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Recipe For Disaster

Recipe For Disaster, March 2015
by Stacey Ballis

Featuring: Anneke Stroudt
480 pages
ISBN: 0425265501
EAN: 9780425265505
Kindle: 0425265501
Paperback / e-Book
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Fresh Fiction Review

Recipe For Disaster
Stacey Ballis

Reviewed by Patricia (Pat) Pascale
Posted July 8, 2015

Fiction Women's Fiction | Contemporary Women's Fiction

Anneke Stroudt, our thirty-five year old heroine, is not a tall, shapely model-type fashionista. She is short, weighs in at 180 pounds, has cement under her fingernails, sawdust sprinkled in her hair, over-abundance of breasts, wears paint stained, tattered jeans, baggy shirts, and work boots.

She works like a man, even better than most men and she loves it. She is good at it, very good at it. She is working for the MacMurphy Company, a large contracting company that does every kind of building and reconstruction, Anneke hates working for them. They treat her badly. She needs the experience she will get there, until she can follow her dream of owning her own construction business.

She lives with Grant, a popular Chicago chef, who cooks lavish meals for her. Their life together is comfortable, A future together? Perhaps.

But in one day she loses her cool with her MacMurphy bosses. Using her most colorful language, she tells them what she really thinks of them,, quits on the spot and walks out. Arriving home she is pleased but surprised to see that Grant is home. She is anxious to tell him her news so she goes into the bathroom where Grant is taking a shower. Surprise! Surprise! She finds Grant in the shower washing the back of his assistant, Greg.

Time to move but where? The only logical place that she can afford is to move into the half-finished restoration of the beautiful historic home, the Palmer House, that she bought "cheap" and has been working on very part time. It is time now to devote all her time, energy and money to finish it and begin to live her dream of owning her own construction/design company. She packs up Schatzi, the dog that she inherited when her grandmere died two years ago, and they move into Palmer Square House.

RECIPE FOR DISASTER is my choice for this seasons' most delightful read. It tells the story of turning this long ignored house into a million dollar showplace. The three BFF's, Marie, Caroline and Hedy, add humor, love and loyalty to this fast paced plot. Liam, Jag and Jacob cover the tender, romantic themes that I truly love. A delicious book filled with food and recipes that are mouth-watering and I am eager to try. Stacey Ballis is the most wonderful story teller and her ending was "the icing on the cake." Five Stars and a new, loyal fan that can not wait for your next book.

Learn more about Recipe For Disaster


Stacey Ballis cooks up a delicious broth of a novel about a woman whose perfect life falls apart in spectacular fashion--leaving her with a house to restore, an antique cookbook (but no cooking talent), and one very unhappy schnauzer. For fans of Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner, and Emily Giffin.

To an outside observer, Anneke Stroudt is a mess—her shirts are stained, her fingernails stubby, her language colorful. But, despite her flaws, Anneke’s life is close to perfect. She has a beautiful historic house to restore and a loving fiancé who cooks like a dream.

Until Anneke’s charmed existence falls apart when she loses both her job and her future husband in one terrible day. In need of a new start, she packs up her disgruntled schnauzer and moves into her half-finished home, where she throws her pent-up frustration—and what little savings she has—into finishing the renovation.

But at the first step into the house’s overhaul, Anneke is sidetracked when she discovers a mysterious leather-bound book, long hidden away, filled with tempting recipes and steamy secrets from Gemma Ditmore-Smythe, the cook for the house’s original owners. Slowly, with the help of some delicious food and Emma’s life lessons, Anneke begins to realize that, just like a flawless recipe, she’s been waiting for the right ingredients to cook up a perfect life all along…

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