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The Lost Recipe for Happiness
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The Lost Recipe for Happiness

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  4,578 Ratings  ·  586 Reviews
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 was the lone survivor, Elena knows better
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Paperback, 421 pages
Published February 1st 2009 by HarperCollins (first published December 30th 2008)
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Shonda
Jun 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2009
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
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Briana
Mar 17, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really excited about this book - I liked the premise and the story about characters overcoming tragedy and choosing to take risks. I have also been reading some other non-fiction about food, so I enjoyed the fictional tie-in with all the recipes and narrative about creating new food in the restaurant.

I was, however, put off by a few things. First of all, if an author is going to write a character who speaks Spanish, get an editor for the Spanish!! 75% of what Elena said was completely inc
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Nicole
Sep 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am giving this book 3 stars, instead of 4 for 2 different reasons. First, the author used the F word way too much and it was always in such a crude manner that it was disgusting every time it was used. The second reason is that most of the book was clean and told a good story...until it hit about halfway through the book when the author decided she all of a sudden needed to add disgustingly descriptive sex scenes. All I can say is thank goodness I was listening to the audio book so I could fas ...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
This isn't "Sex in the City" chic lit--this one actually has some seriousness and some heft. Elena, the lone survivor of a horrific car wreck that killed a number of her family and her boyfriend, is a chef now, living with her damaged body and her more damaged soul in the tough, male dominated world of high end cuisine. She's offered her first executive chef position with the challenge of renovating and recreating a restaurant in Aspen. I absolutely FELL into this book. I identified with the kit ...more
Vickie
Wow! The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal was much different than what I expected! It wasn't light and fluffy but real and somewhat dark. So many characters with so many flaws, both physical and emotional, and I loved them all. My favorite of all: Ivan! I would love to sit next to him at a dinner party. Pick this book up if you want a couple of days filled with laughter and tears!

Go Cards! L1C4!!
Jennifer
Icky enough that there was a romance shoe-horned into this downer tale of a VERY broken woman and her ghosts - but even more off-putting was the fact that the hero was the boss, and the heroine was trying to prove herself in a male-dominated field, and he pretty much hired her knowing he wanted to sleep with her. Yay for uncomfortable power dynamics!

As if that wasn't depressing enough - I could not get past the physical descriptions. The hero was described as pale, spindly, big nosed, black-eyed
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Kimberly Kincaid
I would give this book a BILLION stars if I could, and it is easily on my list of Top 5 Books I'd Want if Stranded of a Desert Island. What an amazing, poignant, sensual, wonderful book! From the minute I picked it up, I was hooked- the characters are fabulous and perfectly flawed, the plot is well-thought-out and engaging, and the book moves incredibly well.

I had empathy for Elena right from the beginning, but she's anything but a poor woe-is-me character. I loved her sense of strength, loved
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Gail
I liked this book. It was a little more slow-paced than I like, and a little more "flowery" in the language, but overall, I enjoyed reading it. (If a section got a little hard to plow through, I just skipped ahead. I read for story...)

The heroine is a chef. She's in pretty bad physical shape, with a bad scar down her back, and she's just broken up with her chef boyfriend-boss. There's a tragedy in her past, but she doesn't like to talk about it. When the story opens, an article about her in the
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Jackie
This isn't "Sex in the City" chic lit--this one actually has some seriousness and some heft. Elena, the lone survivor of a horrific car wreck that killed a number of her family and her boyfriend, is a chef now, living with her damaged body and her more damaged soul in the tough, male dominated world of high end cuisine. She's offered her first executive chef position with the challenge of renovating and recreating a restaurant in Aspen. I absolutely FELL into this book. I identified with the kit ...more
Nancy
Sep 05, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is an airport book, good for nothing more than a long flight. Elena wants to be executive chef of a really cool restaurant and have everybody think she's The Shit. But she is Haunted. By the ghosts of her sister and her Soul Mate. Any author that can use the words "soul mate" over and over again, without a single soupcon of irony, is not an author anyone wants to read anywhere but on a very boring flight.

And also, there is a LOT of sex in this book (spoiler alert: she even gets all sexy wit
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Barbara Samuel (also known as Barbara O’Neal) is the bestselling author of more than 60 books, and has won Romance Writers of America’s RITA award seven times. How to Bake a Perfect Life was a Target Club pick and The Lost Recipe for Happiness went back to print nine times. Her books have been published around the world, including France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey, and Australia/New Zealand, ...more
More about Barbara O'Neal...
“TEQUILA MENU Tequila is made from the fermented juice of the blue agave plant, and connoisseurs know there are four grades, just as there are grades of scotch or bourbon: blanco, bottled immediately; reposado, or “rested,” aged in oak for two months to less than a year; añejo, aged for at least a year; and extra añejo, aged for at least three years.” 0 likes
“There was simply no doubt in her mind that she would one day find her own prince. He would kiss her, and Elena would Know, and they would Live Happily Ever After.” 0 likes
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