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The Romance Recipe

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A fiery restaurant owner falls for her enigmatic head chef in this charming, emotional romance Amy Chambers: restaurant owner, micromanager, control freak. Amy will do anything to revive her ailing restaurant, including hiring a former reality-show finalist with good connections and a lot to prove. But her hopes that Sophie’s skills and celebrity status would bring her r A fiery restaurant owner falls for her enigmatic head chef in this charming, emotional romance Amy Chambers: restaurant owner, micromanager, control freak. Amy will do anything to revive her ailing restaurant, including hiring a former reality-show finalist with good connections and a lot to prove. But her hopes that Sophie’s skills and celebrity status would bring her restaurant back from the brink of failure are beginning to wane… Sophie Brunet: grump in the kitchen/sunshine in the streets, took thirty years to figure out she was queer. Sophie just wants to cook. She doesn’t want to constantly post on social media for her dead-in-the-water reality TV career, she doesn’t want to deal with Amy’s take-charge personality and she doesn’t want to think about what her attraction to her boss might mean… Then, an opportunity: a new foodie TV show might provide the exposure they need. An uneasy truce is fine for starters, but making their dreams come true means making some personal and painful sacrifices and soon, there’s more than just the restaurant at stake. Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.


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A fiery restaurant owner falls for her enigmatic head chef in this charming, emotional romance Amy Chambers: restaurant owner, micromanager, control freak. Amy will do anything to revive her ailing restaurant, including hiring a former reality-show finalist with good connections and a lot to prove. But her hopes that Sophie’s skills and celebrity status would bring her r A fiery restaurant owner falls for her enigmatic head chef in this charming, emotional romance Amy Chambers: restaurant owner, micromanager, control freak. Amy will do anything to revive her ailing restaurant, including hiring a former reality-show finalist with good connections and a lot to prove. But her hopes that Sophie’s skills and celebrity status would bring her restaurant back from the brink of failure are beginning to wane… Sophie Brunet: grump in the kitchen/sunshine in the streets, took thirty years to figure out she was queer. Sophie just wants to cook. She doesn’t want to constantly post on social media for her dead-in-the-water reality TV career, she doesn’t want to deal with Amy’s take-charge personality and she doesn’t want to think about what her attraction to her boss might mean… Then, an opportunity: a new foodie TV show might provide the exposure they need. An uneasy truce is fine for starters, but making their dreams come true means making some personal and painful sacrifices and soon, there’s more than just the restaurant at stake. Carina Adores is home to romantic love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

30 review for The Romance Recipe

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    The plot of this one was whatevs but the (many!!!!) steamy scenes were A+

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jena

    4.5 stars Wow, this was so freaking good. Right from the start the premise and characters were really strong, then the romance developed really naturally and with the inclusion of a ton of good tropes (and so much pining <3 ), and the conversations surrounding queer identity and self acceptance were super relatable and well written. I can't recommend this book enough! Thank you to NetGalley and Carina Press & Carina Adores (Harlequin) for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars Wow, this was so freaking good. Right from the start the premise and characters were really strong, then the romance developed really naturally and with the inclusion of a ton of good tropes (and so much pining <3 ), and the conversations surrounding queer identity and self acceptance were super relatable and well written. I can't recommend this book enough! Thank you to NetGalley and Carina Press & Carina Adores (Harlequin) for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    pipsqueakreviews

    Chef in love. There is an earlier book that is set in the same universe as The Romance Recipe but Hot Copy is a heterosexual romance involving the brother of one of the main characters of this book, Amy, so it's perfectly fine for lesfic readers to skip it and dive straight into this one instead. Lol. I picked up this book for the workplace romance but continued for the sex. I know some readers have issues with the repeated push/pull between the characters but I love it. Amy is a restaurant owner Chef in love. There is an earlier book that is set in the same universe as The Romance Recipe but Hot Copy is a heterosexual romance involving the brother of one of the main characters of this book, Amy, so it's perfectly fine for lesfic readers to skip it and dive straight into this one instead. Lol. I picked up this book for the workplace romance but continued for the sex. I know some readers have issues with the repeated push/pull between the characters but I love it. Amy is a restaurant owner and Sophie is her grumpy celebrity head chef but their working relationship feels more like a partnership than a boss/subordinate one. Sophie can hold her own against her micromanaging boss and they end up knocking heads over business decisions. But at the same time, they also lust after each other and I love the dynamics between them because it really drives up the sexual tension. And the sex, I like. I received an ARC from Carina Press and Carina Adores (Harlequin) through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jude in the Stars

