Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hot Mess by Emily Belden

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Sweetbitter meets The Devil Wears Prada in this riveting and provocative novel set in the trendy Chicago restaurant scene.

Twenty-something Allie Simon never imagined she’d fall for a recovering drug addict—but that was before she met Benji Zane, Chicago’s hottest up-and-coming chef, who’s known as much for his hard partying ways as for his unparalleled culinary skills. Six months into their relationship, the food and chemistry are out of this world, but the reality of living with a cooking wunderkind hasn’t exactly been all hearts and flowers. Still, Allie’s convinced that her love is the key to fixing this talented man’s broken soul—so when Benji is offered his dream job as chef de cuisine for a new restaurant opening on Randolph Street, Chicago’s foodie hot spot, Allie agrees to invest her life savings in his future. But less than a month after she goes all in, Allie learns a heartbreaking lesson: addicts lie. Benji cracks under the pressure, relapses and disappears, bagging out not only on the restaurant, but on her, too. Left with nothing but a massive withdrawal slip and a restaurant that absolutely must open in a matter of weeks, Allie finds herself thrust into a world of luxury and greed, cutthroat business and sensory delight. Lost in the mess of it all, she can either crumble completely or fight like hell for the life she wants and the love she deserves.

With razor-sharp wit and searing insight, Emily Belden serves up a deliciously dishy look behind the kitchen doors of a hot foodie town.

“Belden has written a story that’s more complicated (and feminist) that I ever suspected. Without giving too much away, I will say that HOT MESS far exceeded my expectations.” -The Bookly Club

“Emily Belden serves the decadence and drama a la mode in Hot Mess. The full-bodied novel takes the resilient Allie Simon on a journey of sex, love, secrets, and the high-end culinary world. You’ll savor every word of this provocative story.” -Abby Stern, author of According to a Source

“[F]ull of fire and fury….Belden’s excellent tell-it-like-it-is read is perfect for foodies and entrepreneurs alike.” -Library Journal (starred review)

my thoughts:

A light, engaging read that could very well turn into a Lifetime movie.  Its got drama, drama, drama.  This is the story of Allie who falls for a recovering drug addict who winds up relapsing. He's a chef who has gotten a gig at the hottest new restaurant in town, which of course Allie invests her money in. After all, she's in love and what's her life savings when love is all around, right? Well, money is money when her druggie boyfriend decides to skip out on the new job and Allie. Say what? Yep, he's gone and now its up to her to deal with this new restaurant, so she can recover her money. Talk about stress with a capital S.

Belden has written a great story that explores the heavy issues of physical abuse and substance abuse, yet manages to keep the tone from getting dark and twisty.  She also delves into restaurant life and provides a great behind the scenes look into an industry that is rife with tension and drama.  I just loved getting to know Allie and finding out how she would manage dealing with all these new found problems thanks to her ex-boyfriend.  Of course, at the same time, I wanted to shake some sense into Allie for not seeing what was clearly going on right in front of her/to her.  She's a character that you love/hate, which makes for quite an interesting read.  Definitely an unputdownable story.

I would happily recommend Hot Mess to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Hot Mess
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Heather, thanks for having me on this tour :)