Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
A single parent chef + a smartass businessman temporarily down on his luck & back in the hometown he left as soon as he could.
On paper that combo speaks to me.
But sadly Kosoko Jackson’s A Dash of Salt & Pepper didn’t live up to my hopes, offering a story of growth & some steam but also one that doesn’t lay solid enough groundwork for the arc of the relationship or of one of the lead’s change of heart.
What I think Kosoko Jackson does compellingly in this romance though is portray a titanium-strength friendship between Xavier—said businessman—& his BFF Mya, & give some insight into why Xavier why wears his glib armor.
While A Dash of Salt & Pepper doesn’t totally work for me—I found myself skeptical of where the story was taking me—there are still things to appreciate here—including that adorable cover & the dislike to love premise that always has me sitting up & paying attention.
3⭐️. Out 12/06.
CW: loss of job, possible failure of business, a joke about JonBenet Ramsey.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
With Alexis Hall’s Paris Daillencourt’s About to Crumble we’re back with the mayhem and fun of Bake Expectations, this time with aforementioned Paris, a very anxious, gorgeous, & talented person who was signed up for the show by his roommate.
Popping with moments of humor, like the opening absurd & very naked scene & basically every moment with show host, Grace Forsyth, this book can be a lot of fun.
But much of the book is heavy as well, with Paris often being very self-critical & often self-loathing, unable to see any potential in himself or a rationale for why someone might want to spend time with him.
While part of me appreciates this very thorough consideration of generalized anxiety disorder, as other reviewers have noted it isn’t always easy to read. Partially because of this it’s a big relief when Paris eventually does seek outside help, & then there’s a real hopefulness to the story I enjoyed.
I wouldn’t really call this a romance & I think the pub has been open about that. But there is the potential for a possibly long-term, honest romantic relationship there—even if it feels bogged down for much of the book with all of the “talks” Paris & Tariq have to have.
I liked this one but it didn’t make my heart go pitter patter.
3.5 ⭐️. Out 11/01.
Please consult a trusted reviewer's list of CWs.
Thanks to Harlequin for the complimentary galley & the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
📖 Q: are you a recipe collector? I usually save them on my phone & I’ve slowly started writing them down on pretty stationary & saving them in an old college binder 😆.
Ruby Barrett’s The Romance Recipe (out 06/28!) really wowed me.
It was a 5 ⭐️ read for me from beginning to end & I couldn’t wait to get this galley to add to my shelves (look at how cute & sensual the cover is!).
If mutual pining, foodie romance, grumpy + the sunshine (but also the sunshine runs her kitchen thankyouverymuch) sounds good, definitely check this one out!
Amy Chambers hired Sophie Brunet as head chef of her restaurant bc she was talented & semi-famous after being on a realty tv show—she’s also had feelings for her since seeing her on screen.
Unbeknownst to Amy, Sophie—who recently realized that she’s bisexual & even more recently broke up with her fiancé—has feelings for her too.
This is one of those books where everything just works together really well. From their mutual pining & appreciation to the moments when each reveals something hurtful, to the times when they cook together—& even including when they fight over the future of the business they both work at…everything made me feel like they were getting closer. Like it was a real emotional relationship each person is invested in.
& then when you add to that the outrageously satisfying steam it’s charismatic & fill-in-your-yummy-food-adjective-of-choice. One hook-up takes place in a car 🤩.
I’m so curious to see what Ruby Barrett writes next because this was a fantastic read.
CWs: Grief regarding loss of parent. Reference to sexual harassment in the workplace. Toxic dad. Sophie’s former fiancé’s reaction to her realization that she’s bi is to say something about not letting the public know.
Give me that HEA, please.
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