    Amy Chambers opened her own restaurant before she was thirty and she’s very proud of that fact. Unfortunately, the restaurant isn’t doing as well as she’d like. She’s also a total control queen and her head chef, Canadian former reality-show star Sophie Brunet, would love a little more freedom in her own kitchen. And who knows, maybe that would help the restaurant… Mutual (but hidden) attraction complicates things further, with Sophie having only recently acknowledged her bisexuality. A new TV s Amy Chambers opened her own restaurant before she was thirty and she’s very proud of that fact. Unfortunately, the restaurant isn’t doing as well as she’d like. She’s also a total control queen and her head chef, Canadian former reality-show star Sophie Brunet, would love a little more freedom in her own kitchen. And who knows, maybe that would help the restaurant… Mutual (but hidden) attraction complicates things further, with Sophie having only recently acknowledged her bisexuality. A new TV show promises much-needed visibility for the restaurant and so many opportunities to mess everything else up. It could have gone two ways with this book. The miscommunication and at times immature characters could have irritated the hell out of me. Or – and this is what happened – I could have loved them at first sight. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t mind the miscommunication more but I think it’s because it’s used as a flaw of one of the MCs, on which the other calls her out several times, and not as a shortcut to create drama. The Romance Recipe is about finding yourself, believing in yourself, loving yourself enough to let others in. I think what I love best is that both characters go on this journey, towards the same goals, but from completely different starting points. Their roads run parallel at times then intersect, then go back to diverging. Each has her own issues to deal with and I loved the way they’re supportive of each other. It doesn’t hurt that they’re also very hot together. And good for each other. I loved Amy’s words when Sophie tells her for the first time about being bi, I loved Sophie’s vulnerability and willingness to trust despite previous experiences. To be honest, I loved everything about Sophie. She’s a wonderful character. Her coming to terms with what she loves in a woman’s body is at once relatable and adorable. Amy was slightly harder to root for, she’s so frustrating. Her hardheadedness allows her to grow, however, and character growth is always interesting. I thought for more than half the book that this would be a 5⭐️ review but the story lost its momentum for a while and the ending, while sweet, is a bit confusing. It’s a perfect beach read, however. I didn’t mention secondary characters. One of them is Wes, Amy’s twin brother. Ruby Barrett told his story in Hot Copy, the first book in this series. I’m not into hetero romance and I probably never will find time to read it, but if you enjoy m/f stories, judging from what I’ve seen of Wes and Corinne in this book, theirs sounds very cute. I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review. Read all my reviews on my blog: Jude in the Stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Bourg

    The first 5 chapters of The Romance Recipe were so good. It was just enough information about the characters and their lives to get me hooked and wanting more. I loved the dynamic of the 2 main characters, very relatable. This book will be published on June 28th, 2022. Rating it 4 stars, but I'm sure once I read the rest of the book, it will be 5 stars. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Carina Press, and Carina Adores (Harlequin) for the ARC Preview of the first 5 chapters. The first 5 chapters of The Romance Recipe were so good. It was just enough information about the characters and their lives to get me hooked and wanting more. I loved the dynamic of the 2 main characters, very relatable. This book will be published on June 28th, 2022. Rating it 4 stars, but I'm sure once I read the rest of the book, it will be 5 stars. Thank you so much to NetGalley, Carina Press, and Carina Adores (Harlequin) for the ARC Preview of the first 5 chapters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gaby LezReviewBooks

    A perfect recipe for romance, heat and sweetness I’ve never heard of this author before but this book came recommended by my friend and co-reviewer Jude from judeinthestars.com and features Natalie Naudus, one of my favorite narrators. Plus, it’s available in Scribd, so it’s risk-free. I’m glad that I’ve given it a try as it was a very good listen. Amy Chamber’s restaurant is in trouble and she decides to hire Sophie Brunet, a former reality-show finalist, as head chef hoping her celebrity status A perfect recipe for romance, heat and sweetness I’ve never heard of this author before but this book came recommended by my friend and co-reviewer Jude from judeinthestars.com and features Natalie Naudus, one of my favorite narrators. Plus, it’s available in Scribd, so it’s risk-free. I’m glad that I’ve given it a try as it was a very good listen. Amy Chamber’s restaurant is in trouble and she decides to hire Sophie Brunet, a former reality-show finalist, as head chef hoping her celebrity status and skills will bring a solution to her financial woes. Sophie Brunet just wants to cook and forget her reality-tv past but a new foodie tv show might provide exposure to save Amy’s restaurant. If only both women could stop fighting and ignore the mutual attraction simmering between them… The Romance Recipe is book two, following after Hot Copy which is an m/f romance featuring Amy’s brother Wesley. Even though Wesley plays an important role in this novel, these are stand-alone stories so there’s no issue if you choose to skip book one as I did. This is an enemies-to-lovers story, or at least, both characters have strong convictions on how to run a restaurant and kitchen and have trouble finding common ground. They are also very attracted to each other. When all that repressed tension inevitably explodes, sparks fly and the sizzling chemistry between them is super hot. Ruby Barrett knows how to exploit this and writes a series of very steamy sex scenes. Food is the other essential ingredient in the plot (sorry for the bad pun). As with the romance part, the author knows how to make use of the sensuality of food. As a matter of fact, her description of the culinary art – in Amy’s words – is fantastic and sets the tone for the character’s admiration and feelings for Sophie: "Food is a biological necessity, it’s breathing, but within that basic human need is art. Unlike paintings and sculptures, literature or music, we get to consume this art and Sophie’s art melts on my tongue. I get to tear it with my teeth. Food is visceral and pleasurable and I’m not bragging when I say I am a good cook but that’s like saying I draw well and Sophie painted the Sixtine Chapel." Amy is a hard-to-like character, she’s grumpy and hard-headed, but her journey of growth and redemption is a pleasure to follow. Sophie’s journey, on the other hand, isn’t easier either. She’s reconciling with her recent discovery of being bisexual, her coming out which destroyed her relationship with her former fiancé, and her romantic feelings for Amy. All of these emotions simmer inside her and she sometimes doesn’t know how to handle them. Her coming out scene with her mother is very relatable to anyone who’s been in a similar situation. The book is written from both characters’ points of view in alternate chapters. The audiobook version features two narrators: Natalie Naudus who performs Amy’s point of view and Chelsea Stephens who reads Sophie’s. I’m normally not a fan of two narrators but these two have a similar quality to their voices which made the transition between chapters effortless. Once again, Natalie Naudus shows the difference between reading and performing a story, absolutely fantastic. If you are looking for a steamy romance with a very good narration, this one is for you. 4.5 stars. Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins Available in Scribd

