“I don’t think the key to healing is self-realization at all. I think you’ve got to realize that there are other people out there, and they matter more. And I think you realize that not by embracing nothing, but by embracing something.”

What a delightful, funny, insightful, romantic story by Bethany Turner! Told from first person perspective of Southern belle Chef Hadley and from third person perspective of edgy and gifted NYC Chef Max, this story is a beautifully intricate dance of two polar opposites, both in food styles and personalities. Sometimes the dance is a waltz, sometimes a tango, and sometimes cutthroat breakdancing but any way you slice it or dice it, it’s delectable. And you’ll have to read the book to get Max’s take on the metaphor between cooking and dancing.
The book is filled with great references to pop culture and glimpses into the art and facade of reality TV cooking show. The interaction between sweet, lovable, dependable Hadley doling out her charm and arrogant, impulsive, very “extra” Max trying to figure out who he wants to be is incredibly funny and entertaining at first but shifts to something vulnerable, tender, and poignant as they work together on a renowned cooking show. Max’s emotional baggage is relatively obvious to the world whereas Hadley’s is a guarded secret but they both need to understand and deal with their baggage to learn to live a full life. Their emotions run raw and deep; their brokenness is tangible and their restoration and redemption, therefore, that much sweeter.
If you enjoy contemporary romance, especially romantic comedy, you must read this book. It will captivate all of your senses. It’s written in a clever, witty, heart-stirring style that will have you laughing out loud in one scene and getting misty-eyed in the next. Hadley and Max will remain your best friends long after you’ve finished the book.
“There is power in food, my friend.”
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