Vegan sous chef Clementine Cooper finally has her big chance: The chef is ill, so it’s her job to impress curmudgeonly food critic O. Ellery Rice. But after one bite of her divine butternut squash ravioli, Rice stalks out.
Sabotaged in the kitchen by the sauté chef with the butter, Clementine finds herself blackballed from every vegan kitchen in town. Never one to let crap ruin her life, Clementine launches her own business as a personal chef, but her first client turns out to be her ex-boyfriend—and his new, supermodel-beautiful fiancee. Plan B: open a private cooking school. During her very first class, in her very tiny apartment, a quirky collection of characters assembles. Clementine’s roommate Sara is, of course, the first to arrive, eager to continue the effortless weight loss that a vegan diet has given her. Duncan the librarian arrives next, hung-up on his ex-girlfriend—a trauma Sara would be delighted to heal. In the midst of an upsetting divorce, Eva comes ready to work out her anger management issues by chopping vegetables. During a lecture on tofu, however, a loud interruption sends Clementine storming across the street to confront whoever just hung up a sign with a steer’s head. She may intend to put a stop to the dead animal business, but one look at Zach Jeffries leaves Clementine speechless.
Capitalizing on the success of her best-selling series of cookbooks, Barnouin’s (Skinny Bitch: Home, Beauty & Style, 2011, etc.) debut novel asks: Can a vegan chef find love with a carnivore? It's lightweight fare, starring a sassy heroine.