Delicious Romance | Foodie Rom-Coms

Savor these contemporary romances featuring a sous-chef at a Michelin-starred Maine restaurant and a hotshot NYC cook who has just relocated to Spunes, OR.

Bilow, Rochelle. Effie Olsen’s Summer Special. Berkley. Apr. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780593547908. pap. $18. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

After being fired from her dream job, chef Effie Olsen returns home to the small, touristy town of Adler Isle, ME, to work as a sous chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant Brown Butter, where her former best friend, Ernie Callahan, also works. Effie hasn’t spoken to Ernie since she left, shortly after he uttered the unrequited “I love you” that ruined their friendship. But Ernie isn’t the lanky teen she remembers, and she wonders if she made a mistake in running away from the closest bond she’s ever known. They make a pact to renew their friendship and get to know each other again. When Effie uncovers a scandal at Brown Butter, however, she’ll have to make an ethical decision that will have far reaching effects on Ernie, the Isle, and the people she’s grown to love again. VERDICT A much less intense version of The Bear, but with all the same familial bonds and restaurant drama. Bilow (Ruby Spencer’s Whiskey Year), a classically trained chef and food writer, serves up a full dish of romance, humor, and meaty plot, with a perfect portion of sexiness on the side.—Kara Kohn

DeWitt, Tarah. Savor It. St. Martin’s Griffin. May 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781250329424. pap. $18. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Sage Byrd knows that her tight-knit community of Spunes, OR, loves and supports her, so she shouldn’t be feeling the failure of her long-term relationship with the town golden boy so sharply. Still, she’s been avoiding her ex and his new fiancée and thinking that winning the annual festival competition is a way for her to prove her worth without him. Chef Fisher Lange is no stranger to failure either; his spectacular fall from grace in his career was paired with the gut punch of realizing he was failing as the guardian of his recently orphaned niece, Indy. His boss offers him a new restaurant venture, which will also give him and Indy the chance for a fresh start. Sage needs a partner for the competition, while Fisher has to navigate the town’s roadblocks for his restaurant. They agree to help each other, and attraction and respect begin to grow between them. Readers, meanwhile, will be craving Fisher’s deliciously described food and enjoying the sizzling heat between the couple. VERDICT DeWitt (Rootbound) delivers another emotion-packed rom-com that readers will be eating up, full of witty banter, comical hijinks, and tender moments of healing. Hand to those who enjoy grumpy/sunshine pairings as well as fake-relationship romances.—Morgan Lockard

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing