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.
Release Date: February 12, 2019
Review copy provided by publisher
I've been a fan of Nancy Naigle since I read her very first book. She is my go-to author for sweet romances. The Secret Ingredient was a second chance romance, which happens to be one of my favorite troupes. I adored getting Kelly and Andrew's story in The Secret Ingredient.
Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York were engaged 7 years ago when Andrew is given the opportunity of a life time to study in Paris and he decides to stay after graduation. All their dreams of opening a restaurant together and marriage and family come to an end when Andrew stays in Paris. When Andrew comes home for a surprise visit 7 years later, he honestly only wanted to see his family, yet everything changes when his mom and sister give him a surprisewelcome home party and Kelly is in charge of all the desserts.
Kelly has lived her dream back in their hometown by opening her own bakery called The Cake Factory. Kelly has become a huge success in her business and has helped Bailey 's Fork have a booming economy. Her bakery has allowed her to employ 100 full time bakers and helped other businesses in town. When Kelly is approached to participate in Valentine's Cake-bakeoff, she quickly agrees, not knowing that is the real reason Andrew is back in the states. None of the contestants can let anyone know where they are really going for the secret bake-off, or they will be immediately eliminated from the contest. I enjoyed seeing Andrew and Kelly reconnect before they both headed to New York for the bakeoff. There was such a sweet connection between them.
Most of the story does take place in their small hometown, and Ms. Naigle does an amazing job making the small town and the people in the town come to life. I loved seeing how the town had grown and changed while Andrew was gone and yet was completely welcoming to him when he returned. I find that the small town in a Nancy Naigle book becomes another character in the story right along side the people. I did love seeing both Kelly and Andrew in the baking competition. They had such different training, with Andrew's being from professional chefs in Paris, and Kelly's being from her grandmother, yet were both rockstars when it came to coming up with amazing ideas.
The Secret Ingredient was such a wonderful sweet romance. The small town setting was absolutely perfect for the story and I loved the crazy fun trip to New York every bit as much as I enjoyed the time in the small town. Kelly and Andrew were so much fun to see grow and mature over the course of the story not only as individuals but as a couple. The Secret Ingredient is another winner from Nancy Naigle.
Rating: 4 Stars (B+)