Food is the best way to a person’s heart. And the best way to our THP heart? A well-written enemies-to-lovers story, of course! For Butter Or Worse by Erin La Rosa definitely fits the description. This novel follows the staged relationship between chef Nina Lyon and restaurant owner Leo O’Donnell, which they reluctantly agree to for the sake of their businesses. So, what happens when they catch real feelings? We’re thrilled to review La Rosa’s newest book, and we’ve listed just a few of the many reasons you should read For Butter Or Worse!
Content Warnings: anxiety, mental illness, deceased parents
Summary: 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?
Strong, Outspoken Female Characters (Yes, Multiple!)
Our protagonist Nina Lyon is one of the main reasons we love For Butter Or Worse so much. She’s amazing in her craft, and she knows how to speak up for her wants and needs. And we can’t forget about the lovable and relatable supporting female characters either! Nina’s best friend Jasmine and sister Sophie are the type of people we’d love to be around. Not only are they honest and understanding, but they also know when and how to have a good time.
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good enemies-to-lovers romance? Seeing Nina and Leo warm up to each other is literally the best feeling. When they entrust each other with things they’ve never told anyone else. Or when they can’t stop thinking about the other in their day-to-day activities. But especially when they feel something there that wasn’t there before. *Cue Beauty and the Beast soundtrack*
Yes, it can be frustrating seeing our main characters fall in love with one another and think that the other person doesn’t feel the same. But that’s also what makes For Butter Or Worse so good! The development from Nina and Leo’s reluctant affection for publicity to them realizing how natural it feels to date each other is truly *chef’s kiss.* (Pun intended!) They just needed some time to clear up any misunderstandings, but who doesn’t?
For Butter Or Worse did a great job at not dwelling on events for longer than necessary. The author left some parts up to our imagination, but the overall story didn’t feel incomplete. The alternate points of view between Nina and Leo keep us on our toes too! We’ll never get tired of knowing both sides of a love story, especially not such a fiery and steamy one like this ship.
For Butter Or Worse by Erin La Rosa is out July 26th and is available for preorder right here!
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