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Simmer Down

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  2,902 ratings  ·  649 reviews
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 Tiv
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published October 13th 2020 by Berkley
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Shealea Fortunately, no. The love interest in Simmer Down is "lightly tanned" and his skin is described as "light honey glow."…moreFortunately, no. The love interest in Simmer Down is "lightly tanned" and his skin is described as "light honey glow."(less)
Brooke Not too much! They rarely get wildly descriptive with food- not to the point where the focus/description is primarily on the food. There are a few sce…moreNot too much! They rarely get wildly descriptive with food- not to the point where the focus/description is primarily on the food. There are a few scenes where they describe what they're cooking, but they also make a vegetarian version of their dish that literally made my mouth water reading about it!(less)

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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,902 ratings  ·  649 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Oh no! Nooooooo!!!! Why something starts extremely adorable, hot, tempting and then suddenly with a quick snap of fingers, turning into something repetitively angsty, extremely melodramatic because of foolishness and immaturity of the characters. I want to grab both of their heads and hit each other.

This book started as five starred reading for me with enemies to lovers theme, delicious food recipes, emotional family back stories, incredible chemistry of hot blooded heroine and charming British
Listen. I know that I ridicule Faker (Sarah Smith's debut novel) all the time. But what Faker lacked in organic romantic development, characterization, plot, and writing quality, it made up for with comedic gold like "He is the god of thunder dipped in a milk bath" and "I’d wager his genes have never been infiltrated by a person of color."

Faker was hilariously bad. But Simmer Down is just so bad it's not even funny.


Initial thoughts:

📌 Any Filipino can tell that this book was written by a Fil-Am
Sep 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Loved all the food vibes of this book! The romance was hate to love which is my favorite trope of all time. This was a fun, romantic and swoon worthy book and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
3.5 stars

This is the second book I've read by Sarah Smith and I enjoyed it even more than the first. It started out a bit on the enemies to lovers track but then shifted to something else.

Nikki and her mom run a food truck in Maui and though it's not her dream job, it's important to her to be there and help her mom. Things are on track for them until another rival food truck parks right next to them. Callum and his brother's food truck. Callum and Nikki bicker a lot at first. They have great ba
Samantha Young
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of SIMMER DOWN and it was a truly wonderful escape read. Nikki was a likeable, relatable and authentic heroine whose motivations made me root from her from the very beginning. Callum was a sharp, sexy hero and Sarah Smith did a great job of unravelling his true (sweet, protective) colors as the story developed.

From the first chapter Nikki and Callum’s interactions were fraught with sexual tension and great banter! I found myself devouring this book in just o
✨ A ✨
Romance + food trucks?
Um, yes please!

• Release Date: 13 October •
Theresa Alan
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you like contemporary romance, you’ll enjoy this novel.

Nikki quits her dream job in Seattle to help her mother with a food truck in Maui. There are food truck etiquette rules, and when Cullum James parks his and his brother’s food truck right next to Nikki’s, she’s happy to inform him that he’s breaking them. This sets off a rivalry that leads to a steamy romance that they have to keep secret because they’re competing against each other in the Maui Food Festival.

This is well-written, and I
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-owned, arc
3.5 stars -- This book was a fun take on rivals to lovers trope (and I loved the food truck element-- definitely wait to read this when you're not hungry). However, there were 2 things that kept it from being as good as I'd hoped: 1) I'm always somewhat of a hard sell on the "let's keep it casual and not catch feelings" trope and 2) by introducing that trope midway through the book, it really took the wind out of the sails of the pacing, leading to the back half being filled with (IMO) annoying ...more
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
Fun, sexy, and sweet. Lots of smiles with a nicely tied up ending.
I have to say this book got me in my emotions a few times while I was reading it. But it also had many areas that annoyed me too.

I absolutely love the premise of the story and the characters were beautifully matched. This is a sexy spicy little story that really ramps up the passion for not only food but for the delicious Callum.

If you were a foodie, then you’re going to understand the passion these character
Oct 26, 2020 rated it liked it
It is simple logic I see a Berkley romance and I buy it.

