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The Secret Ingredient

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  694 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Love is like a perfect recipe…

You never want to lose it.

Years ago, Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York were engaged and dreaming of opening a restaurant together. Then he chose an opportunity to study in Paris over the small-town life they’d planned, and their romance came to a bittersweet end.

But Kelly’s doing fine. She’s not only the owner of a potbellied pig named Gray,
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published February 12th 2019 by Hallmark Publishing
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  694 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Madison Warner Fairbanks
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rosemary, Amber, Crystal, Alexandria and anyone who loves a sweet romance
The Secret Ingredient by Nancy Naigle

A beautifully sweet and heartwarming contemporary romance. The perfect story to be made into a Hallmark movie. Second chance troupe. Clean romance.

Andrew and Kelly were friends from a young age. Their love of cooking together and developing new recipes evolved into an engagement. When Andrew had the chance to train in Paris, Kelly was supportive and then devastated when Andrew didn’t return home.
This book takes place seven years later when Andrew visits hom
Aug 23, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this yummy second-chance romance featuring two bakers, Kelly and Andrew are high school sweethearts with a plan to open their own diner/bakery when Andrew’s family interferes and sends him away to Paris for formal cooking training. And so ends their romance. Seven years later, he’s back in town. Kelly has opened her own bakery and has a thriving business. And when an opportunity to participate in a cooking show and bake-off comes up, she jumps at the chance.

This was one of those DELICIOUS bo
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York had everything going for them— engaged and with plans to open a restaurant. However, when Andrew is offered the chance to study with a pastry chef in Paris, he can’t resist, and the two drift apart. Seven years later, Kelly’s on top of the world with her own bakery that’s so successful she’s offered the chance to compete on a televised baking competition. She’s so focused on her new life that she almost doesn’t care when Andrew waltzes back into town. Almost. They ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley

THE SECRET INGREDIENT is not the first book I've ever read by Nancy Naigle and it certainly won't be the last. The twists and turns keep coming and I had to know how it was going to end! Every time I thought I knew where this story was going, a few pages later, Ms. Naigle threw me for a loop and I knew I was wrong! I'm kicking myself for not reading this wonderful novel sooner. I knew I was going to love this story just by the is like a perfect never want to l
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you ever want to read a book which can make you crave a CAKE - it is this book. It made want to stuff my face with it, and I am not even a cake lover.

The story was a second chance romance between Andrew and Kelly, high school sweethearts who planned to marry and open their restaurant, till Andrew was offered an opportunity to study baking in Paris, and he never made it back home. Kelly started her own business The Cake Factory which boomed and made their town famous. 7 years on, Andrew was ba
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it

This book is so freakin' cute if the publisher wasn't already Hallmark I'd say it screams Hallmark. I loved the characters, I loved the story, I really enjoyed the baking competition. One of my favorite tropes is second chance romance and this was such a great one. Kelly and Andrew were highschool sweethearts they met at her dad's diner he was the cook and she waited tables and baked they were kindred spirits. They had made plans to open a restaurant together but when the opportunity
Carla Johnson-Hicks
4.5 Stars, 5 Stars if they make this into a movie. 😃

Author Nancy Naigle has blended delightful characters, a charming town, a few surprises and some great cooking to create an entertaining and delicious story. Kelly McIntyre is a hometown girl from Bailey’s Fork, North Carolina who loves to bake. Her boyfriend Alex York was the cook and between the two of them they created some delicious dishes. Their dream is to get married and open their own restaurant. Their future seems set, until Alex is of
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-to-screen
What a great light hearted easy read. Perfect relaxing read in the chaos going on right now. I really enjoyed reading this fun book. Thanks for a great book Nancy!
Jeannette Nikolova
Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.

Actual rating: 3.5

I could have given the book 4 stars, but I felt that that might be somewhat misleading.

Don't get me wrong, The Secret Ingredient has many virtues, but it doesn't particularly qualify as what I would consider a really good book (which is what I used 4 stars for, as opposed to 5 stars, which I give very rarely nowadays).

