I recently picked up a copy of The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R Shrum. Besides making me crave French Macaroons, this was also a fun little read that I very much enjoyed. I’ll keep this review spoiler free, so anyone should be good to read it. Let’s check out a synopsis before we begin!
The Art of French Kissing
Brianna R Shrum
Seventeen-year-old Carter Lane has wanted to be a chef since she was old enough to ignore her mom’s warnings to stay away from the hot stove. And now she has the chance of a lifetime: a prestigious scholarship competition in Savannah, where students compete all summer in Chopped style challenges for a full-ride to one of the best culinary schools in the country. The only impossible challenge ingredient in her basket: Reid Yamada.
After Reid, her cute but unbearably cocky opponent, goes out of his way to screw her over on day one, Carter vows revenge, and soon they’re involved in a full-fledged culinary war. Just as the tension between them reaches its boiling point, Carter and Reid are forced to work together if they want to win, and Carter begins to wonder if Reid’s constant presence in her brain is about more than rivalry. And if maybe her desire to smack his mouth doesn’t necessarily cancel out her desire to kiss it.
You will most definitely need to gave French Macaroons on hand while reading this, trust me. I did not and then went out and bought a dozen from our local macaroon bakery and then ate them all. So worth it.
On the topic of macaroons, it’s worth noting that I pretty much picked up this book because of the awesome cover and title. Then when I read the description and learned it was about a cooking competition, I knew I had to have it. I am the type of person who binge watches Top Chef, so if you are combining my love of that with my love of trope-filled YA contemporary, I am totally sold.
So I obviously loved the premise of this book, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of our Main Character, Carter. She was sort of a horrible person for a good deal of the book. She was selfish and uncaring and just generally awful. While Reid does sort of screw her over on day one by claiming the cheese she needed for her recipe, she always seems to take things like 500 steps further to get back at him.
She was so freaking lucky they were NOT on camera, because she totally should have had her ass sent packing and is just lucky she wasn’t caught. Plus she was just a super bitch to Reid half the time, even when he was trying so hard to fix things and be her friend.
Despite that, I did find the friends-to-lovers bit pretty well done. It was obvious that they had chemistry, and he really was bringing his A game to win her over. In reality, Carter totes doesn’t deserve him because he’s a total cinnamon roll. We got some sexy times content, which was very well done and pretty much fade-to-black, so its suitable for those of us who don’t need the racy bits elaborated.
Beyond Reid and Carter, we also have a good cast of side characters, including one duo that I totally need a spin-off for (you’ll know exactly who I mean). We also had a few jackass contestants, which is to be expected. Adults were pretty much background entities in this one, which is probably the only reason the plot works as well as it did. I’m not complaining about that, mind you, just noting it.
All in all, this was a good read and I am glad I read it! If you enjoy friends-to-lovers romance, then this is definitely worth your time!