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mariah

    ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. 4.5 We’re not even half way through July and I already know this is going to be one of my favorite reads of the month. Hell, I pre-ordered a physical copy when I was halfway through my ARC. And then I put the book down for two days because it was flaying my heart open and I needed time to p r o c e s s okay?? Sometimes I go into a book with the preconceived notion that I’m going to identify more with one of the main characters, and most times I’m right. ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. 4.5 We’re not even half way through July and I already know this is going to be one of my favorite reads of the month. Hell, I pre-ordered a physical copy when I was halfway through my ARC. And then I put the book down for two days because it was flaying my heart open and I needed time to p r o c e s s okay?? Sometimes I go into a book with the preconceived notion that I’m going to identify more with one of the main characters, and most times I’m right. But every once in a while an author will prove me very wrong and I’m always extremely grateful. I jumped into this one knowing I’d find kinship in Sophie, a chef who broke things off with her fiancé Paul after coming out to him as bisexual. Fresh off a reality TV competition, Sophie gets offered the job of executive chef at Amy & May’s, a restaurant in Boston owned by one Amy Chambers. If only she didn’t spend most of her waking moments daydreaming of exploring Amy’s body and mapping out the steps in her head like a recipe. My surprise gift was Amy. Amy who only ever lets herself rely on her twin brother and childhood best friend. Amy who is still grieving the loss of her mom, her barely there relationship with her father, her struggling restaurant, and her annoying crush on her new head chef. This was funny, sexy, smart and unapologetically queer. It also felt like a conversation I was overdue to have, in its insightful moments, and even the heartbreaking ones. I have more than a handful of saved quotes I wanted to share, but for now I’ll leave you with one that I wished someone had told me 15 years ago. “You don’t need to have known you were queer since you were a kid. You can go your whole life never touching a woman and you’ll still be queer. It’s not about performing your sexuality or your gender for everyone else. Being queer is about what you know to be true about yourself, in here.” Thank you so much for Sophie & Amy, i’ll carry them with me always.

  8. 4 out of 5

    emma

    oh so sweet sapphic love shown through a slowburn blend of pining and sexual attraction that progresses into genuine romantic love by the end. the writing here was nowhere near perfect and could have been so much better but overall was very enjoyable due to it being an easy read with delicious payoff. would recommend if you want an easy read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    brianna

    this shit was so cute im crying but the ending is giving rushed shes giving unfinished

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Rocks My Socks

    ive hit the point in my life where romances are not fun to read anymore. they just remind me of how alone i am and how i don't have a hot chef to make out with in the kitchen as soon as the workers aren't looking. ive hit the point in my life where romances are not fun to read anymore. they just remind me of how alone i am and how i don't have a hot chef to make out with in the kitchen as soon as the workers aren't looking.

  11. 4 out of 5

    nick (the infinite limits of love)

    One thing about Ruby Barrett?? She serves on the horny content. These two were feral for each other and they deserved every orgasm!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Sometimes I enjoy reading novellas, while this was a full book it has this novella for me. This isn’t necessarily a compliment. What I mean to say is that I think the premise of this book is thin at best. For me it never shakes this distinct novella vibe and I just can’t get invested in this story. I like the alternating first person POV chapters of our main characters Amy and Sophie. This is a style I enjoy when it’s done well because you get the best sense of your main characters. While I thin Sometimes I enjoy reading novellas, while this was a full book it has this novella for me. This isn’t necessarily a compliment. What I mean to say is that I think the premise of this book is thin at best. For me it never shakes this distinct novella vibe and I just can’t get invested in this story. I like the alternating first person POV chapters of our main characters Amy and Sophie. This is a style I enjoy when it’s done well because you get the best sense of your main characters. While I think the execution is fine in this book it’s just the story that falls flat. I like Sophie, she’s the insecure chef of the story and if I were being very nice I would say you see the most character development in her. Amy is a bit of a harder nut to crack and I don’t really warm up to her. She runs all hot and cold and is just a mess of a character. This book is ok, as said it feels like a novella, a very long one. And to be honest it could have been a lot shorter as well and maybe even be an actual novella. *ARC received in exchange for a voluntary and honest review*

