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27 February 2017

Review: 'Mixing It Up' by Tracie Banister (2016)

Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past. 

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sauté pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more. 

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

Last year I was contacted by author Tracie Banister with a review request for her novel 'Twin Piques' (click here to read my review). When I finally got to the novel, I was blown away by Tracie's writing skills and how much I actually enjoyed the book, and I was immediately excited about her next read. So, when Tracie contacted me at the end of last year about her latest release, 'Mixing It Up', I immediately said 'yes' when she asked me to review the book, without even reading the description. I am always in the mood for a good chick lit read and I already had a good feeling I would end up enjoying this one just as much, or perhaps even more, than 'Twin Piques'...!

Cecily Sinclair loves her job as a TV-chef. In her own show 'Serving Romance' she gets to share her passion for French food and cooking with her audience, and according to the audience numbers they seem to love it as well. But then CuisineTV is taken over by Devlin Hayes, who has all kinds of plans to give the channel a make-over and make it more appealing for millennials. Cecily has to fight to keep her show on the air, and matters become even worse when she gets a new co-host in the form of Italian chef Dante Marchetti, a former boss she never got along with and still can't stand. With all the changes in her life, and an unexpected chance at romance, Cecily is forced to make some pretty important decisions; decisions that could change everything she has been used to for the past couple of years...

If I hadn't already fallen in love with Tracie Banister's stories before picking up this novel, I am sure 'Mixing It Up' would have definitely done the trick; what a fantastic read! In the book we get to follow TV-chef Cecily who has a real passion for French food. Cecily loves her own TV show, 'Serving Romance', so is quite shocked when the new boss of CuisineTV decides it's time for a make-over, and she suddenly has to team up with Italian chef Dante Marchetti, whom she can't stand. I straight away warmed to Cecily and really loved the storyline. There was more than enough going on to make me want to read on, and I just really liked the setting of the TV cooking world, even though I hardly ever watch any cooking shows on TV; Tracie Banister just managed to make it fascinating with everything that was going on in the book and her captivating and fun writing style.

One of the strengths of this novel is definitely the collection of characters. As already mentioned I liked Cecily, but there are also some wonderful and interesting other characters, such as new TV boss Devlin, Cecily's cousin Dina, her good friend Paige, and frustrating but funny chef Dante Marchetti. The different personalities really complement one another and add their own touch to the story, which is easy to get through and get back into because of the fast pace, good-length chapters and just great writing. I'm definitely a Tracie Banister fan and if you haven't yet read one of her novels, don't hesitate any longer and pick one up as soon as you can, especially if you're a chick lit fan. All in all, 'Mixing It Up' is an amazingly enjoyable, fun and entertaining read I couldn't get enough of; loved it from start to finish and wish there was more!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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