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The Missing Ingredient

Narrated by: Seb Yarrick
Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

It can take losing everything to realize what you had all along.

Up-and-coming London chef Marcus Vine is poised on the edge of success, but the only men courting him are investors. That leaves Marcus with some free time - which is fortunate, because his godchildren need him.

A year ago, a horrible accident killed Marcus’s best friend, Raine, leaving her children without a mother and her husband, Tom, without a partner. Consumed by grief, Tom has been going it alone, refusing help, but when Marcus sees him out with the children, it’s obvious that Tom and his two daughters need someone. His persistent caring finally wears Tom down, allowing him to accept the comfort Marcus offers. 

Soon Marcus is up to his elbows in homework, home-cooked meals, and after-school activities. Over time he helps them rebuild their world, until soon their lives are approaching normal. Then the unexpected happens: Tom confesses he has romantic feelings for Marcus, and nothing can ever be the same.

©2018 Dreamspinner Press (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Annika
  • 31-01-19

Something is missing....

When you, or at least I, pick up a Dreamspun Desires book, I'm not expecting a masterpiece. I'm not expecting anything remotely deep or a book that will keep me on my toes. I pick them for the fluff, the cuteness, to listen to a book where I don't have to engage my mind, but just simply get a way for a moment. This line gives me that, each and every time.

The Missing Ingredient is set in London. We follow Marcus Vine, a rising star in the culinary world. A car accident robbed him of his best friend and left his god children without a mother; then the unthinkable happens, Tom, the father and widower asks Marcus to leave them alone. Now a few years later, a chance meeting at a restaurant, makes Marcus go back on that promise as it is clear that the little family of three is still struggling. His offer to help out soon has him elbow deep in homework and cooking meals for the family. He soon realises that the crush he's had on Tom for the past 10 years has not gone away. Not only that, Tom seems to have developed feelings for him too, making the whole situation even more precarious.

The overall story was a good one. No major drama, except for the expected one around Toms newly realised bisexuality. But there is one thing that I just cannot get passed and that's Tom. I never warmed to him, not even a little bit. He was just too self-centred, selfish, rude and so many other adjectives that I'm not even going to try to list them all. The way he treated other people was just horrible, especially Marcus. I truly believed Marcus deserved someone better, someone that knows the meaning of give and take, respect and equal values. So in the end I just couldn't be happy for the two of them, because I feel that there has got to be someone better out there for Marcus, that Tom has more growing and maturing to do - not to mention grovelling, before he's deserving of Marcus.

Seb Yarrick was a new to me narrator, and after a quick search it seems he's kind of new in the field with only a couple of books under his belt. I loved his British accent, which alone brought me to London and made my afternoon a pleasant one. As for the voices, well I could have wished for a distinction between Marcus and Tom, the distinction that he did have were for male / female characters, and while he did mix them up a few times, it was still easy to follow along the story.

The Missing Ingredient was everything that I expected from the series and it wasn't. I was expecting, hoping, for main characters that I'd root for and liked. I didn't quite get that with this book and it did bring down my enjoyment of this book quite a lot. However, Seb did a strong effort with his narration, and with some more books I believe he has the potential to become a really good narrator.

A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher n exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.

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  • Cat
  • 23-01-19

A good GFY

Audio Review-
Marcus is a busy celebrity Chef but he misses his best friend Raine who was killed in a tragic car accident nearly a year ago. Tom her widower asked Marcus to give him and the kids space to grieve and he would call him and let him back in the kids lives but a year later and he hasn't.

Marcus runs into them in a restaurant and his friend encourages him to make the move and approach Tom. Tom looks rough and exhausted and finally agrees to let Marcus help him with the kids. Their friendship is resurrected and they get close, maybe too close for Tom.

I did like this story. I really liked Marcus a lot, probably because I love Chef stories. I do wish there had been more in there about the restaurant, cooking or him being a chef. Tom, I didn't connect with like I wanted to. Having said that... the story is sweet, a bit sad in spots, has some really nice family outings that were touching.

If you like celebrity chefs, single fathers, friends to lovers, hurt-comfort, coming out, and gay for you, this is the story for you!
Seb Yarrick is new to me Narrator. He did a great job bringing this story to life.

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  • B
  • 04-12-18

had me on my toes

I really enjoyed this book. and am looking forward to listening to more by Brian Lancaster and Seb Yarrick.