I read Kim Barnouin's first novel, Skinny Bitch in Love, last summer and absolutely adored it. I was thrilled when I learned there was going to be a second book in the series. I finally got around to reading Skinny Bitch Gets Hitched last week (well after the publication date of May 6) and I loved it. I think I liked the first one more but this second installment was really enjoyable.
Here's the synopsis:
For the second time in just a few short months, Clementine Cooper's professional reputation hinges on one restaurant review. Clementine's No Crap Cafe is poised to score the Holy Grail of publicity - a mention in the New York Times Sunday travel section - if Clem's veggietastic lasagna can bowl over the food critic.One of my problems with this book was that it seemed like Simon & Schuster really rushed it to publication. On the minor end: there was one word that were only half italicized (perhaps because there was emphasis on the one part but why have the whole word be italicized in every other mention of it?) and another that had missed the first letter being italicized. There were other, more troublesome, issues, too. There seemed to be quite a bit of repetition. I expect there to be some information given in the second book of a series that I already know because I read the first book. But what I don't expect, or want, is that information told to me again...and again. There was something to do with Alexander (silly me didn't note the page number) that was mentioned at least twice throughout the novel in almost the exact same way. Finally, I had a really hard time following the time line of this novel. Sometimes it was very clear when weeks went by but other times (especially for the epilogue), I had zero idea when it was taking place. I think that contributed to the rushed feeling I had. Those are some specific(ish) examples but, as a whole, I felt the story to be a bit rough and I think the author and editor(s) needed to spend more time on it.
Clem has no time for distractions. Or surprises. But when her meat-eating millionaire boyfriend Zach Jeffries shocks her with a sweet and romantic marriage proposal, of course she says yes! Now she has to plan the most important menu of her life while fending off her domineering future mother-in-law's extravagant plans for the wedding.
As if there wasn't enough on her plate, Clem decides to open a second restaurant on her parents' farm,Clem's No Crap Outpost, against Zach's advice. Just when she needs his support the most, Zach grows distant. The only person who really seems to understand is Clem's friend and biggest competition, the cute vegan chef Alexander Orr. Putting out fires in the kitchen is easy, but in her relationship? Suddenly, her time with Alexander feels...hotter...than usual, and Clem starts to wonder if the charming carnivore she's engaged to is really the man she should spend her life with.
Enough negativity! I really did like this book. I liked it because it's full of a great cast of characters. Clem, our heroine, isn't going to be for everyone. Not just because of her personality (she can be stubborn and mouthy) but because of her age, which, I suppose, plays a large part in her personality. She's, I think, 25 and I know some people might find that they can't relate to her (just like I can't really relate to the mom characters I read). I like that her BFF, Sara, was still very involved in her life. As much as I wanted to strangle Dominique, Zach's mother, I liked that she was a good match for Clem. They're a similar type of woman, strong and used to getting what she wants, and I'm happy with how their relationship ended up. I adored Keira, Zach's step-sister. She was around 19 or so, and had a great personality and was just so much fun to read about. I'm also glad Alexander was around a little bit in this book (even if I'm not totally sure it was necessary) as I have a bit of a soft spot for him! Oh, and I loved Aunt Jocelyn just as much as Clem did. She was the older, wiser, confidante Clem needed and she had a fabulous personality.
I liked the behind the scenes look at the restaurant industry in this book. It was fun to read about Clem working in and running her restaurant's kitchen (though, my god, do I hate the name Clementine's No Crap Cafe). I suppose I liked it, in part, because I always enjoy reading about jobs and such that I have no experience with. I hate cooking. I can make enough so I don't die but I just don't enjoy it (though I will happily make a cake or muffins) so reading about a bunch of characters who live to make food for themselves and others was neat.
Skinny Bitch Gets Hitched was a really fun, perfect for summer, chick lit novel. Kim Barnouin has written a great second novel in her series that was enjoyable, even if I liked the first one more. If you like food, weddings, and chick lit, check this one out!
*A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*