Yes, Chef by Alex Cohen

Yes, Chef by Alex Cohen
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (92 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Other: M/M
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

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.

Diego isn’t too impressed when the restaurant’s owner insists his nephew be the new pastry chef. Despite his near-constant sour mood, Diego just can’t manage to really be mad with Ben. Ben is determined to make his own way and enjoys all aspects of working as a pastry chef. Can the two men manage to work together?

This is a really interesting, food-centric story. While the main relationship revolves around Diego and Ben and the beginning of their relationship, it’s also a strong story about the restaurant and how the various chefs all work well together. I liked how even though Diego and Ben can’t quite work out how to get together for most of it, there’s always a positivity in their interactions. Diego feels he’s too much older than Ben, and is still quite hung up on his ex. And Ben is too unsure of Diego and their hot/cold interactions. Indeed, it’s not until right at the end of the story that Ben and Diego manage to find their way together.

In the background there was plenty of sub-plot around the other members of staff and the restaurant itself. This helped the story feel lighthearted to me – and not just a dramatic, emotional story of two men trying to find their way together. Still, it was both odd and interesting that this is definitely a M/M story where the two men don’t start their romantic relationship until pretty much the end of the story. I felt Diego’s epiphany about his ex wasn’t explained as thoroughly as I’d have liked considering how much of the book he was hung up on the man. This realization felt very sudden and wasn’t given as much detail as I thought it should have. This was a critical conclusion for Diego – and an important part in his and Ben’s coming together – and I needed to stop, go back and reread a chunk of the book, feeling like I’d missed something. That jolted me out of the story quite a bit. But the end-product – Diego and Ben coming together – was lovely to read and a real high point.

An emotional, well paced and really fun story that overall I enjoyed. With only one steamy sex scene and a few delicious kisses this story is sexy and steamy – but isn’t extreme or over the top. A lovely M/M I really enjoyed.

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