Blog Tour ~ The Winning Ingredient by Kelly Swan Taylor ~ Review + Favourite Things

Blog Tour ~ The Winning Ingredient by Kelly Swan Taylor ~ Review + Favourite Things

Good morning!!

Food, Romance, Contemporary, Cooking, Baking, Sports, Quarterback, Young Adult

A big welcome to the Blog Tour for The Winning Ingredient by Kelly Swan Taylor! I am soooooo hyped to be part!

For today’s post I got a (4.5)-starred review + book/author information~

Some extra information on the book. Publisher: Link Press. Genres: Contemporary/Young Adult. Release Date: September 22nd 2021.

Let’s get the tour started!!


I received this book from the publisher/tour organiser in exchange of an honest review.

Baking, sports, romance, and a very well-written book! This was just the best.

Two things I got to mention before heading to the goodies and the favourites and all the YASSES. And I will put them under spoiler so you can also just skip it. XD This book was just so good and I wanted to read it in one go. But sadly PDFs x Kindles are still not working. The font had three styles. Itty bitty tiny ouch my head/eyes to OK-ish still not good to YAS. Sadly, the YAS was only there a few times, most was itty bitty. That kind of ruined the experience for me. The next thing, given the cover, given the story, given how the characters were, they are definitely not 14-15. Believe me. No. Just no. I remember being 14 and just no. Yes, I was responsible, but if I saw a hot guy, no one in my class or my friend group would be mature about it, we would giggle and preen. XD Also I just know very little 14 year olds that are that mature. That dedicated and responsible. There are some, I know, but a whole book of them? No. Just no. I honestly had forgotten that in the blurb it was mentioned she was in 9th grade (which according to google is 14/15) so I was shocked when it popped up in the story that she was a freshman (had to look that up as we don’t work with that system here). No. I mean, what parent would allow all these things that these kids can do? And how is Chloe or anyone able to buy fancy lattes and other foods at that age? How is the dad allowing his 14 (maybe 15) year old kid to stand in the kitchen at midnight and just continue through the night? OK, he doesn’t know, but they are bound to hear something and I know the mom knew. There were so many things that just didn’t match. And so, for me, they are 17, maybe 16. Not lower. And this isn’t a negative thing, but something that really stood out for me.

Now on to the GOOD stuff. And BOY I got so much GOOD stuff.

Favourite #1: Baking, FOOD, YUM. 

The whole book is about baking. A lot of things I cannot eat (nut allergies, yas), but there was so much other stuff that I could eat and I really wanted to lick my Kindle. Many a times. Believe me. I just wanted to give my Kindle a big slobber to see if any taste would come true. I just love all that Mia cooks up in the kitchen and I loved how she kept adjusting, trying, reverse engineering the food. I wanted to be her friend. To be a tester for her. And not only baked goods make an appearance, we also read about delicious lasagne, pasta and meatballs, and a lot of other food and yes, while writing my stomach remembers those and is rumbling. XD

Favourite #2: The romance, the chemistry, just KISS already.

While for most of the book nothing exactly happens between Mia and Bryce, I was still shipping hard. Cheering loudly for these two. From the moment they met I just loved their chemistry and I was looking forward to seeing them connect, get closer. However, with Mia reading something she shouldn’t have, things were a bit bumpier. Oh, and Mia is also just like me, totally oblivious to anyone’s advances. XD But despite it taking a long time for Mia to figure out her feelings, I loved the romance. Because anyone can see the spark. And I don’t mind a slowburn with tons of sweet moments that make you scream that the characters should just Kiss already.

Favourite #3: Sports, tackles, oh my.

I am normally not a football (was that the sport) fan, I mean it is not a thing in my country. And normally I am not 100% in it, but the author managed to make me very excited for the sports in this one. It helps that it was a big part of the story. The it was something important to all the characters. Plus, the matches were very well-written and it was as if I was there. I also love that Mia knows a lot about the sports and can also kick some butt at it. It is quite rare for books with football in it to have a female character being good at it/having a very big interest in it.

Favourite #4: Side-characters, Zach, Eli, Chloe, YAS

This book has a TON of fantastic side-characters and I just love love love them. From tiny little brother Eli who is just the cutest (and maybe a bit overdosed on sugar after the events in this book) to friends Chloe and Harper who were so fun and sweet. There wasn’t a side-character I didn’t like, in fact I loved all of them and loved it when we got a new character added to the cast. I loved the friendships between the characters.

