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A Recipe for Disaster: A deliciously feel-good romance

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Life’s not always a piece of cake… Meet Lucy, master wedding cake baker, idealistic school canteen crusader, and someone whose broken heart just won’t seem to mend…Lucy is quietly confident that she has made the right choices in life. Surrounded by friends and family in a small town by the sea, Lucy can easily suppress the feeling that something is missing from her life.B Life’s not always a piece of cake… Meet Lucy, master wedding cake baker, idealistic school canteen crusader, and someone whose broken heart just won’t seem to mend…Lucy is quietly confident that she has made the right choices in life. Surrounded by friends and family in a small town by the sea, Lucy can easily suppress the feeling that something is missing from her life.But when a blast from the past arrives in the form of her estranged husband, international celebrity chef Oliver Murray, Lucy’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble beneath her like overbaked meringue.Is Oliver’s return all business or is it motivated by something more?A Recipe for Disaster starts long after most love stories would have ended, proving it is never too late to offer someone a second slice of cake or a second chance. Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.


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Life’s not always a piece of cake… Meet Lucy, master wedding cake baker, idealistic school canteen crusader, and someone whose broken heart just won’t seem to mend…Lucy is quietly confident that she has made the right choices in life. Surrounded by friends and family in a small town by the sea, Lucy can easily suppress the feeling that something is missing from her life.B Life’s not always a piece of cake… Meet Lucy, master wedding cake baker, idealistic school canteen crusader, and someone whose broken heart just won’t seem to mend…Lucy is quietly confident that she has made the right choices in life. Surrounded by friends and family in a small town by the sea, Lucy can easily suppress the feeling that something is missing from her life.But when a blast from the past arrives in the form of her estranged husband, international celebrity chef Oliver Murray, Lucy’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble beneath her like overbaked meringue.Is Oliver’s return all business or is it motivated by something more?A Recipe for Disaster starts long after most love stories would have ended, proving it is never too late to offer someone a second slice of cake or a second chance. Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

30 review for A Recipe for Disaster: A deliciously feel-good romance

  1. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    4 Delicious Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This was a delightful story that left me with a smile on my face and a craving for cake! Anyone who follows my blog or reads my reviews knows I am a huge sucker for a lighthearted romantic comedy.... and this book checked off all the boxes for what I love about these books.... fun characters✔️ laugh out loud moments✔️ fabulous friendships✔️ lovely setting✔️ and it always helps when there is delicious food✔️✔️✔️ oh and I cannot forget the romance✔️ got to love the love! This 4 Delicious Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 This was a delightful story that left me with a smile on my face and a craving for cake! Anyone who follows my blog or reads my reviews knows I am a huge sucker for a lighthearted romantic comedy.... and this book checked off all the boxes for what I love about these books.... fun characters✔️ laugh out loud moments✔️ fabulous friendships✔️ lovely setting✔️ and it always helps when there is delicious food✔️✔️✔️ oh and I cannot forget the romance✔️ got to love the love! This was a realistic second chance love story... Lucy and Oliver met when they were 15, bonded by their mutual love of cooking/baking... when given the chance to move from Australia to France and pursue his dreams Oliver makes the move and leaves Lucy behind.... now A famous chef Oliver is back, but what does he want? What happens after you’ve already had your happily ever after? Really like Lucy and I was right there with her as she tried to figure out whether or not things would work again with Oliver.... I was seriously as fickle as Lucy throughout this book.... One minute I thought Oliver was worth a second chance and then he’d say or do something stupid... Lucy was very reactionary and occasionally her reactions were immature, but that’s what I found so realistic about her.... I mean we’ve all been known to throw an occasional fit, right? Right??? So... do these to get a second happily ever after? Well you will need to read the book to find that one out! Another fabulous part to this book were the secondary characters... I love the strong friendships between Lucy and Zoe, and Lucy and Patrick.... they were both loyal and fierce friends that any of us would be lucky to have! I would love to see a follow up that included either one of these characters.... I also loved Lucy’s lovely family.... although mom was a little too fond of Oliver, I could see where that would be a bit annoying.... Absolutely recommend to people who enjoy a fun sweet romance, that is guaranteed to leave you craving cake 🍰 *** many thanks to HQ Digital and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book ***

