There’s a question mark in my review title because honestly I am not a Christian romance reader. I am also highly annoyed Amazon didn’t mark this as Christian romance via my Kindle Store because I hard pass Christian romances. I feel uncomfortable reading about people talking about God and acting as if everything good that happens is due to God and when something bad happens, think that praying harder is what they need to do. I don’t know. Probably because I was raised in the church and I feel uncomfortable with anyone pushing their religious views down my throat. This book didn’t feel very realistic after a while and I didn’t buy what the author was selling via the two leads. Also, I thought the heroine was actually a lousy person (sorry, not sorry). I thought the hero really did psychoanalyze people too much and it started to annoy me. Not going to continue with this series, though I was looking for a good romance series to start.
“The Saturday Night Supper Club” follows James Beard award winner Rachel Bishop. Rachel has been living in Denver for 6 years and is finally a co-owner of her own restaurant, Paisley. Rachel pushes herself and her team in the kitchen, but is starting to feel a bit off. When a restaurant critic who accused her of sexual impropriety is taken apart by a viral essay, Rachel is ambushed by the press. Instead of no comment, Rachel shoots off the cuff and later has her words switched up. From there, everything is in free fall and Rachel is bought up and quickly unemployed. When the author of the original essay, Alex Kanin, tracks Rachel down to apologize, he offers his help in anyway that he can. Rachel starts thinking of ways to get back into the restaurant scene and then uses Alex’s place as a location to host an exclusive Saturday Night Supper Club.
So here’s the thing, Rachel kind of sucks. We find out that she’s fallen out with a lot of female chefs because she walked off a panel that was discussing sexism in the kitchen. Rachel thought it was not fair to do that since she’s had a lot of male mentors who have ensured her success. And there seems to be the author wagging her finger at people who think that sexism in kitchens is bad. This book was written in 2018, this is way into the metoo movement and also the articles coming out about the sexual harassment in the restaurant industry (see Spotted Pig’s owner Ken Friedman, Mario Batali, John Besh, etc.) So this is a very real thing and I wanted someone to curse Rachel out about it. Things went from bad to worse from me when once again a reporter asks her about how sexism in the kitchen is terrible and Rachel goes who cares if they are a man or a woman, they don’t belong there if they can’t cook. (Paraphrasing). So there you go. I just shook my head. For someone who was all about getting out of her religious stepfather’s thumb, she sure took his lessons to heart about how a woman should act.
Alex just bugged me. He finds himself attracted to Rachel as soon as he sees her, and then can’t write, cause his conscience is bothering him. I never got that even a little bit. He was writing a piece talking about online trolling, Rachel’s mouth got her into trouble, not the other way around. Ah well. There are some interesting elements to Alex, but I didn’t like how her characterized Rachel after a while. I didn’t get why she was interested in him either.
The secondary characters are all fluff and no substance. I know that Rache’s two best friends are subjects of the next two books, but I am hard passing on continuing to read this series.
The supper club idea was interesting, but disappointed we only get two supper clubs. that annoyed me since I think you need to have more than 2 dinners for you to suddenly have a comeback. Everything else in the book was Rachel not wanting to get involved, Alex wanting to, and Rachel starting to “dress” up for him. Rachel cooking for her friends to discuss Alex. I think this book would fail the The Bechdel test. Everything deals with Alex, with Rachel occasionally feeling guilty since her best friend walked out on the job at Paisely in solidarity with Rachel. And them talking about me. A lot. The food sounded interesting, and I just wanted more of that.
When these two talked about God though, I really didn’t buy it. It sounded so fake. I mean in the end Rachel does something totally out of character and goes well God will provide. Or something. My eyes started to roll.
The ending made zero sense to me based on what came before. I just went okay then and went about my day.