KITCHEN GODS BOOK 1
RELEASE DATE: 02.12.17
COVER DESIGN: AngstyG
Talented pastry chef Miles Costa is bored. Working at the celebrated Napa Valley restaurant Terroir is supposed to be the cherry on top to a promising career, but instead it’s a creative desert. So when he gets an offer to turn his online video series into a career, he leaves his three best friends in Napa and swaps Terroir for Los Angeles.
With the resources now at his fingertips, turning his pastry series into a hit should be easy. Then Miles meets his producer, Evan Patterson, and realizes he’s screwed. And not even in the good way.
It’s not a meet-cute . . .
Evan lives to work and loves every minute detail Miles loathes. Not only that, he seems hell bent on micromanaging every aspect of Miles’ show despite the fact he knows nothing about the culinary arts. Evan doesn’t even like sweets—until Miles seduces him with a rainbow of delectable confections he can’t resist.
. . . it’s a collision.
With every confrontation, the intensity between them flares even hotter until they’re not sure if it’s hatred they feel . . .or something else. Is it possible for two people with nothing in common to discover common ground and romance?
I was very excited about the Kitchen Gods series by Beth Bolden, a spin-off of her wildly popular Five Points series so it pains me to say that I struggled to finish Bite Me. While I don’t mind a healthy amount of verbal sparring between a couple, there was too much and it got old very quickly in this book.
Miles Costa a pastry chef at a popular Napa restaurant and a YouTube mini celebrity for his baking videos is wooed and hired for an online cooking show by the Five Points crew. When he arrives he finds he won’t be working with the famous chef that hired him, but a producer with no cooking experience, Evan Patterson. From the minute they meet they antagonize one another and that continues for way too long in this book, so much so that I found it hard to like either character or care about their fledgling relationship.
I did finish this book, but it wasn’t easy and I did so because I had loved the books in the previous series and I kept thinking there would be something that redeemed it, but for me this one just didn’t work on many levels. I really never felt the connection between Miles and Evan and maybe that was because I didn’t like way they treated one another for so much of this book so I was apathetic about them getting together.
It’s always hard to write a review for an author whose work you’ve enjoyed in the past, but missed the mark so I’ll just say this book didn’t work for me on any level and while I want to say I’ll give the next book in this series a chance given this was the first time I haven’t enjoyed her work, I won’t say that I have reservations about devoting the time to read a book I’m concerned may not be for me.
Sadly, Bite Me was not a book I savored at all.
About Five Points – Beth Bolden
Sometimes you write a series, and it’s organized and planned and makes sense.
That isn’t the Five Points series. I wish it was like that, because it would honestly make a lot more sense to everyone, but I’ve learned to embrace the randomness of Five Points’ books and hope the readers will follow along. Books sort of organically fell into the series—some are more related than others.
Five Points started as a sports/pop culture blog that was mainly inspired by a great ESPN spin-off website called Grantland. Grantland was invented by a well-known Boston sports blogger, Bill Simmons, and it covered sports events, but not just the scores and stats, because ESPN did a fantastic job doing that, but more the human element of sports. Feature stories, deep dives, and interviews are what Grantland focused on. They recruited great writers, and eventually started to branch out more into pop culture, when Simmons and ESPN went their separate ways.
Simmons went on to found a similar site, The Ringer, which took the best parts of Grantland, and expanded on it. The Ringer has sports, pop culture, movies, music, TV, politics. It was such a varied subject matter that I thought. . .why wouldn’t you include food in that mix?
Which is how I started with a website that began as one thing, and as websites tend to do, evolved into something else.
The first book featuring Five Points was Summer Attractions, a M/F romance I wrote for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. It’s probably my least read book, but it did do something very important. It created the characters of Colin O’Connor and Nick Wheeler. Colin was the MC Jemma’s best friend and Nick was her boss. And I thought. . .wouldn’t it be sort of awesome if they met and fell in love? At first it was sort of a cracky idea that I pitched to my beta, who thankfully took it seriously, and asked me why they shouldn’t fall in love?
The Rainbow Clause, ironically one of my most successful books, was born. In The Rainbow Clause, Colin, a professional quarterback in the NFL and a bisexual, is working on coming out of the closet. Nick, who is one of the writers at Five Points, is there to write his coming out profile.
I do consider Taste on my Tongue part of the Five Points series, even though it’s a pretty vague association. Five Points does feature in it, especially at the end, but it’s very much a separate, unique story. And that’s part of the reason why I consider all these books standalones—there’s sometimes very little crossover between them.
I had already written a lot of Taste on my Tongue, and I knew Landon and Quentin were going to participate in an interview that catapulted them into mainstream consciousness, and I thought, well, I already have this great website—I should use that. Why create something new when you’ve already invented what you need? Plus, I think it’s so fun to have all my books live in the same universe. So many of my characters make minor cameos or crossovers, and if you’ve read my other books and recognize them, I think it really adds to the experience.
Quentin and Landon from Taste on my Tongue also needed an epilogue, and since so much of the time, I’m ultimately writing for me, I knew I wanted to see just the two of them on their own show. And Five Points, who was already big into TV and pop culture, I couldn’t see why they wouldn’t they innovate and become a little bit more like Buzzfeed, who created Tasty.
The epilogue also gave me a fantastic opportunity to introduce two characters that I had wanted to write about so much—Jordan, the ex-football player, and Reed Ryan, the Kitchen Wars contestant who had lost, and Jordan’s ex-boyfriend.
