Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Mixing It Up

Author: Tracie Banister
Genre: Chick Lit, Light Read
Type: e-book
Source: Author
First Published: October 15, 2016
First Line: "Mmm, this tastes amazing," I murmur my approval after taking a bite of the coq au vin I just removed from the oven."

Book Description from GoodReadsBorn with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past. 

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sauté pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more. 

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?


My Rating: 3 stars

My Review: Fans of delicious food and light Rom-Com will enjoy this new book from Tracie Banister which features Cecily Sinclair - a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who is from NYC's upper crust and hosts her own TV cooking show.  Add in some romantic tension, a handful of suitors, a dollop of family discord; lightly stir and you have Mixing It Up.

What I enjoyed:
The stars of the show for me were the wonderfully delicious descriptions of food from French and Italian cuisine. Oh m'gravy! As a Foodie myself I can assure you they will have your mouth watering! It was also interesting getting a peek at the behind the scenes of a TV cooking show.

The characters were as expected and yet varied for this type of book. My favourite relationship wasn't a romantic one but the bond between Cecily and her cousin/BFF Dina.  Dina was a breath of fresh air and stands out in the book compared to her stuffy, snobby Sinclair clan who are more focused on their standing in New York's social scene than doing what makes one happy. There are also romantic twists in the book with a few men vying for Cecily's attentions which keeps things hopping.

What I didn't enjoy
The banter between Cecily and her nemesis Dante was overdone. We know she hates him and she has her reasons but her constant animosity of him got tiring quickly and took up too much page time.  

I also wasn't a fan of Cecily herself. While she's dedicated to French cuisine, she still had a snobbish side to her (albeit much less than her Grandmother and the rest of her family - except bohemian Dina). Cecily goes through a bit of a metamorphosis throughout the book but I still had a hard time liking her.

My biggest dislike has to be how Dante's strong Italian accent was handled. His lines were written phonetically which quickly became frustrating, awkward and tiring to read.

Final Thoughts:
Overall, this was a good, light read with some romantic twists that will satisfy the inner Foodie within you.  This was my first book by Tracie Banister and while this isn't a genre I have often read in recent years, readers who enjoy a light read with romantic tension and tasty descriptions of wonderful cuisine should enjoy this book.

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to author Tracie Banister for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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