Thoughts: A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson

Source: NetGalley – Thank you to the publisher!
Tl;DR: A fun rom-com, it didn’t quite click for me but I do recommend it if it interests you!

Plot: This felt very much like a standard ‘rom-com’. There was a TON of internal monologue which felt like it interrupted the plot
Characters: Fairly standard – one note kind of characters?
Setting: There wasn’t a lot of detail about the little town. I couldn’t even tell you clearly how the restaurant where most of it took place.
Romance: I don’t know that I completely believed this romance by the end due to a huge chunk of it being skipped midway through, and I always struggle with single perspective romances.

Thoughts:

A Dash of Salt and Pepper is exactly what it looks like. A queer kitchen romance – full of fun, cute references. Xavier has returned to his home town after effectively crashing and burning in the big city. He lost his job, his boyfriend broke up with him, and he had no where else to go. For Xavier that is a fate almost worse than death as he is a highly driven individual, and that drive has him constantly striving for “better”. Once he’s home he meets Logan, a local restaurateur and single Dad. He winds up taking a job with Logan and sparks fly.

I’ll start with the characters on this one. Xavier is funny, he’s got good quips and he is full of fantastic references, but he is not my favorite. For the first half of the book he’s constantly spouting off statistics and facts, to the point where the reader is rolling their eyes – not at him but at the fact that it’s happened again. It just pulls you out. Then after the half way mark it almost never happens again, at least in the first half he was consistent. Also Xavier is beyond driven, he’s almost mindlessly so. He doesn’t just feel the drive to get out of Harper’s Cover and over explain it every chance he gets. He does little else but think about it and explain it. More of this book was his inner monologue explaining in detail why he was doing what he was doing instead of showing us that I started skimming those segments. They were very repetitive and very obvious. There were moments towards the end where he talks about race, about being a black man attempting to succeed – but by that point I was so disconnected I nodded and moved on, I didn’t care anymore. He wore me down by the 40% mark.

Since the book is told entirely from his perspective – which to be fair is my least favorite type of romance, so that could explain why I didn’t connect, the rest of the cast is fairly one note. You have the quirky, challenging best friend. The love interest Logan is hot, smart, and aggressive. His daughter is young, spunky, but also edgy in the way all 14 year old’s are. It’s a fun cast don’t get me wrong! We just don’t get a ton from them. Logan is the biggest role, as our love interest and he was fun. I actually enjoyed him till the dreaded third act breakup and he became awful. His reaction to the ‘betrayal’ of Xavier was so over the top and so intense I would have never spoken to him again. That was a huge red flag reaction for me, no one would yell at me in the way he did in that moment. I appreciated the steps he attempts to take in the end of the book, they were correct but I’m not sure I think Xavier should have continued that relationship.

This was an okay read for me. Honestly I do think most my problems could have been resolved with another (Logan’s) perspective in this. Less time in Xavier’s head, more time to understand why Logan acted the way he did in the third act. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Ultimately I’m going to give it a three star. I did like what Xavier had to say about why he was so driven, trying to be seen but not seen. And I found some of the moments – especially those in the kitchen fun and entertaining. But I’m not sold on this romance, it could work for you though so pick it up if you like single-perspective quirky romances!

3 out of 5 fluffy white dogs (which we needed more of)

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