The Secret Supper Club / The Girls’ Guide to Love And Supper Clubs – Dana Bate

This book has something of a minor identity crisis, being published with slightly different titles on each side of the Atlantic. Our heroine Hannah, on the other hand, knows exactly what she wants to do with her life, she just has to ignore all the naysayers. She’s living with her boyfriend Adam in Washington, working on public policy for a think tank and dreaming of turning her hobby of cooking into a full time career. Unfortunately Adam is starting to resent the very reason he fell for her in the first place- Hannah is a loose cannon who speaks her mind.

Once things fall apart with them and with work, she moves into the basement of a kind hearted, budding politician, Blake, and takes a chance on starting a secret supper club. Unfortunately when you live in a tiny apartment you have to find new solutions to accommodate seatings of 12 people- especially when the illegal club goes viral, thanks to her talent and her friend Rachel’s flair for publicity.

Kooks for your Kindle?– A nicely balanced cast of supporting players here; Adam is awful without being a caricature, his narrow-minded ambitions preclude having a girlfriend with a personality. But he is not the only one who fails to take Hannah’s cooking dream seriously- her kind-hearted, blinkered parents also cannot understand why she doesn’t want to follow in their footsteps, and why she’s wasting her education and academic talent. Rachel is mostly a good friend, Hannah’s only supporter, but pushes her into taking risks with the supper club that lead to disaster. Blake is a good egg, he clearly has a soft spot for Hannah, but her underground club goes against his need for a spotless reputation for the purposes of his own small political goals.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– On the whole I found Hannah immensely likable and funny, and her confidence and outspoken nature to be refreshing. Unfortunately she’s also the architect of her own destruction! It’s a little painful when the heroine digs a hole for herself and you have to wait a while knowing that it will all blow up- and it really does. She makes some horrible mistakes with Blake’s trust, but nobody’s perfect.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The whole story is set in Washington DC, city of focused, intelligent, ambitious young graduates clawing their way into politics. Hannah has the ability, but not the inclination or personality type to want to be among them. It was an interesting world that I’ve not read about before, and I didn’t understand a few references, but it doesn’t matter for the story.

Nookie for your Nook?– You’ll be drooling… over all the food descriptions!

Evaluation of your eBook?– As told by Hannah, the story has a witty, quick narrative. It’s an oft-used device among chick lit reads for a the heroine to get herself into a big irreversible tangle, but this results in the most comedy. However, the final supper club of the book is such a recipe for disaster that you won’t be surprised when the night implodes. The cooking sections are mouth-watering, without being overly detailed -the recipes are at the back! On the whole though, I found this tale interesting, funny, heart-warming, appetising and gripping. I believe this is the author’s debut, I would definitely read more.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £1.74

US: Amazon for approx $10-$11– it fluctuates!

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