Amy Chambers opened her own restaurant before she was thirty and she’s very proud of that fact. Unfortunately, the restaurant isn’t doing as well as she’d like. She’s also a total control queen and her head chef, Canadian former reality-show star Sophie Brunet, would love a little more freedom in her own kitchen. And who knows, maybe that would help the restaurant… Mutual (but hidden) attraction complicates things further, with Sophie having only recently acknowledged her bisexuality. A new TV show promises much-needed visibility for the restaurant and so many opportunities to mess everything else up.
It could have gone two ways with this book. The miscommunication and at times immature characters could have irritated the hell out of me. Or – and this is what happened – I could have loved them at first sight. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t mind the miscommunication more but I think it’s because it’s used as a flaw of one of the MCs, on which the other calls her out several times, and not as a shortcut to create drama.
The Romance Recipe is about finding yourself, believing in yourself, loving yourself enough to let others in. I think what I love best is that both characters go on this journey, towards the same goals, but from completely different starting points. Their roads run parallel at times then intersect, then go back to diverging. Each has her own issues to deal with and I loved the way they’re supportive of each other. It doesn’t hurt that they’re also very hot together. And good for each other. I loved Amy’s words when Sophie tells her for the first time about being bi, I loved Sophie’s vulnerability and willingness to trust despite previous experiences.
To be honest, I loved everything about Sophie. She’s a wonderful character. Her coming to terms with what she loves in a woman’s body is at once relatable and adorable. Amy was slightly harder to root for, she’s so frustrating. Her hardheadedness allows her to grow, however, and character growth is always interesting.
I thought for more than half the book that this would be a 5⭐️ review but the story lost its momentum for a while and the ending, while sweet, is a bit confusing. It’s a perfect beach read, however.
I didn’t mention secondary characters. One of them is Wes, Amy’s twin brother. Ruby Barrett told his story in Hot Copy, the first book in this series. I’m not into hetero romance and I probably never will find time to read it, but if you enjoy m/f stories, judging from what I’ve seen of Wes and Corinne in this book, theirs sounds very cute.
The Romance Recipe @ Bookshop.org / IndieBound / Scribd (get two free months) / Kobo / amazon
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