This article originally appeared as part of the story Cook's Books in the April 2019 issue.
Nadia Cakes owner and Food Network champ Abby Jimenez not only enjoys writing about romance; she loves to read about it, too. “I had two romances that shook me to the core in 2018,” she says. “The first was by USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen (who read The Friend Zone, loved it and wrote a blurb for it. I might add. I died.). Her book Midnight Blue was one of my favorite reads. Couldn’t put it down.” Jimenez also recommends Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren. “You will cry. Bring tissues,” she says.
Romance novels come in a variety of flavors, including gothic, chick-lit, contemporary and historical, for example. Jimenez gives enthusiastic thumbs up to all of them. “I tend to bounce around the romance genre quite a bit,” she says. “I get a little antsy reading six or seven alpha male romances in a row. I have to mix it up. I loved the historical romance Outlander series. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell gave me a [young adult] fix. I had to read that twice. Sophie Kinsella is always great for a romp into chick-lit. For contemporary, I’m a big fan of Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. They do a great job giving you an in-the-now, easy-to-read love story with lots of heat.”
Curious readers might want to know what’s on Jimenez’s nightstand. “Right now, I’m actually reading Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer,” she says. “That book has me laughing to tears. It’s not a romance, but it’s a super funny read and very well done.”
Abby Jimenez's The Friend Zone
To preorder The Friend Zone, check out Jimenez’s social media pages for links, or look for it on the shelves at Barnes & Noble.
Instagram: @authorabbyjimenez & @stuntman.mikey