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dash fan

    4☆ A Feel Good Read  A Recipe for Disaster is a story about success, relationships, second chances and delicious food. Lucy is a fantastic baker, she has alot of passion for baking it just shines through. Her ex hubby Oliver is a top celeb chef. Their relationship is far from perfect it's fiery and a lil temperamental at times. But Oliver knows he needs Lucy. So despite them no longer being together, he offers her to come work with him in his new restaurant. Lucy has to work out what she wants and is 4☆ A Feel Good Read  A Recipe for Disaster is a story about success, relationships, second chances and delicious food. Lucy is a fantastic baker, she has alot of passion for baking it just shines through. Her ex hubby Oliver is a top celeb chef. Their relationship is far from perfect it's fiery and a lil temperamental at times. But Oliver knows he needs Lucy. So despite them no longer being together, he offers her to come work with him in his new restaurant. Lucy has to work out what she wants and is going back to Oliver the right decision?  A Recipe for Disaster is exactly that! If Lucy and Oliver become partners again will it be a recipie for disaster or Will it be the perfect pairing! I really enjoyed reading this book. I really appreciated all the baking, as I adore baking myself. The characters were flawed, but I did find it took lil while to connect with the main characters. It's a feel good, witty read about second chances, change, relationships, the romance is more subtle as they work through their issues. Overall an enjoyable summer read. That left me hungry. Thank you to Rachel Random Resources for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily. My Review is also on my Blog Website :- https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/2018/0...

  3. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: A nervous Oliver was like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket. You knew there was one out there somewhere, but you’d be hard-pressed to find it without some serious legwork. A small crowd of adults gathered around the cake, like it was baby Jesus in the manger. Instead of offering me any kind of rare gifts, they offered my cake to the Instagram gods. My vagina is depressed – that is officially something that can happen, mind you– and I don’t know what to do… It’s a thing… They waste away a Favorite Quotes: A nervous Oliver was like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket. You knew there was one out there somewhere, but you’d be hard-pressed to find it without some serious legwork. A small crowd of adults gathered around the cake, like it was baby Jesus in the manger. Instead of offering me any kind of rare gifts, they offered my cake to the Instagram gods. My vagina is depressed – that is officially something that can happen, mind you– and I don’t know what to do… It’s a thing… They waste away and die. God knows they probably drop off and run away of their own volition. You don’t know this is for sure, though, so let’s not roll down worst case scenario hill, it’s right next to depression valley and crazy cat lady land. I slipped across the road and into my car, all the while reminding myself there were no cakes in prison, nor were there any savoury pinwheels or cheese twists. A local bookshop is, and I quote, going down quicker than a cheerleader on a Saturday night. Can we please stop by and buy some books? My Review: I giggle-snorted my way through this delightfully witty and cleverly written tale. I have a new favorite author to fangirl as I treasured Belinda Missen’s cunning and irreverent sense of humor and would gleefully worship at her writing desk as her rabid acolyte. I had reams of favorite quotes to painfully whittle down to include in my review. The characters were quirky and endearing yet deeply flawed and I held my breath for them as a couple as I couldn't tell what outcome this sly scribbler was going to choose for them. Lucy was a prickly pear and still nursing a grudge and tended to be defensive and pick unnecessary fights and fly off in a temper, yet I still adored her. The writing was crisp and insightful and pulled sharp visuals to mind while tripping my salivary gland and whetting my appetite with the keenly detailed efforts of, and the sumptuous meals and delectable treats created and ingested by, Chefs Oliver and Lucy. For some reason, my clothes feel a bit tighter – as if my immense enjoyment of Ms. Missen’s crafty and delicious words had led my traitorous body to believe I had actually consumed the vast amounts of butter and sugar described. Curses! If this phenomenon were possible it would surely happen to me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Yeah, it was just OK. Brenda Missen is a pretty good writer though. There were some funny lines, but I can't think of any funny situations. She kept me reading. I had problems with both the hero and the heroine. they had major personality flaws, and their actions were not very admirable or even understandable at times. I guess my main problems were with the heroine because, in a book like this, you kind of expect the hero to have some growth and learning to do to be worthy. At the beginning, Luc Yeah, it was just OK. Brenda Missen is a pretty good writer though. There were some funny lines, but I can't think of any funny situations. She kept me reading. I had problems with both the hero and the heroine. they had major personality flaws, and their actions were not very admirable or even understandable at times. I guess my main problems were with the heroine because, in a book like this, you kind of expect the hero to have some growth and learning to do to be worthy. At the beginning, Lucy was kind of in a dead-end with her life with a crap boyfriend. She had just quit her job with the school cafeteria in a huff because they didn't accept her meal plan for the future. She does a cake for a friend's wedding and it is a big hit, which gets her thinking about getting back to baking professionally. Her estranged husband, a world-famous now rich chef appears on the scene. He has decided to open a new restaurant in the small backwater town she lives in. It is a real place. I explored it on Google Earth, as I do. It is a really a plain small town in rural Australia about an hour and a half from Melbourne. Anyway, he swoops in and gives her 200,000 dollars to make up for leaving her with no financial support while he was pursuing his dream in France. Yeah. Then he hires her virtually as a partner in his venture at a 100,000 dollars a year. Despite this opportunity of a lifetime and deliverance from all of her financial woes, she remains sulky, resentful, and immature. He's no prize either. He's kind of snobby about his European adventure and in an incident towards the end really is disrespectful and petulant. But I didn't think he was as irritating as Lucy, who commands center stage because she is the first-person narrator. Not much else happens other than romance, baking, and getting the restaurant off the ground. They decide to try to save their marriage and they are very happy until the big blow-up near the end. I won't tell how it ends up, because for a while I wasn't sure what would happen. At the end, I got what message the author was trying to send with the two leads and their relationship. ***2.75 stars***

