- Paperback: 468 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 18, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1539157830
- ISBN-13: 978-1539157830
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,995,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mixing It Up Paperback – October 18, 2016
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About the Author
An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.) Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.
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Top Customer Reviews
Cecily is a Cordon Bleu trained chef who works on tv show called Serving Romance, her boss however decided that the show needs some ‘Mixing Up’, and here we meet Italian chef Dante Marchetti. He is big headed (probably with plenty reason), handsome with many ladies swooning over him and he owns his own restaurant. The relationship between these two is just one of the plot-lines to this tale. We also read about the relationship between Cecily and her very persuasive boss, and Cecily and her ex fiance. Who will she end up with? Any of them or none of them?
One of my favourite relationships was Cecily and her cousin Dina who is an astrologist. Although they are cousins and best friends, they are so different. Dina kept telling Cecily about what lies in the stars for her, and with Cecily being a Scorpio (the same as me), I found it quite interesting. I asked the Author where she got her Scorpio knowledge from and she told me that she has always had an interest in Astrology, and did research on it for this book. Tracie is an Aries like Dante and her oldest friend is a Scorpio like Cecily (and me!).
Scorpio’s are..”…fiercely loyal, hard-working, love home and hearth, and are good with money.”
Anyone who has followed ChocolatePages will know I am a total foodie, I love food and I love books that talk about food. So a book of two chefs who have cook offs. (See my hashtag #DuckWar on Twitter!) is one I will enjoy. We hear much talk of Cecily’s French food, and how her thoughts wonder to food and recipes while she should be concentrating on other things. Dante’s Italian food sounds good too, but I was won over by the Cordon Bleu. Cecily even uses food as metaphors.
“I’m as happy as a clam being steamed in Sauvignon Blanc …”
This book has everything I would ask for in a chick lit book; fun, food, romance. It is enough to get your taste buds tantalised and your imagination tickled. The cover of the book is a very good reflection on the type of read this is, and I love the cover! It was a brilliant book, and I eagerly await Tracie’s next book…
What I enjoyed:
The stars of the show for me were the wonderfully delicious descriptions of food from French and Italian cuisine. Oh m'gravy! As a Foodie myself I can assure you they will have your mouth watering! It was also interesting getting a peek at the behind the scenes of a TV cooking show.
The characters were as expected and yet varied for this type of book. My favourite relationship wasn't a romantic one but the bond between Cecily and her cousin/BFF Dina. Dina was a breath of fresh air and stands out in the book compared to her stuffy, snobby Sinclair clan who are more focused on their standing in New York's social scene than doing what makes one happy. There are also romantic twists in the book with a few men vying for Cecily's attentions which keeps things hopping.
What I didn't enjoy:
The banter between Cecily and her nemesis Dante was overdone. We know she hates him and she has her reasons but her constant animosity of him got tiring quickly and took up too much page time.
I also wasn't a fan of Cecily herself. While she's dedicated to French cuisine, she still had a snobbish side to her (albeit much less than her Grandmother and the rest of her family - except bohemian Dina). Cecily goes through a bit of a metamorphosis throughout the book but I still had a hard time liking her.
My biggest dislike has to be how Dante's strong Italian accent was handled. His lines were written phonetically which quickly became frustrating, awkward and tiring to read.
Overall, this was a good, light read with some romantic twists that will satisfy the inner Foodie within you. This was my first book by Tracy Banister and while this isn't a genre I have often read in recent years, readers who enjoy a light read with romantic tension and tasty descriptions of wonderful cuisine should enjoy this book.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to author Tracy Banister for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
The characters are well-developed, thought out, and most are extremely likable and relatable. There’s also a few amusingly unlikable characters that make for an additional comic relief. Cecily’s hottie boss Devlin adds an extra layer of flavor, while her relationship with Dante adds a good dose of spice. Reading this novel made me hungry for some delicious food and I almost wish the story came with a few recipes because some of the dishes they cook up sound like something I’d like to try in my kitchen (if only I had the talent and patience in the kitchen!).
5/5 stars to the lovely Tracie Banister for cooking up a perfectly delectable romantic comedy!
Word of caution? Have snacks as you read!
Tracie did a wonderful job again in creating memorable, not to mention, HILARIOUS characters.
This story played out like a movie in my head.
I loved Cecily, and her relationship with Chef Dante was superb. They had laugh out loud chemistry and at times I burned up with her when he stepped out of line.
Her cousin Dina was my absolute FAVORITE character.
I'm really hoping theirs a sequel, or spin off in the works!