You gotta admit—sex and food go well together in romance stories. Both satisfy some kind of hunger, and both can be very visceral experiences given the right situation. I’m a big fan of steamy stories that involve food, and that’s why I picked up “The Kitchen When It Sizzles”.
Oh, man. This book gets pretty yummy at certain parts. It’s a fairly fun read…which is why I’m reviewing it this week!
What do I think of the plot and treatment?
Let’s start with the plot: Olivia signed up for a cooking class with a popular TV chef, but ended up learning from said TV chef’s super-hot nephew instead. Their attraction is equal parts instantaneous and intense; but between her romantic trust issues and the fact that he’s planning on running a restaurant in another country, there’s a very real chance for the sizzle to fizzle out. (Of course, it works out in the end—you’ll need to buy this book to find out how that happens.)
If the plot seems familiar, it’s because it is—this neither the first or last time you’ll see a romance with the same basic idea. But it’s all in the telling, people, and Chrissie Peria really did do this idea justice by mixing in some really interesting details.
I like, for example, the glimpses of ad agency life. As the eldest daughter of a former Strat Planner and a former Creative Director, I found some of the stuff there HILARIOUSLY ACCURATE. My favorite was the bit about the artiste ex-boyfriend who overdoes everything because my mother has complained about them before. And don’t get me started on the deadlines because I get PTSD on behalf of my Dad (who used to deal with a lot of them)
I also liked Cheryl, the awesome supportive gal friend who knows what’s good for you better that even you do. Becoming her is this close to turning into a life goal for me. She has an excellent sense of humor and a conniving mind I want to borrow on occasion. If she ever gets her own love story, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.
We can’t ignore the food, of course. The description of the food drove me nuts. Do you have any idea how much I want sticky pork now? The innuendo is intentional, by the way.
And then there’s the main couple, Olivia and Nate. The chemistry between them was so obvious by page TWO, I was almost surprised they didn’t literally explode by page ten.
Okay, there were explosions of another kind at other points in the book. So many explosions. So many MANY hot explosions.
*cough* But back to the review. There was one thing that didn’t quite work for me in this story. And her name is Billie.
Billie basically serves as the third point in what I feel is an unnecessary love triangle. “The Kitchen” isn’t a very long book, and there were enough challenges to go around: Olivia’s insecurities about being a “trophy” to most guys and Nate’s imminent departure. We didn’t need a character to come between them by being (excuse by proverbial French) a spoiled little bitch.
I think it would have been fine if she weren’t actually a bitch, but she was. Of course, this interpretation may very well be an effect of the POV used. But I kind of doubt it.
But apart from Billie? This book gets two thumbs up.
Will I watch the movie/TV series?
If they remove Billie, add more Cheryl, and cast a Nate that can REALLY compete with Adam Levine?
Sure, why not?
Let me end this review by answering the bonus question at the end of the book: “On a scale of one to Adam Levine slathered in Tabasco, how hot do you rate Nate?”
My answer would be “Nate is the bastard child of Adam Levine and Thomas William Hiddleston slathered in Sriracha.”
Yes. THAT HOT.