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Salt+Stilettos

(South Beach Romance #1)

by
4.59  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Sweet Home Alabama meets Top Chef when Miami’s most determined image consultant clashes with Samoa’s most uncooperative chef in a race to rebrand him as South Beach’s newest star.

Brett Fontaine learned early that appearance matters and not to count on anyone but yourself. Trading her red-dirt roots for the title of Miami’s go-to image consultant, she refuses to let anythin
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Paperback, 308 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by City Owl Press
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Average rating 4.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  69 ratings  ·  47 reviews


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Melanie A. *mostly on hiatus*
4.5 STARS!!
"It hurts to breathe without you."
Wow! What a strong finish . . . I'm still swooning. 😍

Plot in a nutshell: Brett Fontaine is a successful image consultant in Miami who's called in to help with the launch of chef William Te'o's new restaurant.
"This town is as much about flash as substance. To succeed, you have no choice but to master both."
He grudgingly puts his rough-around-the-edges self in her hands.

You can see where this is going, right? There were defi
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"Avonna
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com

SALT + STILETTOS (South Beach Romance Book #1) by Janet Walden-West is a new contemporary romance by a new to me author with plenty of food, fashion and love.

Will Te’o is about to realize his dream. He worked his way up from his home in American Samoa to the top of the culinary scene in South Beach. With his partner, he is about to open his first restaurant but as talented as Will is in the kitchen, he has no understanding of the
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Lu
A family-oriented chef falls for his all-business consultant.

I've been venturing more into contemporary romance, and when I read the blurb of this book, I knew I had to give it a try. I'm so glad I did. If you are into sweet heroes, this book is definitively for you.
William Te'o is an American Samoan chef who finally managed to realize his dream of owning a restaurant in a fashionable area of Miami. He is creative and talented in the kitchen, but awkward and clumsy in the outside world.

When hi
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Dianne
Yum! Something good is cooking in Janet Walden-West’s literary kitchen and you are going to want a big helping of SALT & STILETTOS all for yourself as opposites attract like moths to a flame in the heat of Miami!

Te’o looks like anything but a culinary artist, but the big man from Samoa’s passion for food and his determination to make his dreams of owning top restaurant are finally coming true. All he needs is a little polish and a few lessons in how to handle the public and have the critics eati
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Kelly
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fashion and food collide in this delicious opposites-attract romance! Salt + Stilettos combines a gentle giant hero and food descriptions so exquisite my mouth watered for them both.
Steph's Romance Book Talk
4 Stars / 2 Steam Fans

Video review available in Week 23: May 31 – Jun 6 weekly book reviews.

For other video book reviews, check out my YouTube Channel: Steph's Romance Book Talk.
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Red Jameson
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Okay, before I gush and gush and gush about how much I love this book, let me get a few disclaimers out there. I haven’t read romance novels in the last few years. The trend of the romance novels in the last five years has been veering into rapey heroes who like to bully and belittle the heroines as well as sexually assault them. Anyway, I’m so happy I gave this a try! Will, the hero, is the most heroic hero I’ve read in years, and I’m so happy about this story that I will read anything by Janet ...more
Anne Raven
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with Janet’s writing from the very first paragraph of Salt + Stilettos. Her amazing voice and comfortable style pull you in immediately and never let go. Salt + Stilettos is Contemporary Romance at its finest and proves to be a must-read recipe.

1 cup powerful emotions
½ cup cultural identities
¼ cup found families and familial responsibilities
2 T vivid and vibrant settings
1 T enemies to lovers
5 t rich secondary characters
2 t adorable hounds
Pinch of perfect antagonist

Take 2 headstron
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Kat Turner
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those stories that will stay with me for a long time. Salt + Stilettos was so unique and compelling, with such interesting and complex characters, that I'm already daydreaming of another Will & Brett story and maybe even writing fan fic in my head. :)

Will and Brett come from very different backgrounds, yet through the Miami restaurant scene they bond over shared passion both in and out of the kitchen. Each of these two is such a well-rounded individual, seeing the world through th
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Paris Wynters
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. Not just for the food but the characters were amazing. I loved Will. Nothing gets me more than a shy/ awkward hero who can step up and be an alpha when needed. And boy, is he charming. Brett was okay. I didn't connect with her as much, but I also read this after watching Draft Day and felt if she was tough in the way Jennifer Garner was able to step up as a business woman, yet have a softer side I would have rooted for her more. The pacing was great and everything f ...more
Felicia Grossman
You guys, Brett and Will are the best. I adore them and this book so, so, so, much. He's a chef and she's an image consultant and he just wants to cook and care for his staff and family and she wants to not only help out his business partner but throw herself into a challenge and back into her career after (and still dealing with) being stalked and together they are just wow.

I love watching the sweet but wary Will come to respect what Brett does and why she does it, and grow to love her for all
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fictivate
This was one of my favorite reads of the year. (I got to read it in it's first form before it'd sold to a publisher!) Leaving myself a reminder to come back and write a full review here. If you love sweet heroes, be sure to add this one to your list! ...more
Bookishrealm
TW: Stalking and Harassment