When another food truck turns up in her coveted spot Nikki DiMarco is prepared to let the offending truck know in the nicest way possible that as per food truck etiquette they should find another spot but in asking she's met with brash stubborn and incredibly attractive Callum James. Thus begins a rivalry between Nikki's Filipino dishes to Callum's British servings sparking pranking and teasing culminating in a decision made at the Maui foo
Simmer Down
BY Sarah Smith

Simmer down by Sarah Smith is a delectable, delicious, and delightful read about competing food trucks in Maui, between the spicy and hot tempered Nikki Di Marco who is serving up Filipino dishes with her mom, who is up against the enticingly sexy Callum James serving up British food in this fun and feud-filled romcom.

I just adored Smith’s writing style as she completely whisked me away to my mother’s kitchen, and the beautiful beach side in Maui. This was the perfect r
Kayla Brunson
I have to be honest here and say that this didn’t really wow me. I adored this author's debut and was expecting to love this one as well, but I really didn’t. It had so many things for me to love. Enemies to lovers, a tropical setting, and based around food. What really dragged this book down for me was the main character, Nikki.

We only received her POV and she was quite draining to follow. There were so many things in her life that she could have changed just by trying. She left her friends beh
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-books
Loved the first novel, and now this synopsis for the second book definitely has me in love...

ARC kindly provided by Berkley Romance, in exchange for an honest review...

Follow Me On:
Kris Mauna
Yeah.. I don't think I'm going to be able to finish this book. I was SO looking forward to this one once I saw that it'd be about a girl who owned a Filipino food truck but the story lacked a lot. I was just put off by the "enemies-to-lovers" romance because it felt incredibly childish. If this was a YA book then I would've been able to enjoy it a lot more but the fact that these characters are almost thirty acting the way they were was just.. immature. Just not for me at all. ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah Smith Fans, Romance
3 That's My Spot Stars
* * * Spoiler Free-A Quick Review
If you watch as much reality TV about food as I do, then Simmer Down is a must-read just for the descriptions of the food alone.

Picture, family stuff, trying to hold a family together...
The Beauty of Maui...
Food Truck NORMAL RULES...
And A NewComer with Attitude Not Obeying the RULES...

Throw in a Contest for all the Foodtrucks, The Covided Parking Spot, and then a romance which should not happen but does...

This is the feel of Simmer Down.

Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 2020-books
Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the complimentary arc in exchange for an honest review.

Simmer Down by Sarah Smith is a fun enemies to lovers romance. Niki DiMarco runs a food truck in Maui with her mom. One day she finds their favorite parking spot invaded by a new truck run by Callum James. And wooo, do the sparks ever fly.

I loved that this book is set in Maui and involves food trucks. Fun fact about me - my cousin actually owns a food truck on Maui! Needless to say thi
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Nikki relocates to Maui after her father's death to help her mother run a food truck serving Filipino food, and has an encounter with the new (hot, English) food truck owner who parks in her space.

I like the foodie elements and the location, the tension between the characters, but sometimes it's like the author gets sidetracked (random trip to London! Luxury resort!) and adds elements to the story that actually detract from the central romance. I also do not like epilogues especially in romance.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favorites
OMG *swoon* I LOVED every second of this book! One of my favorites of the year for sure. 🥰🥰🥰

I really loved Sarah's debut last year, Faker was a really delightful hate-to-love and I adored that the heroine was Filipino. As someone who is 1/4th Filipino, I always love to find Filipino characters in romance and I so appreciate that Berkley is publishing authors like Sarah and more #ownvoices romances! I also really enjoyed Sarah's self-published novella, If You Never Come Back, so I had really hig
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
I wanted to love Simmer Down but instead found it extremely frustrating. Billed as a rom-com, it wasn’t. Billed as enemies to lovers, it wasn’t, adversaries to lovers maybe, competitors to lovers is more like it, but the first half of the book was so slow, the second half was filled with this couple unable to communicate effectively despite being late 20’s -early 30’s and manufactured drama. There were parts I enjoyed, but for the most part I was disappointed.

Nikki DiMarco left a town, friends,
Sarah Louise
Feuding food truck owners set in Maui? Sign me up!

Working tirelessly serving Filipino food alongside her mother, Nikki is simply hoping to fulfill the wish of her late father. The setting, filled with salty air and lush beaches, was wonderful. And of course the mentions of delicious food was a bonus!

