Skinny Bitch in Love, by Kim Barnouin.
Let's get something straight right here, since I get this question all the time: what the hell do vegans eat? First let me tell you what vegans don't eat: anything that comes from an animal. Yeah, even if you don't have to slaughter the creature to get it. So no eggs either. No milk. No brie on that cracker. And yes, fish are animals. They what do vegans eat? Duh: everything else.
Skinny Bitch in Love is a novel based on the Skinny Bitch cookbooks, by the same author. Kim Barnouin is a former model who went on to get a Bachelor's degree in Holistic Nutrition, and started writing the cookbooks in order to eat better. She is the author of all of the Skinny Bitch cookbooks, including sequels such as Skinny Bitch in the Kitch and Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven, and now is trying her hand at fiction based on these. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book because of that, but I ended up enjoying it a lot - it's a great "beach read" for the summer.
In this new novel based on the #1 bestselling Skinny Bitch books, a twenty-something chef loses her dream job—only to find happiness after she launches a vegan cooking school and falls for a sexy carnivore. Twenty-six-year-old Clementine Cooper is an ambitious sous chef at a hot vegan restaurant in Santa Monica. When an important food critic visits the restaurant, a backstabbing coworker sabotages her vegan dish by adding butter. Fired from her job and blackballed in L.A., Clementine has hit rock bottom. Not one to wallow, she decides to launch her own cooking school and personal chef business called Skinny Bitch.
Every day, Clementine passes a space for lease in her neighborhood and fantasizes about opening her own restaurant. Fifteen tables. A juice bar. Cali-meets-Moroccan décor. She plans to work hard, save money, and buy the space. But on the first day of her cooking classes, she discovers that millionaire restaurateur Zach Jeffries is opening a steakhouse in the same space!
Zach is the antithesis of everything she stands for, but she’s incredibly attracted to him. And it seems like he might be attracted to her too, since he immediately enrolls in her cooking school. Can two people who are so fundamentally different actually find love? As Clementine rebuilds her life with new friendships, romance, and recipes, she finds that there are healthy choices to make both in and out of the kitchen.
This novel is definitely predictable, but it was also a fun read. Clementine is a vegan cook who gets fired from Fresh, where she is a sous chef, when an important critic comes to dine there and one of her jealous coworkers puts butter (a sin!) in her ravioli dish. It actually ends up being the best thing that ever happened to her, though, because she starts her Skinny Bitch vegan cooking classes and also ends up meeting two great guys: Alexander, the new sous chef at Fresh, and Zach Jeffries, a carnivore with whom she actually has a lot in common. She knows Alexander is the better match for her on paper, yet she keeps coming back to Zach, interestingly enough.
I started reading this book when I was in the midst of another novel, telling myself I was only going to read a few chapters and then get back to the original novel, but that promise fell by the wayside very quickly! Skinny Bitch in Love is a fast read and is perfect for any fans of YA or chick lit. I imagine that fans of the Skinny Bitch cookbooks would like this novel as well, or anyone who is vegan or anything of going vegan ... some of the recipes that Clementine made sounded quite delicious! If you're looking for a fun read, check out this book.
Skinny Bitch in Love will be in stores on June 4th. 4 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received a NetGalley of this book to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.