Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish – Bethany Turner – Revell – Published 5 May 2020
Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanaugh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel’s other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.
When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum, he’s sent packing to get his life in order. When he returns, career in shambles, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public’s good graces is to work alongside Hadley.
As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along, but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love. In the meantime, hide the knives.
Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish is everything I needed from this book. It’s light and funny, but doesn’t shy away from some deeper topics. It’s relaxing to read and just so much fun. It’s sexy but clean, redemptive but not preachy, has lots of yummy food to imagine eating, and have I mentioned how fun it is to read?
Hadley Beckett is an up and coming chef. She has Michelin stars, restaurants, magazines and even her own cooking show, At Home With Hadley. Her latest accomplishment is making it through the finals of America’s Fiercest Chef. But when her competitor, the foul-mouthed and rude Max Cavanaugh, throws a temper tantrum when she wins, her moment of triumph is dampened. A few months on, Hadley is offered the chance to feature on her most favourite cooking show, the only catch is that she must work alongside Max. Max claims he has changed, but Hadley’s not sure she can trust him.
Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish had me doing a complete 180 when reading it. I went from hating Max and thinking there was no way he was good enough for Hadley (after reading the first chapter, I even went back to check the synopsis because I thought he couldn’t possibly be the love interest) to rooting so hard for the characters. Oh my gosh. I loved them both so much. You know how some books just don’t give you enough time spent between the two love interests and it’s hard to believe their relationship or growing feelings? This is not that book. The majority of the book is spend with the two characters interacting, face-to-face, texting, phone calls, while shooting on the cooking show, cooking, arguing, facing off. We get to see them in so many situations and I adored their banter, teasing, full-out fighting and every moment in between.
Talk about character transformation. Max goes from completely and utterly unlikable to really, really likeable. He learns, but so does Hadley. As they work together, they reveal some hurts from the past and some hard truths. It’s open and raw but ultimately backed with good humour and care. There is also plenty of kissing. Just saying.
I really enjoy Bethany Turner’s writing style. It’s flippant, fresh and funny. I’m going to categorise this book as romance, clean or women’s fiction but not Christian fiction. Hadley mentions Jesus once and forgiveness is also referenced once, but faith isn’t considered beyond that nor are the transformations the characters experience attributed to anything more than “something else out here”. Yes, this is a book about cooking shows but food doesn’t steal the focus from the characters or the relationships too much so I was able to read it without massive cravings.
Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish is guaranteed to have you smiling the whole time and it’s the perfect romantic and lighthearted read.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Adult fiction
Themes: Cooking, alcohol, rehab, relationships, cooking shows, New York, Nashville, dating, romance, food.
Advisory: References to coarse language, but not actually used in the book. References to “playboy” lifestyle but no sexual references.
Published: 5 May 2020 by Revell.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 352 pages.