Chef’s Choice

S. & S. Audio. (Chef’s Kiss, Bk. 2). May 2023. 12:02 hrs. ISBN 9781797160870. $23.99. LGBTQIA+ ROMANCE
Alexander’s follow-up to Chef’s Kiss features Luna O’Shea, a trans woman who has just lost her job, and Jean-Pierre Dominique Gabriel Aubert-Treffle, a French trans man due to inherit a fortune from his culinary mogul grandfather. In order for Jean-Pierre to inherit, he must cook an elaborate meal with his girlfriend; the only problem is that he doesn’t have a significant other. Thus, a fake-dating arrangement ensues, with Luna agreeing to act as Jean-Pierre’s girlfriend—for a price. Alexander skillfully navigates Luna and Jean-Pierre’s developing relationship, capturing the wonderful chemistry between the two. Listeners will likely enjoy Luna’s tight-knit community of friends and her supportive, eccentric mother, who pops in for a surprise visit. Narrator Nicky Endres gives an exuberant, heartwarming performance, capturing Luna’s and Jean-Pierre’s personalities as they argue, smolder, and fall in love. Endres also provides outstanding character voices, seamlessly flowing between Jean-Pierre’s French accent and various Midwestern and New York accents.
VERDICT This queer fake-dating rom-com is recommended for all romance audio collections. Share with fans of Elena Armas’s The American Roommate Experiment or Taleen Voskuni’s Sorry, Bro.
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