The Secret Ingredient is a sweet book about two high school sweethearts who go on different paths soon before getting
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Nancy Naigle since I read her very first book. She is my go-to author for sweet romances. The Secret Ingredient was a second chance romance, which happens to be one of my favorite troupes. I adored getting Kelly and Andrew's story in The Secret Ingredient.

Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York were engaged 7 years ago when Andrew is given the opportunity of a life time to study in Paris and he decides to stay after graduation. All their dreams of opening a restaurant together and marr
Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
I’m fairly new to Nancy Naigle’s work, having only read one other book by her. But, that said, let me tell you this: she is amazing! Having the chance to read this delicious novel was so fun! I loved her writing style, the hope and the characters that are woven together, all of it! It was a phenomenal read!

Andrew and Kelly’s characters were awesome. I loved the way they were chiseled, and seeing them interact together really played out like it was a movie on the Hallmark channel. I truly love wh
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
What a wonderful love story written by Nancy Naigle. Perfect for a Hallmark movie for Valentine’s Day. I really loved this book!
The characters are so easy to relate to. The descriptions of the desserts had me drooling and made me want to taste them all.
Can Kelly and Andrew get beyond the past and repair the damage that has occurred?
Absolutely loved G.R.A.Y. Who is he, well....
You will have to read this book to find out!!

Thank you NetGalley and Hallmark Publishing for the opportunity to read th
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Small town romance, characters so well described and second chances. What's not to like?
Nancy Naigle has done it again with a book so engrossing you'll be sad to see it end. 5+ stars!
The Secret Ingredient is a delightful story that is the perfect Valentine's Day read for romance, love based on friendship and reconciliation. Kelly and Andrew were high school sweethearts who shared a love for cooking and creating new recipes. Her specialty was baking while Andrew loved to cook and create dishes. He worked in the Main Street Cafe, Kelly's family's restaurant, in Bailey's Fork, North Carolina while in high school. They were in love and planned to marry June fourth, a year after ...more
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
In honor of Valentine's Day this week, I thought it would be fun to review a Hallmark story! If you love baking shows or baking competitions, you will LOVE this book. I am not a baker and I really don't love baking AT ALL but I sure wish I had someone to bake all these yummy sounding desserts for me- especially the Almond Honey Cake with Strawberry Cream. That was the main event dessert of the book and it sounds delish! The recipe is included with the book so if anyone wants to try it out and b ...more
Jan Fore
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nancy Naigle's newest, The Secret Ingredient is such a great read. Protagonists Kelly McIntyre and Andrew York begin the story as waitress and cook in a family owned restaurant. They have recently become engaged and are so much in love that working together in a small cafe is a love affair. Andrew has taught himself most of the art of cooking but he and Kelly have worked together on baking pastries and developing new recipes. In late summer Andrew's Aunt Claire has called from Paris with an invi ...more
Dana Wright
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky Burciaga
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This delightful story quickly drew me in and kept me turning the pages until the very end. There were so many unique elements of the story to keep you invested in the outcome of Kelly and Andrew’s journey to rediscovering their once upon a time HEA. The ending is definitely not predictable which only made the story that more of a five star read. This book has been added to the list of the many books I’ve enjoyed by this author and read again.

This ARC book was complimentary, provided by the Publ
Jena Henry
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sweet and comforting- this book tops the cake! Blend delightful characters, a charming town, a few surprises and voila!- a tasty treat for readers.

Author Nancy Naigle has created a lovely character in Kelly McIntyre. Kelly is a hometown girl from Bailey’s Fork, North Carolina who likes to bake little treats and dream big. Her boyfriend Alex York seemed to share her vision of life in Bailey’s Fork. As young lovers, they were the kind who carved their initials in the town tree. Their future would
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story about second chance love! Kelly & Andrew had their lives planned out. Get married & Andrew would run the cafe while Kelly did all the baking. Then Andrew received the chance of a lifetime. He won a scholarship to go to Paris & study. They both agreed he had to go. The problem is that he went & never came back. Now, seven years later, he’s come home for a short visit & is questioning everything he’s accomplished & what he had to give up to get there.

