From a British baking show to the American cooking show. I wasn’t expecting a theme this month, but here we are.
Love and other Disasters by Anita Kelly is my Book of the Month Club review for February. A sweet, utterly lovely story that, instead of dealing with a large amount of contestants, it focuses on the main two characters, London and Dahlia. While there’s the grandma character in Barb and the antagonist in Lizzie, the cooking competition seemed less of a focus than the introduction and romance of our two main characters.
Dahlia is a divorced woman from Maryland who joins the cooking show Chief’s Special. Cooking is a release for her and auditioning for the show was something she felt she needed to do to jumpstart her life. Once there she meets London, a nonbinary contestant that Dahlia feels an instant spark with. Apparently, the feeling is mutual. London hails from Tennessee and officially came out as they/them on the first episode of the show. While London is a little awkward, they are instantly caught up in Dahlia’s bohemian way of cooking, her mass of dark curly hair that she manages to keep up with one hair band and determination and her way of chaos that she seems to keep around her.
Located in California for 8 weeks, Dahlia and London embark on a relationship that, unbeknownst to them, is broadcasted on the show for the world to see, including London’s father, Dahlia’s family and the rest of the viewership who become invested in not only Dahlia and London’s burgeoning romance but the rivalry between London and Lizzie, the show’s homophobe.
While not going into the intricacies of the competition, Kelley manages to focus on the two main characters, a woman who casually admits she’s bisexual and the pansexual person who outs themselves as non-binary on national television. Kelly does an amazing job of keeping with the they/them pronouns and proves once and for all that it is possible to use they/them as a singular pronoun, especially when writing romance. This story was lovely, the perfect meet-cute, while still giving both characters the opportunity to not only deal with what a relationship with each other means, but also to deal with their own personal relationships. There was so much I loved about this story and it grabbed me in such a way that I finished nearly half the book in my first sitting.
If you’re looking for romance told in other voices, pick this up as well. I didn’t mean to pick up two baking/ cooking themed queer romances this month, it just happened!
So, let’s see what we have in store for next month, eh? Two of my preorder books were released this month so I think I have plenty to read, plus my BoTM book as well.
Springs coming my friends! It’s almost March which means, where I live, either snow or sun. The nights are getting shorter, the days are getting brighter. Find your comfy spot, grab your drink and curl up with a good book.