  13. 4 out of 5

    charlotte,

    On my blog. Rep: lesbian mc, bi mc, Black side character, East(?) Asian American side character CWs: toxic parents Galley provided by publisher The Romance Recipe is a book that had to grow on me, in all honesty. In the end, I liked it, but it was a slow start and it took me a while to get into. The book follows Amy and Sophie, who own and work at a restaurant, respectively. The restaurant is losing money, so Amy needs a plan to get money and publicity and get it quick. Enter Sophie’s ex-fiance, On my blog. Rep: lesbian mc, bi mc, Black side character, East(?) Asian American side character CWs: toxic parents Galley provided by publisher The Romance Recipe is a book that had to grow on me, in all honesty. In the end, I liked it, but it was a slow start and it took me a while to get into. The book follows Amy and Sophie, who own and work at a restaurant, respectively. The restaurant is losing money, so Amy needs a plan to get money and publicity and get it quick. Enter Sophie’s ex-fiance, who is producing a new show with a celebrity chef, which Amy determines they must put the restaurant forwards for. So, why the slow start? Namely it was because I didn’t feel any of the supposed tension between Amy and Sophie, not until they started hooking up. So I spent a good quarter of the book wondering if I was going to be bored by it. Add into that the fact that the plot seemed to just be following them in their usual life, instead of throwing in something new—I mean, we don’t even see the meet cute, we’re just told at the start they’re attracted to one another: it was an inauspicious beginning. However, I persevered and, once they were hooking up, I conversely found there was much more tension, and I started to enjoy the book a lot more. Amy and Sophie were hot together, I think I can admit that, and this ended up being a pretty solid friends-with-benefits to lovers romance novel. Here is the next sticking point though: everything in this book happened way too fast. I said we missed the meet cute, and they’d known each other a while by the time the book opens: that’s somewhat indicative of the book as a whole. They start hooking up, but then you rarely get scenes between them that aren’t a) the hook ups, or b) restaurant business related. And yet, you’re supposed to believe they’re falling in love. I couldn’t. I still can’t. I didn’t get enough scenes where I could see the relationship developing, frankly. A lot of that seemed to happen in scenes which were referenced but not shown (which really screwed with my perception of how much time was passing, because there were a number of times I thought less had passed than actually had). But. Despite that, and the slow beginning, I did enjoy this book. I have probably high standards for romances, so this one getting a 3-star rating is a good sign. I enjoyed it and I would recommend it. I just didn’t love it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    b.andherbooks

    Well, meet The Romance Recipe, a perfect blend of ingredients resulting in a simmering, tension filled, and character driven romance full of heat and heart. And whew that 🌶 🥵 Restaurant owner and her head chef explore their mutual crush while trying to make their business stay afloat—hopefully by securing a spot on a new restaurant reality show. The new on sale date for The Romance Recipe is July 12 - preorder now! I truly adored how horny and steamy this was, and how the power dynamics between Amy Well, meet The Romance Recipe, a perfect blend of ingredients resulting in a simmering, tension filled, and character driven romance full of heat and heart. And whew that 🌶 🥵 Restaurant owner and her head chef explore their mutual crush while trying to make their business stay afloat—hopefully by securing a spot on a new restaurant reality show. The new on sale date for The Romance Recipe is July 12 - preorder now! I truly adored how horny and steamy this was, and how the power dynamics between Amy and Sophie played out. While Amy owns the restaurant, Sophie is indispensable to its success (and eventually becomes a co-owner). The struggles of being a former reality TV star were excellently explored for Sophie including her initial reluctance to jump back into that world, as well as Sophie's newly out bi identity (the struggles and triumphs). While this does exist in the world of Hot Copy (Amy is the sister to the hero of Hot Copy), you can read this as a stand-alone. Content notes: biphobia (countered, apologized for), coming out, toxic parent, lingering grief from death of mother to cancer (in past).

