This ended up being a really cute, fun romance. Tori is a single mother, a chemistry teacher, and a home baker. When her twins sign her up for American Bake-o-Rama, she is hesitant but then sees it as an opportunity to prove her abilities and skills, most especially to herself, and if she wins she can take the prize money to finally start the bakery she’s always dreamed of. Kendra is a well-renowned chef but her restaurant of the heart, Gamma Rae’s, isn’t doing as well as her chain of cookie shops, and to help her financial solvency she decides to re-up her contract with Bake-o-Rama to be a judge, but trying to be more empathetic than she’s been in previous seasons. Despite the no fraternization clause in the show’s contract, there is undeniable chemistry between Tori and Kendra, and watching them navigate their interest in each other while not compromising the integrity of the show and judging with fantastic.
I really, especially enjoyed all the scenes with family and the friendships that both Tori and Kendra had at their backs. Tori’s twins were so delightful, plus her best friends who always had her back. I loved Kendra’s dynamic with her older brother, Alden, and would have loved seeing more with her nephews. The way Tori and Kendra helped each other grow and improve in so many ways was also such a great component.
If you’re looking for a romance centering food and baking shows, lesbians in their 40s, and a great cast of friends and family supporting them, this is absolutely a book you should have on your radar!