Friday, 5 June 2015

Book Review - Too Many Cooks by Dana Bate

Amazon UK

Title: Too Many Cooks
Author: Dana Bate
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Corsair
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Kelly Madigan seems to have it all: a fabulous boyfriend, a supportive - if eccentric - family, and a flourishing career as a cookbook ghostwriter. But after finding a letter from her recently-deceased mother, criticising her stable but undeniably unexciting life, Kelly knows she needs to make a change. When a mysterious new writing opportunity in London presents itself, she jumps at the chance to get away from it all. 

Enter Natasha Spencer - Oscar-winning actress and health nut, not to mention a total nightmare. She's working on a new cookbook and has asked for Kelly's help. What Kelly didn't factor in was meeting Natasha's dishy MP husband, Hugh Ballantine. 

Away from her family, friends, and the life she knows - will this fish out of water ever get back in the swim?

I had one slight problem with Too Many Cooks, and that was that it continually made me hungry while I was reading it, this is because of the fantastic descriptions of food that Dana Bate is able to come up with. With the exception of that slight drawback, this a a fantastic book. I am finding that Dana's books are getting better and better with each one. If you haven't read anything by this talented author, and you like food with a side order of  humour and a sprinkle of romance, than please do check out Too Many Cooks. 

Kelly Madigan is a very talented ghostwriter of cook books. She hones recipes to perfection, on behalf of the client she is writing a cook book for.  Kelly has also recently lost her mum, and then she finds a letter from her mum that was left for her, accusing her of having a boring boyfriend and needing more excitement in her life. 

Shortly after the reading the letter she gets an intriguing job offer. It's a chance to move to London for a year to ghostwrite Natasha Spencer's cookbook. Natasha is an A-List actress and is married to Hugh Ballantine, MP and member of the shadow cabinet. 

Kelly who has never left America before, takes the plunge and moves to London, as this is the sort of job that could make or break her career. 

I loved seeing the process of how a cook book ghost writer conjures up the recipes. Of course Natasha wasn't the easiest client that Kelly could have landed, and  she was given the vaguest of descriptions of the food, for her to make the recipe for. I can barely cook myself, so what was being described was pure magic to me, especially how you know what flavours will work with which ingredients. Incredibly masterful, and since all of Dana's books have e keen food theme, I have to believe that she must be the most wonderful chef herself. 

The main romantic story in the book, was arguably a bit of a cliche, but was carried out very well, and I found my self hoping that the couple would survive against all odds, as I loved the interactions between the male and female. 

Kelly's brother who we only really see in Skype conversations comes up with some amusing plans on how to get rid of the woman who has moved in with his dad, not long after his mother died. The woman is also Kelly and Stevie's arch rival, and there were instructions in the letter telling her children to not let her rival get their claws into her husband. 

Meg is Kelly's best friend back in Michigan,  and thankfully offers Kelly a safe way to vent her frustrations with this new job, and also to confide in about her love interest.  Meg is the voice of reason at all times. 

I loved every minute of Too Many Cooks, it is such an enjoyable story, well paced, I didn't want to put it down at all. Too Many Cooks is tantalisingly tasty and a joy to devour. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown Book Group for my review copy of this book. This was my honest review. 


  1. Brilliant review, Rachel! I absolutely LOVED Too Many Cooks, too. And I have to agree, I had food on the brain right the way through reading. Especially spaghetti pasta & Miracle Whip! ;)

    Becca x

    1. Thank you so much Becca, and I loved your review of Heidi Swain's book yesterday. Still need to read that for myself


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