Author Sarah Smith with book covers Faker and Simmer Down

Author Spotlight: Sarah Smith

The beautiful and talented author Sarah Smith and I have known each other a long time. Since 2017 to be exact. Sarah has been with me since even before I started Literary Dates. She supported me even when in the middle of a book review, I wrote, “This book review sucks, doesn’t it?” Don’t believe it, check out my Big Little Lies book review. It’s seriously a gem…but we’re not here to talk about me, this post is all about Sarah Smith and her fabulous books.

After my author profile of Skye McDonald, I’m keeping the Valentine’s spirit going by spotlighting romance author Sarah Smith as well. For those who don’t know, Skye and Sarah are also friends and frequent collaborators. In fact, they co-host the Quick & Dirty podcast which is great for romance book lovers and writers alike.

Author Sarah Smith with book covers Faker and Simmer Down
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Valentine’s Special Still Going Strong with author Sarah Smith!

Need some more books that are perfect for V-Day? Sarah has just what you need.

Sarah doesn’t have a book set in New York City and she’s not a New York City based author but this amazing author wrote a steamy short story series in the neighborhood of my choice just so I could do a literary date inspired by it. Practically Neighbors is set in my old stomping ground Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Ava is tired of the dating apps madness but just when she thinks she’s had enough, her swiping leads her to sexy Harker. Fire and steam don’t even begin to describe it. Reading Practically Neighbors almost made me believe in dating apps again and my Practically Neighbors Brooklyn Tour inspired by Sarah’s short story was a blast.

Can I say I’m so proud of the lovely author Sarah Smith? I’ve been reading all her online steamy stories posted on Sarah Writes Smut from the start and thinking about all of her books that are out now and the ones that are to come make me teary. Or maybe it’s the wine?

*Full disclosure: Sarah has sent me If You Never Come Back and Simmer Down in the past, but not in regards to this author profile that I chose on my own to showcase on my blog. I’ve also bought my very own copy of Simmer Down because I needed the physical copy in my life. Despite my friendship with Sarah, these reviews are my fair and honest opinions.

To the books (In order of their release):


Faker by Sarah Smith

Emmie Echavarre works in a “man’s world,” she’s a copywriter at a power tool company and to survive she’s got to fake it to make it. The ultimate “Faker.” At work she has to be tough as nails to deal with all the mansplainers and all her male-variety coworkers who think it’s totally fine to pry into her relationship status.

Tate Rasmussen is someone she doesn’t have to be fake around, she genuinely can’t stand him and isn’t afraid to show it. Much to her detriment though, whatever ire she directs towards Tate, he sends it right back to her in spades.

Do you smell an enemies to lovers trope? Oh yeah!

As fate would have it for Emmie and Tate, all of a sudden they are forced to work together on a charity construction project. As they work more closely, will they let their guards down and realize that maybe they don’t actually hate each other, that maybe there’s meaning behind all that pent up frustration? Perhaps an undeniable connection and maybe there’s warmth behind Tate’s seemingly cold demeanor?

I thoroughly enjoyed this slow burn romance and all the romance gods thrusting them together in various circumstances. It was fun to read and also so sweet to see Tate’s loving side come out. Very swoon-worthy.

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

If You Never Come Back

If You Never Come Back by Sarah Smith

It all started on Valentine’s Day. The holiday that Shay hates now. It’s the day when Wes Paulsen came into her life. They went on to share a beautiful whirlwind of a romance filled with amazing steam and then he up and walks out of her life. As fate would have it, of course, he walks right back into her life a year later on Valentine’s Day. Did he think just showing up on V-Day would be all he had to do? Boy, please.

You’ve got some explaining to do, Wes! Lord, help you. You’re gonna need it. Because that was f*cked up! Shay doesn’t need you in her life. Her art career has taken off so she’s fine! You’re going to have to beg, you’re going to have to grovel…you’re gonna need more than your “earthy brown eyes.”

Second chance romance. I dig it. We learn what Wes has struggled with that ultimately lead to his departure. However, he shattered Shay and has much to repair. Can he do it?

I enjoyed reading the start of their romance and when they got back together. The style of the book is also unique. It starts with the moment Wes comes back and then does a rewind to show everything leading up to that point and beyond. I also seriously loved Shay’s relationship with her cousin Remy. I wouldn’t mind reading his love story.

