“[E]very bit as juicy as the dishes it describes.” —SPLASH
Twentysomething Allie Simon is used to playing by the rules—until Chicago’s most sought-after, up-and-coming culinary genius, Benji Zane, walks into her world and pulls her into his. The only thing more renowned than Benji’s mouthwatering masterpieces and equally luscious good looks? His struggle with addiction and his reckless tendency to live life on the edge, no matter the havoc he wreaks along the way. But loving someone means supporting him no matter what, or so Allie tells herself. That’s why, when Benji’s offered the chance to light up foodie hot spot Randolph Street with a high-profile new restaurant, Allie takes the ultimate risk and invests her life savings in his dream.
Then one day Benji disappears, relapsing to a place where Allie can’t reach him. 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, perfect for fans of Sweetbitter and The Devil Wears Prada.
Belden's breezy but shallow behind-the-scenes debut novel set in Chicago's high-end restaurant biz revolves around the escapades of 25-year-old Allie Simon. She's hooked up with charismatic Benji Zane, a chef renowned for his pop-up dinner parties and a former drug addict who's hyped up about the opportunity to run his own restaurant. Allie, blinded by wild sex with her lover, is oblivious to the myriad signs that he is still using and sinks her life savings into the project, believing in him, his sobriety, and their future. When Benji goes AWOL, Allie leaves her job as social media manager for an organic cotton swab company and plunges into the fast-paced restaurant world to save her investment while keeping it a secret that Benji has disappeared. Angela Blackstone, the restaurant's veteran general manager, does great work whipping Allie into shape for the launch upon which their lives depend. All too predictably, romance, phenomenal success, financial independence and self-revelation provide a tidy ending. The territory the author plumbs in this book is familiar from her memoir, Eightysixed: the vagaries of dating, social media, and how one's security can turn on a dime.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great, fun read!
Hot Mess is such a fun, quick read for anyone wanting to escape reality for a bit. The main character, Allie Simon, is so relatable both through her personality and inner monologue that you can’t help but root for her from the start!
One word of caution, you may not be able to put this book down once you start so plan wisely! Grab a cup of coffee, a soft blanket and settle in for a quick-witted, poignant read! Enjoy!