FICTION

A Second Bite at the Apple

Kensington. Dec. 2014. 327p. ISBN 9781617732607. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9781617732614. F
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Sydney Strauss, a 26-year-old frustrated food writer, has been laid off from a job producing segments on a morning news show that was just meant to pay the bills until her dream job came along. Her career is in crumbles, so with nary a nibble she takes a position with misogynistic Rick at his farmers market stand in Washington, DC. Sydney's love life has been marinating for four years ever since her breakup with high school boyfriend Zach (he cheated on her). After she insults and yells at PR guy Jeremy, he returns for second helpings. After their first date, Sydney does an Internet search on Jeremy and finds out that he had been caught in a pay-for-review scandal a few years back. Appalled, she tries to distance herself but finds him persistent and increasingly on her mind. In addition, her father is about to lose his car dealership, and her engaged sister, kept in the dark regarding her parents' looming financial problems, is making expensive wedding demands. At the moment when life can't get more complicated, Zach returns to the menu.
VERDICT Bate (The Girls' Guide To Love and Supper Clubs) serves up a story that doesn't quite satisfy. Plot points about betrayal and forgiveness don't quite ring true.

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