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Before Anyone Else

Before Anyone Else

As a designer of upscale restaurants, 30-year-old Bailey Ann Edgeworth can go into an empty space and immediately see what it would take to transform it into a beautiful and memorable spot. She learns transforming her own life is another proposition entirely. It can get messy and it doesn’t... more

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Overview

As a designer of upscale restaurants, 30-year-old Bailey Ann Edgeworth can go into an empty space and immediately see what it would take to transform it into a beautiful and memorable spot. She learns transforming her own life is another proposition entirely. It can get messy and it doesn’t always go according to a neat blue- print. Bailey’s brother, Henry and his best friend Griffin are stars in the restaurant field. They are known as the “Color Wheel Boys” because of their renowned Buckhead restaurants Vert, Blanc and Noir.  Bailey is determined to chart her own course; to not be forever known as Hank’s daughter, Henry’s sister, or “whatever” she is to Griffin.

Bailey’s dreams propel her to New York where her vision garners accolades and fame. After a perceived rejection by Griffin, she rushes into an impetuous marriage with an enigmatic English chef. Their combined charisma and desire lift them to the top of the culinary world. Just when she seems on the verge of having it all, a shocking betrayal throws Bailey's world into chaos. She begins a spectacular downfall complete with secretive drug use, shady associates, and her career in turmoil. Just what are the secret ingredients to transforming food, a dilapidated building and one’s own life into something extraordinary?

Before Anyone Else examines the complicated relationship between love and ambition and explores how our earliest relationships and experience, shape us into who we ultimately become.

Leslie has been accepted to the Sewanee Writer's Conference for a number of years, and has studied under Alice McDermott, Jill McCorkle and Richard Bausch. She has secured blurbs for a previous...more

Reviews

Bailey Ann Edgeworth is an unforgettable heroine, and Leslie Hooton is an immensely gifted writer. I can’t wait to read the next one.

Amy Greene, nationally bestselling author of Bloodroot

Like a good tasting menu, Leslie Hooten’s Before Anyone Else is full of delicious contrasts and dazzling surprises . . . A splendid debut.

Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of Mercury

With Before Anyone Else, Leslie Hooton announces herself as a natural-born storyteller—a writer who can evoke character and place with such finely-tuned details that you find yourself pulled completely into the world that she has created. It's a sharp examination of work, how it defines us, how it consumes us, and how much it takes to find meaning beyond it. It's a beautiful book.

Kevin Wilson, author of Nothing to See Here and The Family Fang

In her debut novel, Before Anyone Else, Leslie Hooton brings southern charm and a sharp wit to the table along with a full menu and decorating tips. It’s part Foodie Romance, but mostly it’s about family and friendship and the love that holds people together.

Jill McCorkle, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life

Romantic and deeply moving, Before Anyone Else by Leslie Hooton, is a curl-up-on-the-couch debut novel that keeps the fire burning and the pages turning. Bailey Edgeworth, known as “BAE” to those closest to her, grew up motherless and was raised by “the wolves” – her father, her brother, and her brother’s best friend. The trio are prominent restaurateurs known as the “Color Wheel Boys”—and each has his own cross to bear. Bailey—talented, creative, beautiful but lonely—is determined to chart her own course away from the men who have dominated her life and her love. She achieves her dream of becoming a prominent restaurant designer, but is unable to leave behind the complicated relationships that have shaped her. Love, loss, addiction, betrayal, ambition, the power of friendship and family loyalty permeate this beautiful novel. And only when Bailey is fully empowered, can first love turn into last love—the one love that truly matters.

Lisa Barr, award-winning author of Fugitive Colors