Off the Menu Audiobook | Stacey Ballis | Audible.com
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Off the Menu | [Stacey Ballis]

Off the Menu

As the executive culinary assistant to celebrity Chicago chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes - and that's just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick's cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling.
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Publisher's Summary

As the executive culinary assistant to celebrity Chicago chef Patrick Conlon, Alana Ostermann works behind the scenes - and that's just the way she likes it. But with developing recipes for Patrick's cookbooks, training his sous chefs, picking out the perfect birthday gifts for his ex-mother-in-law, and dealing with the fallout from his romantic escapades, she barely has a personal life, much less time to spend with her combo platter of a mutt, Dumpling.

Then a fluke online connection brings her RJ, a transplant from Tennessee, who adds some Southern spice to her life. Suddenly Alana's priorities shift, and Patrick - and Dumpling - find themselves facing a rival for her time and affection. With RJ in the mix, and some serious decisions to make about her personal and professional future, Alana must discover the perfect balance of work and play, money and meaning, to bring it all to the table - one delicious dish at a time.

©2012 Stacey Ballis (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"[A] lighthearted look at finding true love." (Romantic Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (19 )
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3.6 (18 )
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3.6 (18 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Barbara United States 01-27-13
    Barbara United States 01-27-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Light and charming story......"

    I really liked this book. Very light and easy going -- no major drama and no twisted plot or characters (thankfully delivered from the sickies in this book). A little predictable in places and definitely could have lived without the 120 reasons why her place was a better place to live, but good story overall. The dog was an excellent character and helped connect all the pieces of the story and people together. Interesting insight into the restaurant scene and made me wonder about the behind the scenes of all the coking shows. A great little read and well spent credit.
    Oh - AND the beginning of the book gives website information for recipes!.....it seems the book is sprinkled with recipes throughout.... I haven't checked it out yet, but some of the dishes referred to would be great recipes to have!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Huntsville, TX 12-25-12
    Mary Huntsville, TX 12-25-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
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    38
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    Story
    "Where's the conflict?"

    The story seems to consist of dropping names of famous chefs and describing recipes. The heroine has a self-absorbed chef for a boss and has some life decisions to make - but that's all the conflict in the story. I listened on and off for days and finally finished the book, that's about the best I can say for it. It wasn't so horrible that I had to stop listening, but I honestly cannot recommend this book to anyone (unless your having trouble sleeping.) I gave it two stars, only because I reserve one star for truely awful books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    barb marion, IN, United States 12-20-12
    barb marion, IN, United States 12-20-12 Member Since 2012

    I'm totally addicted to audio books! I listen when my eyes get too tired to read and when I am driving or just don't want to sit and read!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Painfully shallow boring story...waste of credit"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Less emphasis on food and more story and character development


    What was most disappointing about Stacey Ballis’s story?

    Just no real point, bad try for humor with all the dog pooh and bodily functions


    Which character – as performed by Arielle DeLisle – was your favorite?

    Liked the narrator.


    What character would you cut from Off the Menu?

    The dog!


    Any additional comments?

    Couldn't wait for it to be over! Ugh

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Oshkosh, WI, United States 07-21-13
    Michelle Oshkosh, WI, United States 07-21-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How do we get more Stacey Ballis books on Audible?"

    Love the interesting characters and story. A great summer listen. Love the strong and smart females who still have insecurities but also other strong female support around them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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