Mariah's Pick: "For Butter or Worse" by Erin La Rosa
Nina and Leo may work together on the set of a popular cooking competition show but their charm is decidedly OFF behind the scenes. When their mutual hatred becomes ignited by an accidental moment of PDA that has fans exploding, they're forced to acknowledge a painful truth: the public loves the two of them together.
With Nina's restaurant and Leo's family business both struggling, they decide to fake date in an effort to boost both of their careers. Now they just have to survive the next few weeks without falling apart...or falling for each other.
This is La Rosa's debut fiction novel and what a great start it is! For Butter or Worse is a witty romance that tackles the "enemies to lovers" trope with authenticity. Their dislike for each other is palpable and justified, but there is a real storyline of apology and forgiveness that feels genuine and human. We also see a tasteful portrayal of mental health and the effects of emotional domestic abuse, which was a refreshing dose of reality in an otherwise lighthearted read.
If you're a Food Network fan or just a foodie with a taste for a good love story, this happily-ever-after is sure to be sweet (with just a little spice)!