I requested this book completely based on its synopsis. It’s a m/m romance set on a cooking reality show like Top Chef. Um YES PLEASE!? I was definitely hoping it would live up to how exited I was for a book based on that awesomeness. And it so did!
I have a major thing for competition reality based shows like Top Chef so this was completely my catnip and something I was all on board from right away. And I know there are so, so many other people who will feel the same way right from the synopsis too! Just like with the reality shows the cooking, food descriptions, and competitions take up a large portion of time. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the cooking and the competitions and I think that anyone who watches those shows should too. Although fair warning you will be ridiculously hungry while reading this book! Read while prepared with some excellent snacks!
On top of the reality show catnip this book also has an excellent enemies-to-lovers trope going on that is done really well. I absolutely loved Nate from the get go. He is laid back and easy going and just easy to get along with, which is why it’s no surprise that he clashes with Zachary right away since he is icy and standoffish. The evolution of their relationship is really well done, and is one that I’ve seen done not so well many times before. If a character is written too bitter or the enemies part too much it can be hard to come back from that, but Kelly wrote these two characters in just the right way.
This is also a slow burn type of book. The romance is drawn out and we don’t get a lot of byplay between the two main characters until later on in the book. So if that kind of thing bothers you – definitely be aware going in. It’s not extreme slow burn but it’s there.
I really liked this book and I’m excited to have a new author of m/m romance to look for!
Rating: 4 Stars
Book: Under the Knife
Author: Laurin Kelly
Release Date: July 18th 2016
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