Review of The Ingredients of You and Me

The Ingredients of You and Me
(Hopeless Romantics #3)

Nina Bocci

April 28, 2020

Gallery Books

Blurb: After selling her famous bakery back in New York, Parker Adams visits Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. And soon she’s wondering why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls—the senior women who hold court—and Nick Arthur, her equally infuriating and charming former flame, Parker finds a community eager to help her get her mojo back.

But even though Hope Lake gives her the fresh start she’s been looking for, Parker discovers that it’s not so easy to start over again with Nick. Their chemistry is undeniable, but since Nick is a freshly taken man, Parker is determined to keep things platonic. With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep everything she’s come to love before she loses it all.

Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert and Jenny Colgan, The Ingredients of You and Me is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake and eat it too.

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Each of the novels in Nina Bocci’s Hopeless Romantics series has been very different as well as very welcome. Bocci’s voice is fresh in a genre that’s frequently stale.

While I knew from the last book in the series that Parker and Nick would be the couple in The Ingredients of You and Me, I am so glad that Bocci didn’t take some easy way out and give us an improbable romance. No, The Ingredients of You and Me is full of lack of communication, present in so many relationships, and misunderstanding.

Nick ghosts Parker just before the holidays. She isn’t destroyed (thank you), but she is hurt and when she returns to Hope Lake to vacation and visit her best friend, Charlotte,, she is not open to Nick. And then to discover that he has a new girlfriend, acquired just around the time he ghosted her, is a slap in the face, but she carries on. The attraction is still there, huge and fiery, but she won’t act on it or welcome it because she abhors cheating.

I just found so much to like about The Ingredients of You and Me. First, I have to mention that it’s not a traditional romance. It is definitely more women’s fiction, with Parker rediscovering herself after success and redefining herself.

Her interactions with the senior citizen ladies who she dubs the Golden Girls is beautiful and funny and warm. I loved the idea of these women having recipes dating back 90+ years when women would use whatever was at hand to make a recipe–a jam jar, a handful. It reminds me of the beautifully written recipes my mother acquired over the years.

The only thing that kept this from being a perfect novel for me was Nick’s new girlfriend, Jillian, whose characterization felt a little too contrived in a novel where everything else felt so original and right.

And for anyone who thinks that a novel without graphic sex scenes can’t be sexy, you should give this one a try and pay attention to the scenes where Parker and Nick are sizzling without touching. That is chemistry.

So, yep, I read this one almost crazy quickly, didn’t want to put it down because it constantly gave me the unexpected, the appreciated, and made me love these characters, all of the characters of Hope Lake more. I sincerely hope that Bocci has more Hopeless Romantics in store for us at Hope Lake.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies

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