Review| Love & Other Disasters – Anita Kelly

When I read the synopsis of Love & Other Disasters I knew I needed this book. Romance and a cooking show (something I really love)? I was sold. So today I want to tell you about this book and what I thought. Keep on reading to find out more!

The first openly nonbinary contestant on America’s favorite cooking show falls for their clumsy competitor in this delicious romantic comedy debut “that is both fantastically fun and crack your heart wide open vulnerable.” (Rosie Danan, author of The Roommate)

Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she’s focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money.

After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They’re there to prove the trolls—including a fellow contestant and their dad—wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan.

As London and Dahlia get closer, reality starts to fall away. Goodbye, guilt about divorce, anxiety about uncertain futures, and stress from transphobia. Hello, hilarious shenanigans on set, wedding crashing, and spontaneous dips into the Pacific. But as the finale draws near, Dahlia and London’s steamy relationship starts to feel the heat both in and outside the kitchen—and they must figure out if they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after.


When I read our main characters would be participating in a cooking show and that this was a romance I was sold! I’m a big fan of watching cooking and baking shows. I’m not one that could win one, but it’s fun seeing people compete and what they create.

Chef’s Special is talked about quite often and a big part of the book does take place on that set. I loved this aspect of the book. And in all honesty, I would’ve been the clumsy contestant like Dahlia and trip while walking to the judges’ table, haha. This part definitely added some extra humor. There are a few contestants that I enjoyed besides the main character, but I don’t feel like we really got to know them. I did feel that the character that was really mean towards London and their pronouns rubbed me the wrong way. It was also pretty bad that this was used as a marketing scheme. I feel that this should’ve maybe been addressed just a little more.

Dahlia is such a quirky and fun character. I loved reading about her and how she was experiencing everything. She’s hoping to change her life with this show after divorcing. I think in many ways she was really hard on herself, but being with London definitely opened another side of her and let her be a bit more brave.

London was a character that was a bit distant in the beginning and I can understand that. Coming out on national TV with their pronouns is a bit step. It’s already hard enough when your father won’t accept you, but add some online trolls and things could get even worse. I loved London and how they became close with Dahlia. They opened themselves up quite a bit and I loved how brave they became at the end and was really clear about what their needs were.

Then of course there was the romance between Dahlia and London. Their relationship doesn’t start off smoothly (seeing how London only grunts or gives one word answers, haha). I loved watching a friendship develop and then slowly a romance. The chemistry jumped off the pages and things definitely got steamy. What I loved the most though is that their relationship felt realistic. There were ups and downs and things aren’t perfect, but they do work at it!

All in all, this was such a fast and fun read. I do feel like it did take a bit for things to really start happening, but it was worth the wait. And I would love if this author wrote a book about Dahlia’s brother Hank or London’s sister Julie. Both were amazing characters. But if you love fun romances and cooking shows, Love & Other Disasters is one for you!


Love & Other Disasters is a book I really enjoyed and definitely want to read more by this author. What kind of reality shows do you like? Would you participate in a cooking show or other type of reality show? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

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