Review: Love & Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Title: Love & Other Disasters
Author: Anita Kelly
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: January 18th, 2022
Page Length: 384
Genre: RomCom
Age Range: Adult
Rep: Nonbinary, Sapphic Romance
Rating: 4.25⭐

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The first openly nonbinary contestant on America’s favorite cooking show falls for their clumsy competitor in this delicious romantic comedy debut “that is both fantastically fun and crack your heart wide open vulnerable.” (Rosie Danan, author of The Roommate)

Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she’s focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money.

After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They’re there to prove the trolls—including a fellow contestant and their dad—wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan.

As London and Dahlia get closer, reality starts to fall away. Goodbye, guilt about divorce, anxiety about uncertain futures, and stress from transphobia. Hello, hilarious shenanigans on set, wedding crashing, and spontaneous dips into the Pacific. But as the finale draws near, Dahlia and London’s steamy relationship starts to feel the heat both in and outside the kitchen—and they must figure out if they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after.

Thoughts

Content Warning: Transphobia, misgendering (off page)

Thanks to Forever for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book I’ve read by Anita Kelly and I absolutely fell in love with this book. I found Anita’s writing style to be easy to pick up and I found myself binging this book in about two sittings. The chemistry between Dahlia and London was amazing! Even the build up to this relationship was near perfect. I loved getting to know Dahlia and London and was so glad that Anita gave us both POVs.

The cooking competition aspect was cute, but it left me wanting more. We have a few interactions between Dahlia and London while on set, but most is behind the scenes or in their off hours. The one location they had for the cooking competition was by far my favourite scene between Dahlia and London and after that scene I just needed more. I loved the flirting between the two and the innocence of it – Dahlia not being aware of her feelings and London not wanting to be vulnerable. The side characters we meet through the cooking competition was a mixed bag. There were some characters I absolutely love and others I wanted voted off! I know that was the point of a couple of characters – to cause tension and such – but those types of people I could really do without in the world. The amount of support we see with the side characters for both Dahlia and London (together and apart) that it does help combat the horrible characters in their lives. Both characters had a lot of growth within their story and I was so happy to see that! I loved that they both had the opportunity to confront their family and clear the air and the epilogue added a nice happy conclusion.

I would have loved for a couple of recipes to be included that Dahlia and London cook on the show – because honestly they sounded delicious! The story overall was exactly what I had been hoping for: lots of romance and funny moments, lots of LGBTQIA+ rep, and lots of food. I loved finally getting to read a RomCom with a nonbinary character and can’t wait to read more. I read on Anita’s page that this is the first in three companion novel series and I can’t wait!

I highly recommend this RomCom if you’re looking for a sweet romance with some sexy scenes, with a sprinkle of food throughout! If you love Alexis Hall, Casey McQuiston, or Alexandria Bellefluer then you’ll love Anita Kelly (although level of steaminess varies).

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