Against food truck etiquette, Nikki and her mother find themselves with a new neighbour, Hungry Chaps, owned by the unbearably rude Callum (and his sweet brother). Despite absolutely loving this pre
I can count on one hand the number of romance books (that I didn’t write) I can say I relate to. Sarah Smith’s Simmer Down is officially one of them. Multicultural, deliciously foodie, with a fantastic sense of place, super-tight family and community relationships, and steamy sexytimes. It got me hot, made me cry, and had me craving Filipino food, MY food.

Full review at on release date.
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
not for me.

i was really excited for this book because of the filipino rep but tbh it was just... meh.
didn't enjoy all the miscommunication in the romance and the immaturity of the two main characters. it made me gradually lose interest as i continued reading.
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sassy, sizzling, and sweet. loved the foodie vibe of this delicious romcom. Nikki has moved to Maui to help her mother realize her dream of owning a food truck. They have found a prime location to park the truck and no one makes Filipino food quite like Nikki‘s mom. then one day Nikki shows up to park the truck and someone else is in her spot. Does this person not understand food truck etiquette? when Nikki conference the rival food truck owner she is not fooled by his English charm. Cullum refu ...more
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poc-heroines

I loved this! I was nervous to read this as the author's debut novel threw in some surprise drama that I was not down with at all but I remembered how much I enjoyed her writing style and knew I needed to give her one more chance....and I'm happy I did!

Yes this book uses the miscommunication trope to throw in drama in their relationship and yes that is annoying but honestly this book was so cute that it didn't annoy me as much as I expected. It's a trope and I could tell throughout the book that
Jina |  RomanticDeception
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021

This was my first book by Sarah Smith, and what a pleasure it was. I love the story, the atmosphere/setting, the characters and plot. Seriously, this story made me hungry. I enjoyed the sense of family and loyalty to family, that took place in the story.

The romance was *chefs kiss*, enemies to lovers, and interracial couple. Our hero while starting off as a bit of a douche (you later find out why and it is a bit more understandable), is a total gentlemen. He is the type of hero that makes your
Oct 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 ⭐️

This smart, funny romcom has literally everything I needed now:
✔️strong, talented heroine
✔️hot, grumpy hero with a British accent
✔️enemies to lovers with great banter
✔️island vibes
✔️hunger-inducing food descriptions

Here’s the deal with enemies to lovers: Great banter = great chemistry & these two had it!! Dare I say this book gave me a bit of a Hating Game vibe??? 😍
I literally couldn’t get enough of swoon worthy, cat loving Callum and felt so empathetic towards Nikki’s control
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
3.5 stars rounding up.

My second novel by this author and omg, I am now having a full on craving session for some lumpia and pancit! (Not to mention the hot, naked British bloke.... 😏) Smith once again brings us very likable and relatable characters... also, this is mostly set in Hawaii so... food trucks, lush surroundings, beaches, a trip to London - I mean, can I please live in this book already?

Like with most novels in this genre, we already know how this will all play out. Sometimes you just
I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

All's fair in love, war, and the food truck business...

Nikki DiMarco left the bustling restaurant scene in Portland to move to sunny Maui--though only partially by choice. Nikki has stayed in Hawaii, working at the Filipino food truck that was her parents' retirement dream, to be with her mom after her dad's death. But the food truck business is cut-throat, and so when her attempts to politely tell the hot British ne
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
When she found out that her father was dying, Nikki DiMarco moved to Hawaii from Oregon to be closer to her parents. After her father's death and now with crippling medical debt Nikki and her mother work to get their food truck business off the ground. All of which is in jeopardy when a rival food truck tries to move in on their prime location. What starts out as a polite request to follow island food truck etiquette and for the newcomer to find somewhere else soon escalates to a war between the ...more
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Just okay sadly:( I feel like I seem pervy for saying this, but while the romance was adorable and very good the steamy scenes were extremely lacking?? I remember enjoying the (few) in Faker, and I expected something similar here, but they were all unimaginative. But! If you love a cute romance, like the premise, and don’t care for sexy scenes you’ll love this!
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Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie's stash of romance novels. She's been hooked ever since. When she's not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and ad ...more

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