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Danks

    Recipe for disaster is the witty love story of college sweethearts Lucy and Oliver pulled apart by career choices and ambition. Just like in real life, the characters are making a right mess at things until everything get eventually sorted out. Clashes of big personalities, misunderstandings and cake mix are at the core of this bittersweet romance who kept me entertained till the very last page. I think Missen did a great job at showing the chaotic whirlpool that is real life, with characters that Recipe for disaster is the witty love story of college sweethearts Lucy and Oliver pulled apart by career choices and ambition. Just like in real life, the characters are making a right mess at things until everything get eventually sorted out. Clashes of big personalities, misunderstandings and cake mix are at the core of this bittersweet romance who kept me entertained till the very last page. I think Missen did a great job at showing the chaotic whirlpool that is real life, with characters that are flown, selfish and riddled with doubts just as you would expect them to be. I really enjoyed this novel, and I wish it came with a slice of Lucy’s fabulous cake, looking forward to read more from this promising author.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Gilbey

    Lucy and Oliver are married but have been separated for three years until he suddenly returns to her life in a big way. Lucy is a baker and Oliver a top chef and he wants her to work with him in his new restaurant - but they haven't exactly seen eye to eye for ages. In fact most of the interactions between the pair are not exactly smooth conversations, and usually ends up with at least one angry person. What is for certain though is that Lucy is a fabulous baker, and the cakes and desserts she c Lucy and Oliver are married but have been separated for three years until he suddenly returns to her life in a big way. Lucy is a baker and Oliver a top chef and he wants her to work with him in his new restaurant - but they haven't exactly seen eye to eye for ages. In fact most of the interactions between the pair are not exactly smooth conversations, and usually ends up with at least one angry person. What is for certain though is that Lucy is a fabulous baker, and the cakes and desserts she creates are impressive and she is generally quite a fiery character. However for a book that on paper features everything I love in a story, it just felt like something was missing but I can't put my finger on it that would have taken it from a good book to a fabulous one. I just didn't seem to connect to any of the characters particularly well, which never helps. It was good to see a book set in a small town in Australia where even the nearest big city was a not that close which just shows how large the country really is. This is a will they, wont they story about Oliver and Lucy's relationship, and whether they can learn to work together or whether everything will end up in divorce. It keeps you guessing until the end. This is a lovely debut novel from the author and I would certainly be interested in reading more from her in the future. Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    The premise of this was ok but the characters were just terrible. Just couldn't get past the immaturity of Lucy, the idiocy of Oliver and the whininess of Zoe. Lucy basically lets Oliver walk all over her, treat her like crap, and then is happy about it because hey he came back to her so of course he loves her. This book was just not for me I guess. The premise of this was ok but the characters were just terrible. Just couldn't get past the immaturity of Lucy, the idiocy of Oliver and the whininess of Zoe. Lucy basically lets Oliver walk all over her, treat her like crap, and then is happy about it because hey he came back to her so of course he loves her. This book was just not for me I guess.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Provide me with a story that involves cake, puddings and basically anything sweet and you will have my undivided attention. This is a delightful little broken heart, second-chance, will they, won’t they story. It made a pleasant change being set in Australia, not a country featured often in the books I tend to read, perhaps I should rectify that. Lucy and Oliver the young married couple who should have had the perfect married life, split due to circumstances and went their separate ways. Lucy bake Provide me with a story that involves cake, puddings and basically anything sweet and you will have my undivided attention. This is a delightful little broken heart, second-chance, will they, won’t they story. It made a pleasant change being set in Australia, not a country featured often in the books I tend to read, perhaps I should rectify that. Lucy and Oliver the young married couple who should have had the perfect married life, split due to circumstances and went their separate ways. Lucy bakes a killer cake and has some crazy ideas for fabulous desserts, Oliver intent on furthering his career travelled and returned with his Michelin chef award. He returns and wants his wife back, can they make up, can Lucy work for him in his restaurant. She already has all the feels of rejection, he wanted to travel to France, she didn’t so he went without her .. does she really need him back in her life with the potential to do the same again? The story develops along with the characters, it deals nicely with some of the elements of growing up, give and take but not without a few outbursts along the way. Lucy is quite a fiery person but I like that and warmed to her fairly well. If you want to be immersed in delicious bakery, jump in with this pair and the supporting cast see how long they can prolong the will they won’t they routine, all the time realising people can change, life throws us c*ap at times and to be a true adult you have to put the other person in a relationship first sometimes. I enjoyed A Recipe for Disaster as light entertainment and look forward to more from the author, possibly in this series. Thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel at Random Resources for inviting me onto the tour. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kat Betts

