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The Lost Recipe for Happiness
     

The Lost Recipe for Happiness

4.2 57
by Barbara O'Neal
 

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In this sumptuous new novel, Barbara O’Neal offers readers a celebration of food, family, and love as a woman searches for the elusive ingredient we’re all hoping to find….

It’s the opportunity Elena Alvarez has been waiting for–the challenge of running her own kitchen in a world-class restaurant. Haunted by an accident of which she

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Lost Recipe for Happiness 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 57 reviews.
IHeart2Read More than 1 year ago
I have to admit when I first skimmed the book description, I thought the plot would be: girl breaks up with current boy, relocates to new city for a fresh start, meets new boy, not sure if she should get involved with new boy, ends up getting involved with new boy and they begin new relationship. Ok, so maybe The Lost Recipe for Happiness can be summed up that way. But honestly, it's so much more than that. Elena Alvarez is a complicated character, but extremely likable. She's haunted by her past and cannot rid herself of her tragic accident. She's left not only with physical pain from the car accident, but immense survivor's guilt. She's the lone survivor of a car accident that killed her high school boyfriend and two sisters. After the accident and a long period of physical therapy and healing, she left her hometown and explored her passion for cooking. Training in the best restaurants prepared her to become chef of her kitchen. While mastering the art of cooking, Elena simultaneously distanced herself from intimate relationships. Yes, she had plenty of boyfriends, however she never allowed them in, always keeping them at arm's reach. Of course this changes when she meets Julian. Julian Liswood is a single father with several marriages under his belt. He's trying to raise his teenage daughter the best he can while maintaining his professional life. He's immediately smitten with Elena, but tries to keep their relationship purely professional. After all, he is her boss. Ms. O'Neal did an excellent job bringing these characters to life. The chapters are told from both Elena's and Julian's perspectives. The secondary characters round out the story with issues of their own that only contribute to the depth of the plot. If you're looking for something different, I suggest you pick up The Lost Recipe for Happiness. Elena is a character that you will root for and in the end you will walk away satisfied. 4.5 Stars
Sereninthesun More than 1 year ago
I really want a second novel to be made! I enjoyed escaping into the story. I'm not really fond of reading all together, but just by chance this book came outta nowhere in the store. It was probably the cover that intrigued me into getting it, but I'll never really know. I was only into a couple of pages that really got me wanting to purchase and keep the book all to myself. I love the relationship between Julian and Elena. These things don't really happen often, though I wish they did. And I'm at the point of my life where I need to choose a profession to be educated in. I had recently wanted to be a food critic but after reading this novel, I've considered become a chef or even become an owner of restaurants someday.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book, fun summer read with great Santa Fe style mex recipes...wonderful ....gave my copy away to a "cook"...hope they try the recipes and tell me if they are any good!! Enjoyed the story, mature characters, family resolutions...Liked it very much. I did buy the book because of the interesting cover but am very glad I did.
LeeRhuday More than 1 year ago
Barbara O¿Neal offers a scrumptious read in The Lost Recipe for Happiness, a Bantam Discovery book. If you like food and love ¿ and who doesn¿t? ¿ there¿s plenty to savor in this story of Elena Alvarez, a chef who must free herself from the ghosts of her past in order to secure her future.
Life got an early start in teaching Elena that nothing lasts forever. Abandoned by her single mom, she found a new home and new loves, only to have tragedy rip her away from them. When movie producer Julian Liswood offers her a second chance ¿ at love and at carving her own name in culinary fame ¿ Elena searches for signs and the strength to believe in a forever kind of love.
The Lost Recipe for Happiness offers terrific insights into the demanding world beyond the dining room¿s swinging doors as Elena and her staff of delightfully wounded souls create the Orange Bear, Aspen¿s newest world-class restaurant. This is a man¿s world, one that seriously challenges even the hardiest individual. Elena, who fights daily battles against the ravages of a tragic car accident, relies on sheer strength of will as she pits herself against the daunting physical demands of her new job as executive chef. But will her strength of will be her undoing? Will it prevent her from embracing true love when it¿s finally her turn at the table?
The Lost Recipe for Happiness tells a great story in a wonderfully engaging manner. Those with a passion for food will drool over the sumptuous descriptions and mouth-watering recipes (I¿ve tried a few and they are fab.) A delightful supporting cast, including a gorgeous bear of a dog and a guileless teenager who reminds Elena of possibilities, add to the ambiance. With a story of love and redemption that brings the reader to tears and warms the heart, Barbara O¿Neal has gently folded all the right ingredients together to make The Lost Recipe for Happiness a must-have for every bookshelf.
ElektraLuna More than 1 year ago
I love the way this was written, how she used recipes at the beginning of every chapter, as a preface, i found the plot a charactors, well written, and moving. The interaction and dialog is smooth and it's a great book for a book club!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Although two decades have past since the horrific accident in Espanola, New Mexico that killed her sister and boyfriend and scarred her, Elena Alvarez remains mentally disturbed. Her only escape from the nightmares and ghosts is cooking, which she studied in Europe before returning to Vancouver as a chef at the Blue Turtle where her Santa Fe roots and his French cuisine merged. When the local paper features her instead of her boss Dmitri, he fires her.

