Today we have a guest review for The Secret Ingredient by Nancy Naigle. Tanya Kaanta tell’s us her thoughts on the book, published by Hallmark.
Back of the Book
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.
This irresistible romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Honey Almond Cake with Berries and Mascarpone Crème Fraiche.
Review by Tanya Kaanta for Love Books Group
The Secret Ingredient by Nancy Naigle
The Secret Ingredient by Nancy Naigle has got to be one of the sweetest romance novels I’ve read in a while. The premise is cute, incorporates some fun pop culture in the form of a baking show, and of course, has romance’s coveted Happily Ever After.
Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York were destined to be together. They were childhood friends turned sweethearts and were engaged to be married. But then Andrew received a highly sought-after spot to study pastry baking in Paris, far from their hometown of Bailey’s Fork, North Carolina.
And Kelly had no plans to leave. Her dream was always to own her own bakery. Even with Andrew asking for her to come with him, they both knew it wouldn’t work for her to leave town. Especially after Andrew decided to stay in Paris beyond his six-month training.
Years fly by and Andrew never returns home. But Kelly did start her own bakery, The Cake Factory, and builds its reputation as one of the best bakeries in the country.
Enter seven years later. Andrew returns home for the first time and realizes his love for Kelly has never died. And Kelly can’t help being attracted to him, even though her heart remains bruised. But Andrew’s return home isn’t to just visit friends and family. He’s about to be a contestant on the very popular baking show, Four Square, Valentine’s Day edition.
Little does Kelly know, she was also nominated to be a part of the show, and after the host visits her bakery, they convince her to be a contestant. What ensues is an adorable union of two people destined to be together. It starts in Bailey’s Fork and is cemented in New York City. Now, the two don’t realize they’re competitors of one another, but once its revealed, the ending is so sweet. Especially when we learn how they both came to be on the show.
Yes, romance friends…I even shed a happy tear. And can easily say I adored this story.
“I’ve got an idea. I’ve never done it, but I’ve heard of it. Do you have some balloons?”
“I do.” She retrieved a bag of twisting balloons from the cabinet. “Pick your color.”
“Red for me. Pink for you.”
“He remembers,” she said softly.
He leaned in close and whispered into her ear, “Believe me. I haven’t forgotten a thing.”
She flinched, turning toward him, and his lips were so close to hers. Don’t kiss me. Her heart turned over in response, and darn if her hand wasn’t shaking. Her brain was saying no, but in the moment it might have been so nice. Stay focused.
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