Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused" by Heather Wardell

Mary has risked it all to become a chef. Her former husband, Charles, wouldn't agree to them spending money so that she could attend culinary school, and he made her put her own dreams and goals aside so that he could finish school instead. After all, she could always do this another time, right? Save up in the future? Mary finally has enough of his dominant personality and leaves him to follow her own dreams.

Mary arrives in Toronto and through sheer determination she lands a job working with Kegan Underwood, the owner of hot Toronto restaurants Steel and Magma. Kegan really doesn't need a new chef, but Mary wears him down and eventually wins him over. Mary and Kegan begin dating, but when Mary finds out that Kegan is controlling and possessive will she be able to stay with him or will she need to move on in order to protect her fragile threads of self-worth?

Stir Until Thoroughly Confused is a great book, and it's also part of Heather Wardell's "Toronto Collection", which revisits characters that we've met in her previous books. I enjoyed the peeks into the lives of the other characters that we have met before, and I enjoyed the new story line as well. Mary is a great character and she embodies things that I believe many women can relate to. So often our self-worth is trampled down to almost nothing as we navigate adolescence and then adulthood and we're left with such a low opinion of ourselves that we allow anyone and everyone to walk all over us. Mary seems fragile in her new found determination to not allow anyone to run her life but herself and this made her a thoroughly likable character. The romance between Mary and Kegan was enjoyable as well. It felt realistic because the union was not without its problems, problems that threatened to topple the relationship completely.

A few of the subplots felt unnecessary to the story as a whole, but other than that I can't complain about anything. Stir is a compelling and enjoyable story with fun cameos from previous stories as well as new characters to root for and get to know. Fans of women's fiction should definitely pick this one up. Stir is available to download for only $0.99, but for only $2.99 you can download this story along with three others from Wardell's "Toronto Collection". For less than I spend on coffee in a day you can download 4 fantastic stories, all of which I've read and can highly recommend. Downloading them is a great way to treat yourself (What are you waiting for? Do it now!!!).

My thanks to the author for providing me with this review copy.

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