Salt + Stilettos by Janet Walden

About The Author

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


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 anything jeopardize her new life.
Not an influential client-turned-stalker who’s up for parole.
Not post-kidnapping panic attacks.

Certainly not the stubborn, attention-phobic chef she’s challenged to transform into a celeb in ninety days.
Will Te’o can almost taste the dream he sacrificed American Samoa, culture, and cherished family ties for—opening a four star restaurant in the most cut-throat culinary location in North America. Unfortunately, that requires navigating it’s equally cut-throat social scene. When his first public performance ends in a social media spectacle, his only option is turning to the stiletto-wearing nemesis who’s invaded his kitchen.

Neither expected to share anything but barbs, yet somewhere between accidentally bonding over comfort food and office-wrecking sex, they’re named South Beach’s hottest pairing. Until Brett’s stalker engineers a reputation-shattering reveal. She may be going down, but she’s not taking Will’s dreams with her. Now Will’s pulling out all his new skills and cooking up a last-ditch event. He’ll prove to Brett that relying on the right person makes for the perfect recipe—or be left heartbroken in the spotlight.

My Thoughts

As you guys know I don’t always read romance novels but I am kind of a sucker for a good romance novel once in a while. Especially when it’s about two people who are quite different from each other but grow to appreciate one another’s differences and even love them. As always I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum and not give away too much of the plot because for me the best part about reading a book is the twists that keep you at the edge of you seat.

“When his gaze drifted to her face, the last traces of a smile danced around her lips.”

Brett Fontaine and Will Te’o seem like they are very different people with different lives, different lifestyles, different priorities and definitely different personalities. When they first meet they find it challenging to be around one another and feel pretty frustrated by the other. Brett is from the South but left her roots behind to become a successful, career oriented celebrity image consultant. Will on the other hand also left behind his roots to become one of the best chef’s in North America.

“But a little work and I grew on you?”

After spending more time together they begin to bond and realise that they have more in common than they expected and that they actually have a special connection. I really enjoyed that the romance between them was not forced as I feel it is in some romance novels. It was more organic and over time which is more realistic and they kind of grow on each other which personally I find more believable.

“He was promising they belonged together.”

Unfortunately, certain things about Brett’s life are revealed by her stalker and their lives are quickly changed. However, Brett does her best to protect Will’s life and career from the turmoil in her life.

I really enjoyed that the book was not at any point slow or boring for me. A problem that I have very often with romance novels is that the parts with the main characters are interesting but the rest of the side plot sometimes seems kind of unrealistic or boring- like a distraction from the actual plot. However, with this book I found their back stories, their careers and personal lives to be quite interesting even without the romance parts of it. They both had issues that they needed to deal with, they both had certain things from the past that haunted them and they both were great people despite their flaws.

I also enjoyed that Brett was a strong, ambitious and career oriented female instead of a damsel in distress with nothing on her mind except romance and finding a man. I also liked that Will was vulnerable, insecure and emotional. The realistic description of both characters made them more lovable and allowed me as the reader to connect with them on an emotional level. I loved that they were able to grow together and learn to build one another up from their past trauma.

In conclusion, I genuinely enjoyed this book very much. The characters were all interesting including the side characters. The main characters were very lovable, fun, interesting, quirky and sweet. The plot was clearly very well thought out and cleverly delivered. As mentioned above I did feel bored at any point and I did not feel the urge to skip any pages. I was fully invested in the book and it only took me about three days to finish the book.

You get this book through any of the sites below:
You can find out more about the author below:
Twitter: @JanetWaldenWest
Instagram: janetwaldenwest
Amazon: Janet Walden-West
The Million Words Blog

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