This summer, Reese Camden is trading sweet tea and Southern hospitality for cold brew and crisp coastal air. She’s landed her dream marketing internship at Friends of Flavor, a wildly popular cooking channel in Seattle. The only problem? Benny Beneventi, the relentlessly charming, backwards-baseball-cap-wearing culinary intern–and her main competition for the fall job.
Reese’s plan to keep work a No Feelings Zone crumbles like a day-old muffin when she and Benny are thrown together for a video shoot that goes viral, making them the internet’s newest ship. Audiences are hungry for more, and their bosses at Friends of Flavor are happy to deliver. Soon Reese and Benny are in an all-out food war, churning homemade ice cream, twisting soft pretzels, breaking eggs in an omelet showdown–while hundreds of thousands of viewers watch.
Reese can’t deny the chemistry between her and Benny. But the more their rivalry heats up, the harder it is to keep love on the back burner…
The adorable factor of this book was very high. Right away Reese and Benny have great chemistry – the one where it annoys Reese because Benny is more charismatic than her and calls her different nicknames. It was cute that Reese kept trying to figure out Benny’s real first name as a way to get back at him for the nicknames. Both characters are what stood out to me in this book more so than the plot.
Benny, again, is just adorable and very likeable. His charisma bleeds through the pages and out into the real world. Like Reese, he’s a summer intern and wants to get the culinary internship because it’s what he enjoys doing – cooking. As it’s his family own a restaurant business, he’s already familiar with how to work in a kitchen and can recall recipes off the top of his head (which Reese finds intimidating, as she knows none). However, Benny doesn’t want to follow his parents’ dream for him to work in their restaurant with his brothers, which makes you want to root for him.
Reese, on the other hand, is more introverted, especially after an incident when she was a freshman in high school. She’s trying to move past it, still, and hopes the physical distance between Kansas and Washington State will help her move on. It’s also why she retreats into herself when she starts to like Benny, and I totally get that. It’s definitely easier to shut down than to deal with feelings (or the real world in general). Plus, as she and Benny start their Amateur Hour series with FoF, she begins to deal with sexism in the workplace.
The sexism in the workplace ends up as a major role in the book, which is something I was both annoyed by and glad to see. I was glad that a book written for young-adults took on this topic, as it might help them to be prepared for it when they enter the workplace. My annoyance was from the characters who displayed the sexism toward Reese and the other females in the book, whether from the FoF company or the online comments on Benny and Reese’s videos. It was to be expected, as I’ve been in Reese’s shoes before (and I’m sure most of us women have).
My only issue with this book was that it was described as an ‘enemies-to-lovers’ romance, but other than Reese and Benny both being up for the fall internship, they weren’t really enemies. They got along fairly well and there was no animosity between them at any point after meeting. Just Reese’s wariness of Benny because of her ex-boyfriend.
Other than that, I definitely would recommend this book for anyone who’s looking for a quick, adorable romance read.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
*I received a free e-galley from NetGalley of this in exchange for an honest review*