The Saturday Night Supper Club


The Saturday Night Supper Club
Carla Laureano

 Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life--and love--outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?

     I always preface my reviews of contemporary novels with some sort of apology or disclaimer about how I don't normally read contemporary novels, they aren't really my thing, take all my words with a grain of salt, etc. Over the years I have read my fair share of these types of novels, though, so I'm starting to wonder if those disclaimers still really apply. Oh well. Either way, a novel set in our oh-so-modern time usually has to have something in particular to grab my interest and bamboozle me in reading it, and this one had food. So I figured, why not try it?

     This was an up-and-down read for me. There were parts of it where I thought, "hey, I'm really enjoying this!" and then I would sort of settle back down into the sort of disinterested reading pattern that comes when a book I'm reading isn't bad, I'm just not connecting to it. Contemporary books just seem to come from a mindset so different from my own- full of confident career people, slang I don't always find in good taste (I prefer not to gossip about whether or not guys are "hot" or "sexy"), casual kissing, and other little things that tend to alienate me.

     But...there were things I really liked about this book. The social media debacle was really hard to read, because I've seen stuff like that happen over and over again in the world, yet I also appreciated how the book handled technology, and Alex's stance on it really helped to endear him to me. I liked Rachel, too- we differ in a lot of ways, but I respected her. Also, the supper club idea was a neat one, and it made me really hungry. It's not a book  that's going to convert me over to the contemporary women's fiction side of things, but it's not one that that's going to reflect too badly on the genre, either.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


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