Love and Other Disasters by Anita Kelly

Love and Other Disasters
Published: 1/18/22
Food Isn't the only thing cooking on this tv show.

Dahlia Woodson needs the $100,000 top prize awarded on Chef’s Special, the tv cooking show she has been selected for.  She’s put all of her hopes of this. After her recent divorce and quitting her job to be on the show, she’s a bit of a mess and wants nothing more than to win and be able to open her own bakery. Tripping during the first competition while carrying her fish tacos wasn’t in the plan, nor was falling for her competitor.

London Parker may have tried out for Chef’s Special on a dare from their twin, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to do everything they can to win it. London wants to use the money to help lgbtq+ youth and prove their worthiness to themselves but mostly to their father, who refuses to accept their pronouns. London didn’t plan on Dahlia, with her clumsiness and mesmerizing mane of dark hair. The heat in the kitchen is nothing compared to the heat generated between these two.  Will they make it to the finals and can their relationship survive the competition?

This book is a delight.  Anita Kelly’s characters are just so lovable. Dahlia is a clumsy, adorable hot mess and London is sweet and sensitive. And I love a good cooking competition show. Guys Grocery Games is on in the background while I do things around the house, more than I care to admit. I was rooting for our main characters and rooting so hard against Lizzie, with her nonbinary discriminating ass.  What I like most about this book is how vulnerable these characters are with each other. The hardest thing to do is to completely open yourself up to someone, not just with your body, but to show them your soul. Dahlia and London allowed the other to see their deepest insecurities and the relationship was stronger for it.

Anita Kelly has given us a book filled with laughter, diversity, competition, difficult family dynamics and love. These characters will touch your heart.

ARC received from Forever via NetGalley for an honest review.

Satisfaction Guaranteed by Karelia Stetz-Waters

Satisfaction Guaranteed
Published: 6/1/21

This is my first Karelia Stetz-Waters book and it won’t be my last. Satisfaction Guaranteed is absolutely hilarious and brings to mind the books of Robin Alexander. I hadn’t thought about naming my clitoris before and now I am. I think Princess Buttercup may be the winner!

Cade Elgin is as uptight as it gets and when she arrives at her aunt’s funeral to see everyone wearing gold lame and passing around flasks of whiskey she is properly horrified. But she’s the only one who takes issues with the shenanigans. Everyone else seems to be hopped up on edibles and enjoying the organ performance of “Uptown Funk”.

Ruth was like a mother to Selena Mathis so when her friends pressure her to give a speech at the funeral she can’t refuse. When Selena is nervous she tends to ramble and ramble. She reveals Ruth’s name for her clitoris, Belinda, Ruth’s feelings on teacups and tampons versus the cup. She keeps looking at Cade because on the worst day of her life, she can still appreciate a little eye candy.

Cade is ready to return home to her families art gallery that she pretty much runs on her own because her parents are too busy planning to buy a alpaca and getting high. Cade is 29 and has never had an orgasm. Seems like the perfect person to run a sex shop!  Her aunt Ruth leaves her store, Satisfaction Guaranteed to Cade and Selena to run together. Ruth isn’t a big fan of paying bills so the store is in serious trouble.

Despite her reservations Cade agrees to stay for a month and try to save the sex shop for her aunt and for this strange creature Selena. Selena intrigues Cade. She is beautiful, sweet and completely ok with working at a store that sells dildos, cookware and Christmas stuff. As they work together to try to save the store, they learn more about each other and their attraction grows. However, Selena is celibate and Cade is an orgasm virgin.

I adore Selena and Cade. Selena has an interesting backstory involving her ex and Cade sees the evil that woman is working with and has no problem pretending to be Selena’s fiance. Cade needs Selena to help her loosen up and Selena needs Cade to fight for her and help her see that she has value.

If you are looking for a low angst, laugh out loud funny book, I highly recommend. Instead of adding my favorite quotes, I implore you to just read the beginning of the book and enjoy the funeral. Not something I think I’ve ever said before, but this is what I hope my funeral will someday be. People talking about clits, getting high and rocking out to Bruno Mars!