A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson is a queer interracial workplace romance set in a small town restaurant.
Xavier is jobless, boyfriendless, and homeless, but at least he has an MBA. Licking his wounds after a bad breakup and being turned down for a prestigious fellowship, he returns to his hometown of Harper’s Cove, Maine. Logan, single dad of a teenage daughter, runs The Wharf–a seafood restaurant in a seafood town–and he needs help in the kitchen. Xavier might be his only option, but then heat starts to rise between them.
This was okay.
I picked it up because I was excited to have an interracial queer romance in a restaurant setting. While the representation here is good, I’m not sure the author’s writing style is for me.
A lot of the time, I felt a bit incredulous over things the characters were doing. I found myself skimming paragraphs to read it faster. I wanted to see where it went, but the prose just didn’t sustain me. This seems to be the author’s second adult romance (they’ve written more YA), so maybe that’s why I have so much disconnect with the writing?
Like, these characters are supposed to be adults with MBAs and teenage daughters–Xavier is in his late twenties and Logan is in his late thirties–but sometimes they really acted like children. Like Logan’s teenage daughter, Anne. I don’t tend to like books that skew on the younger YA side of things for that reason.
I might have been more invested if we had a dual point-of-view. The book is written entirely in Xavier’s perspective, and I think we missed out on really seeing things from Logan’s eyes at times. There’s also a really weird time jump where the characters go from first date to being with each other practically daily that felt oddly placed. How am I supposed to see them falling in love with each other when we make such a big jump like that?
Xavier’s best friend Mya is the best. I’d love to see a book from either her or Angelica (from The Wharf)’s perspective.
Tropes in this book include: queer romance, gay MMC, bi MMC, restaurant setting, workplace romance, age gap, small town
CW: secrets, lost child
I was provided an ebook ARC to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
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