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The lost recipe for happiness
O'Neal, Barbara
Adult Fiction O'NEAL

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Twenty years ago, Elena Alvarez, the chef heroine of O'Neal's bland kitchen romance, was the sole survivor of a car accident that left her badly scarred and haunted by the sister and boyfriend she lost in the crash. Attempting to escape the specter of the accident and buoyed by her love of cooking, Elena drifted to culinary school in Europe and eventually ends up at an upscale Vancouver restaurant, where her passion and skills capture the attention of celebrity restaurateur Julian Liswood, who hires her as the executive chef of a new restaurant he is opening in Aspen, Colo. Elena relishes the opportunity, even as she recognizes the potential disasters, both romantic and job-related, inherent in the feelings she has for her boss. As the new endeavor finds its footing in Aspen's restaurant scene, she, too, begins to find a home. Unfortunately, O'Neal doesn't bring anything new to an already busy subgenre: the plot is formulaic, the prose is tepid and her main character is too narrowly drawn to have much appeal. (Dec.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

O'Neal's debut, with its cast of intriguing characters and touch of magical realism, is a cut above the typical "foodie novel." Gifted chef Elena Alvarez must contend with the ghosts of her tragic past in order to take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime: building a world-class restaurant from the ground up in beautiful Aspen, CO. O'Neal, herself a food services veteran, surrounds Elena with a colorful group of characters, whom Audie Award nominee Bernadette Dunne (The House on Beartown Road) effortlessly brings to life. For fans of popular fiction (libraries may also want to purchase the Bantam paperback for a hard copy of the recipes). [Embeddable audio clip available through library.booksontape.com.-Ed.]-Beth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., Garrettsville, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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