Read Out to Lunch Online

Authors: Stacey Ballis

Out to Lunch

BOOK: Out to Lunch
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Praise for

Off the Menu

“Readers hungry for cleverly written contemporary romances will definitely want to order
Off the Menu
.”


Chicago Tribune

“Another fabulous and soul-satisfying meal . . . With the perfect blend of humor and heart, Ballis’s writing is powerfully honest and genuinely hilarious.”

—Jen Lancaster,
New York Times
bestselling author of
The Tao of Martha
and
Jeneration X

“Enticing. Ballis writes a bit like Emily Giffin and Isabel Wolff, and the recipes will please gal foodies as well.”


Booklist

“Smart, sexy, and delightfully buoyant . . . In a word, scrumptious.”

—Quinn Cummings, author of
The Year of Learning Dangerously

“Interesting characters and a satisfying plot . . . Fans of Stacey Ballis will devour her latest book.”

—Examiner.com

“A great contemporary romance about a chef striving to find balance in her life and enjoying both her man and her career.”


Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Good Enough to Eat


Good Enough to Eat
is like a perfect dish of macaroni and cheese—rich, warm, nuanced, and delicious. And like any great comfort food, Stacey Ballis’s new book is absolutely satisfying.”

—Jen Lancaster

“Witty and tender, brash and seriously clever, Stacey Ballis’s characters are our friends, our neighbors, or, in some cases, that sardonic colleague the next cubicle over . . . Her storytelling will have you alternately turning pages and calling your friends, urging them to come along for the ride. And in Stacey Ballis’s talented hands, oh what a wonderful ride it is.”

—Elizabeth Flock,
New York Times
bestselling author of
What Happened to My Sister

“A toothsome meal of moments, gorgeously written, in warmth and with keen observation,
Good Enough to Eat
is about so much more than the magic of food; it’s about the magic of life. Pardon the cliché, but you’ll devour it and wish there was more to savor.”

—Stephanie Klein, author of
Straight Up and Dirty
and
Moose

The Spinster Sisters

“Readers will be rooting for Ballis’s smart, snappy heroines.”


Booklist

“A laugh-out-loud hoot of a book. Jodi and Jill are amazing characters. They are challenged by balancing their business lives with style, charm, and grace. A must-read.”


A Romance Review

“Filled with characters so witty and diverse yet so strong in their passion for friends and family that they could easily be our best friend or favorite aunt . . . Women of every age will relate to Ballis’s clever yet unassuming story about sisterhood, dating dramas, and the bonds of friendship and family.”


RT Book Reviews

Room for Improvement

“For those who say ‘chick lit’ is played out, all I can say is think again. Stacey Ballis proves the genre can be funny, honest, clever, real, and, most importantly, totally fresh.”

—Jen Lancaster

“More fun than a
Trading Spaces
marathon. One of the season’s best.”


The Washington Post Book World

“Rife with humor—always earthy, often bawdy, unwaveringly forthright humor.”


Chicago Sun-Times

“A laugh-out-loud novel that will appeal to HGTV devotees as well as those who like their chick lit on the sexy side. One of the summer’s hot reads for the beach.”


Library Journal

“In her third outing, Ballis offers up a frothy, fun send-up of reality TV. Readers will have a blast.”


Booklist

Sleeping Over

“Ballis presents a refreshingly realistic approach to relationships and the things that test (and often break) them.”


Booklist

“Fans of relationship dramas will appreciate this fine, character-driven tale.”


The Best Reviews


Sleeping Over
will have you laughing, crying, and planning your next girls’ night out.”


Romance Reader at Heart

“This engaging story delivers everything you ask from a great read: it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you
feel
.”


Romance Diva
s

Berkley Books by Stacey Ballis

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

THE SPINSTER SISTERS

GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT

OFF THE MENU

OUT TO LUNCH

 

Out to Lunch

STACEY BALLIS

THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

USA • Canada • UK • Ireland • Australia • New Zealand • India • South Africa • China

penguin.com

A Penguin Random House Company

This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.

Copyright © 2013 by Stacey Ballis.

Excerpt from
Off the Menu
by Stacey Ballis copyright © 2012 by Stacey Ballis. Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

BERKLEY
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

The “B” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-101-61254-5

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Ballis, Stacey.

Out to lunch / Stacey Ballis.—Berkley Trade paperback edition.

pages cm.

ISBN 978-0-425-26549-9 (Berkley trade paperback)

1. Administrative assistants—Fiction.

2. Celebrity chefs—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3602.A624O98 2013

813'.6—dc23

2013031071

PUBLISHING HISTORY

Berkley trade paperback edition / December 2013

Cover photos: “Spaghetti” by Silvia Rico/Getty Images; “Dogue de Bordeaux” by Erik Lam/Shutterstock.

Cover design by Rita Frangie.

Interior text design by Laura K. Corless.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision. The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book.

Version_1

Contents

Praise

Berkley Books by Stacey Ballis

Title Page

Copyright

Dedication

Acknowledgments

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Eight Months Later

 

From Jenna’s Notebook

Special Excerpt from
Off The Menu

For Bill, always

Acknowledgments

I want to thank, as always, my amazing family of Ballises, Thurmonds, Hirts, and Surrats. I am a lucky girl.

My agent Scott Mendel, for being exceptional in every possible way.

The extraordinary team at Berkley/Penguin, most especially my editor Wendy McCurdy for always seeing the book I mean to write and helping me uncover it, Leslie Gelbman for sticking with me, Katherine Pelz for all the details, and everyone in marketing and sales for keeping me employed.

My core group of writer pals who keep me sane and remind me that we have the best job in the world and write the books I love reading most: Elinor Lipman, Amy Hatvany, Sarah Pekkanen, Laurie Notaro, Laura Caldwell, Elizabeth Flock, Eleanor Brown, Quinn Cummings, Alison Pace.

The incomparable Jen Lancaster, for many more reasons than I can put here, most of them hilarious.

Tracey S. and Gina B., who are so much more than lunch buddies, and Lisa L. and Amy G. for being the best girls to vacation with. And Wayne G. for knowing that I wrote this book before I met him, and didn’t mean to borrow his name.

Penelope, whose strength and determination and courage were a huge inspiration in the writing of this book.

And of course, my insanely dreamy Charming Suitor, who still thinks most of my crazy is adorable and makes my life thoroughly delightful every single day.

BOOK: Out to Lunch
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