The Missing Ingredient by Marika Ray



Title: The Missing Ingredient
Series: Reality of Love #1
Author: Marika Ray
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: March 21, 2019


Who knew a cooking show could get so messy?
Elle Fierro
All I have to do is appear as a judge on this cooking show in Hollywood and my restaurant will open to rave reviews. Pretty much my lifelong dream. What I absolutely shouldn’t do is sleep with one of the contestants and ruin everything I’ve
worked so hard for. But he gives good hugs, makes me laugh, fills out a simple T-shirt like nobody’s business, and is sweeter than the maple syrup he dripped all over my naked body last night…
Austin Cox
I may have been drunk when I applied to be on that reality cooking show, which is why it’s hard to believe I’m here. What’s even harder to believe is that Elle, with her
painted red lips and fiery disposition, is in my bed and making me forget I need to win this damn show to get my little sister out of the foster care system.
When Elle throws me under the bus to realize her dream, will our love burn out or will we find the missing ingredient to happiness?


My review:

Elle is a famous chef in NYC, with cookbooks published and a new restaurant opening in a matter of weeks. She is hard, driven, and a perfectionist and her staff refers to her as El Jefe. She is invited to appear as a judge on a cooking competition pilot being filmed, and plans to use the publicity to jump start her new restaurant. Austin is just a guy who loves to cook, having received no formal training but his friends all rave over his creations. He enters the competition to gain entry into the restaurant world, needing a good job to be awarded custody of his 16 year old little sister after their mom’s death following a cancer diagnosis.

This was entertaining, but I didn’t love the book. To start with, no matter how attracted she was to him, Elle would never have jumped into bed with a contestant to begin with. She is too professional and driven, and that part didn’t sit well with me. Austin basically kept persisting until he wore her down, and that is  no way to start a relationship. And for Elle to lose all her passion and drive for her life’s dream based on two weeks away, and really only a few days with Austin in a more-than-just-professional way, also didn’t mesh with the character at all. I did like the interactions between the characters, and Elle’s sendoff in the beginning was perfect.

Overall, this was an okay read, but I just can’t see these two as a forever couple.

Rating: ♥♥♥

Purchase Links



Author Bio


Marika Ray
spends her time behind a computer crafting stories, walking the beaches of
southern California scoping out the lifeguards, and making healthy food for her
kids and husband whether they like it or not. Prior to writing novels, Marika
held various jobs in the finance industry, with private start-up companies, and
then in health & fitness. Cats may have nine lives, but Marika believes
everyone should have nine careers to keep things spicy.
enjoys writing all types of fiction novels, based on what inspires her. Right
now she’s working on stand-alone romances in the Beach Squad series, all about
California lifeguards and their equally fearless women. Moderate suspense, a
splash of humor, and lots of steamy romance…all with the beautiful ocean as a
relaxing backdrop!
information can be found at


Author Links


One thought on “The Missing Ingredient by Marika Ray

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s