Chef's Kiss: A Novel

· Chef's Kiss Book 1 · Sold by Simon and Schuster
3 reviews

About this ebook

Like a dish of comfort food you’ll want to devour.” —The Washington Post
“It’s hard to say which aspect of TJ Alexander’s novel is sweeter: the slow-burn romance or the drool-worthy desserts.” —Time

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).

Ratings and reviews

3 reviews
Andrea Romance
May 4, 2022
Simone is working her dream job as a pastry chef for the test kitchen of a cookbook publisher—until her boss fires the marketing department and replaces them with a video crew. The last thing introverted Simone wants is appear on video. When she's paired up with kitchen manager Ray, after Ray's videos go viral, Simone starts to feel like things might be okay. But when Ray comes out as nonbinary to a less than supportive response, Simone realizes how toxic the workplace situation has become. Can the two of them find a safe place to land? This is a sweet, slow burn romance with a strong voice and an entertaining cast of characters. The romance grows organically out of a workplace relationship that evolves into a supportive friendship. Simone is very closed off in the beginning, while Ray is cheerful and outgoing. It's sweet how Simone blossoms under Ray's influence. I would characterize this book as emotional but not angsty. There are some difficult moments, like when a character deadnames Ray. Mostly, though, this book is about characters supporting each other and growing as a result. Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.
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About the author

TJ Alexander, the critically acclaimed author of Second Chances in New Port Stephen, Chef’s Kiss, and Chef’s Choice, writes about queer love. Originally from Florida, they received their MA in writing and publishing from Emerson College in Boston. They live in New York City with their wife and various houseplants.

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