This was a cute and fun LGTBQ+ contemporary romance. Paris is a hot mess. He’s got a cat, a degree, a roommate and a love for baking. But, his constant self-doubt and second-guessing have left him a hot mess. His roommate enters him into the country’s biggest baking competition (think The Great British Bake Off) and he’s excited and nauseas at the same time, thinking he’ll be the first one sent home. To his surprise, he wins the first challenge, despite hitting a fellow contestant, Tariq, in the face with his refrigerator door. But, the public scrutiny is harsh, interacting with the fellow contestants is nerve-wracking, and Paris spirals.
He apologizes to Tariq, constantly, to which Tariq brushes it off and teases him that he’ll have to charge him every time he apologizes if Paris doesn’t stop. Tariq is fun, outgoing and understanding, so they seem like complete opposites. Paris bungles asking Tariq out, but eventually they get on the same page and start to see each other.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the cute banter between Paris and Tariq. The author did a good job depicting Paris’ anxiety, and I really feel for people suffering from it. It was exhausting just reading his constant inner dialogue, so I can’t even imagine having to actually live it. I can see how it was exhausting for Tariq trying to have a relationship with Paris, especially since he didn’t really understand it as much as he thought he did. It seemed like he thought Paris should be able to just “shut it off”. Wrong.
The parts of the book that dealt with the baking show were fun and it was a hoot learning about the other quirky characters. The book also touched on the casual cruelty of social media and how it affects people that are targeted. This book had a fairly good balance between the fun and levity of the baking show and Paris’ battle with anxiety and the dark sides of social media. Overall, it was an enjoyable read that I recommend.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing). All opinions are my own.