Too Many Cooks by Dana Bate ~ BLOG TOUR!

'Too many cooks spoil the broth.'

Title - Too Many Cooks 
Author - Dana Bate 
Publication Date - June 4th 2015
Publisher - Corsair (Little, Brown UK)
Format - Kindle Edition (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 448

The blurb

Kelly Madigan seems to have it all: a fabulous boyfriend, a supportive - if eccentric - family, and a flourishing career as a cookbook ghostwriter. But after finding a letter from her recently-deceased mother, criticising her stable but undeniably unexciting life, Kelly knows she needs to make a change. When a mysterious new writing opportunity in London presents itself, she jumps at the chance to get away from it all.

Enter Natasha Spencer - Oscar-winning actress and health nut, not to mention a total nightmare. She's working on a new cookbook and has asked for Kelly's help. What Kelly didn't factor in was meeting Natasha's dishy MP husband, Hugh Ballantine.

Away from her family, friends, and the like she knows - will this fish out of water ever get back in the swim?

Becca's thoughts 

Firstly, I'd like to say a massive thank you to the oh-so-lovely Grace Vincent from Little, Brown UK for getting in touch with me in regards to the blog tour for Dana Bate's latest novel Too Many Cooks. I was provided with a digital copy of this novel, as well as a gorgeous physical copy, via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Too Many Cooks is the second novel by Dana Bate that I have had the pleasure of reading. The Stall of Second Chances (you can find my review here) was the book that originally introduced me to the author back in 2014 and, after reading Too Many Cooks, it's clear to see that Dana is just getting better and better with every story that she creates. If you've read any of Dana's previous novels and you, like me, have marvelled at how deliciously delectable they were, then I can tell you right now, it's probably best to not read Too Many Cooks on an empty stomach.

In Two Many Cooks, Dana introduces the reader to Kelly Madigan, occupation cookbook ghostwriter, and incredibly talented when it comes to even the tiniest intricacies of the taste and texture of food. As the novel begins, Dana chooses to place the reader alongside Kelly as she prepares the food for her mother's funeral, including the dish that her eccentric mother was famous for: her well-known spaghetti salad. I can only applaud Dana for beginning Kelly's story in such a way. The emphasis on food really set the tone for the rest of the novel, as well as placing the foundations for Kelly's character. The reader learns about Kelly's father and how he's coping since the death of her mother, and we meet Kelly's best-friend Meg who remains a constant, upbeat and entertaining presence in Kelly's life while she's away from home, We're also told of Sam, Kelly's predictable, 'boring' boyfriend. But, when Kelly receives an email offering her a very prestigious position, ghost-writing renowned Oscar-winning actress Natasha Spencer's newly announced cookbook, Kelly's life in Michigan gets flipped upside down. After finding a moving letter from her mother, hinting towards the fact that she wants Kelly to ditch Sam and do something exciting with her life, Kelly sees this as her perfect opportunity to do so, and sets off for London.

Dana Bate structured Kelly's story perfectly. From the moment Kelly left Michigan and stepped foot on London ground, the book was a complete and utter whirlwind of an adventure, including scrumptious food, an Oscar-winning actress's unbelievable expectations, and a crazy, passionate romance. Not only that, but Too Many Cooks was exciting, incredibly funny at times, and it had that magnetic pull that had me desperately turning the pages, eager to know more and find out where Kelly's story would go.

Kelly's time in London, spent working as Natasha's ghostwriter and giving in to her every whim and rule, had me giggling and gasping in equal measure. There were moments when I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing or seeing, and I had no choice but to applaud Kelly for having handled some of the ridiculous situations that she found herself in such an impeccable manner! It was clear, as soon as I was introduced to Natasha Spencer, that she and Kelly were both very different people who had experienced very different upbringings. Natasha was utterly flawless, lived a life of sleek luxury and had her trusty assistant to deal with anything even slightly messy or difficult, whereas Kelly, to me, felt so much more down-to-earth, wholesome and grounded. There was, however, one thing that the two women had in common but, even despite this, Natasha still had to have the upper hand. This also included having the upper hand in the husband department, too. Hugh Ballantine, MP and ridiculously handsome, not only had Kelly swooning, but I found myself swooning right along with her. I think it's fair to say that sparks definitely flew when Kelly set eyes on this impeccable man. Only problem being, she was his wife's ghostwriter... Uh-oh!

As expected, since reading and LOVING Dana's The Stall of Second Chances, Too Many Cooks was absolutely simmering over with some of the most deliciously, temptingly tasty dishes I can think of (and some not-so-tasty!). From sweet potato fries to a strangely-received loaf of banana bread, the pages within Too Many Cooks were packed with food descriptions teasing enough to get your taste-buds tingling. Dana's focus on food added such a gorgeous homely feel to the story despite Kelly spending time with an Oscar-winning actress. It was as if, even though surrounded by the expense and grandeur of Natasha's lifestyle, Kelly's roots had followed her all the way to London. 

The sheer entertainment and grip that Too Many Cooks provided me with was enough to have me dying to see how Kelly's story would end. I couldn't wait to see how the story would wind up, and in which direction Kelly and the rest of Dana's fantastic characters would go. There was so much depth and feeling to Dana's plot, it was impossible for me detach myself when I wasn't reading. It was exciting, satisfying and everything that I had hoped for and more. 

I seriously, seriously, seriously cannot recommend this book to you enough. It had everything that I needed and more. From Dana's brilliantly crafted characters to how fabulously the plot thickened, it was a real, down-to-earth story about one woman finally deciding to take her chances and go for it, just like her Mum had said.

Becca's Books is awarding Too Many Cooks by Dana Bate with FIVE GLORIOUSLY PERFECTED CUPCAKES! I'm already eager to read Dana's next release, because there is no doubt in my mind that it will hold the same deliciously riveting storyline that I can never get enough of.




  1. Gorgeous review x

  2. Aurwh, thanks so much for popping by and having a read, lovely! It was a gorgeous book xxx

  3. What a fantastic review :)

  4. This one sounds so cute! I love the idea of all of the food descriptions! I'd be hungry the whole time LOL! Great review :)