    Belinda's nailed it. The characters have clear, individual voices, personalities and, importantly, they're flawed. I love the characters' turns of phrase, and their voices are distinctly modern Australian, which is refreshing (and fun to read). At no point are you completely sure of the ending, Oliver and Lucy have issues, as does Zoe and, like all relationships, things get complicated and messy. A Recipe for Disaster explores what it's like to meet early and develop career aspirations as a couple Belinda's nailed it. The characters have clear, individual voices, personalities and, importantly, they're flawed. I love the characters' turns of phrase, and their voices are distinctly modern Australian, which is refreshing (and fun to read). At no point are you completely sure of the ending, Oliver and Lucy have issues, as does Zoe and, like all relationships, things get complicated and messy. A Recipe for Disaster explores what it's like to meet early and develop career aspirations as a couple, and separately. For anyone in a long-term relationship, and particularly for those who met young, this highlights the sacrifices we make (or don't make) as we move through our lives, and the ripple effect that these choices can have. Prior to reading this book, I suggest stocking up on pastries and cakes, too. And, come to think of it, some really good coffee.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mo Moses

    Part of me really really wants this to be a series, because I'm kinda hooked on the characters and the relationship between them and the cooking activity, the creative process and the D E L I C I O U S food-and-feeling-based outcomes were all a bit addictive. Or even a spin off because the side characters were tempting enough that I could read a book just on each of them (I'm looking especially hard at you, Patrick). If you're not the baking type, please ensure you have a nice sizeable array of q Part of me really really wants this to be a series, because I'm kinda hooked on the characters and the relationship between them and the cooking activity, the creative process and the D E L I C I O U S food-and-feeling-based outcomes were all a bit addictive. Or even a spin off because the side characters were tempting enough that I could read a book just on each of them (I'm looking especially hard at you, Patrick). If you're not the baking type, please ensure you have a nice sizeable array of quality snackables before you sit down with this mind-treat. I had to get up for a break and make a Pavlova just to join in the fun. If you're from anywhere around Geelong, the Bellarine, Melbourne the Great Ocean Rd or Inverleigh, there are going to be some wonderful easter eggs in there for you. If not, well, you're going to want to move.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zoé-lee O'farrell

    This story was cute, so cute. I had wondered if it would go down a different route then it did and I loved that it stayed on the path it was meant to. Lucy is our main lady, headstrong and has been jilted by her husband. Her hot husband who also happens to be now famous! Famous for being a chef, think Gordon Ramsay famous. He left and she didn’t follow, but now he is back. This is my first book by Belinda and I loved this story that she told. A woman who won’t take any nonsense but also one who kn This story was cute, so cute. I had wondered if it would go down a different route then it did and I loved that it stayed on the path it was meant to. Lucy is our main lady, headstrong and has been jilted by her husband. Her hot husband who also happens to be now famous! Famous for being a chef, think Gordon Ramsay famous. He left and she didn’t follow, but now he is back. This is my first book by Belinda and I loved this story that she told. A woman who won’t take any nonsense but also one who knows when she is wrong and I will admit I quite liked her even when she was losing her mind. Her estranged husband Oliver, he may be beautiful but I kept too-ing and fro-ing with how I felt about him. Did I like him? Was he good enough? Alas, that wasn’t my decision to make! This however made the story feel realistic, it was not a case of oh I love him lets be in love forever or oh I hate him let me run away with someone else. It was about two people wondering if they were able to still make things work despite what had occurred. Once I sat down and started to read to this, I found it such an easy read to get into and lose myself in. I found Belinda’s writing so enticing, she writes as if she was having a conversation and I found that the book just flowed. As I said it was a cute read and a fun read and I know I will be back again to read another book by Belinda. I just found out this was Belinda’s debut, so if this is the start you just know it will get better and better!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather Morris

