Author: Laurin Kelly
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Cover Artist: Kirby Crow
Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/20/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
eason three of TV’s hottest cooking competition, Under the Knife, is gearing up, and Nate is equal parts excited and terrified that he’s one of the twelve competitors. But the prize is a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s worth a few weeks of being stressed and afraid.
It may not, however, be worth weeks of putting up with Zachary, the cold, snotty competitor who definitely thinks he’s better than everyone else. The man can cook, and he’s the hottest man Nate has ever seen, but every time he opens his mouth Nate hates him all over again.
He came here to be driven crazy trying to prove he’s the best chef in the world, but if Nate can’t learn to block Zachary out it won’t be the competition that pushes him to the breaking point
When I read the blurb for this book I was beside myself, my love for cookery programmes is immense, and of all of them the reality ones are my favourites. Throw in romance and I am in love, plus I don’t think this has been done before. My expectations were high, and I was not disappointed.
Nate is down to earth and one of the sweetest and kindest characters that I;be read about in a long time, his friendship with Carmen, another of the contestants is lovely and exactly how I imagine it could be, living and working with people so intensely.
Zachary is the ice chef, cool and distant and Nate is immediately attracted to him, until he opens his rather condescending mouth that is, and then there is attracted/ annoyed/ attracted going on a large scale. As there are cameras on all of them 24/7 , once Nate and Zachary have worked out their mutual attraction , other than very chaste touches and hot notes, there is very little opportunity to act on the attraction. This makes for quite a lot of UST that sizzles through the wonderful, wonderful food descriptions.
The actual competition is very well written, this is a relatively long book as romances go, and I could not put it down. I was actually out to dinner, and my friend had made sushi, and I started explaining a scene where Nate makes sushi to the extent that my friend, who doesn’t read romance grabbed my reader and started to read the book as well. The combination of the cookery, the friendships and rivalries, the really slow burn romance and Nate himself I found totally seductive.
As much as this is a romance it’s also about friendship, while I adored Nate and Zachary, especially as Zachary opened up with Nate’s attention, the friendship between Nate and Carmen was just as important to my enjoyment of the book.
The characters are all portrayed as adults, and in the main talk through issues, so that the level of angst is low. I also adored both the ending and the epilogue.
I know I will re read this, and that is not something that I say a lot.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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