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Foodie fiction anyone!? The Romance Recipe is fabulous. The alternating POVs between Amy and Sophie are perfect. Chapter 6 - OMG 🥵🥵🥵 and the steam just keeps building from there ... Like Amy, I could eat breakfast food for every meal. Sophie's mom "Your father and I don't care who you love" - zero judgement, I loved this line!! We need much more of this in the world. Now I need some poutine in my life! I've got a mad craving ... I enjoyed this book a whole lot!! The main characters were fantastic. I Foodie fiction anyone!? The Romance Recipe is fabulous. The alternating POVs between Amy and Sophie are perfect. Chapter 6 - OMG 🥵🥵🥵 and the steam just keeps building from there ... Like Amy, I could eat breakfast food for every meal. Sophie's mom "Your father and I don't care who you love" - zero judgement, I loved this line!! We need much more of this in the world. Now I need some poutine in my life! I've got a mad craving ... I enjoyed this book a whole lot!! The main characters were fantastic. I keep hearing about the grumpy/sunshine trope and this is definitely it!! It might just end up being a new favorite too. Huge thank you to Harlequin Books & Harlequin Publicity Team for my review copy! This hits shelves in July!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee

    Sophie Burnet has just left her fiancée after finally admitting to herself and him that she is bisexual. She’s had crushes before but the one she has on Amy, the owner of the restaurant where she works as head chef, is beyond anything she’s experienced. Especially when Amy wears that one shirt… I enjoyed this one, the back and forth with the characters was a lot but it felt right for the story and for Sophie and Amy. Usually when there are so many side plots going on it feels like it strains the Sophie Burnet has just left her fiancée after finally admitting to herself and him that she is bisexual. She’s had crushes before but the one she has on Amy, the owner of the restaurant where she works as head chef, is beyond anything she’s experienced. Especially when Amy wears that one shirt… I enjoyed this one, the back and forth with the characters was a lot but it felt right for the story and for Sophie and Amy. Usually when there are so many side plots going on it feels like it strains the plot and makes the reader feel like a ping pong ball with no direction as they try to understand everything happening. I didn’t feel like this book had that issue though and all the plot road blocks felt like they belonged in the story. Sophie and Amy’s romance seemed to happen organically throughout the story and I loved them, both characters seemed so real. I do see there is a prequel to this as well and I may pick it up next time I’m in the mood for a m/f rom com.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Will I ever get tired of food-themed romance? No.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Amy Chambers wants nothing more than to succeed. After opening her own restaurant before she turned thirty and having success for a while, things have taken a turn for the worse. Her head chef, Sophie Brunet, feels stifled by Amy's control freak tendencies. The two may clash but underneath there is a mutual attraction that both are having a hard time ignoring. I adore a grumpy-sunshine pairing. While most people gravitate to the sunshiny, cheery one in the couple, I tend to feel more drawn to th Amy Chambers wants nothing more than to succeed. After opening her own restaurant before she turned thirty and having success for a while, things have taken a turn for the worse. Her head chef, Sophie Brunet, feels stifled by Amy's control freak tendencies. The two may clash but underneath there is a mutual attraction that both are having a hard time ignoring. I adore a grumpy-sunshine pairing. While most people gravitate to the sunshiny, cheery one in the couple, I tend to feel more drawn to the grump. I think it's because I want to know why that character is so cranky and there is usually a valid reason, which is certainly the case for Amy. A lot of the things in the past brought her to where she is today and are the catalyst for her behavior. Sophie is so sweet. She' recently accepted her bisexuality and in the process broke up with her boyfriend. From their first meeting, she was drawn to Amy and as time has gone on, the attraction has only grown. Amy and Sophie are great together and I enjoyed their journey. This was a fun ride and I enjoyed every moment of it. I look forward to more from Ruby Barrett. An ARC was received from Carina Press via NetGalley for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amivi

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75 The Romance Recipe is a great sapphic romance that has amazing spice. I think my few cons with this book is the ending and how rushed it felt to me. I would have loved to get an extra chapter. And I wish we got more of the reality TV show aspect. If you're looking for a fun sapphic spicy romance, then this is the book for you ⭐️⭐️⭐️.75 The Romance Recipe is a great sapphic romance that has amazing spice. I think my few cons with this book is the ending and how rushed it felt to me. I would have loved to get an extra chapter. And I wish we got more of the reality TV show aspect. If you're looking for a fun sapphic spicy romance, then this is the book for you

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Who doesn't love a great queer foodie romance?? I am so here for all the reality food show romances we've been getting lately and this newest from Canadian author Ruby Barrett did not disappoint! The story is set around Amy, a restaurant owner and Sophie, her celebrity head chef who has recently come out as bisexual. This grumpy/sunshine, dual POV love story had such HEAT both in the kitchen and out! With her restaurant in trouble Amy begs Sophie to help her compete in a reality competition on a Who doesn't love a great queer foodie romance?? I am so here for all the reality food show romances we've been getting lately and this newest from Canadian author Ruby Barrett did not disappoint! The story is set around Amy, a restaurant owner and Sophie, her celebrity head chef who has recently come out as bisexual. This grumpy/sunshine, dual POV love story had such HEAT both in the kitchen and out! With her restaurant in trouble Amy begs Sophie to help her compete in a reality competition on a show Sophie's ex is producing. I loved seeing rhe relationship evolve between these two as Amy helps awaken Sophie's sexual appetites and Sophie shows Amy support she's never had before. Perfect for fans of Chef's kiss, Love & other disasters or Astrid Parker doesn't fail and great on audio narrated by Natalie Naudus and Chelsea Stephens. Bonus: Sophie is French Canadian and there's a great poutine scene, although I'm not too sure what I think about her seafood poutine special! Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jacque

