I Definitely Enjoyed This One
5 out of 5 stars
The Secret Ingredient takes place in one of the prettiest places in the US, Maine. Specifically in the small community of South Bay. It tells the story of two chefs – one from South Bay originally running her moms old place that she’s transformed from a greasy spoon into a beautiful farm-to-table local restaurant. And the other, Adah, a single mom who is coming up to Maine to be an executive chef for the first time.
I knew going into this because it was a Carina Adores story that this was going to have a happy ending. I also knew it was going to cover some real things and be as honest and true as it could be as it did it. The other story (Hairpin Curves) I read in this series dealt with heavy issues as well, but did it in such a way that it added to the story.
I know that a story is good when I’m genuinely upset when things happen to the characters. When Adah kept getting looked over or basically mansplained into what she should do for the restaurant – it made my blood boil. That’s the sign of a good book. It was written in a way that I felt, deeply, for these characters and wanted things to work out for them.
As the story progressed, I started to figure out what the ending was going to be but even in guessing it, it didn’t take away from the smile it put on my face. I knew that things were going to be okay and work out but I still wasn’t sure how they were going to get there. I raced through the last few chapters in hopes to figure it out faster. Fisher did a great job keeping the suspense up, even though I knew it was going to be okay.
The dual narration by Hayden Bishop and Lauren Sweet was great – each narrator taking on a character. The different really helped me know which was which and helped make each character a little bit more unique. Overall, an enjoyable story, set in a beautiful area, that kept me smiling throughout. I definitely enjoyed this one.
Two amazing chefs. Two very different restaurants. One recipe for love.
For single mom Adah Campbell, the executive chef job at a posh restaurant in quaint South Bay, Maine, is a dream come true – and the perfect opportunity to start over, far away from a home that’s never felt entirely hers. But fitting in has never been easy, and between a new town, a new boss, and the unexpectedly attractive owner of a rival café, things get off to a rocky start.
Never did free-spirited Beth Summers think she’d still be in Maine. Travel the world gathering delicious recipes and finding friends and lovers? Absolutely. Step in to run her family’s small-town café? Not so much. However, once Beth commits to something, that’s it. Soon, The Yellow House is the hottest spot in town, but Beth’s out of energy – and out of ideas for moving forward.
Until Adah Campbell walks into her life. As sparks fly, both chefs have to decide if they are willing to make sacrifices…or if it’s really too many cooks in the kitchen.
Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.