Release date: January 18, 2022
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she’s focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money.
After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They’re there to prove the trolls—including a fellow contestant and their dad—wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan.
As London and Dahlia get closer, reality starts to fall away. Goodbye, guilt about divorce, anxiety about uncertain futures, and stress from transphobia. Hello, hilarious shenanigans on set, wedding crashing, and spontaneous dips into the Pacific. But as the finale draws near, Dahlia and London’s steamy relationship starts to feel the heat both in and outside the kitchen—and they must figure out if they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after.
Ok this one was really good y’all! I’m a sucker for foodie fiction and while I’ve read plenty of books that center on food I don’t think I’ve read one featuring a reality cooking show with amateur home cooks. It was also my first romance with a nonbinary lead too and I really appreciated getting some insights into the struggles London faced. Anymore when I read a romance I want the usual spice, humor and depth but what really makes a romance stand out for me is when the characters are authentic, relatable and messy. I may not be a queer reality show contestant but I still found myself relating to Dahlia as I’m a bit of a hot mess myself. Both Dahlia and London’s issues and struggles were really well drawn and I was rooting so hard for them both as a couple and separately. This one brings the humor, the heat and the heart, lots of tender and sweet moments and plenty of sexiness as well. Definitely recommended by me, especially if you like food and adorable couples who make you a little swoony.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.