    What an absolute delight ! That’s what is in store for you when you read recipe for disaster. Not your typical Romance where girl meets boy. Girl has already met boy and married him but a 3 year separation and a decision for our leading man to fight for the woman he truely loves is what became a delicious 2 day devouring read.. all the puns intended . This witty and heart felt story of Lucy and her path to rediscover her passion, her self worth and the man she should have followed is an amazing What an absolute delight ! That’s what is in store for you when you read recipe for disaster. Not your typical Romance where girl meets boy. Girl has already met boy and married him but a 3 year separation and a decision for our leading man to fight for the woman he truely loves is what became a delicious 2 day devouring read.. all the puns intended . This witty and heart felt story of Lucy and her path to rediscover her passion, her self worth and the man she should have followed is an amazing read from Belinda Missen. Some real and almost ugly crying type related emotions for our leading lady had me relating all to well. The dam book gave me all the feels right into needing to cook a batch of cookies because I was so darn hungry.. Well done on a smart and fun read on any type of day. Can’t wait for more

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lana Kortchik

    Recipe for Disaster is a hilarious novel about love, second chances and amazing deserts that proves working with an ex is not always a bad idea. I think I ate twice as much chocolate as usual while reading this book, all that talk about cakes and pastries made me so hungry. Seriously though, I couldn't put it down, and I didn't want the book to end, so attached I got to the characters. If you enjoy well written, character driven and funny fiction, this book is for you! Recipe for Disaster is a hilarious novel about love, second chances and amazing deserts that proves working with an ex is not always a bad idea. I think I ate twice as much chocolate as usual while reading this book, all that talk about cakes and pastries made me so hungry. Seriously though, I couldn't put it down, and I didn't want the book to end, so attached I got to the characters. If you enjoy well written, character driven and funny fiction, this book is for you!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ms_prue

    It is REALLY HARD not to make food puns about this book, suffice it to say it's delicious. You know what though, the stomach really is the best way to the heart. Fun fact: the drive-through coffee shop opposite the cop shop in Geelong is called Bean Squeeze. I have known this since 2016 and still can't stop laughing about it. It is REALLY HARD not to make food puns about this book, suffice it to say it's delicious. You know what though, the stomach really is the best way to the heart. Fun fact: the drive-through coffee shop opposite the cop shop in Geelong is called Bean Squeeze. I have known this since 2016 and still can't stop laughing about it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    It's wonderful reading books set in places you recognise. I lived in Geelong for a few years during uni and a number of the places mentioned are ones that I visited. This is an entertaining story that explores what can happen when you work with your ex. It's full of entertaining characters and high spirits. It's wonderful reading books set in places you recognise. I lived in Geelong for a few years during uni and a number of the places mentioned are ones that I visited. This is an entertaining story that explores what can happen when you work with your ex. It's full of entertaining characters and high spirits.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    And now all I really want is to eat something, anything, that contains a properly preserved Lillypilly. Also this is second chance romance done particulary well, something I turn out to be a complete sucker for. That and chef heroes who can own their own mistakes and will turn their ego down just enough to get the heroine to kick some goals. Well played Belinda, well played.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Ann

    This book made me seriously hungry - such good eating in it! I love how Missen makes you feel like you’re part of the scene. I wish this was a series a really nice story and a thumping good read

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jasmin Wall Reid

    The descriptions of food in this book are divine. I don't even like cake and I was craving it whilst reading this. The joy of an Australian setting makes this book a pleasure, but also a flawed female protagonist who has regrets about her past, but ones that aren't based in missed opportunities for motherhood is another. The story and progression felt natural and the ending did not feel forced. My only criticism is that I wanted to have more of the secondary characters. I desperately want to know The descriptions of food in this book are divine. I don't even like cake and I was craving it whilst reading this. The joy of an Australian setting makes this book a pleasure, but also a flawed female protagonist who has regrets about her past, but ones that aren't based in missed opportunities for motherhood is another. The story and progression felt natural and the ending did not feel forced. My only criticism is that I wanted to have more of the secondary characters. I desperately want to know more about where Zoe is going from the end of the book. An enjoyable weekend read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tori

    A young woman is at a loss when her errant husband returns and begins to instigate himself back into her life. Filled with humor and self reflection, Missen pens a lighthearted second chance romance brimming with love, laughter, family, friendship, and of course, yummy food

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marie’s Book Boutique

    Review coming very soon!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donna Maguire

