Royal Hawaiian Cocktail for TLC and The Lieutenant’s Nurse

Welcome to a TLC Book Tour Stop for The Lieutenant’s Nurse by Sara Ackerman.  

About the book

November, 1941. She’s never even seen the ocean before, but Eva Cassidy has her reasons for making the crossing to Hawaii, and they run a lot deeper than escaping a harsh Michigan winter. Newly enlisted as an Army Corps nurse, Eva is stunned by the splendor she experiences aboard the steamship SS Lurline; even more so by Lt. Clark Spencer, a man she is drawn to but who clearly has secrets of his own. But Eva’s past—and the future she’s trying to create—means that she’s not free to follow her heart. Clark is a navy intelligence officer, and he warns her that the United States won’t be able to hold off joining the war for long, but nothing can prepare them for the surprise attack that will change the world they know.

In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eva and her fellow nurses band together for the immense duty of keeping the American wounded alive. And the danger that finds Eva threatens everything she holds dear. Amid the chaos and heartbreak, Eva will have to decide whom to trust and how far she will go to protect those she loves.

Set in the vibrant tropical surroundings of the Pacific, The Lieutenant’s Nurse is an evocative, emotional WWII story of love, friendship and the resilient spirit of the heroic nurses of Pearl Harbor.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


What I thought…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  I’m not a big romance fan.  So when The Lieutenant’s Nurse showed up on my doorstep in a box marked Harlequin, I was not impressed.

I had recently read Ackerman’s previous novel for CTB, Sweet Pies and Soldiers, so I gave it a go and cracked the cover.

I wish, seeing that Eva comes into her own emotionally and professionally in the final pages, that the title was something a bit different than The Lieutenant’s Nurse.   I don’t have an alternate title, but I don’t like that Eva, who fought against male doctors and their arrogant dominance most of her career, is defined only as “The Lieutenant’s Nurse.”

I enjoyed the novel more than Sweet Pies, Ackerman’s previous novel. The writing seemed more “adult” and I enjoyed the structure. Ackerman includes historic notes and artifacts in between the chapters.  Although we obviously know what is on the horizon, these chapter interludes just underline the impending doom.

The first half of the book flew by. No spoiler alert, but the majority of the novel is about the heroine’s journey to Hawaii. Probably the last third is about the terror of Pearl Harbor.

I hate to say it, but I leafed through the final pages just to get to the end. I will probably go back and re-read them at some point.

There’s a couple of mysteries working in the novel and one of them I didn’t see coming.

The food…

There is a lot of food mentioned in the novel, especially on the voyage over.  As one would imagine, the food on the cruise ship consisted of many appetizers, lobster, steak, fresh tropical fruit, Baked Alaska, breakfast buffets, and cocktails.

Billy, Eva’s intended, takes her to The Royal Hawaiian upon her arrival in the islands.  There, Eva is introduced to this cocktail.

After this brief happy interlude where Eva thinks, “Was it even legal to be unhappy in Waikiki?” all hell breaks loose as the bombing of Pearl Harbor commences a few days later.  After that, there is just the horror of war.

But, to keep this post light, I decided to try my hand at the tropical, pineapple kitschy cocktail.

What you’ll need…

Royal Hawaiian

From Imbibe

The 1950s namesake of one of Hawaii’s most popular resorts, this tropical sipper combines gin, fresh fruit and a splash of orgeat.


  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice (fresh and unsweetened, if available)
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. orgeat syrup


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake and strain into a chilled glass.

Yield: 1

Orgeat syrup is my new friend.  I love the stuff.  It’s great in coffee.  I am experimenting using it in baking.  Stay tuned.

I’m linking up with Foodies Read.

You can check out the other TLC reviews here.

Novel Reads (at Simona’s briciole) is up and running (from February 26 to March 26).   I’m joining up.  Check it out.  (Simona is a co-host at Cook the Books Club.)

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