The Competitive Edge (Appetite #2) by Talya Andor
Less Than 3 Press
4.5 Pants Off
It's been six months since Alex became Sous Chef at Schulze's, and in that time Alex has been working strenuously to improve and expand his skills, working toward the goal of becoming Nik's equal. He is kept motivated by the occasional breakfast shared with Nik, flirting and talking and offering tender bites of his culinary creations.
But just as his hard work seems to be paying off, a new challenge is thrust upon him. Selected to be one of five challengers on a new cooking competition, Alex is quick to accept the offer, certain that winning will prove his abilities to Nik and everyone else.
Except that to win, he will have to beat not only a handful of strangers, but also Nik, thrusting them right back to the ruthless competition of their school days—and quite possibly ruining any hope of a future as lovers.
A fantastic sequel! I loved seeing Alex and Nik again and they didn't seem to have moved on a lot in their relationship, what with Nik still denying they are dating. Good thing Alex is persistent; a lesser man might have given up faced with Nik's reluctance to commit to dating. However their budding relationship has to take second place to a new challenge before them. Both Nik and Alex are chosen to compete in a TV cooking competition along with three other Sous Chefs and Alex, being himself is determined to win and prove himself to Nik.
I like Alex and he has grown as a Chef and as a character, no longer is he petulant, but actually he is supportive and no longer competitive in his relationship with Nik. Alex freely admits when something is good and I think there lays his strength. He still wants to win, but he can see his own mistakes, he has learned from his previous mistakes in the first book. He still has to learn and he admits that, I think that takes character and it shows character growth, since he was convince he was the best when he began his career in the first book. The focus of this story is on the cooking shows and on the different competition; the food angle is certainly interesting and not just window dressing for the romance.
All in all the story is very enjoyable, but don't read it when you are dieting or are hungry! Food is discussed a lot, different dishes and menu's and well it made me quite hungry. Story flows nicely; I've read this one in one sitting, since I wanted to know who would win the competitions and to see how Alex has progressed. The romance is, again, more secondary but still the relationship between Alex and Nik progresses more quickly in this book, especially at the end.
Should You Read It? If you are a cooking affectionado and like m/m romance this is a must read! This is a well rounded story, with an interesting plot, charming and warm characters and it's well written, all good ingredients for a good book are there and I enjoyed myself a lot reading this second instalment.
|4.5 Pants Off|