Taste by Kris Bryant is a student/teacher romance set in a culinary school. If the premise makes you wonder whether this book will make you want to eat something tasty, the answer is: yes.
Katherine “Ki” Blake is heading into her last semester at the Kirkwood Culinary Academy, and she’s neck and neck with another student for a scholarship to spend 10 months sharpening her skills in Italy. Despite her eye being firmly on the prize, she doesn’t expect to be blown away when her beautiful new teacher, Taryn, walks into the room.
Taryn Ellis is living in the United States with her daughter, having moved from South Africa a few years prior. She doesn’t know if Baltimore is where they will ultimately settle, but she definitely doesn’t want to risk her job and have to go back to restaurant life for a fling with a student, no matter how attractive Ki may be. Ki and Taryn keep running into each other, and even Taryn’s daughter Olivia loves Ki. Can they resist the pull? (Probably not. This is a romance novel, after all, and a delicious one at that.)
Ki and Taryn are both kind, smart, and thoughtful, making them easy to like. Because they’re at different stages of their lives, their goals and priorities are not the same, and I enjoyed seeing each woman make space for the other in her life. I also appreciated seeing Ki’s growing friendship with Mary, and how it showed that being rivals in the kitchen doesn’t have to mean being cutthroat.
It’s also worth noting that Kris Bryant did a great job writing Olivia. She spends enough time on the page to be a fully formed character, and not so much as bog the story down. She comes across as a real little kid, rather than a cardboard cutout that is only there to drive the plot forward.
The Writing Style
Taste is a low-angst romance with a very easy style to it. I read the whole thing in a day and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’ve never heard Brittni Pope narrate a book before, but after listening to Taste, I’m going to keep an eye out for her in the future! She was the perfect choice for this story and did a great job of not only differentiating the characters, but using her voice to convey the overall sensuousness of the book. I have no idea if her South African accent for Taryn and Olivia is accurate, so if accents are a big deal for you, you may want to check out the sample on Audible.
Lovely romance, likeable characters, great sex writing, beautiful narration.
Some people won’t like how little angst or conflict there is. I actually liked that because I don’t need it in every romance I read, and with the current political climate being a garbage fire, Taste was a wonderful comfort read.
I really enjoyed Taste. It brings together a lot of things I love: food, an age gap romance, and a teacher/student relationship, all wrapped up in a gentle, easy-to-read story. If you’re looking for something short and sweet, I recommend you pick up this book, especially in audio.
Excerpt from Taste by Kris Bryant
We had a good time with you today.
The ding of Taryn’s text snaps me out of a catnap. Sophia and I are cuddled down on the couch.
I keep my response light. I always have fun with you both.
I’m sorry this is happening. I hate that we have to hide our friendship from everybody.
I frown. I think this relationship is taking a different direction than just friendship. Is that what this is? My heart speeds up. I wait a few seconds before I hit send. I stare at the screen, waiting for her to send me anything. Thirty seconds goes by before I see her typing.
That’s what this has to be for now. Her answer sends chills all across my body. I haven’t been reading too much into our playful banter after all.
I want to see how far I can push her. So you are saying that if we met anywhere other than school, we might have something other than friendship? I’m so still right now, clutching the phone, waiting for her response.
We can’t talk about this. It’s not fair to either of us. Well, that’s not a no, but not a resounding yes either.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781626397187
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
- Narrator: Brittni Pope
Kris Bryant Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Taste by Kris Bryant. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.