Book Review for ‘The Secret Recipe for Second Chances’ by J.D. Barrett

The Secret Recipe for Second Chances / JD Barrett / 2016 / Hachette Australia / ISBN 9780733634772 / 325 Pages / Fiction

Lucy Muir is leaving her husband. It’s complicated. They’re joint owners and chefs at one of the best restaurants in town, so making a clean break is tough. But, let’s face it, a woman can only take so much cheating, recipe stealing and lack of good grace. Despondently driving around the back streets of Wolloomooloo, Lucy happens upon an old, empty terrace that was once the city’s hottest restaurant: Fortune. One minute she’s peering through grimy windows into an abandoned space, the next she’s planning a pop-up bistro. When Lucy fires up Fortune’s old kitchen she discovers a little red recipe book that belonged to the former chef, the infamous Frankie Summer. As she cries over the ingredients for Frankie’s French Onion Soup, she imagines what Fortune was like in its heyday. It’s strange, Lucy can sense Frankie beside her, almost see him there…This fiery chef, who lived with a passion for food and women in almost equal measure, just might help Lucy cook herself up a better life. But is she brave enough to believe?


Review –

Who doesn’t like a book about food and romance? I mean this book has both of those elements on a whole new level. And I really mean that. This book is about a women, Lucy, whose seemingly simple life is turned upside down when she divorces her cheating husband. All hell breaks loose when two chefs go head to head in a culinary cook off, one with an established restaurant and the other with a brand new restaurant with a ghost haunting it. Frankie, the ghost stuck in Lucy’s new restaurant, needs help and needs to work out who killed him, almost 30 years ago.

When I picked up the book and read the blurb on the back I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I love food and restaurant themed books, but then I started to read it. And it was more than about a women who likes to cook. It is about a women, Lucy, starting over again when she catches her husband sleeping with one of their workers who is also her friend. About Lucy looking for what she can do next and move on from her husband and the pain he caused her.

With great Australian colloquial language and awesome scenes described throughout the book that bring you right into the heart of the flourishing city of Sydney, this book is a great. With recipes of what Lucy is cooking and while her dead, ghost of a friend who is occupying her restaurant is waiting to find out who killed him, it makes you want to go out and try and cook some of the great recipes mentioned and written.

Food, romance, new beginnings and even the idea of a ghost falling in love, this book is filled to the brim and a must read for anyone who is a fan of Aussie writing, Aussie language and the idea that even the dead can fall in love.

I give this book 4.3 out of 5 booky stars!

You can buy a copy of this book from:


Angus & Robertson Book World

Stick around…


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