A Dash of Salt and Pepper is heartwarming and fun with M/M small town romance. It wasn’t the best romance I read but I recommend this if you are fan of this genre.
A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson
Publication Date : December 6, 2022
Publisher : Berkley Books
Read Date : December 5, 2022
Genre : Romance
Pages : 384
Tea for this book : Indian Masala
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for e-ARC via NetGalley.
Sometimes two cooks in the kitchen are better than one in this swoony romantic comedy from the author of I’m So (Not) Over You.
Xavier Reynolds is doing less than stellar. He just got dumped, was passed over for a prestigious fellowship, and to top it all off he’s right back home in Harper’s Cove, Maine (population: 9,000). The last thing he wants to do is to work as a prep chef in the kitchen of the hip new restaurant in town, The Wharf. Especially since the hot, single-father chef who owns it can’t delegate to save his life.
Logan O’Hare doesn’t understand Xavier or why every word out of his mouth is dipped in sarcasm. Unfortunately, he has no choice but to hire him–he needs more help in the kitchen and his tween daughter, Anne, can only mince so many onions. It might be a recipe for disaster, but Logan doesn’t have many options besides Xavier.
Stuck between a stove and a hot place, Logan and Xavier discover an unexpected connection. But when the heat between them threatens to top the Scoville scale, they’ll have to decide if they can make their relationship work or if life has seasoned them too differently.
A Dash of Salt and Pepper is heartwarming and entertaining small town romance about a man returning to small town and falling in love.
Xavier is forced to return the small town he desperately wanted to leave, sulking in his childhood room. Soon he gets the opportunity to get his life back on track but for that he needed money and only way he could earn fast money is by working as sous chef in Logan’s restaurant whom he attacked a couple of days ago assuming he is breaking in his parents’ house.
Logan has problem asking for help. He has a teen daughter Anne and his restaurant needs full time help. He doesn’t like Xavier’s attitude but he could see his potential becoming a great chef as Xavier is a great cook and has a knack for giving food his own twist.
Coming to truce, working side by side brings them closer than they have imagined. But soon Xavier is leaving for Berlin and he has kept that part secret. It was interesting to see how things work out between Xavier and Logan.
This is character driven fast paced story with lots of entertainment, pop cultural references written from Xavier’s perspective.
Xavier is compassionate, energetic, witty, open, and honest twenty something with MBA who loves the rush of city and challenge in job. He finds slow, monotonous life of small town suffocating. But at the same time, he acknowledges how small town with a community that takes care of each other is perfect to settle down with a family, especially for Logan. It was great to see how being with Logan, working with him and staying in his hometown again as an adult changed his perspective. His sunshine witty nature is refreshing.
Logan is in late thirties, owner of the Wharf, seafood restaurant. He is a bit gumpy and had past baggage but he acts his age that comes with experience of life. I loved the way he built life in small town and worked on his dream as restaurant owner even though he had to struggle a lot. I liked the way he could see through Xavier’s sarcastic, witty exterior and the way he made Xavier feel special. His relationship with Anne and his staff was amazing. Anne is his heart and The Wharf is his soul and when he gave the reign of it in Xavier’s hand, it was hard not to fall for him. I didn’t like the way he reacted to what Xavier did to help him but it was lovely to see him realize his mistake pretty soon.
Cast is fun with Xavier’s honest and loyal best friend- Mya, Logan’s 14 yr old spunky and sassy daughter- Anne (she actually steals the show), Logan’s always bantering staff- Kyle and Angelica, and other acquaintances who all make story entertaining and helped knowing Logan and Xavier better.
Romance is lovely and heartmelting. I liked all the tropes in this. Age gap is perfectly written as both characters acted according their age and it also wasn’t the obstacle in their relationship. There weren’t as many obstacles as I was expecting in their relationship which make it less dramatic and a little more mature as well.
I absolutely loved small town vs big city monologues of Xavier. Black and queer in the business world is well represented. I also loved the kitchen atmosphere where nearly half the story takes place.
Most of things are predictable and I wasn’t surprised with climax that came with fight and break up I was expecting but I liked how Xavier had an epiphany and the way he realized what he want in his life and how much he likes his small town that played big role in shaping who he is. The end is lovely and uplifting.
Why 4 stars-
I didn’t like only Xavier’s perspective here. I would have loved Logan’s perspective and would have liked to know him more. I enjoyed this book but it wasn’t exactly wow or the best I read.
Overall, A Dash of Salt and Pepper is heartwarming, lovely and enjoyable M/M romance with small town vs big city moot at the center of it.
I recommend this if you like,
City boy forced back to small town setting
Dash of philosophy
M/M interracial romance
Pop Cultural reference
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