Title: Under the Knife
Author: Laurin Kelly
Series: – –
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Season three of TV’s hottest cooking competition, Under the Knife, is gearing up, and Nate is equal parts excited and terrified that he’s one of the twelve competitors. But the prize is a quarter of a million dollars, and that’s worth a few weeks of being stressed and afraid.
It may not, however, be worth weeks of putting up with Zachary, the cold, snotty competitor who definitely thinks he’s better than everyone else. The man can cook, and he’s the hottest man Nate has ever seen, but every time he opens his mouth Nate hates him all over again.
He came here to be driven crazy trying to prove he’s the best chef in the world, but if Nate can’t learn to block Zachary out it won’t be the competition that pushes him to the breaking point.
Source: ARC from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley
This was cute. I love a reality TV-themed romance, and having this set in a chef/cooking competition just made it all the more enjoyable for me. Nate is a lovely main character, talented, compassionate and just downright nice, and I loved following his “journey” through the TV experience and his tentative romance with Zachary.
There’s not really a lot I can say about it, though. Mainly because if you know these kind of shows, or the romances they’re based upon, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Including the food. So. Much. Food. If you are a foodie, this will be heaven for you. Oddly, even though I love watching Masterchef and The Great British Bake Off, I’m not actually a foodie, but I still enjoyed the artistry and challenge this brought to the book.
The romance itself is pretty slow going, with a bit of antagonism at the start. Zachary is very different to Nate, and not always likeable, but I did enjoy Nate’s changing perception of him and the way he slowly changed throughout – though it would have been nice to have known more about his past and why he was the way he was. They’re very cute together, but because they don’t want to get caught on camera, things are pretty tame. Until they aren’t, of course, then things heat up pretty quickly. I also really loved Carmen, she’s a great character, though it might have been nice to have got to know some of the other contestants a bit better.
On the downside, there were a few instances where Nate was called Zachary. I’m hoping this was just an ARC error, because it got kind of confusing as I wondered if we’d suddenly switched to Zachary’s POV, having been with Nate throughout. It might also have been nice if Andrew Lloyd Webber had been given his proper title, ’cause he’s actually a lord (Baron Lloyd-Webber, see wikipedia about the hyphen, which makes no sense to me) and has been since 1997.
Wee niggles aside, I enjoyed this. It’s light and easy and fun, making excellent use of the reality TV base and provided plenty of entertainment throughout. It may make you hungry, though, so don’t read on an empty stomach.
Under the Knife is Out Now!
Visit Laurin Kelly for more details.