Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy to review.
Representation: Sapphic MCs
An American version of the Great British Bake Off with a forbidden romance between one of the contestants and judges during the show’s run. Tori Moore is a chemistry teacher, avid home baker, and moping about her twins leaving soon for school. The twins push her to apply for the show, if nothing but to have something to do and look forward to. She dreams of opening her own bakery one day, and the prize money would be very useful if she made it all the way. Kendra Campbell has a reputation for being ruthless and blunt with the contestants, and she’s been told she needs to shift that attitude for viewers wanting feel-good TV. She’s surprised by how challenging but rewarding giving encouragement is, and this is at the same time she’s struggling with how to keep her bakery empire afloat. They meet in the process of making the show, and they find it harder and harder to stay away form each other as their feelings for each other start to come to a boil.
Rating: 4.25/5 It was fun seeing how they adapted GBBO to an American version of the show, and I really enjoyed the “behind the scenes” vibe they had going. We were seeing everything as Tori was experiencing it, as a contestant, the stress and thoughts that happen over the course of baking something. I liked the drama, it was subtle enough to make it interesting, but didn’t feel forced to me. I appreciated how they were consistently aware of the power dynamic, the consequences of what could happen if they were found out while under contract. This was a fun, quick read, and if you like lesbian romance, this is a great pick.
Thank you to Dial Press Trade Paperback and NetGalley for the ARC of this novel. This was a sweet slow burn romance between two women in their 40s who are part of a cooking network competition show. It was a quick read for me and I liked the characters within. Both Kendra and Tori had some growing to do and they made sense that they could be good for one another. If you want a feel good slow burn with a side of tasty food descriptions, pick this up. 3.5 stars.
If you are a rom-com and food competition lover like me, I highly recommend getting ready for this delectable debut from Lisa Peers! Love at 350° features queer female characters in their 40s which I loved, and the baking show competition aspect was chef's kiss. 💋 I highly enjoyed both Tori and Kendra's viewpoints and Tori actually gave me Elizabeth Zott from Lessons in Chemistry vibes due to her teaching background and chemistry approach to baking. There is so much talk about food and sweets that it will make you crave everything! It was also a bit like being behind the scenes on a competition show and that was interesting as well.
I literally listened to the same narrator almost twice in a row thanks to this book, and Barrie Kreinik was as fabulous for Love at 350° as she was for the other book. She makes a great one-woman show when it comes to narrating multiple characters, and I thought she captured their essence perfectly. This was a really lighthearted read, but at the same time it is about pursuing your dreams no matter what point you are at in your life and that is a message we could always use more of. This was a super quick and easy read that I would recommend to all rom-com lovers!
This was a Forbidden Romance RomCom meets the Food Network in all the best ways possible! It was such a cute and fun fluffy read that really puts a smile on your face! While this was a romance book, it was just mostly flirting, so I would have liked to see a little bit more of the relationship after the fact. It did feel like you were watching your favorite baking competition show and getting to see the behind-the-scenes of it! One thing I would have liked to see more of an epilogue though. It would have been interesting to see where Tori and Kendra's relationship went and even more than that, what Tori's show was!
I would definitely recommend this book if you have any interest in it, you won't regret it!
This book is a lighthearted piece of fun made for anyone who loves the Great British Bake Off. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this book, including how it is not solely focused on the romantic plot, but instead discusses women's' hopes and dreams for their lives at all states. The main characters are likable and interesting and ending is satisfying enough, although it felt a little abrupt.
I’m going to have to be a bad reviewer and skip this particular ARC. I’ve put it off and put it off because I kept seeing reviews that said the romance was just a subplot and the majority of the book is about the baking competition. That’s not what I want to read. I don’t really feel that bad about skipping this one-I requested this book because it was marketed as a romance. I wish publishers would stop bait and switching readers with trendy covers and descriptions that don’t accurately reflect the book itself.
I really liked the idea of this book, but it ended being not what I expected based on the description or marketing. I loved the idea of this soon-to-be empty-nester joining an American baking competition TV show and falling for one of the judges. I expected it to be more like a sapphic version of Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake. However, this book was certainly more focused on the foods and culinary industry rather than the romance. And that's perfectly fine! But it should not have been promoted as a rom-com.
That being said, I appreciated that both MCs, Tori and Kendra, are older (40s), and the sunshine/ grumpy trope they had. There was meant to be instant attraction between the characters, but it felt a little flat to me. Overall, there did not really seem to be enough time with Tori and Kendra together outside of the show to really build their relationship. Yes, the little notes were cute and sweet, but I wanted more.
If you are looking for a book centered around a baking competition, or of women finding themselves as they deal with big changes in their lives, this would be a great pick! If you are looking for a baking rom-com, this isn't it.
Honestly, super disappointed simply because romance was 100% a subplot and that's not what I read romance books for!!!
Thank you Random House Publishing for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own!
I ate every bit of this up! I really enjoyed it. I also just want to say for someone who enjoys less spice in romance novels. This was great! I loved the slow burn and that the characters had to really get to know each other. I really liked that we also got to know many of the side characters. Plus who does not love a good baking show romance!? I appreciate that this book has less spice. I kind of feel like LGBTQ+ Rep often gets super sexualized in books. Which I just don't see being reality, so I appreciated that this one was cute and free of that. This book has all the heat without the spice (in a good way).
