Review: Chef’s Kiss by T.J. Alexander

Posted May 17, 2024 by Lola in Contemporary, Review, Romance / 2 Comments

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Chef's KissChef’s Kiss (Chef’s Kiss #1)
by T.J. Alexander
narrated by Em Grosland

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Category: Adult
Type of romance: nb/f

A high-strung pastry chef’s professional goals are interrupted by an unexpected career transition and the introduction of her wildly attractive nonbinary kitchen manager in this deliciously fresh and witty queer rom-com.

Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at The Discerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life.

To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone’s water. When Ray accidentally becomes a viral YouTube sensation with a series of homebrewing videos, their eccentric editor in chief forces Simone to work alongside the chipper upstart or else risk her beloved job. But the more they work together, the more Simone realizes her heart may be softening like butter for Ray.

Things get even more complicated when Ray comes out at work as nonbinary to mixed reactions—and Simone must choose between the career she fought so hard for and the person who just might take the cake (and her heart).

My Review

I like books with a food theme and that was one of the reasons I picked this one up. I really enjoyed Chef’s Kiss and am glad I gave it a try. I definitely plan to read more by this author. Chef’s Kiss is told from Simone’s point of view, she’s a chef a company called The Discerning Chef. The book starts when a new kitchen manager gets hired as well as the news Simone now has to make Youtube videos instead of focusing on her recipes.

I liked reading about Simone, she really cared about food and her passion for it was clear. I liked reading about her cooking and baking and the recipes she made. She’s quite the perfectionist and focuses on her work and isn’t there to make friends, which is why it takes her so much by surprise when she starts developing feelings for the new kitchen manager. Ray is this sunshine bubbly character and I really liked reading about them. I liked seeing Ray and Simone interact and grow closer. There are some interesting side characters as well.

The romance is very slow burn and progresses throughout the book, it was well written and I enjoyed reading about them together. Besides the romance the book focuses on the changes at The Discerning Chef and how the employees struggle adapt with it. I felt for Simone with her struggle to switch focus to a job she didn’t want, namely making videos. And then there is all the overwork with no extra pay. Then things go from bad to worse when the company reacts very badly when Ray comes out as non-binary. Some of those scenes could be tough to read with everything going on and I was hoping the characters could find a way to resolve it all and find a better future. I thought the wrap up felt realistic and well done and I liked the glimpse of the future.

Em Grosland was a new to me narrator and I really liked their voice for this book. I thought they did the different voices well and I liked how they fit the personalities and vibes of the characters. I enjoyed listening to this audiobook.

To summarize: I enjoyed this contemporary romance book with a food theme. I liked reading about Simone and Ray and seeing them grow closer. I liked how they are there for each other and there are so many fun and touching scenes with the two of them. I thought both of them were interesting characters and they felt real and realistic. I also liked the food theme and reading about the food they made. Besides that there is a plot line regarding the troubles at the company they work, which could be tough to read at times. I liked seeing the plot and romance progress. The ending wrapped it up well and leaves me eager to read book 2.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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