Anneke Stroudt, our thirty-five year old heroine, is not a
shapely model-type fashionista. She is short, weighs in
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
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
Anneke hates working for them. They treat her badly.
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
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
is home. She is anxious to tell him her news so she goes
into the bathroom where Grant is taking a shower.
Surprise! She finds Grant in the shower washing the back
his assistant, Greg.
Time to move but where? The only logical place that she
afford is to move into the half-finished restoration of
beautiful historic home, the Palmer House, that she bought
"cheap" and has been working on very part time. It is
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
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
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
story teller and her ending was "the icing on the cake."
Five Stars and a new, loyal fan that can not wait for your
Stacey Ballis cooks up a delicious broth of a novel
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
To an outside observer, Anneke Stroudt is a mess—her
are stained, her fingernails stubby, her language
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
both her job and her future husband in one terrible day.
need of a new start, she packs up her disgruntled
and moves into her half-finished home, where she throws
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