Book Review for HOT MESS by Emily Belden

HOT MESS by Emily Belden
Graydon House
☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
My Highly Caffeinated Thought:
Fun, smart, and filled with heart. A foodie’s fictional playground.

HOT MESS is a coming of age story with a twist. It has the path to self-discovery filled with love, life changing decisions, and those all important mistakes who shape what a person can become. Yet…the way that addiction is woven into the story elevates it something a bit more.


In many ways the author plays with the concept of being an addict. Of course, there is Benji and his path to sobriety, but there is also Allie. She becomes an addict of sorts as well. Her need to watch out for and be with a man will shape so much of who she is. However, when she loses him, she is hit with a sobering reality and is forced to put on her big girl panties.

What I like the most about the book was how the author manages to combine the grit and hard times Allie must struggle through with healthy dose of humor and moments of true emotion. There is growth within the characters as well as their relationships. The situations that are presented force Allie as well as those around her to act and through these actions, the reader gets to see what each of players are really made of.

I will say that having the food-centric theme coupled with the fact that the main character is thrust into the crazy world of starting a was completely enjoyable. Not since FOOD WHORE, have I become  immersed in a fictional foodie world.

Belden gives us heart, humor, and honesty in HOT MESS. I for one am glad that I was able to take a moment and read about Allie’s journey.

Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

Twentysomething Allie Simon is used to playing by the rules—until Chicago’s most sought-after, up-and-coming culinary genius, Benji Zane, walks into her world and pulls her into his. The only thing more renowned than Benji’s mouthwatering masterpieces and equally luscious good looks? His struggle with addiction and his reckless tendency to live life on the edge, no matter the havoc he wreaks along the way. But loving someone means supporting him no matter what, or so Allie tells herself. That’s why, when Benji’s offered the chance to light up foodie hot spot Randolph Street with a high-profile new restaurant, Allie takes the ultimate risk and invests her life savings in his dream.

Then one day Benji disappears, relapsing to a place where Allie can’t reach him. Left with nothing but a massive withdrawal slip and a restaurant that absolutely must open in a matter of weeks, Allie finds herself thrust into a world of luxury and greed, cutthroat business and sensory delight. Lost in the mess of it all, she can either crumble completely or fight like hell for the life she wants and the love she deserves.

Find the book on Amazon, Books-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble.


About the Author: Emily Belden is an author for powerhouse publisher, HARLEQUIN/HARPER COLLINS. She inked a two-book deal with them in 2016, and her debut novel HOT MESS will come out in 2018 via imprint, Graydon House. In 2019, HUSBAND MATERIAL will be released. She is represented by famed literary agency, Browne & Miller, along with 44 Blue Productions in Burbank. The SoCal studio is adapting her memoir into a comedic series.

Book Details:

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Graydon House (March 20, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 152581141X
ISBN-13: 978-1525811418

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.