As a self-proclaimed romance newbie, I'm always looking for new ways to expand my horizons when it comes to romance. I'll usually hunt down videos on booktube of my friends that are experts in the romance genre. Luckily for me, I was able to acquire an ARC of this book right around the time that I was looking for more romances that were based in food. Salt + Stilettos is not only an insight to the restaurant industry in fast paced cities such as Miami, but also what po
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Sera Taíno
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diverse-romance
Set in Miami's South Beach, this forced proximity romance is one of the best books I've read this month. Brett Fontaine is a celebrity image consultant fresh from a traumatic stalker and abduction situation that has left its mark on her in the form of panic attacks and insomnia. She is tasked by her best friend and restaurateur Richard with reforming chef Will Te'o's image in advance of their four star restaurant opening. Will Te'o is an American Samoan who's left his family and his island to re ...more
Kate
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me hungry. And not just for food (wink wink). Will was my favorite because he is more than just a little shy/socially awkward – he is also confident and sexy and can pull the charm. So often we meet characters who are all one way, when in reality people are nuanced. I love how this book explored that. It took me a little longer to warm to Brett (mainly because I didn’t want her hurting my sweet Will’s feelings), but I loved her vulnerability and strength by the end. Really enjoyed ...more
Wendy Bunnell
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got an early copy of this book and can't wait for more readers to be able to get their grabby hands on it and get to meet Brett and Will. There is so much heat, and not just from the delicious-sounding cuisine from Will's kitchen. It's got a pinch of My Fair Lady as Brett tries to tame Will's public image for the launch of a new restaurant, plus a dash of danger. Did you see what I did there, cooking terms? Ha, I'm not even a chef. But I was hungry for more. ...more
Emily Quinn
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I simply can’t praise this book or the author enough. With two very unique characters being pushed way out of their comfort zone, neither expected an outcome like this! The story is captivating in every way imaginable and it’s impossible not to become invested in Brett and Will’s unforgettable adventure together. However, it’s not all just about love and lust – there is danger lurking, which really turns up the heat. Together, Brett and Will change each other’s outlook on life and become each ot ...more
Laura Trentham
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great cinnamon roll hero who is genuinely a nice guy (my favorite!) Wonderful chemistry and the food descriptions made me hungry! I whole-heartedly recommend this opposite-attract romance!
InD'tale Magazine
Janet Walden-West’s delicious romance will have readers feeling steamy! Taking place in sunny Miami, readers will love her detailed descriptions of all the wonderful places and food that our characters encounter in the story.

Read full review in the 2020 June issue of InD'tale Magazine.
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Katie
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review.

A friend of the author reached out to my blog and requested that I read her friend's book. I have a pretty long backlog of books TBR but I figured hey, this woman is super excited about her friend's book, I can't say no to that. So, I said yes, quick scanned the interest piquing blurb, promptly forgot what it was about, and waited for the ARC to come through.

When it finally came through I'll admit that I wasn't entirely feeling the ide
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Claire Davis
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I have given Salt+Stilettos by Janet Walden-West five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Steamy, slow burner romance with a hint of a psycho-stalker. What more could I ask for in a mysterious contemporary romance?

The chemistry between the two main characters had me very close to screaming at the pages of the book just wanting them to get together already. But when they do get together…. oh my. Prepare yourself for some steamy, sex scenes to unravel
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Gia de Cadenet
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Janet Walden-West has put in the work.

I got an arc of S+S and just had to read it twice. Walden-West has created beautifully well-developed, complex characters. It’s clear that she takes the craft of writing seriously and has invested time in making sure that her heroine and hero are likeable, but are also dealing with real problems, beyond their interest in each other. Each stage of their relationship feels earned, fought for. At no point does the author make it easy for Brett or Will to get to
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Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)


Amazon

Brett has been coerced into making over her best friend's new business partner/chef at their new restaurant. She's not thrilled, because it's obvious the Jason Momoa lookalike needs more time than she's been allotted to be made into the proper image for the restaurant's premier chef. She didn't count on their hotter than hot attraction or the encounters they keep having. And she especially didn't count on developing feelings for him. But it could be the start of something great if
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TNE Book Critic
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Salt + Stillettos is a contemporary romance novel about a successful career woman, Brett Fontaine, who traded her trailer park past to become Miami’s hottest go-to- image consultant. Brett learned at a young age not to trust anyone nor let anyone get too close. All the rules go out the window, when Brett is introduced to her new client, Will Te. Will Te is on the cusp of becoming the next hottest chef in North America; however, he needs Brett’s help to polish his image and navigate around South ...more
Pat Esden
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you’re looking for a novel to sweep you away and make you forget about your everyday world, this is it. Just don’t pick Salt & Stilettos up unless you’re ready to not put it down until the last word is read. It’s that good.

Plenty of other reviewers are going into detail about the plot, so I’m not going to bother with that. I just want to say that both Brett and Will felt totally real, the slow burn and build of the chemistry between them was perfect. The sexy times were super-hot, but more t
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Cynthia
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Smart and sassy! Put Brett & Will anywhere and there will be some cooking going on...on the grill or between the sheets it's all sizzlin'! Throw in a side of humor and sarcasm and mutual respect...what a recipe!

p.s. & this is for any folks who may be following what I am reading...this is definitely "ADULT" so if explicit content offends you, steer clear of this and don't send me any negative comments if you choose to read.
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Charlotte
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Salt+Stilettos tells the story of image consultant Brett and Samoan chef Will. I really loved the characters, they were very likable and I could relate to them. They were so different, but still they fit perfectly together. I liked the setting and the pacing of the book was great, not to slow and not too fast. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes to read contemporary romance.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Tommy
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not my typical genre of reading habit, I ended up enjoying the interplay between characters...fully realized and realistic in their dynamic. A well put together read from an author I'm excited to see more from. ...more
Steven
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book! Highly recommended!
Tara
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-20
A delicious treat of a book with relatable characters! Don’t read this on an empty stomach!
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Janet Walden-West lives in the southeast with a pack of show dogs, a couple of kids, and a husband who didn’t read the fine print.

A founding member of The Million Words craft blog, she is also a member of the East Tennessee Creative Writers Alliance. She pens inclusive Contemporary and Paranormal Romance, as well as Urban Fantasy.

A PitchWars alum and mentor and RWA Golden Heart finalist, her debut
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