Saturday, October 10, 2015

Too Many Cooks by Dana Bate

What They Say....“Bate’s writing is smart and compelling.” --Publishers Weekly
In this hilarious, insightful new novel from the author of A Second Bite at the Apple, a cookbook ghostwriter finds that she’s bitten off more than she can chew…

When Kelly Madigan is offered a job abroad right after reading a letter from her late mother urging her to take more risks, she sees it as a sign. Kelly’s new ghostwriting assignment means moving to London to work for Natasha Spencer--movie star, lifestyle guru, and wife of a promising English politician. As it turns out, Natasha is also selfish, mercurial, and unwilling to let any actual food past her perfect lips. 

Still, in between testing dozens of kale burgers and developing the perfect chocolate mousse, Kelly is having adventures. Some are glamorous; others, like her attraction to her boss’s neglected husband, are veering out of control. Kelly knows there’s no foolproof recipe for a happy life. But how will she know if she’s gone too far in reaching for what she wants?

What I Say....Every time I read a Dana Bate book, I wonder why she hasn't become a bigger deal.  I got an ARC copy of A Second Bite at the Apple last winter, and I really enjoyed it (review here).  So I was open to reading and reviewing Too Many Cooks, and I'm so glad that I did.  Bate writes smart women which makes me happy.

It's no secret that I like chick lit, mostly because my job is stressful.  I work hard, and I have to make decisions all day , so when I read, I want to relax.  However, I like SMART chick lit.  Not completely formulaic, or completely unrealistic - although that can be fun at times too - that's mostly what I like about the Christmas chick lit.

But I digress.  Back to Too Many Cooks.  Kelly moves to England to escape her boring life.  Her whacky mother has just died, her dad is crochety and crazy and her cardiologist boyfriend is boring her out of her mind.

A sudden phone call to ghost write a cookbook for a celebrity seems like the perfect answer.  It's not completely crazy, Kelly has been ghost writing cookbooks for some fairly big names.  So now seems like the perfect time to take a sudden left out of her boring life.

When Kelly arrives in England, she finds the Natasha to be beautiful, graceful and completely out of touch with writing a cookbook.  One weird thing was that Natasha did seem to have some background in cooking, and at times gave knowledgeable input on spices and such, but then would give instructions that she wanted her grandmother's scrambled egg recipe recreated, saying only that they should be creamy and fluffy - ummm, isn't that what we all want from scrambled eggs?  Then I try to cook them and mine look like this:

I digress again.

Kelly begins a small flirtation with Natasha's husband, which soon develops into a full fledged affair. Hugh is a handsome politician that is in a marriage of convenience with Natasha, and he's ready to grab onto real love and the promise of a family.  Kelly believes she has found her happily ever after.  

I'm not going to say any more because I hate spoilers.  And I'm hoping this cliffhanger will encourage you to read the book! 

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