This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased, honest opinion.
This story almost felt like two different stories in one. The first half we have students competing in a cooking competition. Two of the students, Carter and Reid, clash immediately upon meeting each other. This sets off a chain reaction of sabotage and psychological warfare. I absolutely enjoyed the cooking aspects to this book. I love me some Food network and this was identical to their challenges. It was fun to see how they would react to each of the challenges and the drama that went along with the students.
As I was saying, we had parts of Carter and Reid loathing each other to the maximum. It had bits of flirty undertones to it but nothing major. About halfway through, things shift. Suddenly Carter and Reid have feelings for each other and don’t know how to deal with it. I will say, I didn’t like the zero to sixty with their relationship. I didn’t feel we had enough time to go along with their relationship turning more romantically. It starts to feel super awkward and super rushed. It just didn’t flow very well in my opinion.
I think one of my issues with this book was my dislike for Carter. She felt very selfish but at the same time self conscious? It was a weird combination for sure. I kept getting whiplash with her reactions to things. It was like she would be mad that someone wasn’t taking her opinion into consideration, but then when they said go with whatever you like…she was pissed they weren’t helping? I didn’t get it….
Reid on the other hand was a sweetheart. I really enjoyed his character. He would surprise Carter by cooking her special things so she could experience them for the first time. It melted my heart. I also love how supportive he was. I think Carter could take a few lessons from him on that.
Overall, this story had so much potential. I did like it but certain things just overshadowed it. I would still like to try other books by this author and see how they go.