Best Served Hot by Amanda Elliot tells the story of Julie Zimmerman, a foodie social media influencer who goes to restaurants all over New York City and reviews them for her thousands of followers. Unfortunately, she also has to work a day job where she is the assistant to the very rich Mr. Decker. She wishes she could be a food reviewer full-time.
And she has a potential job in the works to be a full-time reviewer for Scroll but when they announce the new hire, it’s not her. It’s some guy named Bennett Richard Macalester Wright. He’s a rich, privileged dude and she immediately hates him.
That hate quickly shows itself when she sees him at the Central Park Food Festival. The two of them get into a huge shouting match. Julie’s friend Alice gets a video of it and Julie ends up posting it on her account. To say it becomes viral would be an understatement.
It becomes so popular that Bennett’s employer wants the two of them to review restaurants together and get both of their points of view. And the views that Julie brings in don’t hurt them either.
Best Served Hot needs more heat between the two love interests
So begins their journey around NYC checking out some of the hottest restaurants in the city. As they meet, it soon becomes clear that the hate or dislike they first might have felt for each other is fading away into something like affection and…feelings!
Through lots of delicious food, miscommunication, and at least one night spent together, they discover they don’t hate each other at all.
I love foodie romances. The food descriptions. The romance. The heat. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, Best Served Hot just didn’t wow me. Julie irritated me. She didn’t seem consistent. I don’t know if I could see her ending up with Bennett if her opinions on privilege and the gap between the rich and the poor were as strong as she wants us to believe.
Bennett is also not all that swoon-worthy. I do appreciate that he changes his opinions about social media and Julie’s work but he didn’t feel like the kind of man you want from a romance novel. He’s rich (which is fine), but his recognition of his privilege and everything he has felt like an afterthought. It was just there as a throwaway line.
Maybe I’m jaded from reading too many millionaire romance novels and not really vibing with them as much as I once did, but Bennett just felt…meh. Julie deserves better.
Their relationship also didn’t have any heat to it. I wanted a burn. Slow or fast. But I didn’t feel either.
The description of the food also felt more like a list of qualities than the deep descriptions that should have had me drooling. I wanted to feel immersed in what Julie and Bennett were eating and I didn’t feel that.
The one relationship I did like was Julie’s friendship with Alice. And Alice’s whole storyline is really well done. I would love that book! The two are clearly good friends and will fight to the death for one another. Their friendship had my interest much more than the romance.
That being said, if you love foodie romances, books that take place in NYC, or you liked Amanda Elliot’s first book, Sadie on a Plate, don’t let my thoughts stop you from checking out Best Served Hot.
Best Served Hot by Amanda Elliott is available now in ebook, audiobook, and paperback formats.