Amy is emotionally constipated and bossy. Sophie dives into love too quickly and is still coming to terms with being bi. Amy hired Sophie to be head chef when she opened her restaurant Amy & May’s in Boston. She had watched Sophie on a reality cooking competition show called Pop-Up Kitchen. Sophie didn’t win, but she did wind up with the producer, Paul, as a fiancé and she was a fan favorite. But things aren’t going well. Amy & May’s is struggling financially and Sophie has lost her spark since ending her engagement.
With the POV switching between Amy and Sophie we see how their relationship moves from wary coworkers who yearn for each other to partners on every level. Sophie is a soft sweetheart who sometimes makes bad choices because she wants to make people happy. Amy wants to protect everyone so much she can’t ask for help or listen to what she’s being told. I loved that she made the same mistake over and over again until she gets enough pushback that she finally breaks. The romance arc works for me because each of them had an individual arc that that made them better and stronger individually and thus better and stronger as a couple.
Overall, I really enjoyed this, but it felt like some important moments were left out. Some alterations in the way they communicated at the restaurant were alluded to, but not shown. That said, Ruby Barrett has a gift for turning a phrase that makes a moment glow with inner light. While her final resolution is on the edge of grand gesture territory, I loved the small moments between characters that felt like they moved either a character or a relationship forward. (I can’t wait to talk about the breakfast/Not Breakfast divide when more people have read this.) I’m definitely going to grab her previous book, Hot Copy, and keep an eye out for future books.
CW: toxic parent, pushy parent, death of a parent off-page, kitchen accident, reference to prior sexual harassment.
I received this as an advance reader copy from Carina Adores and NetGalley. My opinions are honestly and voluntarily given.