*I was given an advanced reader’s copy of this book for an honest review.
Taste by Kris Bryant
Release Date: October 1, 2016 (directly from Bold Strokes Books’ website); October 16, 2016 (for Amazon and other distributers)
Price: $9.99 (eBook)
Review: If you’re familiar with me and my blog, than you know that I post book reviews every Saturday, but, sadly, I’ve skipped a couple weeks in the past due to being extremely burned out.
I would start a book and get a couple chapters in before I just couldn’t read any further. I’d end up putting it down and, literally, trying to force myself to take a break from reading, which is very difficult because I LOVE reading books. I love the euphoric feeling that I get when I lose myself in the characters and their troubles, adventures and romances. It’s just amazing to be able to focus on someone else’s life for a couple hours a day.
So, when I picked up Taste I was, honestly, hoping and praying that I would be able to make it to the end of this novel and, fortunately, someone from up above was looking out for me because this book caught my attention and kept it to the very end.
In Taste we meet Katherine ‘Ki’ Blake. Ki dreams of becoming a chef and she’s pretty close to fulfilling that dream because, as it turns out, she’s about to start her final semester at Kirkwood Culinary Academy and she’s also one of the three finalists in a highly coveted scholarship that will allow the winner to study abroad in Italy.
Everything seems to be going great with Ki. She’s finally able to do the job that she loves, she has a great group of friends, she’s working at a diner that she adores and she’s 100% confident in her ability to win that scholarship.
Pretty set, right? Well, all that gets thrown in the air when she walks into the first class of her final semester and sets her sights on her new instructor, Taryn Ellis.
Taryn has already had a very successful career and she had many more promising future opportunities, but she chose to give all that up so that she could spend more time with her six year old daughter, Olivia. I just have to say that I liked Taryn just off of that alone. Not many parents would be willing to do what she did. She was an extremely accomplished chef and for her to give all that up, without a second thought, for her baby, was truly amazing.
As you could probably guess, the whole ‘student-instructor dating’ scenario was a no-go. I can kind of understand why it would be a problem (because of favoritism and all that), but, at the same time, everyone, including the other students and faculty members, knew how talented Ki was. She would’ve dominated with or without Taryn’s guidance.
Anyway, let’s get to the main characters. I have nothing bad to say about either of them because I loved them both. Ki is, literally, who I want to be in life. She was pure confidence. She knew that she was a great chef, so she wasn’t afraid to take risks and/or think outside the box. Taryn was sweet. As I said earlier, her decision to take some time off for her daughter made me automatically love her, but add in the fact that she was also a phenomenal chef, mother and instructor just sealed the deal for me.
There were a few secondary characters, but the one that I liked reading about the most was Olivia. She was such a well behaved, funny child and I loved how she interacted with Ki. Those two made quite a pair and even though Ki said she’d hardly been around kids, I couldn’t tell because she did such an amazing job with Olivia.
Now for my favorite part: the romance. Ki and Taryn started off fighting their attraction to one another, but, over time, they slowly started to give into temptation. Of course everything wasn’t smooth sailing, but they wanted to be together so much that they fought to stay together, even if they had to keep their romance a secret. These two had some very strong chemistry and it showed in the love scenes.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading about Ki and Taryn and I highly recommend this book!
There was a lot of love, humor and, of course, cooking involved, so you won’t find yourself fighting the urge to skim anything. I didn’t mention this before, but I loved how Ms. Bryant added in actual step-by-step recipes and advice when it came to cooking different types of foods. Majority of them weren’t foods that one would cook on a daily basis, they were fancy dishes from different countries that belonged in an upscale restaurant (i.e. macarons, soufflés, sauerbraten and chicken mole). I’d never heard of half of them, but they sounded delicious.
She even touched on the inner workings of the kitchen (i.e. the dos and donts) in restaurants during business hours. I never would’ve found these rules out on my own, so I enjoyed those little details.
However, a part of me does wonder how Ms. Bryant knew about these recipes, rules and pointers. Is she a chef or does she know someone who is? If not, than she must have done some serious research for this novel and I really appreciate it because those details made the story and characters so much more authentic.
Anyway, great read and you should definitely purchase this one when it’s available. You still have a few more weeks, but mark your calendars because you don’t want to miss out on this one!
If you choose to purchase Taste please come back or send me a message on my social media and let me know what you thought of it.