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When in Doubt, Add Butter Hardcover – July 17, 2012

114 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Harbison dazzles in her latest, a perfect blend of chick lit and women's fiction…Absolutely first-rate.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A lovable heroine and an engaging cast of eccentrics makes for a cheerful summer read.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Harbison's airy prose, likable heroine, colorful characters, and engaging story are sure to appeal to fans of Jennifer Weiner, Jane Green, and Emily Giffin. Think of "When in Doubt, Add Butter" as a soufflé. It's a tasty dish of light, escapist reading.” ―The

“Harbison's cast of characters is delightful.” ―She Knows Book Lounge

“Delicious, just like dessert.” ―People Magazine on When in Doubt, Add Butter

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

BETH HARBISON is The New York Times bestselling author of Always Something There To Remind Me; Thin, Rich, Pretty; Hope In A Jar; Secrets of a Shoe Addict and Shoe Addicts Anonymous. She grew up in Potomac, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C., and now shares her time between that suburb, New York City and a quiet home on the eastern shore.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312599099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312599096
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #977,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beth Harbison is the New York Times bestselling author of "Shoe Addicts Anonymous", "Hope in a Jar", and more. Her latest book is "Always Something There to Remind Me", a poignant look at first love and the eternal question "what if...?" She currently splits her time between Washington, DC and New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By E. Griffin VINE VOICE on July 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When in Doubt, Add Butter is an airy, happy story where the bad things are uncomfortable but not too bad, and the good things are easy and happy. I think this book is less of a beach read, but a better choice for a rainy day or when you need something to cheer you up.

When in Doubt, Add Butter follows the life of Gemma, a personal chef, for a few months. Having tried other careers, Gemma has found happiness in her passion for cooking and running her own business. Unfortunately, many of the people that can afford a private cook aren't the easiest to work for, and running a small business has left Gemma cash poor. Suddenly free on a Friday night after being fired by a client, Gemma goes to a bar with a friend and meets a guy she finds very attractive and somehow familiar, although she has never met him before.

The plot of the book then follows Gemma's pleasant and difficult relationships with her customers, her ambivalence about wanting and fearing love, and her desire to not only cook, but nurture the clients that will allow her to do so. Gemma faces professional and personal challenges, but she's also been told by a client / psychic that everything will be OK, and somehow, both Gemma and the reader believes this.

When in Doubt, Add Butter is a happy story that shines softly, recommended to anyone looking for a few hours of escape and a lovely ending.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By booknerd0116 on October 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Harbison's newest title is a quick, light read. There's nothing "deep" about it or thought provoking about it, but it still pulls the reader in with the character development she did with the main character. She becomes someone you want to root for, you want to like, and you want to see everything turn out well for. She's like your next door neighbor or your best friend. How can you not like that? Though the plot of the story was insanely predictable, there were enough other good things (humor for one)to make it worth the read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy on August 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Once I started reading this book, I didn't stop until I was finished at 1am. Does that mean it was good? Yes and no.

I remember my eyes skimming some of the paragraphs and skipping forward a few sentences at a time. I liked the relationships that were built between characters, but I have to agree with the 2-star reviewer about coincidence as the main plot trope.

I would have raised this review up to 4 stars if I hadn't figured out the plot before I was even to triple digits of pages. It isn't a bad thing for me to have figured it out---I appreciate it when authors reward readers for paying attention---but it did make the book a little less worthy of the 4th star in my opinion.

I agree with the reviewer that stated the recipes should be included. This would have been a nice addition at the end of the book.

Finally, I did not really care for the character's personality because of what seemed like a paper-boat-in-the-river-of-life attitude. However, without that attitude, you wouldn't have the rest of the story, so it is a plot necessity.

In the end, I questioned whether I should do a review at all. This book wasn't bad, but I wasn't sure whether I could come up with something to add. So I guess that's why I'm adding this review of uncertainty to see if anyone else felt the same way.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert Downs on July 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What I hope to find (and what will get me to spend my money quicker and invest hours upon hours of my own time) when I pick up a book is one that doesn't sound like 95 out of 100 books that I pick up and read the first few pages of, a voice that grabs my nose and yanks harder than a semi-truck in the middle of I-95.

WHEN IN DOUBT, ADD BUTTER is such a book, and it managed this feat admirably from the very first sentence of the very first page. "When I was twelve, a fortune-teller at the Herbert Hoover Junior High School carnival said to me: `Gemma Craig, you listen to me. Do not get married. Ever. If you do, you'll end up cooking for a man who'd rather eat at McDonald's; doing laundry for a man who sweats like a rabid pig, then criticizes you for not turning his T-shirts right side out; and cleaning the bathroom floor after a man whose aim is so bad, he can't hit a hole the size of a watermelon--' " I could go on, but you get the general idea. This is a book that I'm invested in; where I want to know what happens; and that I can't wait to get to the ending, because like Beth Harbison, the author, I'm going all in. And then it becomes a mad rush to get to the finish line.

For me, this was such a book. The characters and the story line certainly kept my attention, but it was the voice, that voice kept me turning pages as fast as frying butter in a saucepan, and when I reached the end, I felt completely satiated. While this was the first Beth Harbison book I read, I'll certainly keep my eye out for another one with a voice as fulfilling and unique as this one.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Robert Downs
Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kelly0505 on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was a really good book and had some really funny parts but the ending was pretty abrupt which was really disappointing.
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