Erin LaRosa | For Butter Or Worse

The Book: 

For Butter Or Worse by Erin La Rosa
Published July 26th 2022 by HQN
Date read: July 15, 2022

The Characters: 


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

They go together like water and oil…

All chef Nina Lyon wants is to make a name for herself in the culinary world and inspire young women everywhere to do the same. For too long, she’s been held back and underestimated by the male-dominated sphere of professional kitchens, and she’s had enough. Now, as co-host of the competitive reality TV series The Next Cooking Champ!, she finally has a real shot at being top tier in the foodie scene.

Too bad her co-host happens to be Hollywood’s smarmiest jerk.

Restaurateur Leo O’Donnell never means to get under Nina’s skin. It just seems to happen, especially when the cameras are rolling. It’s part of the anxiety and stress he has come to know all too well in this line of work. So nothing prepares him for the fallout after he takes one joke a smidge too far and Nina up and quits—on live TV.

To make matters worse, the two are caught in what looks like a compromising situation by the paparazzi…and fans of the show go absolutely nuts. Turns out, a “secret romance” between Nina and Leo may just be what their careers need most.

Now all they have to do is play along, without killing each other…and without catching feelings. Easy as artisanal shepherd’s pie. Right?

The Review: 

There have been a handful of cooking show rom-coms coming out lately, and I think they’re so fun. I enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at the show, and it seems like they’re often enemies to lovers which is one of my favorites.

Unlike Rosaline Palmer and Love and Other Disasters, For Butter Or Worse doesn’t have many scenes actually on-set. In fact, the opening scene is the only on-set scene. From there, Nina and Leo decide that they must appease their fans by fake dating in order to restore both of their reputations.

We also get a hint of sunshine and grump, where Nina is the grumpy one (I love it when the man is the sunshine!). I enjoyed Nina and Leo’s banter, and I thought their relationship progressed at a reasonable pace. I’m not the biggest fan of the miscommunication trope that showed up near the end, but it played a small part of the story overall.

My favorite part of this book was Leo’s family. I adored his twin brother Gavin and his overbearing mom. Gavin and Leo also had great teasing and banter, and their relationship was a lot of fun to read about.

For Butter or Worse has great mental health rep, including what I thought was a realistic portrayal of Leo’s anxiety and panic attacks.

When you pick up this book, make sure you have a tasty snack nearby, because these food descriptions are sure to make you drool!

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