The Secret Ingredient


4.5 Stars, 5 Stars if they make this into a movie. 😃

Published February 12th 2019 by Hallmark Publishing

Author Nancy Naigle has blended delightful characters, a charming town, a few surprises and some great cooking to create an entertaining and delicious story. Kelly McIntyre is a hometown girl from Bailey’s Fork, North Carolina who loves to bake. Her boyfriend Alex York was the cook and between the two of them they created some delicious dishes. Their dream is to get married and open their own restaurant. Their future seems set, until Alex is offered an opportunity to study under a famous, master chef in Paris. Kelly waits for Alex to come home for seven years, but he never returns. When the story begins Kelly is in Bailey’s Fork and has opened The Cake Factory. Her creative use of flavors has made her famous. She has her own house and loves her pet pig, GRAY (which stands for Good Riddance Alex York.) Alex, still living in Paris, gets an invitation to a baking competition in New York City, so he flies in from Paris a few days early and decides to visit his hometown. He wants to mend some fences with his family. It is a small town, so of course he runs into Kelly and their feelings are still there, yet buried a bit. Kelly insists things are over, but as they run into each other on several occasions, sparks ignite. Is there a chance for them to get back together?

The first part of the book is a bit slow, with them getting to know about each other and their lives, but the second part takes off. This book is wonderful. You will meet characters that become your friends and a town that would be fun to visit. I enjoyed getting to know both Kelly’s and Alex’s families. I liked how some of the family relationships were mended in a very believable way. The romance is light, sweet and I found it easily believed. As I said at the beginning of my review, this would make a wonderful Hallmark movie. (unless it already is). I loved the recipe at the back of the book for the starring dish, Triple Layer Honey Almond Cake with Berries and Mascarpone Crème Fraiche. Not sure if I will try to make it (I am not much of a cake baker) but it sure sounds delicious. I highly recommend this culinary romance. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

About the Book: Love is like a perfect recipe… You never want to lose it.

Years ago, Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York were engaged and dreaming of opening a restaurant together. Then he chose an opportunity to study in Paris over the small-town life they’d planned, and their romance came to a bittersweet end.

But Kelly’s doing fine. She’s not only the owner of a potbellied pig named Gray, but also of her own bakery. Business is good—so good that she’s invited to compete in a Valentine’s Day bake-off. As she prepares for the contest, she tries not to get distracted by Andrew’s visit to town.

When Andrew sees Kelly, it stirs up his old feelings. Little does he know that soon, in New York, he’ll compete against her in the bake-off…and they’ll both realize how much their past is a part of them still.

Nancy NaigleAbout the Author: USA TODAY Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle, writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense.

With a career spent on the cutting edge of technology in the banking industry, she never let go of her dream to write. Now she works full-time writing stories that are a calming blend of community, family, and the simple things in life. She writes the kind of stories she hopes will provide an escape from the hectic day-to-day in the make believe worlds she creates.

Aside from writing she enjoys hunting for treasures in junk and antique shoppes, and getting crafty no matter what the medium from painting and digitizing embroidery designs, to weaving pine needle baskets. She also enjoys horseback riding on her palomino, Tooter.

A Virginia native, and spending most of her life in the Tidewater area, she now calls North Carolina home.

Twitter: NancyNaigle