Mixing it Up by Tracie Banister
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?
I enjoyed the different take on our love for food which features in many chick lit books- no little cafe struggling to make ends meet for Cecily! Monied, rather old-fashioned at times (she was surprised that her mother allowed her to pursue a career), she is very much a product of her upbringing and her wealthy family, yet she wants to do things her way, and pursue her own career, which is in television.
The story really got going and things became increasingly more interesting when the competition with Dante started and for me for me this is when the story really picked up pace and took off.
I found Cecily a little quirky in places, like when she walked out of the gym into the street with just a bathing suit and flip flops on, but this simply adds to her charm. As the story progressed and she developed and grew, she grew on me too, and by the end I was rooting for her.
There are lots going on in the story and the descriptions of food and cooking are lovely, and the good story line and well-written characters makes for an easy read.
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 that she penned (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she, also, starred in and tried to direct the production.)
Her 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, Tracie decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Her debut novel, the Hollywood-themed BLAME IT ON THE FAME, was released in January, 2012. And she's following that up with the fun summer read, IN NEED OF THERAPY. Tracie blogs about books and other fun stuff at http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/
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