    i often struggle reading paperback books (idk but it seems like more of an investment/work and also there’s always this low level “if i don’t read it on my phone i could forget my book at home!!” thats maybe a little irrational but i digress) so i usually try to make them weekend reads— not so with this book!!! Not only did i read this on a weekday, but i was so engrossed in this book that I finished it within about 12hrs🙈 it was just so good, i couldn’t stop!! This really hit the sweet spot on a i often struggle reading paperback books (idk but it seems like more of an investment/work and also there’s always this low level “if i don’t read it on my phone i could forget my book at home!!” thats maybe a little irrational but i digress) so i usually try to make them weekend reads— not so with this book!!! Not only did i read this on a weekday, but i was so engrossed in this book that I finished it within about 12hrs🙈 it was just so good, i couldn’t stop!! This really hit the sweet spot on a number of levels— imo one of the most common pleas of sapphic romance readers is just like, “PLEASE give us a high heat wlw romance!!!” and I’m pretty sure this was (at least in part lol) Ruby’s inspiration for this book🤣 Amy & Sophie’s romance is incendiary from the get go, and that delicious tension never wavers for even a moment. But those steamy bits were so well balanced w/ acute sapphic pining (lmao a classic) like the whole “i saw this girl on a tv show and immediately fell in love with her, so i followed her career intensly and offered her a job when she was done with the show just to be close to her” 👀 What a call out!!! I think balance is such a good word for this book, bc it really felt like Ruby did it all in this book👌🏻 we have idyllic scenes of morning after breakfast, and then awkward “oops we accidentally hooked up on the kitchen table last night, how do i interact with you normally now” moment. We get these beautiful moments of queer euphoria like at the drag show alongside the painfully relatable feeling of sharing your identity with someone only for them to wish that you would hide it. I also really loved the depiction of someone realizing their sexuality later in life— i mean i’m only 26 lol, but i resonated with a lot of Sophie’s journey, which felt really special The Romance Recipe is angsty and joyful, horny and devastating, just an all around wonderful read🥰 i highly reccomend y’all read this one!! thank you so much 2 Carina Press for my review copy ----Initial Review---- 4.5⭐️ Full review to come, this was a really delightful book & honestly the only reason it’s not a full 5 is bc the 3rd act breakup & reconciliation happens so damn close to the end, I felt like I was cheated out of seeing them happy— literally they break up on 254, reconcile on 278 and it’s over by 282😩 I needed more!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shey

    It was funny and engaging at the beginning, but I don't know what happened, and I got lost along the way. This is not a bad read...it just didn't work well for me.  It was funny and engaging at the beginning, but I don't know what happened, and I got lost along the way. This is not a bad read...it just didn't work well for me. 

  23. 4 out of 5

    Trio

    I never turn down the chance to read a book centered around the food industry, cooking shows, chefs and/or restaurants, and Ruby Barrett’s The Romance Recipe has a little taste of them all. In addition to coming out, first time gay love, family drama, and frenemies to lovers, there’s a lot to like about this one. This is my first book by Ruby Barrett, and I really enjoyed her writing style. The erotica is super hot, and the characters are well developed. And I found the cast of supporting charact I never turn down the chance to read a book centered around the food industry, cooking shows, chefs and/or restaurants, and Ruby Barrett’s The Romance Recipe has a little taste of them all. In addition to coming out, first time gay love, family drama, and frenemies to lovers, there’s a lot to like about this one. This is my first book by Ruby Barrett, and I really enjoyed her writing style. The erotica is super hot, and the characters are well developed. And I found the cast of supporting characters truly fascinating. I loved Amy’s quirky group of friends (especially her brother, Wes), and Sophie’s ex-fiancé is an intriguing guy as well. Both women have interesting things to say about their professions, their families, and their sexaul identities. This is a nicely paced, well developed story. thank you to Carina Press and Harlequin via NetGalley for providing a copy of The Romance Recipe for the purpose of my honest review, all opinions are my own

  24. 5 out of 5

    currentlyreadingbynat

    It's only recently that I've realised I am a sucker for culinary romance books. The Romance Recipe definitely added to my love for novels set in professional kitchens. Amy is a restaurant owner and Sophie is her head chef. Although these two don't often see eye to eye in the kitchen, their chemistry flew off the page. It was definitely heated between them, and their first sexual encounter was ridiculously hot. Their physical relationship is ridiculously strong in the novel throughout, which is gr It's only recently that I've realised I am a sucker for culinary romance books. The Romance Recipe definitely added to my love for novels set in professional kitchens. Amy is a restaurant owner and Sophie is her head chef. Although these two don't often see eye to eye in the kitchen, their chemistry flew off the page. It was definitely heated between them, and their first sexual encounter was ridiculously hot. Their physical relationship is ridiculously strong in the novel throughout, which is great because at times I became frustrated with their antics outside the bedroom. There is a tonne of push/pull between them both, and neither feels comfortable with just being honest with their feelings. I found it tiring near the end, but thankfully there are other elements within that kept me engaged. Overall, a compelling romance. Many thanks to Netgalley and Carina Press / Carina Adores (Harlequin) for a copy of this novel. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nev