    https://donnasbookblog.wordpress.com/... I was really looking forward to reading this book after seeing the cover and reading the book’s blurb and I can tell you now that I was certainly not disappointed! I loved the storyline and I adored the characters, Lucy was great and I just wanted to give her a great big hug! The story had just the right amount of detail to keep me hooked and entertained. loved the whole thing and the ending was everything I wanted it to be – definitely 5 stars from me!! https://donnasbookblog.wordpress.com/... I was really looking forward to reading this book after seeing the cover and reading the book’s blurb and I can tell you now that I was certainly not disappointed! I loved the storyline and I adored the characters, Lucy was great and I just wanted to give her a great big hug! The story had just the right amount of detail to keep me hooked and entertained. loved the whole thing and the ending was everything I wanted it to be – definitely 5 stars from me!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Teenage sweethearts, married, but separated - one a fabulous baker, the other a Michelin star chef. After three years abroad in France building a career for himself, Oliver returns to the small town of Inverleigh in Victoria, Australia, and purchases a building where he plans to open a new café. The only problem - he hasn't told his wife that he's back in town and that he wants her to work with him. Lucy, a fabulous baker, has spent the last three years working jobs that made little money, includ Teenage sweethearts, married, but separated - one a fabulous baker, the other a Michelin star chef. After three years abroad in France building a career for himself, Oliver returns to the small town of Inverleigh in Victoria, Australia, and purchases a building where he plans to open a new café. The only problem - he hasn't told his wife that he's back in town and that he wants her to work with him. Lucy, a fabulous baker, has spent the last three years working jobs that made little money, including in a school canteen, while trying to keep her life on track after her husband took off to France without her. Now he was suddenly back, and she has to decide whether she wants a divorce, or to become a part of his celebrity lifestyle, and make a name for herself. We watch as the two of them spend time arguing, and then making up. As they discuss business, and then their personal situation. Throw in a couple of friends with their own problems, a mother-in-law who thinks her daughter's husband is just the bee-knees, and cakes - lots of cakes - and we have a sweet, sugary delight of a tale. For me, as a reader, the stories I enjoy reading are the ones where I can picture everything that is happening as I read it. This is one of those books and I was hooked from the start, right through to the end. The descriptions of the places in the book, took me there with the characters. The Great Ocean Road. Apollo Bay. Geelong. And of course, Inverleigh - a place I feel I now know almost intimately, despite only venturing there once before for a day. A Recipe For Disaster is a fabulous story, that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes to read about characters who are flawed, who make honest mistakes, and who generally like to make a mess of all things in life until they get it right. A story about love, and supporting those you love the most. Now, where's the cake?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rukaiya Mustafa

    Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ After numerous fantasy novels, A Recipe for Disaster has been a welcoming change to my reading book list. This book not only talks about real life problems but also deals with problems faced by women. To give you a gist, Lucy Williams is an amazing baker in the small town of Inverleigh. Content with her life as a baker and a decent paying job, Lucy’s life is wonderful. Add in a last minute order for a wedding cake, a rushed and nervous delivery and a perfect bumping into the estr Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ After numerous fantasy novels, A Recipe for Disaster has been a welcoming change to my reading book list. This book not only talks about real life problems but also deals with problems faced by women. To give you a gist, Lucy Williams is an amazing baker in the small town of Inverleigh. Content with her life as a baker and a decent paying job, Lucy’s life is wonderful. Add in a last minute order for a wedding cake, a rushed and nervous delivery and a perfect bumping into the estranged husband, throws Lucy’s life into chaos. Still recovering from her broken heart and an almost broken marriage, Lucy tries to play cool in front of her famous husband, the well-known chef Oliver Murray. She discovers his plans to move back to town to open a new restaurant and now he wants her to work for him. Is it possible for Lucy to keep a sane mind and get into the mix of starting a new project with Oliver? Or will she abandon all hope and continue the way her life was before bumping into Oliver. Time will only tell … The author Belinda, has weaved a perfect tale of life, career, relationships, feelings and ambition. In this world, not only has she managed to create a strong woman protagonist but has also touched on topics that are very relevant. While Lucy manages to insist on her terms for the job, she even manages to get a salary that proves her worth. Not only does she argue as a professional baker, she holds a confident stance while demanding her worth from her boss/husband. The story purely focuses on Lucy and Oliver’s career choices and where their ambition takes them, it is seen that while Oliver left Lucy for his career, Lucy still manages to get back on her own feet and prove her professionalism as a patisserie consultant. This aspect in the storyline really stood out and made me love the plot even more. Zoe, Lucy’s best friend, a wife and mother of four, constantly tries to pull Lucy down by mentioning the child bearing aspect of being a woman. Belinda through Lucy, swiftly and smartly deals with this by showing that a woman is not only known for bearing children, but can also bear a full blown career. The best part? Oliver, the husband supports Lucy’s decision and praises her for choosing to live a life the way she wants to. Another plus point is the crazy amounts of foods and desserts mentioned in this book. My mouth kept watering at the number of breads and cakes that were baked, fondants that were mixed, tarts that were left to cool and other various varieties of sweets and savoury foods that were described. Let’s not forget the incredible dishes master chef Oliver made even for a normal every day dinner. Somebody get me a personal chef please! All things considered, this book and the author deserves a good round of applause for coming up with such a wonderful story-line by showing the vulnerable yet empowering nature of a woman and the daily life struggles that they have to face, be it as a daughter, a wife, a best friend or a mother. A Recipe for Disaster is a perfect combination of vigour, romance, comedy and drama. I assure you that you’ll want to devour it in one go.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A delightfully funny, engaging and warm-hearted read that takes a look at what happens after the happy ever after, Belinda Missen’s A Recipe for Disaster is a sparkling Australian-set tale that is simply fantastic! After having had her heart broken into a million tiny pieces, Lucy had vowed to give relationships as wide a berth as possible and to focus all of her time and energy into her career. As a master wedding cake baker, when Lucy isn’t in the kitchen dreaming up recipes, she is a school ca A delightfully funny, engaging and warm-hearted read that takes a look at what happens after the happy ever after, Belinda Missen’s A Recipe for Disaster is a sparkling Australian-set tale that is simply fantastic! After having had her heart broken into a million tiny pieces, Lucy had vowed to give relationships as wide a berth as possible and to focus all of her time and energy into her career. As a master wedding cake baker, when Lucy isn’t in the kitchen dreaming up recipes, she is a school canteen crusader who spends her spare time with her family and friends who, with their loudness and exuberance, keep her from thinking about a broken heart that simply won’t mend. Suppressing that inescapable feeling that there is something missing from her life is not easy, but with the help of her family and friends, Lucy just about manages to stop herself from dwelling about her broken heart. She thinks that she is doing a good job of keeping things together – until a blast from the past in the form of her estranged ex husband, Oliver Murray, throws her perfectly ordered life into chaos! Small town Australia had always been too claustrophobic and stifling for a man with big ambitions like Oliver. Having always wanted to make a name for himself in the culinary world, when an opportunity had arisen for Oliver that compelled him to move far away from the marital home, he had chosen his ambition over Lucy and had walked out on their marriage. Lucy had thought she would never hear from Oliver ever again, so she is absolutely flabbergasted when she hears that he is back in town and that he won’t leave until he speaks to her and manages to persuade to agree to work with him on a project that could change Lucy’s life forever. As Lucy’s life begins to crumble around her like flaky pastry, she begins to wonder whether she can trust Oliver again after all he had done to her…and whether she is in danger of falling in love with him all over again. As long-buried feelings resurface, will Lucy and Oliver find a way back to one another? Or are there too many obstacles standing in their way for the two of them to ever give love a second try? A thoroughly enjoyable contemporary tale that had me giggling on many an occasion, A Recipe for Disaster is a funny, engrossing and thought-provoking exploration of modern marriage, ambition and wanting different things from a relationship that effortlessly balances humour and pathos with flair and aplomb. Belinda Missen’s wonderful writing style draws you in from the very beginning and I found myself unable to put A Recipe for Disaster down once I started reading the book. I adored the characters and the small-town Australian setting was wonderfully atmospheric and really brought home to me the challenges and frustrations of rural life for people with big dreams of making it in the big city. A terrific read that will certainly have me looking out for more Belinda Missen titles in the future, A Recipe for Disaster is a captivating and compelling read I highly recommend!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    Three and a half stars. This is like a typical English small town novel, but it's set in a small town outside Melbourne, Australia - so that's different. Lucy Williams used to be a talented patissier and cake maker but after her equally talented husband (and childhood sweetheart) Oliver Murray left her to open a restaurant in Paris she has let all that slide and is now barely making ends meet as a school chef. She is also dating a useless lump of a footballer called Seamus. When Lucy is asked to ma Three and a half stars. This is like a typical English small town novel, but it's set in a small town outside Melbourne, Australia - so that's different. Lucy Williams used to be a talented patissier and cake maker but after her equally talented husband (and childhood sweetheart) Oliver Murray left her to open a restaurant in Paris she has let all that slide and is now barely making ends meet as a school chef. She is also dating a useless lump of a footballer called Seamus. When Lucy is asked to make a wedding cake for a friend after her professional baker died suddenly little does she realise that the couple have also asked Oliver to cater the wedding. When they meet across the wedding cake for the first time in three years it's as if he'd never left. Lucy then discovers that Oliver isn't just back for the wedding, he's persuaded his investors to open a cafe/ restaurant in their sleepy little town, oh and he wants Lucy back, and he might want her to bake the cakes for the cafe. This was a fun read and I really liked Lucy, the trouble was I didn't have the same warm fuzzy feelings about Oliver. Some of his behaviour seemed inexcusable and confusing. Why didn't he think to send money to his wife to cover the mortgage? His attitude also seemed a bit contradictory, at events he seemed to swan around networking with guests instead of doing the work but then Lucy sees him working alone late at night in the cafe cleaning floors etc. I think perhaps some of Oliver's behaviour was a plot device and not properly thought through. Overall, I didn't buy the romance and I needed Oliver to grovel whereas it felt more that Lucy realised she had been an unsupportive wife just because she had her own career!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Allison

