Monday, January 26, 2009

Recommended: The Lost Recipe For Happiness

The Lost Recipe for Happiness
by Barbara O'Neal
Publisher: Bantam Books
Pub. Date: December 2008

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 than anyone how to survive the odds. With her faithful dog, Alvin, and her grandmother’s recipes, Elena arrives in Colorado to find a restaurant in as desperate need of a fresh start as she is–and a man whose passionate approach to food and life rivals her own. Owner Julian Liswood is a name many people know but a man few do. He’s come to Aspen with a troubled teenage daughter and a dream of the kind of stability and love only a family can provide. But for Elena, old ghosts don’t die quietly, yet a chance to find happiness at last is worth the risk.


I first discovered Barbara O'Neal back in 2000 when I picked up Beautiful Stranger : The Last Roundup, written under her Ruth Wind pen name. I knew instantly that I would be reading this author again, and I have indeed read a few of her books over the years. Whether writing as Ruth Wind, Barbara Samuel or Barbara O'Neal, you can depend on phenomenal writing and a good story, and LOST RECIPE is no exception. Strong characters and a savory plot make for an emotional read that had me turning the pages late into the night--and reaching for the box of Kleenex more than once. The descriptive food passages are both mouth-watering and sensual, and are complemented throughout by various recipes, most of them with a southwestern flair. I give this book a five star rating!

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