    A sapphic romance set in the world of restaurants and cooking shows! Amy is the owner of a restaurant that isn’t doing so great. Having Sophie be the head chef after being a contestant on a cooking competition show isn’t bringing in as many customers as they need. The two women are constantly butting heads when it comes to how to improve the restaurant. But there’s also a sprinkle of sexual tension between them as well. I really enjoyed both Amy and Sophie as main characters. They had distinct p A sapphic romance set in the world of restaurants and cooking shows! Amy is the owner of a restaurant that isn’t doing so great. Having Sophie be the head chef after being a contestant on a cooking competition show isn’t bringing in as many customers as they need. The two women are constantly butting heads when it comes to how to improve the restaurant. But there’s also a sprinkle of sexual tension between them as well. I really enjoyed both Amy and Sophie as main characters. They had distinct personalities and motivations and I really felt the chemistry between the two of them. I’m always talking about how I need there to be an interesting plot external to the romance and I think this book delivered on that front. I cared just as much about the fate of the restaurant as I did with the course of the romance. I also thought that the quality of the writing was excellent. Ruby Barrett was able to paint full pictures of the characters’ emotions and the food they were cooking. When it came to the conflicts between Amy and Sophie, I found them to be a bit too repetitive. I can understand where the characters were coming from, but it felt like I was reading the same scene over and over at times. Also, the ending felt pretty rushed. But overall I had such a great time reading this romance. I’m definitely going to be looking for more books from Ruby Barrett in the future! Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    In theory, this was the perfect book for me. I loved Amy, I loved Sophie, I loved the setting. I love romances focused on restaurants, cooking, and baking, so I was hoping to have a lot of fun with this. I didn't end up feeling as invested as I would have liked though, so ultimately this didn't completely work for me. I think that's partly a mood thing - I was looking for something fun and uplifting but this was pretty focused somewhat heavier things, like the restaurant struggling, Amy losing he In theory, this was the perfect book for me. I loved Amy, I loved Sophie, I loved the setting. I love romances focused on restaurants, cooking, and baking, so I was hoping to have a lot of fun with this. I didn't end up feeling as invested as I would have liked though, so ultimately this didn't completely work for me. I think that's partly a mood thing - I was looking for something fun and uplifting but this was pretty focused somewhat heavier things, like the restaurant struggling, Amy losing her mother in the past and having a bad relationship with her father, and Sophie recovering from a past break-up with an ex who didn't react as well as she'd hoped when she came out as bi. I personally struggled a little with these things because I felt like the tone of the book didn't always match the content or there would be sudden shifts that took me by surprise a little. That's a very personal thing though, like sometimes a book's writing just doesn't really work for you. I was kind of hoping we'd see more of the reality show the restaurant is featured in, but that was a much smaller part of the book than I would have expected. I think there was a lot of potential for this to be more fun than it was, as harsh as that sounds. I was also glad to have read Hot Copy before this, because I feel like otherwise I would have been a little confused when it comes to Amy's characterization and background, and I would have felt like I was missing some context.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Madigan Likes to Read

    03/07/22 update after reading the full book. (Ty to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC). This book features a push and pull, will they or won't they relationship. And because there is so much back and forth throughout, I'd call this one a slow burn. There's plenty of lust and plenty of steamy scenes, but the true love doesn't come until much later. And imo it felt like a long and meandering journey from lust to love, with a light exploration of feelings, emotions, and character development a 03/07/22 update after reading the full book. (Ty to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC). This book features a push and pull, will they or won't they relationship. And because there is so much back and forth throughout, I'd call this one a slow burn. There's plenty of lust and plenty of steamy scenes, but the true love doesn't come until much later. And imo it felt like a long and meandering journey from lust to love, with a light exploration of feelings, emotions, and character development along the way. This book is fun and lighthearted but still manages to have some depth and hit on some difficult topics (CWs for an emotionally abusive parent and an off-page coming out to an unsupportive partner). And, most importantly, it does have its romantic moments. For me though, I prefer a book where the MCs have plenty of on-page time as an established couple. Here, while we get to spend plenty of time with Amy and Sophie together, they dance around each other and avoid committing to a relationship for a large part of the book. While my book preferences (in terms of pacing) mean that I'm not this book's target audience, there are going to be plenty of readers out there that love this one. ___________________________________________________________ A preview of the first five chapters provided by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This looks like it could be fun! The owner of a struggling restaurant and her former reality TV star head chef are heading to a professional cooking show competition. This is giving me a little bit of the same vibe I got while reading Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall. For me, one of the things that will be most interesting here is the exploration of Sophie's sexuality as she comes to terms with her crush on her boss and how she will navigate the relationship that I presume will form between the two. I look forward to reading the full book!