Tori Moore is a high school chemistry teacher who is also an avid bakers. As she is going to be an empty nester soon her children encourage her to audition for the American Bake-O-Rama baking competition. She really wants to open her own baker and the prize money would allow her to do that. However, self doubt and a messy divorce may stand in Tori's way. As they begin the show though, she catches the eye of Kendra Campbell. Who is notoriously harsh with contestants. However, can Tori soften her edges? Will there secrets be caught?
Content: small swearing
Read if you enjoy:
This book was completely different than what I expected. This book was more about the growth of Tori throughout the story than anything else which was fine, but I feel like we were missing a lot of character development. There was a lot of the baking show and competition however, I feel like there should have been more shown on character growth and the chemistry between the 2 MC's without taking away from the story.
Thanks to Net Galley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review as always, all words are my own.
Thoughts and Themes: I had started reading this and it took me a while to get into the book since I wasn't too invested in the story. I got to about 20% and still wasn't too invested in the characters but it was the story that kept me reading. I just really wanted to know who was going to win this baking competition. The other thing that kept me reading was how was this going to be a romance book when there's a clause in the contract stating they can't date until 1 year after the show ends.
It was really hard for me to get into the story and I wasn't completely invested until something happens in Kendra's storyline that complicates things and then something happens with Tori that also complicates things. I liked this piece because it was at this point that I didn't want to put the book down in order to find out what was coming next.
Characters: In this story you get to meet our two main characters, Tori and Kendra, Tori's kids, Kendra's brother, several of the other contestants on the show, and the other judges and crew on the show. I really liked getting to learn about each of the characters and thought it was great to hear about them from both Tori and Kendra.
I really enjoyed getting to know the contestants on the show because you felt bad when it came down to the last 4 of them. I think it gave you perspective on how the judges must feel each week as they had to send one person home.
I also really enjoyed getting to know Kendra and Tori, I liked getting to know them both as individuals and as they spoke to each other. This one is definitely a slow burn so if that isn't your thing I would skip it. If this isn't a problem for you though I definitely say give this a try because it is worth it.
Writing Style: The book is told in third person going back and forth between the perspectives of our two main characters, Tori and Kendra. I really liked that it gave you both of their perspectives since you got to see the story unfolding from both of them at the same time. I liked that we got to be inside their heads and see how they viewed each other throughout.
Definitely a fun read for foodies. I love that we are seeing more stories about chefs and cooking and cooking competitions, and this was definitely an entertaining read, it just was not what I was expecting. I know they don't say to judge a book by its cover, but I also sometimes judge a book by its name, and this one seemed to lack a little in the love department.
While I enjoyed to story and the characters, the romance here was a bit dull, seeing as they were pretty much never even in a room alone together until the end of the book. This definitely felt more like a story about a cooking competition, with a little bit of romance sprinkled in. This was still an incredibly enjoyable read for me, just was not what I was expecting.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
Really more of a food book than a romance. The couple didn't even get together til like the last page.
It was just longing the whole time
As a straight, white woman approaching retirement age, you can imagine my surprise at finding the LGBTQ genre in romances. Love at 350* involves two women who's meet cute is on a cooking show where they are forbidden to have outside contact. Author Lisa Peers spends a good deal of time fleshing out both of the characters before they meet and the reader is rooting for both of them to find success in their careers, as well as their personal lives. NetGalley continues to offer me books in this genre and so far most of them have been big hits with me. Looking forward to seeing what else she publishes in the future.
This was a really sweet story- no pun intended. I always think it’s funny that I don’t watch reality TV myself but often enjoy a story that’s featured in that kind of setting. The baking competition was a fun backdrop for the sapphic romance, and I appreciated the main protagonists, many of the side characters, and the different identities that were represented. This was a fun, mostly lighthearted rom-com, and it’s definitely one I’ll be recommending to others.
I enjoyed this take on the Great British Baking show with an American cooking show. The characters were enjoyable, but it seemed very insta-love. They didn't really know each other. I understand having an attraction, but they seemed to have fallen head over heels quickly, which seems to feed into the lesbian stereotypes. I'm not sure if that was the point, but if not, I think that might be a problem for some readers.
I received an advance copy. All thoughts are my own.
I love, love, love this book. What a delightful romance with a refreshing and intriguing will they won't they plot. I adored both of the characters, and the celebrity chef was spot one. Wonderful food and romance focused story. So good! Will be featured on a future episode of Your Rainbow Reads Podcast.
Tori’s twin teens enter her in the baking competition show, Bake-A-Rama. She’s been struggling after her recent divorce and her kids know she’s a wonderful baker. The show would be a perfect opportunity to try something just for her.
Kendra is the tough, but fair judge on the show who has gotten flack for being too mean to contestants. She’s trying to take her career to the next level, but she’s not sure what that is. Until a certain contestant on the newest season catches her eye.
Kendra and Tori have a great chemistry and they really understand each other. There’s a bit of the forbidden since contestants and judges are prohibited from any kind of relationship for one year after the show. I really enjoyed this, both were mature women who knew what they were looking for. Both were at a pivotal time in their lives and they were great encouragement for each other. Just watch out, this book will absolutely make your mouth water at the description of the delicious treats.
Thank you @thedialpress and @lisapeersauthor of my gifted ebook. Love at 350 is on sale now!
Cute premise, good writing, lovely characters, but I couldn’t really get into it with the focus more on baking than the romance I hoped for.