One bone to pick though (not that I would ever pick at a bone), as a vegetarian, I’m with Garret on that one. Sorry, Sarah! Let’s never have that conversation. Ha! Read this novella to find out what I mean.

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

Simmer Down

Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

A book set in Hawaii, anyone? Yes, please! After the death of her father, Nikki DeMarco drops everything in Portland to move out to Hawaii to help her mom run her Filipina food truck business, “Tiva’s Filipina Kusina.” It’s been a struggle for them but they’ve got a routine going and have killer food that the locals love. All that they’ve worked for gets challenged when a rival food truck rolls in and takes their coveted parking spot.

Nikki tries very politely to teach British guy Callum James the unwritten laws of proper food truck etiquette in Maui, but he just scoffs at her. Completely dismisses her. Total prick douchehole scumbucket, however, Nikki can’t help but to also notice: “Even through the loose-fitting t-shirt he dons, I can tell this prick is cut.” He’s a hottie! Uh oh.

Despite his hotness, a fierce rivalry brews between them, they sabotage each other, get into loud screaming matches…which of course gets noticed by the locals. Soon people want the delicious food and to witness the drama that unfolds.

A solution for the competition is presented to them, enter the Maui Food Festival, and whoever wins gets the cash prize along with the parking spot. The stakes are high!

Could this also be an enemies to lovers situation? Perhaps…yes, yes it is.

This book has it all! A hot, sizzling romance, cute cats, gorgeous setting in Hawaii, and a beautiful relationship between mother and daughter. This book also made me laugh a lot. A character that throws around words like douchey, dickishness, and sprinkles in some curse words too, has my heart. Don’t mess with Nikki! Her relationship with Callum unfolds exquisitely. I wish I could read it for the first time again. Enjoy!

Buy the Book:  Bookshop | Amazon

About Sarah Smith

Author Spotlight: Sarah Smith

“Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie’s stash of romance novels. She’s been hooked ever since. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and adorable cat Salem.”

For more on Sarah Smith head to her website at

Next Up for Sarah

I’m so excited about what Sarah has in the works. I honestly don’t know which book I’m more excited about.

On Location follows Alia Dunn as she lands her dream job producing a series about Utah’s national parks. Unfortunately (or fortunately), her newest crew member is a guy she had a great date with but then he totally ghosted her. Ugh! I’ve been there. I’d be fuming if I had to work with a guy like that but I’d looove to read a story about it. This book will be out in the fall and the cover reveal is coming soon! Learn more about On Location on Goodreads and be sure to add it to your TBR.

The coolest news from Sarah is that she also has a women’s fiction book coming out. It will come out under her new author name Sarah Echavarre. It’s called Three More Months  and is about “a Filipino-American family and the ties between a mother and daughter and the power of unconditional love, exploring the question, What if you got to spend just a little more time with the one person you thought you’d never see again?” This sounds like a powerful book and one where tissues will need to be in close proximity.

I cannot wait to read both of those books. To stay updated make sure you are following Sarah on all of her social media accounts. You’ll especially want to pay attention on Valentine’s Day because Sarah will have a special announcement. You don’t want to miss it!

Twitter: @authorsarahs and @sarahechavarre

Instagram: @authorsarahs and @sarahechavarre

Next Up for Literary Dates

I’m continuing to tear through my NYC book list and hope to start sharing about some of them with you all soon. Happy Reading to you all!

Until then, to get your NYC book fix, read my 10 Awesome Books Set in New York City.

If you’d like to read one of my literary dates, one of my favorite ones to go on was inspired by the suspense book You by Caroline Kepnes: YOU & Me & My NYC Tour

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Author Sarah Smith with book covers Faker and Simmer Down


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  1. Lauren!! I seriously cannot thank you enough for this! Being featured on your amazing blog is an absolute dream. Thank you so, so much for loving my books and cheering me on! So happy we connected that random day when I stumbled upon your brilliant blog post. You rock, amazing lady!

  2. This was such a lovely read!! Reading about how you two have been friends for so long and have supported each other with different endeavours was so heartwarming, for sure. I look forward to reading a Sarah Smith story one day!

  3. As you know, I’m a big fan of Sarah and her books too. Looking forward to her next one. I always love books set in the production world, especially since I sort of work in production. I love a good romance and Sarah’s books are always so feisty, sweet and steamy. I love that combo.

    This is a great addition to your blog! Love it.