Book Review: Hot Mess by Emily Belden



4 disco balls

Publish Date: March 20, 2018 by Graydon House
Pre-order/Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Category: Women’s Fiction, Chick-lit

Twenty-five year old Allie Simon has a good head on her shoulders, a good job, good friends and supportive family. She becomes consumed by a charming, bad boy celeb chef named Benji Zane and her simple life as she knows it, well isn’t very simple anymore.

Benji is a recovering addict who – only 3 months sober – asks Allie to invest her entire life savings in “their” future (to partner in opening a restaurant with Benji at the helm, sold alongside the future image of them married with kids in a brownstone yada yada yada).

Guess what? You probably guessed right: only a month before opening, Benji relapses and goes off the grid leaving Allie to unwillingly step into his place; in order to not lose her investment. The rest of the story is Allie maneuvering the foodie scene in a high-end area of Chicago: friends, critics and social media not always on her side and often waiting to see her fail. It’s a cute story and I enjoyed watching Allie come into her own.

At first I didn’t think I was going to like the main character, Allie Simon, but you know what, she wound up being one really cool chick (she’s hardworking and tenacious). If anything what I liked most about this book was the female empowerment story line: a successful career woman taking a chance on, looking out for, and teaching a fledgling in the trade.

I had recently watched the movie Burnt with Bradley Cooper and kept drawing a few parallels from that. It had me thinking: Hot Mess could be the prequel to Adam Jones’ (Benji Zane) journey in Burnt.

This isn’t a page turner keep you up at night read. It’s a fun, light (with a touch of dark) read for those who like a little sass and a bit of drama. It is an ideal book club choice for fans of Women’s Fiction.



I want to thank the Harlequin Publicity Team for organizing their ‘Hot Mess’ by Emily Belden bookstagram mailing, through which I was able to receive a free advanced reader’s copy of the book.


Please note: this post contains an Amazon affiliate link. If you purchase this book through the link above I will earn a small fee; at no additional cost to you. This will help me purchase more books to read and recommend to you all!

20 thoughts on “Book Review: Hot Mess by Emily Belden

  1. This looks really interesting! I have always had an unusual interest is books that deal with addiction (any kind of addiction). I just think itโ€™s interesting on how people learn to love with their vices and the struggle they face while doing so. Anyway great post il have to give this book a shot!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been seeing this book pop up a lot lately. It doesn’t sound like the book for me, I get way too annoyed when the characters don’t make the decisions I think they should. But, I can see the appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review, you had me at female empowerment I just love a good book that has a female empowerment in them. So I might give check this book out and see if I like it or not. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your review and this book looks totally adorable! Going to add it to my huge TBR๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“š

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s