Simmer Down by Sarah Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Simmer Down had its ups and downs for me; some things I really liked, others not so much.
First, the positives.
I loved the competition between Nikki and Callum and Nikki’s complete inability to avoid him everywhere she went, no matter how hard she tried. (It is an island, after all. 😉) Callum turns into the biggest sweetheart who just doesn’t know what to do with all his feelings and Nikki (begrudgingly) experiences a lot of character growth which was imperative to their happy ending. I’m also a huuuuge sucker for enemies who are secretly pining but thinks the other hates them so there’s no hope. A++ trope. Plus, there’s a ton of delicious-sounding food and a great supporting cast! (Kittens!)
While I enjoyed the early banter and pranks Nikki and Callum pull on each other at the beginning, about a third of the way through I felt like the story started to drag. After that it was pretty touch and go, with some scenes that were executed beautifully and others that just plain irritated me. I definitely didn’t dislike the book as a whole, but for the first half of the book I couldn’t really find a reason to like Callum, and then in the second half of the book I struggled to root for Nikki. There were also a few plot devices that felt a bit superfluous and forced which pulled me out of the story and made it difficult to dive back in.
The scene where Nikki goes to Callum to profess her love in person and then sees him with another woman (who, shocker, was his cousin) felt so unnecessary and SO fabricated. It felt like just an excuse to keep the book going longer and it reeaaally could have ended there. Also, the man said he got on Instagram once and then never used it again, how could you not realize that maybe – just maybe – he didn’t see your IG Live video??
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
View all my reviews