*ARC provided by Expresso Tours in exchange for an honest review*
Publication Date: March 23rd 2021
Home economics is supposed to be an easy A for Ellie Agresti, but, much like an imperfect souffle, her plans collapse epically when she’s dumped by her boyfriend, Hunter. Now Ellie has to mend her broken heart while watching Hunter fawn all over his new girlfriend, Brynn, in class. To make matters worse, Ellie is partnered with four of the biggest misfit guys in school: Jeremy, the loudmouth with temper issues; Isaiah, the solemn, silent horse racing obsessive; Andrew, who can’t take rejection; and Luke, the giant, tattooed stunt biker.
Over the course of a semester, Ellie works to overcome her feelings for Hunter, as well as deeper insecurities that have plagued her since middle school. As the weeks go by, she’s surprised to find friendships in unexpected places… and sparks flying with the last guy she’d expect.
About the Author …
Karen Bischer has written short stories for Girls’ World and Animal Tales magazines and currently works as a copyeditor. She lives in her native New Jersey, where she has never encountered Bruce Springsteen in the wild, but does have a cat named after a member of the E Street Band.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
The Secrete Recipe for Moving On follows a girl called Ellie who I was rooting for from the very beginning simply because we have the same name. Yes. This is 100% a valid reason to like and support a character.
I was also rooting for her because her boyfriend was a jerk as we find out in the first few chapters when he dumps her for his childhood best-friend. To make matter worse Ellie now has to suffer through Home-Ec classes watching the new couple being all lovey-dovey with each other while she’s teamed up with the class outcasts including the tattoo-ed stunt biker Luke.
I’ve never had Home-Ec classes, that’s not a thing here in Spain although maybe it should be because as this fictional teacher explains there is a right and a wrong way to wash dishes and I think people need to learn that, but it proved to be an interesting backdrop for the story.
This was by no means perfect. It’s got it’s fair share of cringey moments but thankfully those are overshadowed by the funny one liners that made me laugh out loud (ok, snort with a smile but that’s basically the same thing) and also by the romance!!
Ellie and Luke were ridiculously cute and while I wish there’d been less unneeded drama caused by lack of communication towards the end I appreciated how Ellie’s past experience of being cheated on affected their relationship. It felt very realistic.
And finally, the found family element was *chefs kisses*. I am weak for that trope because there’s just something so sweet and heart-warming about an odd group of characters coming together and forming a strong bond and this one didn’t disappoint.
Overall this was a solid read. I liked the plot, I liked the characters, it had the right amount of drama to make things interesting but not ridiculous and it made me smile a lot which is always a win in my eyes.