Review by Veronica

I held my phone up to Gregor, who had inadvisably, and somewhat drunkenly, asked about my love life. He and my brother, Andrew, had been the ones who’d got me signed up to Yorkshire Dating. Glowing with the success of their own relationship, which had now reached married status, they’d seen fit to decide that a single girl in possession of hair, teeth and half a brain must be in want of a boyfriend.

The Recipe for Happiness is another heartwarming and charming love story by Jane Lovering.

When Seren’s brother Andrew signs her up to Yorkshire Dating, only for them to recommend that she ‘gets a life’ before they find her a match, Seren has to admit that they may have a point.  

She loves her job cooking at an elder day centre and her little flat, but it’s fair to say her life is a little short of hobbies and friends. Since she was young Seren has felt safer close to home, but now she’s a thirty-something divorcee, it’s time for a change.

Change arrives in the shape of alarmingly clever collie Kez, who Seren offers to take in ‘temporarily’, and kind but mysterious new colleague Ned. But as Ned and Kez tempt Seren out of her shell, it means facing her fears. And when Andrew finally reveals the secrets of their childhood, Seren’s need for safety suddenly makes sense.

A problem shared is a problem halved, and with friends by her side, Seren might be able to get a life that she loves at last.

Goodness, Jane knows how to write a heartwarming love story that just hits you in the heart. Jane has this amazing ability to write stories that have you feeling all these wonderful emotions. You find yourself laughing one moment, and then the next, your heart is pitter-pattering in swoony excitement. I also adore the unexpected twists or moments Jane throws into her stories; I always find myself saying “no way” and frantically turning the page so I can find out what happens next. This book is just so easy to sink into. The story wraps around you like a cozy blanket; you never want to leave it. Jane includes lush and vivid descriptions of Yorkshire that had me feeling like I was there or, more specifically, wishing I was there. I also adore the recipes at the beginning of each chapter; it was a fun extra bit to put into the book.

Seren’s character instantly felt real to me. Her vulnerabilities and insecurities resonate with you; you just know that her character is about to go on a journey of tremendous growth. I adored watching Seren come out of her shell, do things that make her scared, and make new friends (some of them furry) along the way. Kez, the adorable and clever collie, might have stolen my heart, and I love the warmth and humour this furry guy brought to the story.

The romance in this book is sweet and charming. Seren and Ned’s relationship starts as colleagues, moves to friendships, and ends in a gooey romance. I like Ned’s character and could instantly see that he was going to be a good fit for Seren. Also loved that there was this bit of mystery surrounding Ned. Clearly, there is more to this man than he is letting on, but it takes Seren a bit to finally uncover the truth. But I love guessing his secrets with Seren. I enjoyed watching these two get closer to each other and slowly develop that romantic relationship I know they are fated to have.

The Recipe for Happiness is bursting with humour, love, charm, and so many unforgettable moments.

Thank you, Boldwood Books and Rachel Random Resources, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.