The Romance Recipe
by Ruby Barrett
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Pub Date 12 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 11 Aug 2022
Carina Press & Carina Adores (Harlequin), Carina Adores
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.
Book 1: Hot Copy
Book 2: The Romance Recipe
Average rating from 111 members
A heartfelt, deeply romantic hug of a book that ticks every Romance-lover's wishlist: unputdownable, swoons for days, a well-deserved HEA, and food descriptions to drool over! Amy and Sophie remind every queer reader they are more than enough. Another stunning work of heart from Ruby Barrett.
THE ROMANCE RECIPE is full of charm and wonderful writing.
Ruby Barrett creates a beautiful novel. And one I knew when it ended in was going to be sad to see it ended.
The characters were so lovable and it was amazing to see them grow and discover their identities. They are unique and fresh, with witty language to tell an engaging story full of diverse and authentic characters!
With incredibly writing, with some of the best writing I've seen in romance.
It's voice-y with extremely sensory prose, and that alone warrants five stars.
The story is one I'm going to remember for awhile.
Ruby knows how to write a pure engaging romance story.
I loved the concept of this story. Packed with heart, delicious tension and laugh out loud moments, this novel strikes a charming balance between fun and emotion.
All the best things about romance in one place!
This will be the next hit f/f romance to fly off the shelves, as it should!
And this cover, omg the cover! I'm buying a copy to sit all pretty on my shelf!
I need more of this I'm my life!
I can't thank you enough for this delicious ebook copy!
I will post to my blog and platforms close to pub date!
Hot, sexy, funny, and even better than Barrett's debut! Amy and Sophie, grumpy and sunshine, are a perfect pairing. They go well with everything. They are delicious, and sexy, and will make you want to come back again and again.
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!
This book is fantastic!! Amy and Sophie have incredible chemistry, and I was rooting for them to get together from the very beginning. The Romance Recipe is sexy and funny, and full of mouth-watering food descriptions. This book also deals with some heavy topics, which were done in such a thoughtful way. I will be reading everything Ruby Barrett writes!
This book is great! A truly fantastic sapphic romance - it's hot, it's tender, it's strong and irreverent and emotional.
I know the copy says something about a cooking competition but if you, like me, are a little burnt out on cooking competition romances (even beautiful sapphic ones), just know that the competition is just a small plot point and not the whole setting/concept of the story.
I know that it's cliche to say that a sapphic romance about chefs is delicious but honestly, that's what this is. It's hearty and filling and satisfying and delicious.
Thanks to Carina and NetGalley for this ARC.
The Romance Recipe is a wlw an adult contemporary by author Ruby Barrett. This romance brings the heat in and out of the kitchen and guaranteed to entertain.
I've read a handful of books with Bisexual characters, but I've never related to one as much as I related to Sophie. All her feelings and thoughts related to her sexuality, I had gone through. I also love how Bi positive this book is, Amy helps let her know she's just as queer as anyone else on the spectrum. Whether you're in a same-sex relationship or not, you're still Bi, and you're never any less Queer in whatever relationship you end up in. On top of her sexual identity, all of the aspects of her personality were relatable. Sophie is a romantic, and she's quick to love and when she falls, she falls hard, but that doesn't make her feelings any less valid. As you can tell, I loved Sophie, and I loved the confidence that Amy brought out in her. From cooking comfort foods that sounded heavenly (bring me some poutine asap) to her appetite in the bedroom.
I could go on and on about Sophie forever, but I'll move on to Amy. Amy is a layered character who cared strongly for those she loved, but she's not a heart-to-heart, let's talk about our feelings' person (Oh hey it's me lol). Her actions speak for her and drives her to want to take care of her people, and it can come off as controlling. She's stubborn and hard-headed, but under her hard shell she feels too much. She would rather sacrifice her own happiness to let Sophie reach her potential. I also loved her relationship with her brother and best friend, and my heart broke for her as she tried to hold on to her emotionally damaging relationship with her father.
I loved the pace of Sophie and Amy's romance. It's not perfect, even if there are no issues with them when it comes to intimacy. Amy's fears and personality have her going hot and cold on Sophie when it comes to their actual relationship status. There's mutual pining between them right from the start, that thankfully isn't dragged out. The first kiss happens by a third of a way into the book, and then there is no holding back. Sophie is ready to go and embracing her attraction to women, letting herself be Bisexual. I expected steam but was pleasantly blown away but how hot and heavy the couple became, and it isn't restricted to the bedroom. The intimacy is hot as hell. Each one hotter than the previous encounter and there's even tease of adding toys to the mix in the future ( give me a bonus scene in the future of that spicy adventure please and thank you)
I can count on one hand the number of wlw romances that worked for me, and The Romance Recipe by Ruby Barrett is now one of them, one I won't hesitate to recommend to friends. A wlw romance with great Bi positivity rep, recipe testing, poutine, steaming up car windows, communication, being true to oneself and following your heart.
When I say I want a spicy sapphic romance, THIS BOOK is exactly what I mean. Authors, take notes.
Ruby Barrett hits it out of the park with this spicy sapphic romcom which follows the story of a restaurant owner, her head chef, and their inability to deny their sizzling attraction to each other. When owner Amy and chef Sophie find their restaurant facing closure, they need to work together to find a way to keep their doors open. However, more than their restaurant is at stake when feelings start to develop and a beautiful relationship grows.
The gay panic in this book is exquisite. Amy is a mood, Sophie is adorable, and their chemistry is TOP NOTCH. The spice? Next level. These two have an adorable romantic connection but equally as hot attraction, and neither is sacrificed for the sake of the other. They can have cute moments but they can also have hot as sh*t moments, and I’m here for it.
I also like that Barrett included two different experiences with both of these queer women. Amy knew she was gay since childhood while Sophie didn’t figure out she was bisexual until later in life while already in a relationship with a straight man. Both of these experiences are completely valid and I love that the author wrote from both perspectives.
Did I mention that I love the spice? While I love most sapphic romcoms, I often find spice lacking in queer romance stories but Ruby Barrett DELIVERED throughout the whole story.
In summary, this book was a well-written, queer, adorable, sexy, hilarious, sapphic masterpiece and I can’t wait to see what this local Ottawa author does next.
This book was provided by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. All thought and opinions are completely my own.
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).
Readers who liked this book also liked:
Jodi Picoult; Jennifer Finney Boylan
Linda Hurtado Bond