Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!!
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Lit (Young Adult/College)
Spice Level: 2 out of 5 peppers
Representation: Black Brits, Nigerian
Content Warnings: Sexual Exploitation, Manipulation, Isolation, Illness of Parent (mentioned), Infidelity (mentioned)
"Sweet like plantain, hot like pepper. They taste the best when together...
Sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo has just made a huge mistake. As an expert in relationship-evasion and the host of the popular student radio show Brown Sugar, she’s made it her mission to make sure the women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the mess of “situationships”, players, and heartbreak. But when the Queen of the Unbothered kisses Malakai Korede, the guy she just publicly denounced as “The Wastemen of Whitewell,” in front of every Blackwellian on campus, she finds her show on the brink.
They’re soon embroiled in a fake relationship to try and salvage their reputations and save their futures. Kiki has never surrendered her heart before, and a player like Malakai won’t be the one to change that, no matter how charming he is or how electric their connection feels. But surprisingly entertaining study sessions and intimate, late-night talks at old-fashioned diners force Kiki to look beyond her own presumptions. Is she ready to open herself up to something deeper?" - HarperCollins Website
This book has a hold on me! I loved Babalola's first book, Love in Color, but I'm obsessed with this novel. From the hilarious conversations and Kiki's creative word-smithing to her intense chemistry with Malakai, I couldn't get enough. I felt like I was there as a part of Kiki's friend group. Honey & Spice shows off Babalola's witty writing and charm. Malakai is adorable and definitely book boyfriend material!
I could have done with less Drake references (because he's a creep) and I know that people who aren't fans of Beyonce won't enjoy all of the references to her and her music, but I still love this book as a whole. I'm kind of sad I finished it but it was pretty long in terms of Romance novels.
If you're looking for a lot of smut, that's not what this book is meant for. It's about trust and first love. There's a tiny bit of spice tho!