I really enjoyed this story &
A heartwarming second chance romance that will delight all.Andrew and Kelly had their lives planned out, both being chefs until Andrew got a chance to go to culinary school in Paris. Fast forward seven years, Andrew has finally returned home for a visit. Kelly has opened her own bakery, which has flourished. Upon Andrew's return home he is realizing what's missing in his life, his one true love Kelly. Unbeknownst to each other they are competing in a Valentine's Day bake off.

This is book that
Jeanie Jackson
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, x-read-2019
It's Nancy Naigle, enough said

The Secret Ingredient is a marvelous, fast moving, fast-food tale! It is amazing how Nancy Naigle can give us what we expect and yet constantly give us the unexpected.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off, I love when books have recipes that are delicious. Second, who coukd go wrong with a Hallmark book? I love the clean writing, the witty characters, and the charming setting. Plus, an adorable, mischievous pig throw in, justvsteals the cake!! A must read!!
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hallmark Publishing, please tell Hallmark Movies that we need to have this book made into a movie now! A fresh idea with a delightful, heartwarming take on second-chance romance, this one hits the heart in the best of ways. I loved every part of this book, down to the tiniest details, and hated to see it end!

Andrew and Kelly had big plans for their small-town life together. He may be a cook at Kelly's parents' diner where Kelly is a waitress, but with his skills in the kitchen and her talent for
Jennifer Ritter
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret ingredient is the latest book by Nancy Naigle. Kelly McIntyre had her heart broken by former fiancé Andrew York when he chose the opportunities offered him at French cooking schools while staying with his aunt who lived there. Andrew has done well. In fact, so well he hasn’t been home in 7 years.

Meanwhile in those 7 years, Kelly has followed the dreams they had made together. Although not formally trained, she has not only opened her own bakery, but has also opened a very successful i
Rosemary Rey
I'm a big fan of romances in the kitchen; baking or cooking or restaurants. This was a sweet second-chance romance between high school sweethearts. It had been many years since their break up. Kelly remained in their hometown, growing her pastry business to enhance her parents' restaurant--a restaurant that Andrew was once expected to take over as a short-order cook. However, Andrew is encouraged to go to Paris to study under a pastry chef--and the implication is that Andrew's parents intended f ...more
Erin Cataldi
There were huge chunks where I REALLY got into this book and other moments when I couldn't care less. Having just read Christmas in Evergreen I was ready to give Nancy Naigle another go (I mean I have been on a Hallmark kick lately) and this one wasn't Christmas themed (although with the snow on the cover it could have been holiday themed.... and speaking of the cover - whoever photo-shopped the cake on the cover... shame on you! It's awful!). Kelly and her fiance called it off years ago after h ...more
Denise Stout
Previously engaged, when Andrew returns to his hometown and sees Kelly, the feelings are still there. Still hurt, Kelly slowly accepts his friendship, after all, he's leaving again. The heart wants more, could this be a second chance?

A secret opportunity of a lifetime falls into Kelly's lap, and she's off to New York before they can talk of a future. A chance meeting in the city leads to a night of dinner. At the finale, it's revealed they are competing against each other. Serendipity. In it to
May 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 3-stars
Sweet is the best word to describe this book.

- Sweet characters.
- Sweet pet.
- Sweet story.
- Sweet baked goods.

Kelly and Andrew were high school sweethearts with a big dream in common, to open their own restaurant where to serve their recipes. But life had other plans for them and when Andrew decieded to stay in France to study with the best Chefs of the World they broke up,leaving an heartbroken Kelly behind. They didn't see each other for a long time and when Andrew comes back to US for a short
Jeanne Maliner
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really loved this book. It should be made into a Hallmark movie and come out at Valentine's Day. The characters are precious and delightful. One of the best ideas in this story or for any other is the addition of G.R.A.Y. He is quite precocious. You will have to read the novel to find out who and why he is. The plot is different and exciting. One can't wait to find out what happens next. Will Alex and Kelly repair the damage that one of them has done to the other? Will the secret ingredient mess ...more
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USA TODAY Bestselling author, Nancy Naigle, writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense.

With a career spent on the cutting edge of technology in the banking industry, she never let go of her dream to write. Now she works full-time writing stories that are a calming blend of community, family, and the simple things in life. She writes the kind of stories she hopes will provid

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