Author: M.J O’Shea and Anna Martin
Narrator: John-Paul Barrel
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Story Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 06/23/2015
Length: 07 hours 22 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
“Welcome to a new season of Burned, where we find fresh new cooking talent… and a few culinary disasters! Every season we do something a little different, and this time it’s all about the sweet things in life. Get ready in week one as twenty pastry chef hopefuls and dessert connoisseurs compete for the thirteen coveted workspaces in our *Burned* kitchen. With stakes this big, we ask the one question on everyone’s mind: Do these chefs have what it takes to rise to the top? Or will they get Burned?”
Burned contestants Chase and Kai are attracted from the start and can’t wait to spend more time getting to know each other… until they see the first episode treatment and realize the producers intend to portray them as bitter enemies. At first it’s fun to pretend to bicker—enemies on film, lovers when the cameras stop rolling—but soon it’s hard not to take the faux rivalry seriously. It’s only when their choice is to band together and bake their way to the final or get burned that they find where their real loyalties lie.
Overall, I enjoyed this cute romance. I liked the setting of the reality TV cooking competition and I liked having two MCs who were from such wildly differing background. It really allowed the authors room to play with the men as they grew as contestants and as a couple.
There were times I found myself chuckling, there were times I found myself annoyed, there were times I found myself emotional and happy. I liked that the characters felt real to me. they were arrogant at times, they were stubborn at others. They had faults that got in the way of the developing relationship.
However, there were times I felt confused as to why things happened. I never really understood why Kai and Chase got together in the first place. They each thought the other was HOT, but I never understood the impetus for that first date. And while the chemistry was there, I never felt the passion or the heat between the men that would cause them to want to stay together after the show. This was definitely a cute and slow romance, with the potential for HOTNESS, but I felt it was not fully explored. Like there was so much hinting at a D/s type dynamic, but it was really only shown once with some dirty talk that did not come through well in this recording.
I also felt short changed on the TV show and the supposed rivalry between Kai and Chase. There were some show tasks that were described well, but then some were skipped over completely. Like Chase specifically talked about how he didn’t like working with chocolate, but then they completely skipped the chocolate show as a “fade to black.” And as far as the rivalry was concerned, there was such a big deal made about it by the producers, but the authors never really showed it to the readers. And there is absolutely no way the producers did not understand Chase and Kai were dating with all the flirting and whatnot that went on, on set, when they were supposed to be fighting. I just felt like this was not done as well as it could have been.
I also have to say that while reading the ebook, the repetitious nature of the show announcer may have been OK, it was down right annoying in audio form. I know if I was reading this story, I would have skipped the show intro because it was so identical and annoying. I resorted to fast forward on my audiobook every time the announcer’s voice showed up. It was too much for me and after a while I started to hate the audiobook because I knew the announcer was never going to shut up.
I think I would have liked this one better in ebook format because then I could have imagined the voices and emotions myself. I think I was so annoyed by parts of this narration, namely the announcer, that it dampened my enjoyment of this story and brought out more of the things that I found lacking.
I thought John-Paul Barrell did an OK job reading this story. His voices were clear and mostly uniques for each character. His portrayal of the story let the emotions shine through, though not always in the way I would have imagined or to the degree it deserved. He did nail the annoying voice for the show announcer, very very annoying! I would listen to him again.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|