Title: Yes, Chef
Author: Alex Cohen
Series: – –
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Available: Jan 31st
Nothing is more important to Diego than his kitchen. He’s dedicated to his job running one of the top restaurants in town and doesn’t have time for relationships. Then the boss, building on the restaurant’s success, brings in Ben. He’s young, hot, and not nearly as unlikeable as Diego wishes.
But between the distance of age and the old wounds both men are still nursing, it may be easier if Diego gives up on making something other than his kitchen the center of his world.
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
This is a cute, quick read set in a busy kitchen with a head chef who had his heart broken by his emotionally abusive ex, that’s left him exceedingly wary of relationships and not all that keen on living life beyond his kitchen. Until a young pastry chef comes to work for him and begins to stir him back to life.
Diego is a grumpy sweetheart. He’s hurt and brooding and thinks Ben is too young for him. He doesn’t want to put his heart at risk again, so instead he lurks in the background, trying not to get engage in anything. Except Ben likes him too and his friends are keen to bring Diego back into the land of the living.
The problem is, as sweet as this was and as much as I liked Diego, this story is told entirely from his POV. Ben comes across as this friendly, likeable guy who Diego wants to avoid. We hear from other sources that Ben’s had a rough year and has suffered from depression, but we get no evidence of this from Ben – he doesn’t even talk about it with Diego, since the pair of them rarely talk at all. There’s also very little chemistry between them – mostly because Diego avoids him, making it a bit confusing as to why Ben is attracted to him in the first place.
So the story is a little disjointed and because Diego is oblivious to anything beyond his work, things come out of nowhere and other things happen in a rush. It also took me ages to work out just how old Ben actually is. One of Diego’s main excuses for why things wouldn’t work between them is because he’s old and Ben’s so very young. Turns out there is a twelve year age gap and Diego is forty-two (I think), which makes Ben thirty. Hardly a baby!
Where this story is strong, however, is in the kitchen. The food stuff is great, and I really liked Diego’s friends and work colleagues too. I felt like I got to know them so much better than Ben.
So overall this is a cute read with some nice characters, but only an okay romance. If Ben had been given a few scenes from his POV, I think that might have improved things and given the romance a little more power. As it stands, if you read it mainly for the food and kitchen stuff, and maybe the friendships too, then you should find plenty to enjoy here.
Yes, Chef is out January 31st!
Visit Alex Cohen for more details.