Favourite #5: Mental health, standing up for yourself, mourning, I am struggling with the words

There are various in this one. From Mia needing to stand up for herself and take better care of herself because she is burning out at this rate and how her friends try to talk to her about it and try to help her to Zach’s and Bryce’s losses. Bryce’s a bit fresher, but Zach’s still very present in life. We see how each character try to grow, get better, feel better. I love how everyone is there for each other. Mia has her friends and Bryce. And Mia tries to help her friends as well, I just ADORED what she did for both Bryce and Zach to help them out.
And not just that, but Mia is learning how to stand up for what she believes in, like the bakery. Throughout the book we see her try to perfect everything, but her friends also tell her that she should just go for it. I was so proud of her when she finally went for it.

Favourite #6: The Writing Style

I just adored the writing style of this book. Everything really flowed and clicked and matched together. As I said, great side characters, but that is also a clear sign of great writing style. I have read enough books with tons of side characters and in the end they just felt like the same character… or they just never stood out. In this one each character was brought to life. The writing style kept me into this book, made me want to read.

There you have it 6 favourites! I would highly recommend this book to everyone!

Star rating, 4.5 stars

Food, Romance, Contemporary, Cooking, Baking, Sports, Quarterback, Young AdultAs the past and the present collide, one baker and one quarterback team up.
The two might be the winning ingredient in a timeless recipe.
Mia DeSalvo is one tough cookie, who can throw a perfect spiral and bake a perfect biscotti. But, as George Washington High’s top student and ninth-grade class president, she’s thrown off her game when asked to tutor boarding school drop-out and secret-weapon-on-the-football-field, Bryce Fitzgerald. Despite his to-die-for dimples, he’s a total bore. Besides, her plate is already full, trying to save her family’s struggling century-old Italian bakery.
Determined to tackle her family’s business woes, Mia secretly devotes her free time to developing new recipes, with the help of her Sicilian great-great-grandmother’s handwritten cookbook. She soon discovers that blending her own innovations with her Nonna Antoinette’s history may be the key to the bakery’s success.
But Mia’s not the only one with a secret. As rumors swirl around Bryce’s lightning-speed exit from prestigious Chadwick Academy, she’s resolved to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, the star quarterback’s bad attitude, mixed with her flaming temper, is a recipe for disaster.
When Mia stumbles upon Bryce’s beautifully written journal, it’s clear his talents aren’t confined to the football field, and there’s much more to the hazel-eyed quarterback than she could’ve imagined. While the journal may hold all the answers she’s looking for, the weight of its heartbreaking words may be too much for her to carry.
With the future of the DeSalvo Bakery and the football State Championship hanging in the balance, Mia and Bryce might just have what the other is missing.
Armed with an antique cookbook and a football, this unlikely pair will discover the importance of embracing an enduring legacy and keeping cherished memories alive.
The Winning Ingredient is a lower young adult novel about unwavering friendship through loss and triumph and is the debut novel for this previously published author.

Buy here:Amazon
About the author:

Kelly Swan Taylor, Black/White, Photograph, AuthorKelly Swan Taylor is a Boston-based attorney and former laboratory scientist. As a competitive runner, racing from sun-drenched Hawaii to frigid Iceland, her first publishing credit was in Simon & Schuster’s best-selling book series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Running for Good, highlighting her experiences in the historic 2013 and 2014 Boston Marathons. Growing up immersed in beloved “Teen” novels, Kelly now crafts her own sweet stories that bridge the gap between middle grade and young adult fiction that is so often forgotten but so sorely needed in the market today. She has a soft spot for the sincere yet flawed character with a kind heart who tries to do the right thing, stumbles along the way, but eventually becomes a hero in everyday life. In her free time, Kelly enjoys traveling and collecting snow globes and race medals from around the world. A proud alumnus of Syracuse University, she cheers her Syracuse Orange from both her sofa and the metal bleachers of the Carrier Dome. She resides in Providence, Rhode Island with her architect husband, Jonathan, and two spoiled geriatric kitties.

Find her here:       
This Blog Tour was organized by:
Turn the Pages Tours, Tour Host, Tour Company

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