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In this finger-licking good rom-com, two is the perfect number of cooks in the kitchen.
Nikki DiMarco knew life wouldn’t be all sunshine and coconuts when she quit her dream job to help her mom serve up mouthwatering Filipino dishes to hungry beach goers, but she didn’t expect the Maui food truck scene to be so eat-or-be-eaten—or the competition to be so smoking hot.
But Tiva’s Filipina Kusina has faced bigger road bumps than the arrival of Callum James. Nikki doesn’t care how delectable the British food truck owner is—he rudely set up shop next to her coveted beach parking spot. He’s stealing her customers and fanning the flames of a public feud that makes her see sparks.
The solution? Let the upcoming Maui Food Festival decide their fate. Winner keeps the spot. Loser pounds sand. But the longer their rivalry simmers, the more Nikki starts to see a different side of Callum…a sweet, protective side. Is she brave enough to call a truce? Or will trusting Callum with her heart mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire?
Title: Simmer Down
Author: Sarah Smith
Publication Date: October 13, 2020
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
There was much to love about this book and much to not. That’s why my rating lies somewhere in the middle for this one.
One thing that I loved (perhaps the most) was the fun and competitive parts of this book. The banter between Nikki and Callum was exciting, hilarious, and kept me on my toes. I never knew what they were going to do for their pranks to each other or how they were going to try to mess the rival food truck up. The enemies-to-lovers trope was alive and well.
Also, the multicultural representation in this book was fabulous. The book takes place in Hawaii so there are a lot of Asain and Islander influences. As well, Nikki has a Filipina background and Callum a British background so we really get a good insight into their cultures. It was just a good blend of different backgrounds and experiences to make this book not only diverse but more relatable to a wider audience.
So while I loved the competitive side of things, it was also one of the parts I hated the most. Sometimes I felt like the rival aspect was taken too far. Some points felt immature or were just being driven into the ground.
Also, I was happy the lovers part of the enemies-to-lovers started sooner rather than later, but then it also ended sooner. I understand and appreciate conflict within a relationship because it just makes the ending, when they finally get together, that much sweeter. However, their relationship conflict, much the same as the rivalry at some points, felt immature and melodramatic. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good, dramatic conflict, but even this was a bit too contrived for me.
Overall, this book sat somewhere in the middle for me. Some of it’s biggest strengths were also it’s weaknesses in my opinion. However, if you like enemies-to-lovers tropes or are a fan of “Kiss My Cupcake”, this would probably be an enjoyable book for you.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
To check out my other reviews, click here. Or to check out more books by Sarah Smith, go to her GoodReads profile or her website.
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