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“Welcome to a new season of Burned, where we find fresh new cooking talent… and a few culinary disasters! Every season we do something a little different, and this time it’s all about the sweet things in life. Get ready in week one as twenty pastry chef hopefuls and dessert connoisseurs compete for the thirteen coveted workspaces in our Burned kitchen. With stakes this big, we ask the one question on everyone’s mind: Do these chefs have what it takes to rise to the top? Or will they get Burned?”
Burned contestants Chase and Kai are attracted from the start and can’t wait to spend more time getting to know each other… until they see the first episode treatment and realize the producers intend to portray them as bitter enemies. At first it’s fun to pretend to bicker—enemies on film, lovers when the cameras stop rolling—but soon it’s hard not to take the faux rivalry seriously. It’s only when their choice is to band together and bake their way to the final or get burned that they find where their real loyalties lie.
Both Chase and Kai are contestant on a cooking show. The producers decide that the two need to be “rivals” in order to spice up the show. They even have it decided whose to win…
The two men quickly become lovers, however, instead. There are a very few hurdles for the men to traverse, especially when they get together long term as Chase lives in Wisconsin and Kai in California, but those are managed easily enough.
A lot of this book happens “on air” while the cooking show takes place and to me it kept me distanced from these two MCs.
I never quite felt connected or invested in their relationship. The writing of both Anna Martin and MJ O’Shea is wonderful – as always – but I wasn’t really that enthralled with the romance.
The recipes are neat and the mocking look at reality cooking shows was funny if not a little cynical.
John-Paul Barrell does the narration and he does an okay job. Nothing too spectacular in terms of voice modulation, but easy to listen to for the most part. Sometimes he ends the dialog on an up note that got repetitive, but mostly this was an enjoyable listen.
For both the audiobook and the story itself 3 of 5 hearts for a nice, light, enjoyable read/listen.