When Wisconsin ice cream maker Chase Christiansen gets chosen to participate in the new season of Burned, a reality television cooking competition, he’s excited mostly to get exposure for his shop. What he doesn’t expect is to meet Kai Chin, Hawaiian native and Island-Asian fusion chef. He’s also the hottest guy Chase has ever seen. Maybe the most intimidating too.
Kai is laser focused on winning. He knows he’s good, quite possibly the best, and definitely better than most of the contestants on Burned. But then there’s Chase. Regardless of Kai’s focus and the non-fraternization clause in their contract, Kai asks Chase out.
Given that their television personas on the show are to be enemies, Chase and Kai do their best to keep their budding relationship on the down low. But with the finals in sight and the mounting stress, not to mention the dynamics of this romance between them, things are bound to blow up. When it does, feelings are hurt and trust is broken. But when Kai realizes his mistake, he will rest at nothing to win Chase back.
Soufflés at Sunrise is the second book in the Just Desserts series by O’Shea and Martin. I have to confess: I had more than one reason to pick up this book. Not only did I love the first book in this series, although that’s not a requirement as they both seem to be standalones at this point, but I have an addiction to cooking shows. So this book was right up my alley. And it’s totally as sweet as you think it’s going to be.
Chase and Kai are too adorable together with their hidden love affair that’s not so hidden. Chase is the ice cream guru who is basically stumbling through wondering why he’s even on the show half of the time. He’s the guy that everyone likes. I love Kai for his cockiness because really confidence is super sexy, but when he’s with Chase, he shows his softer, more vulnerable side. My one problem is that Kai, for all the talks about not being comfortable with public displays, jumps right in with barely a hiccup to his way of thinking. It’s hardly believable. Even for a man who’s been in LA for the past three months.
The slow build of Chase and Kai’s relationship was very good. I like that they don’t rush into anything and even by the end, they’re not all “I’ll love you for the rest of forever.” What they have is realistic. Mostly. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about their intimate life. It’s not bad, and I wouldn’t exactly call it awkward. It’s difficult to explain. They’re trying new things. For both of them domination and submission is new, but something they want to try. It’s not bondage and the kink scene, but simple D/s with more emphasis on domination. And it’s kind of sweet. Where I waver is that neither man seems the part. It was hard for me to reconcile the bedroom couple with the actual couple. I’m not sure that I’m explaining it right, but the gist is it didn’t fit quite right.
The book is way fun. I really enjoyed the separation of chapters into contestant challenges. It was cute and super sweet, pun intended. And with whatever competition was happening came a new lesson for Chase and Kai. The plot is sugary and very low on the angst scale, which was very enjoyable. My only problem is with missing information. Like what did Clarissa (one of the contestants) say to Tommy (the producer) before she left? It was made to sound like it was about Chase and Kai, but it’s never voiced. The ending, though, is wonderful.
Overall, I did like this book, for the most part because I adored Chase and Kai, but I also had problems with it. It’s definitely a super sweet and adorable read and totally worth my time. I recommend it for those who like a realistic relationship build, a little bit of drama, and a whole lot of sugar.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.