Book Reviews

The Competitive Edge (Appetite 2) by Talya Andor at Less Than Three Press

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 01-February-2018

Book Blurb

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.

First Edition published by Less Than Three Press, 2013.

Book Review

This second book in the series had all the excellent qualities of the first, but it was a whole lot more intense on top. I was chewing my fingernails by the second "recipe" (read: chapter) and didn't let go until the very end. Maybe it's just foodies like me who will follow the cooking and details about food so closely, but the second element of the suspense was purely emotional. I don’t think you need to even like food to enjoy this book. I think the high-level competition of the reality TV cooking show accompanied by the intensity of Alex's feelings for Nik and watching how they suffer and blossom at the same time will do you in. They certainly made me sweat! I can honestly say that "course 2" of the series was another huge success for me.

Alex has come a long way in the first book, and he builds on that in this sequel. While he's a little more established and well on his way to creating a place in the cooking world for himself, he still struggles. He is determined to gain Nik as his lover and boyfriend, and highly frustrated by the man's continuous cold shoulder. But the glimpses of real feeling he gets, even during the competition – which he is more determined than ever to win – are enough to keep him hoping they can somehow figure out a way to be together. If only Nik's emotional walls were less secure!

Nik continues to be somewhat of an enigma, but there are a few chinks in his armor now and, early in the book, I got a few more hints about the reasons for his hesitancy. He has clearly been wounded deeply, possibly several times, and is finding it extremely difficult to let anyone come close to him. He seemed to want Alex to come closer, but then keeps pushing him away throughout. The fact they're competing professionally certainly does nothing for the way they relate as men.

If you like stories full of professional and personal suspense on every level, if you enjoy romantic tension that builds and builds and builds, and if you're looking for a read that will make you as hungry as it will make you want to see these guys give in to their feelings, then you will probably like this novel. I definitely loved it and am looking forward to rereading the third volume.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Less Than Three Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 88000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 31-January-2018
Price $6.99 ebook
Buy Link