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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 9 star ratings
6 reviews
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4.3 out of 5
9
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    I'm conflicted

    While I enjoyed Recipe for Disaster I’m a little conflicted because there were parts that I really enjoyed and parts that I found frustrating. Overall, I thought it was a good suspense romance, although I found the bad guys to be a bit predictable and surprisingly incompetent. In some ways, they almost came across as comedic and this would pull me out of the suspense. Though I figured out who was involved pretty early on, I did not figure out completely what was going on, so there was plenty of surprises for me in the end. One of the things that I did enjoy, though others might be bothered by it, is the amount of detail that Tracy Solheim put into both Washington, DC and The White House. I don’t know how accurate everything was but I was very intrigued by all the descriptions of the offices, residence, and special rooms, so it kept things interesting. That attention to detail also shows up in the character descriptions and I really feel like we got to know not just Marin and Griffin but all the other side characters as well. I particularly enjoyed the other Secret Service agents Ben and Adam who I assume will eventually get their own books. All the details for the characters were great, but I will admit there were a TON of characters and maybe too many to keep track of. This made following along harder as I struggled to keep everyone straight. One of my favorite characters, hands down, was Otto the Secret Service dog; I’m a sucker for animals in books and I really enjoyed Otto’s presence in the story. He really had his own personality and purpose and it was great. When the book first started out I was leery of Griffin who came across a little like a dick and I don’t know that I ever completely warmed up to him though I did enjoy him more as we got to know him. The chemistry between Marin and Griffin was also questionable in the beginning; it was a classic case of Griffin being adverse to commitment and all of a sudden Marin was just perfect and things that would normally bother him about women, he didn’t mind when it was Marin. I sometimes find this to be a weak way of expressing romance and developing a relationship but I will say that their chemistry did grow as time went by. Griffin was the quintessential protector, the alpha hero, but he’s constantly surprised by his actions because he’s getting close to Marin for the job but he’s also really attracted to her. This conflict over Griffin’s duty vs his attraction meant that he would start things with Marin and then pull back suddenly and become distant. Marin puts up with a surprising amount of push and pull in this book and this is reflected in her wildly varying moods as she goes from being excited to be around Griffin to ending up in tears or near it after almost every single encounter they have (mostly because he pulls back). While this got a bit trying after a while, I still liked Marin who in general is soft, gentle, and sweet. But she’s also pretty tough and she keeps things together when it counts. I think some readers might be annoyed by Marin’s overly emotional state but I didn’t see anything wrong with it because not every character can be as physically or mentally strong when it comes to being in danger. Marin has absolutely no experience with this type of lifestyle so it makes perfect sense that she would be on the verge of falling apart for most of the story; after all people she cares about are constantly dying around her and she has no idea what’s going on. Overall, I thought the writing was a very strong, the characterization was incredibly detailed, if a bit overwhelming, and for the most part, the suspense was good though there were a few ridiculous moments. I am intrigued to read more in the series but I do hope that some of the issues I had with this book will not show up in the later ones.
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    Enjoyable read

    Nice start to what should be an interesting new series. He's part of the secret service working to find an art thief who has infiltrated the White House. She's a White House pastry chef who has an uncanny amount of knowledge of the art world. Could she be the one he's looking for? Secret Service Agent Griffin Keller doesn't want to believe Chef Marin Chevalier is part of the art ring but unless he finds the real thief everything points to her. Working together they need to find out what is really going on before they both end up dead. A nice little mystery with a dose of romance made this a very enjoyable read. Definitely a book I recommend.
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    Romantic Suspense

    Get ready for a wild ride with Marin and Griffin. Marin is a pastry chef at the White House, where painting are being swapped for forgery ones. Griffin from the Secret Service has been assigned to the case. They will go on a wild ride of finding out who behind this. There is an instant chemistry between them , but Griffin does not do forever, his job is his number one. But soon that may change, as Marin's life is threatened. This is a great romantic suspense with many twists and turns, that will keep you turning the pages. Marin is a very tough female and not afraid of much. Griffin is tough on the outside, but has a soft heart inside. With just being to Washington DC last fall, brought back many memories. Can't wait to read the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book.
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    Fantastic Read

    Marin Chevalier has been told by her cousin that she needs a ‘plus one’ to the wedding, or not to come at all. However, Marin is the White House pastry chef and currently in the middle of making pastries for the Easter gathering that is coming up. When is she going to have time to “date hunt”? Agent Griffen Keller is Secret Service and trying to bust up a counterfeiting group who just happens to be targeting the art in the White House. When a White House kitchen towel shows up, Griffen begins to suspect Marin as a possible suspect. This is book one in the Men of the Secret Service series and takes place in Washington DC. I enjoy Tracy’s books and this one did not disappoint! The characters, as well as the plot, are well developed. The suspense was great and I did not want to put it down! If you love romantic suspense, I highly recommend this book! It is a must read!
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    Great Start to a New Series

    WOW! I loved reading Recipe for Disaster by Tracy Solheim, the first book in her Men of the Secret Service series. The title is fitting since our heroine Marin Chevalier is the Pastry Chef for the White House where her godmother is the first lady. Marin comes from a wealthy family that owns hotels around the world. She is a strong person who gives the impression that she can take care of herself. Her biggest problem at the moment is finding a date for her cousin’s wedding but her busy schedule does not allow her much chance to meet eligible men. Secret Service Agent Griffin Keller, our hero, is Alpha all the way. He always gets his man and woman. While chasing after an international counterfeiter, Griffin encounters paintings stolen from the White House and swapped with forgeries; his only clue to the thief’s identity is a dish towel from the White House kitchen. When Griffin appears in Marin’s kitchen, and everywhere else, Marin thinks she has found the perfect date. However, as near misses and scary accidents start occurring along with bodies piling up Marin convinces Griffin that she’s the victim, not the suspect and relies on him to help her stay alive. I really loved reading this book and didn’t want to put it down. It grabbed me, not wanting to let me go. I loved the strength and intelligence of Marin and the caring heart Griffin discovered beneath his gruff exterior. Ms. Solheim wrote a wonderful story for these two and I enjoyed seeing the connection these two created. I highly recommend this book to other readers and look forward to reading the next book in the series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
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