Saturday, August 29, 2015

When In Doubt, Add Butter

When In Doubt, Add Butter
Beth Harbison

When in Doubt, Add Butter

Genre: Women's Fiction - Chick Lit?

Summary (from Goodreads): From the New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and Always Something There to Remind Me comes a delicious new novel about the search for true love and all the ingredients that go into it.

As far as Gemma is concerned, her days of dating are over. In fact, it’s her job to cater other peoples’ dates, and that’s just fine by her. At thirty-seven, she has her own business, working as a private chef, and her life feels full and secure. She’s got six steady clients that keep her hands full.

There’s Lex, the fussy but fabulous department store owner who loves Oysters Rockefeller and 1950s comfort food; Willa, who needs to lose weight under doctor’s orders but still believes butter makes everything better; a colorful family who may or may not be part of the Russian mob; an ├╝berwealthy Georgetown family; the picture-perfect Van Houghtens, whose matriarch is “allergic to everything”; and finally, a man she calls “Mr. Tuesday,” whom she has never met but who she is strangely drawn to.

For Gemma, cooking is predictable. Recipes are certain. Use good ingredients, follow the directions, and you are assured success. Life, on the other hand, is full of variables. So when Gemma’s takes an unexpected turn on a road she always thought was straight and narrow, she must face her past and move on in ways she never would have imagined. Because sometimes in life, all you need is a little hope, a lot of courage, and---oh yes---butter.

Review:  This was an entertaining easy read about a personal chef struggling to make a living while dealing with her eccentric clients.  I saw the plot twist coming early in the book, felt that the romance was a little formulaic, and was appalled at how Gemma decided to deal with her "unexpected turn on the road."  Nevertheless, I enjoyed the well-drawn diverse characters that Gemma interacted with; the supporting characters were almost more interesting than Gemma herself.  I was surprised that there wasn't more focus on food and recipes given the story, the title, and the cover, and I think the book would have benefited from those things, or alternately, the title and cover should have been changed.  For a chick-lit book, this was quite fun and entertaining, but I was looking for a little more.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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