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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 5 star ratings
5 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
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    "There really was an angel in the room."

    Marika Ray has written another winner with the first book in her new Reality of Love Series, “The Missing Ingredient.” I loved everything about this book from the spirited and sexy chef, to the carefree but serious, bartender who meet on a reality cooking show. Elle is colorful, hard working and bossy and she definitely needs to slow down and enjoy life. Austin is laid back, funny and confident and someone who always puts his family first. Elle was thrilled about her job as a judge on the cooking show, because the exposure was just what she needed to help launch her new restaurant. She was looking forward to the warm California weather and mentoring future chefs. Elle was used to working seven days a week and had very little time for a social life, and rarely dated. Most men were jealous of her success and intimidated by her beauty and hot-tempered personality. She didn’t think she would ever meet a man who could be her equal at work and in love. But she was in for a big surprise!! Austin’s family is the most important part of his life and he would do anything for his sister. He is a creative genius in the kitchen but felt that he was in way over his head when it came to competing on the show. He was a self taught cook who enjoyed cooking for his friends but was determined to do his best during the competition. When he found out who the judges were his gaze landed on the sexy and beguiling face of Elle, who was a complete knockout and definitely out of his league. What could they possibly have in common besides their love of cooking? Some say that Hollywood is where dreams are made, so perhaps Elle and Austin can create a recipe for love.
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    A nice way to pass an afternoon

    Elle, an executive chef, meets Austin, an aspiring chef, when he mistakenly enters her dressing room for the reality cooking show they are both going to be a part of. As the story progresses roles are shaken, perceptions are tested and the wrong choices may cost them everything. Marika Ray has branched out and spread her sassy heroine 's wings in The Missing Ingredient. Mixing plenty of humor with everyday issues and adding the reality tv topping pushed this into a nice way to pass the afternoon while curled up on the sofa. I received a free copy of the book from the author. I had the opportunity to review or not.
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    Loved it!

    My first book by this author and I loved it! Austin and Elle are great together. I loved the way Austin took care of his sister Abi and the way he got Elle to be a more likeable person. The story is original and all secondary characters are well described. I’ll definitely read more of Marika Ray’s books.
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    This was a rare book for me

    This was a rare book for me. One where I spent most of the book thoroughly disliking one of the main characters and yet still loved the story. I adored Austin. He’s so sweet and funny, and his desire to be the one to look after his little sister makes him thoroughly endearing. Elle was much harder for me to like. It might have something to do with how much of myself I can see in her. She’s a perfectionist and so standoffish, making it hard to see her redeeming qualities. Once she’s able to break out of that shell, I can begin to understand what Austin sees in her. This story has everything I look for in good fiction. There’s strong emotional drama along with lots of wonderfully funny moments that made me laugh out loud. I can’t wait to see what the author brings us next. I received a complimentary advanced copy of this book from the author.
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    There was not a Missing Ingredient to be found any

    What a perfect blend of personalities and storyline - There was not a Missing Ingredient to be found anywhere! Austin is a blast! He had me from start and Elle - There were a couple of times I wanted to knock her down a peg or two but as the story progresses you see the inner workings of her mind and a lot of her behaviors become more acceptable (she was a bit prissy in the beginning, IMO) A charming storyline that is refreshing and engaging mixed with the most delightful cast of characters This is one of those feel-good romances that has the perfect blend of comic, angst, and romance
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