The Spirit Guide: Sweetmeats

The Spirit Guide by Elizabeth Davies is a succesfull combination of historical and paranormal romance. The story takes place in 12th century England.

Seren has seen wraiths all her life and she learns, that once she dies, she’ll become a spirit guide. Hiding her secret is difficult, constantly in fear of beign exposed and accused of witchcraft. And then she falls for a man and is betrothed to another. And her father-in-law, he has darkness to him and he scares Seren more than anyone. Lots of thrilling events, some steamy moments and very interesting picture of the period.

The description of the era was one of the most enjoyable things for me in this book. The historical parts were well written. And that’s where the inspiration came from. Sweetmeats were mentioned in couple of occasions and I actually had to look up what it meant. This blog post is my interpretation of it.

`There is no shame in what you are.´ He held out a hand, thought the better of it, and let it drop to his side. `Come let us, sit. We have much to talk about.´
I joined him on the bench, ensuring I was far enough away not to be touched accidentally. He called for wine and sweetmeats, and we made small talk until the serving boy left. Then he got down to business.
`Tell, me, what it is you see?
I made him wait a while, pretending to marshal my thoughts and my fear (though I really was not pretending the fear – Vaughan was dangerous), then I said, `The dead.´
His silence unnerved me, and I was compelled to fill it.
`Ghosts, I see ghosts.´
(Elizabeth Davies: The Spirit Guide,  165-167 epub edition)

Sliced cookies
300 g butter
2 dl sugar
1 egg
100 g almond flour
1 tsp ground vanilla
400 g wheat flour

1. Mix soft butter and sugar with electric mixer until it’s light in color. Whisk in the egg.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together and add them into the butter-sugar mixture. Blend together with spatula
3. Fill a piping bag with batter and cut the end so, that the opening is about 2 cm in diameter.
4. Put a baking paper on oven tray and make a line out of the batter with piping bag. Four 2 cm thick lines on each tray. The dough will be enough to 7-8 lines.
5. Bake the dough in 175 ‘C for 11 to 15  minutes, so that it gets a bit golden on the edges. The let it cool and cut it in askew slices (about 3 cm in breadth).
6. Decorate the cookie slices with melted chocolate and sprinkles.

Jam cakes
200 g butter
4,5 dl wheat flour
0,5 dl caster sugar
(food colouring of your choice)

1. Mix the dry ingredients with soft butter with your hands.
2. Flour your hands and roll little balls out of the dough and place them on paper cupcake forms on a oven tray.
3. With help of spoon or piping tip, make a den in each dough ball and fill the den with jam of your choice. I used rasberry-blueberry jam.
4. Bake the cakes in 175 ‘C for about 12-15 minutes.

Oat cakes

100 g butter
2 dl coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tsp ground cardamom
4 dl oatmeal
2,5 dl wheat flour
1 dl double cream
1 egg

melted chocolate for decoration

1. Melt the butter in a pan. Take off the heat and mix in all the rest of the ingredients with wooden spoon.
2. Put a baking paper on a oven tray. Take a table spoon and make lumps (the dough is enough for 24-30 cookies)  on the tray, leave room for the cookies to rise.
3. Bake them in 200 ‘C for 10 minutes.
4. When cooled, melt the chocolate and dip the top of the cookie in it.

The Spirit GuideThe Spirit Guide by Elizabeth Davies

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Historical romance and paranormal romance combined. The Spirit Guide was a good reading experience. First of all, the books world building was awesome, I had no doubts of the accuracy of the picture of period. Every little detail was considered.

Seren is 16 years old and she has seen spirits of the dead, wraiths, all her life. And since witchcraft and anything even resembling that results that, equals death sentence, Seren has done everything she can to hide her curse / gift.

Seren learns early in the book that she is a spirit guide or actually will become on when she dies. And she definitely doesn’t want that. Before she is sent to serve the wife of her liegelord, she briefly encounters a knight. And it is love at first sight, for her anyway.

Life at the new castle isn’t easy for Seren, especially when her mistress’s advisor, Vaughan suspects that there is more to her than what meets the eye. Vaughan scares Seren, there is something about him that is dark. And Seren’s mystery knight is nowhere to be found and she is betrothed to Vaughan’s son.

That’s about all I can write without spoiling the story. But there is very interesting description of the 12th century life and society, there are wraiths and magic, both white and black. There definitely is paranormal activity and of course HEA. And how Seren reaches her HEA is maybe the best part of the book, never saw it coming or actually never saw it coming true the way that it did.

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