I had never written a reunited lovers book before Wrapped with Love, and it was really fulfilling to write both how these two characters grew apart, and then grew back together. It just made sense to set the book at Five Points. If they were growing and expanding more into the culinary realm, they would want to hire someone who had the right credentials. And Reed definitely did—and he was at a loose end, because he had just lost Kitchen Wars.
Five Points is also featured in my new release, Bite Me, even though you don’t have to read any of the other books in the “series.” Reed is a character, and it’s been fun to write him from a slightly different perspective. We hear him talked about in Wrapped with Love as a hard-ass, but love softens him in the readers’ eyes. In Bite Me, he gets a little of his toughness back.
By the time Bite Me happens, the culinary department at Five Points is still expanding, and Reed is recruiting more serious culinary talent. Which is why he recruits our talented pastry chef, Miles Costa, and then sets his protégé and ex-assistant, Evan Maxwell, to produce his show, Pasty by Miles. And like all experiments, it doesn’t start very auspiciously.
Currently I don’t have any plans to write more Five Points-centric books, but since I never really intended to write them in the first place, I’m sure the site will end up featuring someplace else. That much seems inevitable!
“I’ve been looking for you.”
Miles looked up to see his brand-new partner standing in the doorway of his cubicle. He still wasn’t sure how he felt about the cubicle thing, but he definitely knew how he felt about Evan. Miles gave himself a little mental pat on the back for the annoyed edge in Evan’s voice, and then another that he was ignoring how incredible Evan’s ass looked in those tight jeans.
Maybe it was petty or childish, but it felt so satisfying. Miles had spent time around lots of egotistical perfectionists over the years, but none of them had ever had a stick up their ass quite the same way Evan Patterson did.
“I’ve been sitting right here. For at least an hour.” Miles leaned back, and enjoyed the way Evan’s face struggled to find control. He also just plain enjoyed Evan’s face, but those gorgeous brown eyes or his blond hair, and not even the slim, cute body he was showcasing in those skinny jeans could entice Miles to get in bed with someone so uptight.
Evan walked into the cubicle, and glanced down at Miles’ laptop screen. He pointed to the left of the laptop, where a neon-green Post-it note read, “Join me in the kitchen when you get here,” in what must be Evan’s neat handwriting.
Miles thought Evan could have sold his handwriting to some font website, and hipsters would be falling all over themselves to buy it.
“Oh, I didn’t see that.” Miles didn’t even attempt to sound convincing. Anyway, they both knew he was lying.
Evan crossed his arms and his eyes shot bullets. It made him look cuter—and also more terrifying, if you were into that sort of thing. Which Miles was not. Definitely not. He’d told himself last night that he wasn’t going to try to seduce Evan to control him. This morning, the prospect looked a lot more appealing.
Or maybe that was just Evan.
“What have you even been doing?” Evan asked.
This was the opening Miles had been dying for. “I’m so glad you asked. I decided to do a little show-and-tell experiment.”
Evan didn’t look convinced. Or amused. Which only amused Miles further. He wasn’t usually such an asshole, but he wasn’t going to share control of Pastry by Miles with anyone, especially a marketing “expert” like Evan. He’d only had to be in his new partner’s presence for approximately ten point two seconds to realize that Evan was the kind that didn’t give up easily. Thus, Miles’ attitude shift to being as annoying as possible. Miles had a little sister; there was no way Evan could hold out against the pain and suffering Miles could bring him.
Miles clicked on the video he’d been working on. Evan watched it soundlessly and Miles watched Evan. Other than a very subtle eye twitch, Miles gave Evan a handful of points for reigning in his explosion of annoyance.
“You filmed an episode of your show in your apartment last night,” Evan stated.
“I did,” Miles said unrepentantly.
“You made a Twinkie.”
“Actually,” Miles drawled, “it’s better known as a Ding Dong. And it’s a homemade Ding Dong. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried the store-bought version, but this one is infinitely better. Tastes a whole lot less like cardboard.”
Evan’s eye was twitching harder.
“A Ding Dong,” he repeated in disbelief. “How did you even film this? With your phone?”
“Yep,” Miles admitted happily. “Rigged it up on one of those fake house plants with some duct tape. Had to drop by Reed’s office this morning and let him know how much I appreciated such a stocked apartment. And not just the fridge.”
“That was me,” Evan said. “I stocked your apartment.” He was looking like he’d love to march right over and un-stock it. Miles was delighted. He’d anticipated how this might go, and it was going better than even his wildest expectations. He ignored the little voice that said just how much he’d enjoy it if Evan lost it and threw him down on the desk.
He also ignored what came next in that little fantasy.
Miles shot Evan his most charming smile, but the recipient did not look particularly charmed. “Oh, thank you. It all came in handy, as you can see.”
“I can definitely see that.” Evan leaned down, and Miles caught a whiff of his cologne. Something tart and lemony. It suited him. “Now you’re going to come with me to the kitchen, and we’re going to figure out how to work together. On a video of you doing something impressive that isn’t a Ding Dong.”
“You don’t think that would be cute?” Miles asked, and thought maybe he’d taken it a step too far because the look on Evan’s face was suddenly not playing around. Having worked in very tough kitchens and then Terroir, Miles was used to people wanting to kill him. He was not used to people who looked like they wanted to kill him slowly, and might enjoy it the whole time.
“Okay,” Miles added. “I can do that.” He was still chalking this up as a win because anything that put that look on a man’s face was worth the effort it took to rig up a phone on a fake ficus tree.
Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published eight novels and two novellas, with Catch Me, the next novel in the Kitchen Gods series, releasing in May 2018.
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