  28. 4 out of 5

    literaryelise

    (note: this is only my review of the first five chapter preview that I was able to access on netgalley! thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read it) cw for the excerpt: mention of sexual harassment (off page), meal skipping (unintentional), death of a parent, fatphobia (brief), homophobia (specifically in an interpersonal relationship), injury, unsolicited nude photos. I am a huge Carina Adores fan, so when I saw this on netgalley I immediately put down what I was doi (note: this is only my review of the first five chapter preview that I was able to access on netgalley! thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read it) cw for the excerpt: mention of sexual harassment (off page), meal skipping (unintentional), death of a parent, fatphobia (brief), homophobia (specifically in an interpersonal relationship), injury, unsolicited nude photos. I am a huge Carina Adores fan, so when I saw this on netgalley I immediately put down what I was doing to read these chapters. And I was not dissapointed!!!!! I literally am buzzing in excitement over this book. I am genuinely obsessed, I cannot wait for this to come out. Let me paint you a picture: a high stakes, requited unrequited love story about a micromanaging restaurant owner and her grumpy, worn out, reality star head chef. The dynamic between these two is so unique, and genuinely intriguing. I read a lot of romance and in the past couple of years the genre has been flooded with “enemies to lovers,” stories. I love that this book seems to be taking a much more realistic and unique approach to the trope. Amy and Sophie feel like real people with real emotions. They’re problems feel real and their frustrations valid & relatable. And a reality show plot line??? And (very relatable) social media stress??? I love it!!! Plus there is a bevy of awkward, accidental flirting. Just incredible. Also, as someone who has worked in the restaurant industry it’s clear to me that the author either has worked restaurant jobs or is amazing at research because all the references and situations are very relatable! Sophie hiding out/potentially crying in the walk in (freezer)???? So true! Using 86 out of context in conversation/internal monologue??? So true! Calling a table a two-top rather than a table like a normal person??? so true!

  29. 4 out of 5

    lauraღ

    As much as I want to fight with her, I want to burn my tongue on this woman too. I really really enjoyed this! It was an easy-to-read, sexy restaurant romance with characters I really came to adore in a short amount of time. Amy is the sarcastic, kinda prickly owner of a struggling restaurant; Sophie is her head-chef, who came to her after her 15 minutes of reality TV cooking show fame. They've both been sort of mutually, obliviously pining over one another since beginning to work together, a As much as I want to fight with her, I want to burn my tongue on this woman too. I really really enjoyed this! It was an easy-to-read, sexy restaurant romance with characters I really came to adore in a short amount of time. Amy is the sarcastic, kinda prickly owner of a struggling restaurant; Sophie is her head-chef, who came to her after her 15 minutes of reality TV cooking show fame. They've both been sort of mutually, obliviously pining over one another since beginning to work together, and now that Sophie is ready to be more open about her newly discovered bisexuality, things starts heating up. Most of the plot involves them trying to find a way to keep the restaurant from going under, exploring options with a possibility for a shot on a new reality show, and exploring their chemistry and relationship. And they had such good chemistry. I just loved every scene where they were together, how they were quietly giddy over one another, and then eventually got vocal about their feelings. This isn't enemies-to-lovers or hate-to-love, but they did bicker and butt heads a lot, in a way that was actually fun to watch and not frustrating. There were so many sparks! And it was sooooo sexy. Sophie is a little shy, but undergoes a lot of growth, and it was great to see her standing up for herself and the things she wants. Amy is a flawed character who's maybe a little hard to like (but still really wonderful), and I just love it when authors are brave enough to give their characters actual foibles that they have to work through. (And it was fine by me, because I really love prickly women.) I really enjoyed the way different family dynamics played into the characters' personalities and their approach to conflict. If there was one things I didn't super love, it was how quickly the end wrapped up after the conflict; I wanted to see that drawn out a bit more, with a little more grovelling from a certain character. Also, for a romance set in a restaurant, I wanted a few more foodie scenes! Listened to the audiobook as read by Natalie Naudus and Chelsea Stephens. I'm a big fan of Naudus, and Stephens was so good as well. I can't say this was super innovative, but it really was a lovely, swoony romance that gave me a bunch of butterflies. Definitely recommended. Content warnings: (view spoiler)[past parental death, mentions of cancer (hide spoiler)] It seemed completely normal to want to rip my heart out of my chest and put it in her hands for safekeeping, as long as she’d always smile at me like that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ariadne

    Good easy read. I did feel it went by too quickly. Like the relationship wasn’t built up enough and we are just thrown into some things. It was entertaining though, funny at times, with a few good sexy scenes. A good entertaining beach read I’d say.

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