ROMANCE

Simmer Down

Berkley. Oct. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781984805447. pap. $16. CONTEMPORARY/multicultural ROMANCE
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Tiva’s Filipina Kusina is the latest addition to Maui’s fiercely competitive food truck scene. Nikki and her mom, Tiva, own and operate the truck, serving up their modern take on traditional Filipino dishes. When Nikki pulls up to her beachfront parking area one morning, she finds the Hungry Chaps food truck, and its tall, handsome British owner, Callum. Needless to say, Nikki is livid. Tempers are further inflamed as the two attempt to drive each other out of business, but the challenge isn’t all food truck–related. Nikki can’t help noticing her body’s reaction to Callum. Callum has also been paying attention, and in fact has trouble keeping his eyes off of Nikki. As the days and weeks pass, the two gravitate toward each other, but can they overcome their professional rivalry? Nikki and Callum are believable, flawed, multifaceted characters, and the secondary characters are as well developed and unique. The enemies-to-lovers plot will pull readers in, and the descriptions of food will have them salivating.
VERDICT Smith’s (Faker) cute, breezy, multicultural romance set in paradise is a solid purchase where contemporary romances are popular.

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