The Secret Ingredient
By Rachael F. Heller
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312261726, 336pp.)
Publication Date: February 2002
Every woman who's ever been involved with a man has harbored the thought: If only he would change. It's just the way we're wired, just the way we look at love. We're deliriously happy with him in the beginning of the romantic relationship but then, ever so gradually, ever so scarily, we decide he needs to be fixed. But what if we get our wish and we do fix him? And what if it turns out that we were better off with the guy he was before we fixed him?
Meet Elizabeth Baskin, who falls in love, gets married, and discovers six years into her union that the magic is gone - or, rather, fading. Her husband Roger has grown a paunch, lost interest in sex, and seems allergic to conversation. What's a disgruntled wife to do? She could go into denial. She could drag him into therapy. Or she could take her sister's advice and consult a certain Beverly Hills doctor who is spoken about in hushed, reverent tones - a doctor to Hollywood stars whose practice is, well, a bit unconventional. After scoring an appointment with the doc, Elizabeth is convinced that she's found the secret ingredient to saving her marriage. It seems so simple, so innocent. All she has to do is slip the prescribed packet of miracle herbs into Roger's orange juice and then - presto! - she'll have him back the way he was before he started coming home from work and falling asleep in front of the television set! Little does she know that her plan will go dramatically awry and that, instead of rekindling her romance with Roger, she will find herself stuck with a man she hardly recognizes and doesn't even like. Suddenly, Elizabeth is breaking into the doctor's office, running from the law, and teaming up with a transplanted southern belle - all in a desperate attempt to restore Roger to his old, imperfect self. What she learns is that perfection - especially when it comes to husbands - is highly overrated. The question is: does her revelation come too late? Filled with Jane Heller's keen observations about relationships and her trademark sense of humor, The Secret Ingredient is another delicious novel of romance, suspense, and laughter.
Jane Heller promoted dozens of bestselling novelists before becoming one herself. She is the author of Cha Cha Cha, The Club, Infernal Affairs, Princess Charming, Crystal Clear, Sis Boom Bah, Name Dropping, and Female Intelligence. She lives in Beverly Hills, California, where she is at work on her next book.
"The supremely talented Ms. Heller delivers snappy wit, lush romance, and plenty of surprises...just the thing to spark a romantic adventure of your own."
-Dallas Morning News
"Riotous... hilarious, but also ruefully dead-on in depicting the dangers of not appreciating one's mate-warts and all."
"Heller's novel is a quick and amusing read, her characters engaging."-Houston Chronicle
"The wit and irony contained in the novels of Jane Heller are a true joy to behold. No one can take an everyday situation and turn it on its ear quite like she. If you've never tried a Jane Heller book, you are missing out on some of the most delightful, satirical and just plain fun books around."-Romantic Times
"The novel zips along like the latest issue of People and packs the punch of a big bite of pink cotton candy-good for a sticky smile on a lazy afternoon."-Publishers Weekly
"[Heller's] observations about men are dead-on and hilarious."-Booklist
"Hilarious, fast-paced, and poignant...A delicious send-up of the fault line between men and women."-Chris Gilson, author of Crazy for Cornelia
"Sharp, witty."-Palm Beach Post
"The author trains her sense of cultural irony on the complex contradictions between what women say they want, what they think they want and what they really want. Heller has always been adept at devising clever premises, and this is no exception."
"A breeze to read, full of laughs and solidly built upon an intricate, suspenseful plot."
"A wonderfully witty and humorous book."-Romantic Times
"21st century My Fair Lady...very funny."-San Jose Mercury News
"A deliciously clever battle-of-the-sexes romp...a lot more fun to read than the Mars/Venus books, and just as enlightening."-Woman's Own
"[A] zany modern-day twist on My Fair Lady...a comedy that makes you chuckle regardless of your planet of origin."-Fort Myers News-Press
"Heller proves once again that she has breeziness down to an artful science...readers will come for the fast pace and the fun, of which there's plenty."-Publishers Weekly
"Jane Heller is feisty, funny, and fully in control in NAME DROPPING...a great story."
"Love and mystery are part of the tale, which is peppered with one-liners and the down-to-earth observations that have become Heller's trademark."-Dayton Daily News
"As much Sex and the City as I Love Lucy...saucy heroine and screwball plot add up to a romp."-People
"A charmingly improbable love story...a creamy éclair."-USA Today
"What makes Heller's material engaging is her seemingly endless sense of humor, her knack for creating suspense that lures-rather than repels-readers, and her keen attention to character development. NAME DROPPING has all of those traits...a
tale of adventure, intrigue, murder, and hilarity that is seamless from beginning to end."-The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
"If you ever wanted to kill your sister, this is the novel for you....just the book to pass on to anyone's sis when you finish."-People
"If Susan Isaacs had a hot fling with Tom Robbins, their offspring would be Jane Heller! Three cheers for her latest novel, SIS BOOM BAH, a laugh-out loud tale of two sisters who go from enemies to alibis. Once again, Heller has combined comedy, mystery, and
romance for a rousing good time."-Iris Rainer Dart, New York Times bestselling author of Beaches
"Brimming with fast-paced suspense, rollicking wit, and loads of charm, SIS BOOM BAH is great fun-and a must read for sisters everywhere."-Julie Garwood, New
York Times bestselling author of Ransom
"For anyone who ever spent any part of their time in their time in a love/hate relationship with a sibling, it's a must. I loved it, found it funny and fast, and absolutely wonderful-an entrancing, and thoroughly entertaining novel. Congratulations to Jane Heller for such an imaginative, top-rate story. Love her characters."-Heather Graham, New York Times
bestselling author of Drop Dead Gorgeous and Rebel