Review | The Secret Recipe of Ella Dove

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Three lives converge as a wildly talented baker returns to Dove Pond to face her past in this entry in the charming series that proves that sometimes miracles really do happen…

Ella Dove is an acclaimed baker whose desserts spark vivid, cherished memories in those who taste them. A restless soul, Ella goes wherever the wind takes her—but driven by a haunting dream, she’s coming home to Dove Pond for an extended visit. Ella believes the dream is a sign it’s time she confront and reconcile with her mentor, Angela Stewart Harrington. Years ago, Angela falsely accused Ella of stealing her coveted family recipe book, known as the Book of Cakes.

Angela has her own share of amends to make. Her daughter Jules has never forgiven her for divorcing her father, and they’ve been estranged ever since. But just as Angela begins to hope that she and Jules might mend their tattered relationship, a miscommunication turns into a lie that could destroy everything.

Meanwhile, Jules’s son Gray is shocked that Ella, his first love and his first heartbreak, has returned to Dove Pond. But even though he knows Ella is a wanderer and will soon leave, he’s unable to stop himself from falling for her once again. Can Gray find a way to convince Ella to give him, and their town, a serious chance? Or is he once again on the road to a broken heart?

With so much at stake, Ella, Angela, and Gray must learn to accept each other—flaws and all—forgive the many mistakes of their pasts, and trust that love can, and will, always find a way. For fans of Alice Hoffman and Sarah Addison Allen, The Secret Recipe of Ella Dove is a delicious and magical read that will warm your heart and charm your senses.

* from NetGalley

Hott Review of The Secret Recipe of Ella Dove:

If you don’t want your heart involved then The Secret Recipe of Ella Dove isn’t the book for you. From the opening line I fell for Ella. I also was the person who could hide in a crowd and I understand that feeling of being out of place even when you’re with the people who love you most. Plus, there is just something about how she hides her heart that makes you want to protect her.

Returning to Dove Pond to clear her name of a painful accusation just to be extremely difficult for her. As I read I could just feel her turmoil and desire to run. Goodness knows I would have… Even with the cupcake chasing me and errant icing appearing. I just don’t know that I could have forced myself to chase down Angela.

I loved that The Secret Recipe of Ella Dove was a completely stand alone book. It’s very difficult to write books that can carry an underlying story-line but still allow you to jump in at any point and read the books in any order but so far this stuff on series has been just that. I don’t remember any of the other books in the series when I’m reading the current one and don’t have to do a catch up to figure out who’s who, there’s just enough information to let me read this book and enjoy every word.

Now it’s your turn. Jump into dove pond but don’t miss any of these seven sisters falling into romance.


Author: Karen Hawkins
Source: NetGalley
Publisher & Date:
Genre: August 15, 2023 by Gallery Books
ISBN: 9781982195922 (ISBN10: 1982195924)
Pages: 352
Grade: A+
Ages: 18+ — Although this would be appropriate for any age due to a lack of language or steaminess, the issues discussed would be best understood by someone a bit older 🙂 or with sisters
Steam: YA
Setting: Dove Pond
Series: Dove Pond #3


Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for generously offering this book to me for review.


Gina ~ Hott Books

** Many of the books I review are Advance Review Copies. These books are loaned to me for my review. I am in no way compensated for my time nor am I asked to give anything but my honest review. If you have further questions, please, review my FTC Disclaimer on my homepage.

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April 2024