    I loved this book from beginning to end. It was a nice change from the traditional romance material. The protagonist is a smart, business savvy woman who still feels the lulls in self-confidence that we all struggle with, and is torn about whether to choose Happily Ever After. A Recipe for Disaster was as breezy summer read that was perfect for floating in the pool and rainy afternoons on the couch. Plus the amazing baking by the main character meant that the bakery near my house made a fortune I loved this book from beginning to end. It was a nice change from the traditional romance material. The protagonist is a smart, business savvy woman who still feels the lulls in self-confidence that we all struggle with, and is torn about whether to choose Happily Ever After. A Recipe for Disaster was as breezy summer read that was perfect for floating in the pool and rainy afternoons on the couch. Plus the amazing baking by the main character meant that the bakery near my house made a fortune while I was reading it. The descriptions of the food were over-the-top amazing. Looking forward to reading Missen's next work!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    Belinda’s voice is refreshing having created a story filled with witty and natural dialogue and a plot driven by a smart and headstrong female. A Recipe for Disaster is an immersive read which will leave you wanting to grab desserts, pastries and savory tarts to satisfy the cravings you get with each chapter. The protagonist’s relationships are well developed from the romantic lead, to her best friend, brother and her relatable parents. Highly recommend this debut and have already preordered her Belinda’s voice is refreshing having created a story filled with witty and natural dialogue and a plot driven by a smart and headstrong female. A Recipe for Disaster is an immersive read which will leave you wanting to grab desserts, pastries and savory tarts to satisfy the cravings you get with each chapter. The protagonist’s relationships are well developed from the romantic lead, to her best friend, brother and her relatable parents. Highly recommend this debut and have already preordered her next book due out soon.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Julie Garner

    This is definitely what we should consider a RomCom fiction!! Set locally, this wonderful little tale is about Lucy and Oliver and the wonders that they can create in the kitchen. It is very much a story about how past mistakes can come back and haunt you but persistence can improve your future and breathe life back in to you and your world. This book is very much an Aussie romance and has some fantastic one liners that will have you laughing out loud. I loved that it didn't feature much in the wa This is definitely what we should consider a RomCom fiction!! Set locally, this wonderful little tale is about Lucy and Oliver and the wonders that they can create in the kitchen. It is very much a story about how past mistakes can come back and haunt you but persistence can improve your future and breathe life back in to you and your world. This book is very much an Aussie romance and has some fantastic one liners that will have you laughing out loud. I loved that it didn't feature much in the way of 'bedroom gymnastics' but focused more on the romance and the overall story of growth between our two chefs. I'm still not sure how they found their way back to one another but it is a delightful tale of how they get there. I look forward to reading her next book. Belinda is a breath of fresh air in a crowded market space and I think her unique Aussie take on the RomCom genre (is it a genre? It should be) will help her stand out from the crowd.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Luise

    4.5 stars 'A recipe for disaster' is mostly pleasant and fun to read. The style of writing feels very 'modern' - not sure how to describe, but enjoyable. There's a lot going on, especially in terms of mood swings. So, on the one hand, it's pretty fast-paced and not boring. On the other hand, the constant turns between fighting and harmony got a little tiring after a while. But, in general, still a great story. Plus it's based in Australia, which I didn't have much lately - so that was nice for a c 4.5 stars 'A recipe for disaster' is mostly pleasant and fun to read. The style of writing feels very 'modern' - not sure how to describe, but enjoyable. There's a lot going on, especially in terms of mood swings. So, on the one hand, it's pretty fast-paced and not boring. On the other hand, the constant turns between fighting and harmony got a little tiring after a while. But, in general, still a great story. Plus it's based in Australia, which I didn't have much lately - so that was nice for a change.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ritu Bhathal

    I really enjoyed the story of baker Lucy, and her journey to rekindling her relationship with estranged hubby, world famous chef, Oliver. Lucy was left high and dry a few years earlier, when Oliver's career took an international turn, and they sacrificed their marriage for their food passions. When Oliver makes a surprise return to their home town, Lucy is stunned, not least because she is in a relationship with someone else. A great rom-com filled with food, cakes and other relationship bakes! I really enjoyed the story of baker Lucy, and her journey to rekindling her relationship with estranged hubby, world famous chef, Oliver. Lucy was left high and dry a few years earlier, when Oliver's career took an international turn, and they sacrificed their marriage for their food passions. When Oliver makes a surprise return to their home town, Lucy is stunned, not least because she is in a relationship with someone else. A great rom-com filled with food, cakes and other relationship bakes!

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