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Honey and Spice
Bolu Babalola



"Sexy, messy and wry, Honey and Spice more than delivers." — New York Times Book Review

"A vibrant debut novel . . . Babalola is incisively funny, capturing the kick and sweetness of her title with her words." — Entertainment Weekly

Named a Best Book of the Year by Time  Esquire  Vanity Fair • Oprah Daily • Cosmopolitan  Elle  Harper's Bazaar  Southern Living • Buzzfeed • Women's Health Magazine • AudioFile • Popsugar • and more!

Introducing internationally bestselling author Bolu Babalola’s dazzling debut novel, full of passion, humor, and heart, that centers on a young Black British woman who has no interest in love and unexpectedly finds herself caught up in a fake relationship with the man she warned her girls about

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?

A gloriously funny and sparkling debut novel, Honey and Spice is full of delicious tension and romantic intrigue that will make you weak at the knees.


Bolu Babalola is the author of the Reese Book Club pick Honey and Spice and the internationally bestselling short story collection Love in Color. She is a London based writer and lover of love. She was shortlisted in 4th Estate’s B4ME competition for her short story “Netflix & Chill,” a hilarious tale of teen romance. Bolu has worked as a writer for books, TV, and press, and as a cultural commentator.


"A smart, sexy summer read, which hits your brain and your romance buttons in one shot." -- Los Angeles Times

"The ultimate summer romance . . . It’s got all the juiciest, most satisfying romance tropes, but in Babalola’s capable hands, the story feels fresh and unique." -- The Cut, New York magazine

“Divine summer reading. Hilarious, hot, and heartfelt. ” -- Meg Cabot, #1 New York Times bestselling author

'A deliciously modern love story . . . Honey and Spice begins with a meet-cute in a dorm hallway and doesn’t skimp on steamy, swoon-worthy moments. . . . The author’s sharp sense of humor, slick pop culture references, and keen sense of the zeitgeist . . . offers a refreshing portrait of what modern love really looks and feels like.' -- Time magazine

“Bolu Babalola's rom-com drizzles honey and spice into modern love. . . . The holidays are the perfect time to sink into this sweet and savvy mashup. Like a Gen Z meeting of Nora Ephron and Bernadine Evaristo, in her first romance novel, the author of the myth-inspired story collection Love in Color infuses the joy, pain, and laughter of young love with cultural insight and drama. . . . This swoony coming-of-age tale cements Babalola’s superlative status as a queen of romantic comedy and master chronicler of Black British life.” -- Oprah Daily, Best Books of 2022

“Clever, confident Kiki is a romantic heroine for the ages, while the witty repartée and pop culture passion between these young lovers make for a vivacious romp.” -- Esquire, Best Books of Summer 2022

[H]  William Morrow & Company  /  July 05, 2022

1.5" H x 9.1" L x 6.0" W (1.1 lbs) 368 pages

[P]  William Morrow & Company  /  July 04, 2023

0.87" H x 8.1" L x 5.35" W (0.59 lbs) 368 pages