Off The Menu by Stacey Ballis

13186433The food theme continues in Ms. Ballis’s latest book as our main character is the executive culinary assistant to a TV chef with boundary issues. Through a fluke of a fake eHarmony dating site, she meets a fabulous, non-crazy man who is perfect for her. Her family is big, but loving, and she has a weird-looking, but amazing dog named Dumpling that is the love of her life (until RJ, that is).

The book is full of enough Big Name Food People to keep it real and current, while fictionalizing the story so no one gets sued. Unfortunately, our heroine suffers from Has Everything Syndrome, making her hard to relate to. She owns two houses (one in Chicago, natch), is ridiculously successful at her job, where she works on two television shows, writes cookbooks and hobnobs with the fabulous. Her big conflict in the book is trying to choose between two once-in-a-lifetime job opportunities. Alana wasn’t off-putting, but it did get a little ridiculous after a while.

We get to catch up with Melanie from her last book, and everything’s coming up roses for her as well. All the business ventures were successful and her brand continues to grow.

Ms. Ballis’s next book is also set in the culinary world, but luckily it doesn’t come out until March 2015, so I have plenty of time to de-tox from all this delicious food talk.