Slasher film director and Blue Turtle restaurant owner Julian Liswood tasted talent in Elena¿s meals at the Blue Turtle. He offers her the position of executive chef at his new Aspen restaurant; she accepts. In Aspen, she works diligently on the menu in order to compete with a city known for food almost as much for skiing. She also finds herself falling in love with her employer, the divorced several times Julian.

Although a passionate contemporary culinary romance has been done many times, THE LOST RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS is kept fresh by the haunting of Elena who literally cannot go home and the failures at marriage of Julian; although the latter pales in comparison on the trauma indicator. The pair shares in common a passion for food and each other while both fears relationships as they always end in failure. With a nod to The Importance of Being Earnest, Barbara O¿Neal cooks up a tasty gourmet meal.

Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The very first review I've ever written, is for a book whose story had me hooked from the beginning, and made me feel as if I was part of the story, tasting the food, and empathsizing with the characters when they were struggling, and cheering for them as they triumphed. Read this book...it will warm you from the iinside out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by this author but it will not be my last. I could not put this book down. Highly recommend.
MrsMcB More than 1 year ago
I bought this book at a thrift store because I liked the cover. I was surprised how quickly I became interested in the book. As times, I thought it was just ok, but I was surprised after it was finished how much I missed the book and the characters. After seeing the results of this book, I realized how it quickly became one of my favorites without me even knowing it. I felt the mix of the love story, with story of friendship, cooking and ghosts was terrific. A must read!
Meaningful_Book_Lover More than 1 year ago
It was a nice read and sort of a revamp of those feelings when you think all is lost or happiness is lost, it can come around again, if you let it. It might not have surprise twists and not very shocking, but it is still a great book and I enjoyed it. I didn't get the book because I wanted to be shocked, I wanted a book that looked like there is always hope out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a great little book. I was very pleasently surprised. The recipes included were a little extra bonus. The characters were well developed and unique. The setting was something very original, lots of differnt points of view throughout. The story moved along well and was over-all a well written story. I too wish there would be another book in the life of Ms. Alvarez.
Inkasi888 More than 1 year ago
This book was cute and had a good plot. I liked the characters and thought they were believable. Would possibly read again, which is how I rate how good a book is. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barbara's characters have me turnging the pages to see what was going to happan next..
Sales_Girl More than 1 year ago
I was at the airport and I was looking for something to occupy my time and I picked up this book just because of the title - what an amazing title...it tells all. It's a great book to sit and relax and enjoy your time in Aspen, perfect for rainy days...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PollyBennett More than 1 year ago
Wonderful. This book has it all, competition between professionals, people fighting, fighting physical disabilities, mental torment, and fighting to live normally. This book deals with the joys and sorrows of life and it's a wonderful read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A couple of loose ends, but all in all, a good book.
NKH More than 1 year ago
It would have been just as good a book without the gratuitous sex and foul language.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
another great read with characters that are interesting and  a well developed story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So predictable that it was hard to get through. I bought it on a recommendation from my favorite author, so I had high hopes. I did like her dog, and the ghosts, but the love story was a yawner and the characters were shallow. Dissapointing.
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