When I find an author I like, I go back and read all their books. Such is the case here. After reading Wedding Girl, I had to go find earlier books by this author and this is the first one I found.
Ballis writes foodie chick-lit, which is the best short description I can come up with. Recipe for Disaster also deals with renovating an old house, and since I divide my TV time between the Food Network and HGTV, this book was right in my wheelhouse. Plus I could read it while watching those shows, one of the reasons I like reality TV.
Anneke Stroudt is a contractor for a high end building company. Her co-workers have quite the men’s club going on that includes Barbie doll type receptionists, and Anneke is definitely an outsider, but her work is so good they keep her busy.
But then the shit hits the fan. Anneke catches her fiance cheating, and she tells off a client, with the end result of losing her fiance, her home (which was his) and her job. Or as she puts it, a “country song waiting to happen.”
Luckily she has the old historic wreck she’s been working on in her spare time. Her fiance is part owner but is feeling so guilty he tells her she can pay him back when she sells it. It’s a mess but now it’s home.
First thing she needs is some contract labor but no one will help her. Turns out her old boss has blacklisted her. Eventually she finds an Indian man wearing a turban who is looking for work. No one will hire him because of his looks, but Anneke is happy for the help.
In a slightly other worldly twist, she finds an old journal in the home from the original owner’s cook. Every time she has a decision to make, she opens the book at random and the answer to her question is there. Well, most of the time.
Meanwhile, a co-worker who she despised has offered up some cash and his expertise to help with the house. Desperate, she acquiesces and things really get moving.
Anneke learns to cook, to trust her friends and her instincts, and has her happy ending. This was a fun read and I will be reviewing more Ballis books for sure.
6/16 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
RECIPE FOR DISASTER by Stacey Ballis. Berkley (March 3, 2015). ISBN: 978-0425265505. 480p.