Hot Mess by Emily Belden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
4.5 stars which I’m rounding up the rating for because it was just that good.
Some books explosively blow you away and some subtley creep and invade your mind until you are powerless in your interest. HOT MESS was the latter, it built and built to a cluster of addictive, messed up reading. I would categorise it as a mix of contemporary romance and women’s fiction.
This story that’s all hot and messy, charts a relationship between the ‘It-Chef’ Benji and his girlfriend who literally hangs on for dear life during the ride. Allie is rather weak, totally infatuated and swept along. This story is about addictions, manipulation that comes with said addictions and a restaurant that’s needs to open on time and be successful. There are real highs but there is rock bottom and it’s a grim place.
Benji was like a magnet to all around him and I have to admit that I had a cautious like of his charisma, talent and looks but as a reader, you cannot help but feel wary. Allie was a little insignificant to start but this is a story written to show how characters can really grow and grow realistically. I loved Allie being at the fore and hitting the lows but scrabbling tooth and nail to survive. The angst was palpable at times. I truly felt what it was like to be duped.
“Underneath this total fuck-show front, there was something - a lot of things, actually. There was a lost soul that needed direction. A man with a good heart and an insane amount of talent.”
The story is full and developed, I felt interested throughout and from half way, I really couldn’t put the book down; I couldn’t put Allie down.
“You’re the star of your own show and that show must go on.”
This is a fictional debut by Emily Belden and I am suitably impressed. I’ve already recommended it to a number of my friends and I’m keeping my eye out for more from this new talent.
I voluntarily read an early copy of this book. Thank you Harlequin Publicity Team for the instagram mailing.
Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
View all my reviews