fine Arts.

I've always loved to read, write and listen to music. I lived and studied in England, France, Italy and Switzerland. Traveling is one of my passions - as is keeping fit and healthy.

After twenty-two years of practicing law, I decided to give writing a go. And - amazingly - it was just the piece that was missing in my life.

Stalk Cristiane


  1. Thanks for sharing all of this with us!

  2. I love books that combine my two greatest loves: food and books!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ooo yum, both the trilogy and the cake!! Perfect for summer, Thanks for sharing :)

    1. I know you enjoy cooking too so I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe

  4. I can already tell if I read this I'm going to be having food cravings lol

    1. Yes you will but it's difficult because the foods she'lll make you crave aren't of the fastfood/grocery/ farmer's market kind.

    2. Not fast-food for sure, Braine and Lily, but not so difficult to do as they seem. I'll be sharing a few more on my pinterest as soon as I can!

  5. that does look good...never had cheese mousse before, oh and the guava. hmmmmm, now I'm hungry. Awesome post ;)

    1. Same here, I told her I want to try it but I might need a substitute for the guava since it's not exactly a common fruit here in the south

    2. Try Guava paste, Braine. If you don't find it, Sophia will do a special one for you with wild berries and send it by... Hmm... email. rsrsrs

  6. Thanks for the introduction to the book. I didn't know this recipe at all, we don't have things like that here but I confess I'm curious to taste it.

    1. French desserts IMO are the best! I can eat macarons and anything puff pastry all day. LET THEM EAT CAKE and I say, I SURE WILL!!

    2. Braine, ma chérie, tarte tatin ou tarte au lemon? Next time!!

  7. I have to make the mousse. It looks damn good. Liked the excerpt too. I never heard of this trilogy.

    1. Right? I think i'll eat it with a caramel sauce or something sweet if I can't find a guava... or maybe raspberries

    2. No, not caramel. Cheese Mousse with fruits (jelly style).
      Now, caramel... Yes! Chocolate truffles with caramel. *licking lips*

  8. Woah, that mousse and guava marriage just sounds so damn delicious! Thanks for sharing Braine!

    1. Dude, anything with cheesecake and I'm in!

  9. Yum! Now I want chocolate mousse. Like right now! Thanks for sharing, Braine :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    1. Dude, if you read the books, Cristiane will make you crave for things. And since you're in Europe and most of the foods are European, I bet you'll have better access to it than us here in the US

    2. Hmm... Sophia and her sister, Carolina, have a chocolate mousse recipe that is easy and scrumptious. Maybe I will put it on my next book and share it with you, girls. How about that?

  10. I didn't want chocolate mouse until Lexxie said that, LOL. But that recipe does sound fabulous, and how cool that the character is based on the author's brother. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome... how about a cheesecake?

  11. I've heard of the author but haven't read her, Braine. This series sounds great and that recipe...YUM! Gonna have to check out this series.

    1. I'm procrastinating on the last book, its thick and needs an entire weekend

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