Friday, May 22, 2020

Review: The Ingredients of You and Me by Nina Bocci

Title: The Ingredients of You and Me
Author: Nina Bocci
Series: Hopeless Romantics, #3
Published: April 2020, Gallery Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 320 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “heartwarming and refreshingly sweet” (Lauren Layne, New York Times bestselling author) On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a sizzling and sweet small-town love story that follows a bakery store owner who decides to take her chances on a truly hopeless romantic.

After selling her successful bakery back in New York, Parker Powell decides to visit her best friend Charlotte in Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. As she acquaints herself with the people in town, she begins to wonder why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls (a.k.a. the senior citizen women who hold court), the response from the town to her sweet treats, and Nick Arthur, the ever-charming local owner of a landscaping business she spent time with during her last visit, Parker finds a community of cheerleaders who encourage her to get her baking mojo back.

At first, everything is great—she collaborates with the Golden Girls to put new twists on traditional confections, and thanks to Nick’s advice, she quickly learns the stark differences between big city and small-town business practices. Although Nick has become her friend and confidant, Parker’s determined to keep things platonic—especially since his girlfriend isn’t a fan of their friendship. But just when things fall into place so they can finally be together, Parker’s dream bakery is threatened by a major corporation who wants to take her down using the very bit of advice that Nick gave her.

With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep the business—and man—she’s come to love before she loses it all.

Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert and Jenny Colgan, The Ingredients of You and Me is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake and eat it too.

My thoughts:  While this is the third book in Nina Bocci's Hopeless Romantic series, it's only the first one I've read and it was exactly the type of read I needed right now. This book is equal parts charming, sweet and downright funny and I loved every minute I spent with these characters. I had a smile on my face the entire time I was reading this - it was just what I needed with all that is going on right now.

While I don't typically like to jump into a series in the middle, I've found that it is not always possible to start at the beginning, especially when I am offered a book for review that is part of a series. So, I've thrown my own rule out the window and have decided to just read whatever book it is I'm given and if I like it, then I go back and start the series at book 1. If I don't like it, then no need to read anymore. And, what I've been finding is that most authors are writing the books in their series in such a way that each book really does stand on their own. 

Luckily, my experience with this book is that I definitely plan on going back to read the earlier books. I'm not sure if the characters we meet in this third book are all involved, but either way, I want more of this author's writing.

As for this particular book...I loved it. While there is a romance component to this book, and a second chance romance at that, I don't necessarily think it's the main focus. It's mainly focused on Parker finding her passion for baking again. Luckily she has a great group of women to help her with this - the Golden Girls. And what a group they are! These women have such huge personalities and really made the book. They had me laughing so hard at times, yet I also found myself thinking of my grandmother each time they offered their unsolicited advice.

I loved this book. I loved the small town charm and the way friends banded around Parker. I loved the Golden Girls and cannot wait to read the earlier books just so I can get more of them alone. This was definitely a feel-good book and it includes recipes...I can't wait to give them a try!

Books in this series:
  1. On the Corner of Love and Hate
  2. Meet Me on Love Lane
  3. The Ingredients of You and Me


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