Review: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

Simmer Down
by Sarah Smith
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Oct. 13, 2020
Genre: Romance

In this finger-licking good rom-com, two is the perfect number of cooks in the kitchen.

Nikki DiMarco knew life wouldn’t be all sunshine and coconuts when she quit her dream job to help her mom serve up mouthwatering Filipino dishes to hungry beach goers, but she didn’t expect the Maui food truck scene to be so eat-or-be-eaten—or the competition to be so smoking hot.

But Tiva’s Filipina Kusina has faced bigger road bumps than the arrival of Callum James. Nikki doesn’t care how delectable the British food truck owner is—he rudely set up shop next to her coveted beach parking spot. He’s stealing her customers and fanning the flames of a public feud that makes her see sparks.

The solution? Let the upcoming Maui Food Festival decide their fate. Winner keeps the spot. Loser pounds sand. But the longer their rivalry simmers, the more Nikki starts to see a different side of Callum…a sweet, protective side. Is she brave enough to call a truce? Or will trusting Callum with her heart mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire?



When Nikki pulls into her usual food truck spot, she’s not too thrilled to see that there is another food truck there. Since she was once new to the food truck scene on the island, she decides to pop over and let the owners know the unspoken rule among food trucks. Never park in another food trucks spot. However, the owner of the food truck doesn’t want to hear it, and refuses to leave. Which prompts a sort of war between Nikki and Callum, the other food truck owner. However, when hate turns to love, things get pretty complicated for these two.

This was a cute enemies to lovers romance. Since their first encounter doesn’t go all that well, it’s safe to say that these two have a bit of a feud going on. Especially since they are always trying to sabotage the other. Nothing overly major just putting out signs stating that their food is healthier or that the other food is inferior. However, when they find themselves stuck in close quarters for an extended period of time, they call a truce and soon realize that the other person isn’t so bad. Nikki runs the food truck with her mom because it was her father and mother’s wish to own a food truck, but he never got to see the day come to light due to cancer. So, Nikki took up the mantle to help her mom get her dream, and to do her dad proud. Meanwhile, Callum is helping his little brother succeed in an endeavor that nearly made him bankrupt. Not to mention his brother’s drive to be a food truck owner pretty much severed his relationship with the rest of the family, so Callum is all he has left. With that understanding, they start to see the other person in a new light.

I really liked that the food truck aspect played a large role in this. We got to see the characters in their element while they worked the food truck, tried new creations, and tried to broaden their customer base. While this story is only written from Nikki’s POV, we do see quite a bit of Callum due to their close proximity to each other. Just being witness to what it is like to run a food truck was pretty fascinating.

Simmer Down is a cute enemies to lovers romance that revolved around the food truck business. It had the right mix of brooding male, to determined female ratio. Were the characters perfect? No! However, that’s what made this a good story. They had their own flaws, made mistakes and assumptions, and learned from them along the way. If you’re in the market for a cute romance, give this book a read!

3 Thoughts on “Review: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

  1. The book really picked up for me when they called the truce and gave into their attraction. Those secret dates and The Office nights were fantastic. The ending was so good too.

  2. i have always been fascinated with food trucks. my cousin has one that he works out of cape cod. books that have a familiar topic or place have a little something extra for me and i think we can all use some laughs
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. I love a fun enemies to lovers romance. This sounds good.

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