Rivalry & Romance: Reviewing The Wedding Menu by Letizia Lorini

by Theja Pk
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Female hand holding The Wedding Menu paperback by Letizia Lorini, displayed against a white background.

Last updated on December 17th, 2023

The Wedding Menu was my introduction to Letizia Lorini. After reading it, I immediately downloaded her debut, Desserts for Stressed People, from Kindle Unlimited.

Using dual timelines, we get to know Ian, a commitment-phobic golden retriever hero, and Amelie, a people-pleasing chef with dreams of opening her own restaurant. 

This slow-burn romance takes you through the evolution of their relationship, from friends to lovers, to rivals to lovers again. 

It features excellent dialogue and explores the concept of open relationships. However, some readers may take issue with the “emotional cheating” depicted in the story, so approach with caution if you are averse to this.

The Wedding Menu – Letizia Lorini

4 out of 5
illustrated book cover of the The Wedding Menu by Letizia Lorini featuring a couple chatting on the phone while leaning against a table adorned with wedding desserts

GENRE: Romantic comedy
PUB DATE: September 15, 2023
TWs: open relationship
TROPES: friends to lovers, rivals/enemies to lovers

A delightful, captivating, and heartwarming story about discovering the importance of self-love. With fantastic dialogue and genuine characters, Letizia Lorini is an author that romance fans will enjoy reading.

Characters
4 out of 5
Writing
4 out of 5
Plot
3 out of 5
Overall Enjoyment
5 out of 5

Pros

adorable golden retriever hero

hilarious, witty dialogue

engaging slow burn romance

swoon-worthy epilogue

steamy scenes

Cons

FMC was frustrating sometimes

lack of communication trope

unnecessary plot lines

Table of contents

Synopsis

How many weddings does it take to fall in love?

One year ago, Amelie had it all.

Almost engaged to her high school sweetheart, close to her childhood best friend, and cooking at her dad’s restaurant: her life was exactly what she’d ordered.

Until Ian, an opinionated wedding-hater, popped up out of nowhere and proved she might like something off menu.

***

One year later, Amelie has lost it all.

She’s unemployed, single, and taking a break from her friendship. As for Ian? He’s gone too.

When she visits Ian’s hometown to teach at a week-long cooking conference, she hopes for a fateful meet-cute. But their reunion is far from joyful when Amelie discovers Ian is the son of her father’s business rival.

Even bigger fiasco? He only wants friendship.

Amelie has one week to change his mind, and if the truth of why her whole life fell apart remains hidden, their love story might even end with a wedding.

Characters

Ian is funny, charming, and has a hilarious opinion about everything. If you enjoy stories where the guy falls in love first and falls hard, you will love The Wedding Menu.

“You feel like a fucking dream I don’t want to wake up from, Amelie.”

Amelie is quite a challenging MC to warm up to because of her people-pleasing tendencies, which sometimes made me want to shake some sense into her. However, by the end of the day, I could understand her actions and fears, making her a relatable character throughout the story.

I enjoyed being on the journey with her as she learned to stand up for herself. 

“I can’t live my life for anyone else, because in the end, I am all I have.”

Plot

The meet-cute between Amelie and Ian is adorable and sets a nice tone for their relationship. As we witness their progression from friends to lovers, then rivals, and back to lovers again, the pacing feels natural.

The push-and-pull dynamic kept me eagerly anticipating the moment when they would finally give in to their feelings.

I did have mixed feelings about the open relationship aspect. While I personally don’t have anything against the way it’s presented, the author didn’t provide sufficient justification for its inclusion in the story, especially considering that it wasn’t consensual between the parties involved.

There was a plot line with Ian’s dad that I didn’t understand the need for. It added a lack of communication element to the story, which is a pet peeve of mine.  

The epilogue, however, was beautiful. We get to see Shane and Heaven again, from book 1 of the Love & Other Recipes series, being adorably in love. Seeing them encouraged me to binge-read their book right after finishing this one.

Writing

The first thing I fell in love with Lorini’s writing style was her dialogues. She has some of the most witty and hilarious dialogue I have ever read.

The text and phone conversations between Ian and Amelie were the best part of the book and went a long way in progressing their relationship.

Reading this book felt like watching a feel-good rom-com movie with swoon-worthy writing that’s engaging and honest.

And for those who love dirty talking and smut, you will not be disappointed.

The dual timelines were executed nicely, with the past chapters providing hints for readers to uncover in the subsequent present chapters.

Best Quotes

  • Just because yours is an unpopular opinion, it doesn’t mean it’s less valid than anyone else’s.
  • Amelie, you need to rip the weeds out of your life. If there’s something that doesn’t make you happy and you have the power to change it, then you have to. You owe it to yourself.
  • “I meant it when I said I’m not looking for a girlfriend, Amelie. But you . . .” He shrugs. “You’re my favorite notification.”
  • A friend is someone who doesn’t judge you. Who maybe can’t make things better, but will try, and if all else fails, will just sit in silence with you. Someone you can count on, someone who is happy when you are. A friend is someone who makes you laugh a little harder and smile a whole lot more.
  • “I fell for you without noticing, because it didn’t feel like falling, it felt like standing. So fucking high.”
  • “You’ve become my best friend, and my home, and my safe place, and at the same time, my craziest adventure. Until at some point, you weren’t just in my life. You were all of it.”

Conclusion

The Wedding Menu is a delightful, captivating, and heartwarming story about discovering the importance of self-love.

With fantastic dialogue and genuine characters, Letizia Lorini is an author that romance enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy reading.

Enjoyed this review? Then, add ‘The Wedding Menu’ to your TBR. And if you have already read this book and have some thoughts to share, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!

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