So I’m So (Not) Over You has been one of my favorite romance books I read this year. I was over the moon OMG excited for A Dash of Salt and Pepper and now I don’t know which one I love more! This latest one is SO precious! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Xavier Reynolds is doing less than stellar. He just got dumped, was passed over for a prestigious fellowship, and to top it all off he’s right back home in Harper’s Cove, Maine (population: 9,000). The last thing he wants to do is to work as a prep chef in the kitchen of the hip new restaurant in town, The Wharf. Especially since the hot, single-father chef who owns it can’t delegate to save his life.
Logan O’Hare doesn’t understand Xavier or why every word out of his mouth is dipped in sarcasm. Unfortunately, he has no choice but to hire him–he needs more help in the kitchen and his tween daughter, Anne, can only mince so many onions. It might be a recipe for disaster, but Logan doesn’t have many options besides Xavier.
Stuck between a stove and a hot place, Logan and Xavier discover an unexpected connection. But when the heat between them threatens to top the Scoville scale, they’ll have to decide if they can make their relationship work or if life has seasoned them too differently.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I knew almost immediately I was going to love A Dash of Salt and Pepper. The internal narration from the beginning was engaging, humorous, and vulnerable all at once. It was like a mix of chatting with your best friend at late night sleepovers in the dark combined with your internal narration as you stare at yourself in the mirror in the early sunlight rays. Maybe it’s also just my internal projection, but how adrift Xavier feels hit me hard. The ways he feels like a failure, is internalizing it, and is unsure what to do.
How we can be so set on a certain path in life that when something throws off the rails, we aren’t sure how to get back on – or whether we should. Forced to return back home to lick his wounds, Xavier is in a serious questioning his life expectations mood until he has an opportunity to get his life back ‘on track’ by working in a local restaurant for some quick cash. But nothing ever goes according to plan. And a first impression becomes essential he can get into Logan’s good graces – his future literally depends on it.
If you’ve been watching “The Bear” and wanted to find a book with some terrific kitchen scenes, there are a few in here that took me back! A Dash of Salt and Pepper, while full of action and will they won’t they, resonated with me on a character level. How Xavier has to realize that all the limits he thought were just frames of mind. We can imagine we are caged into this version of a life and fail to see around us. To recognize we can have more than one path in life. That life isn’t all about how to be more, to maximize, but can be about finding the moments now to be happy and content.
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If we just would allow ourselves to see more than what we envisioned, we could find a life even more precious. Throughout our lives we can tie our fears and dreams up with what legacy we want to leave, what sacrifices we feel we owe, but it can be even braver to take a moment to question. To confront those difficult conversations and face our fears of being hurt and changing what we had planned. Find A Dash of Salt and Pepper on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.