Audio Review: The Wedding Gift by Bella Andre Writing as Lucy Kevin

Audio Review: The Wedding Gift by Bella Andre Writing as Lucy KevinThe Wedding Gift by Lucy Kevin, Bella Andre
Series: Four Weddings and a Fiasco #1
Published by Oak Press, LLC on February 21st 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Eva Kaminsky
Source: Audible

After Julie Delgado’s restaurant closes, she temporarily takes over the catering position at the Rose Chalet, a full-service San Francisco wedding venue. She plans to dazzle the bride and groom so the Chalet’s owner will keep her around, but fate has other plans for her when the bride’s brother shows up for the first food tasting.

Andrew Kyle is not only the Cuisine Channel’s Edgy Eats host and chef, but his recent review of Julie’s restaurant was the final nail in its coffin. Once he meets Julie at the Rose Chalet, he’s certain she’s playing it safe. And he wants nothing more than to be the one to break her guarded passions loose.

But despite the undeniable sparks between Julie and Andrew–and the fact that he seems to believe in her when no one else does–can she afford to be taking risks with her cooking, with her career…or with her heart?
(THE WEDDING GIFT is an eBook original novel of 40,000 words - approximately 180 pages)

I have enjoyed so much participating in Anna’s Read All the Books Challenge. I’m trying to read all of Bella Andre’s novels (written under any of her pen names). I’ve at least liked all the books I’ve read so far (29), but not every book is a win. The Wedding Gift was a let down, and I had so many issues with it.

The Wedding Gift is about chef Julie Delgado. It starts off with Julie’s restaurant receiving a very negative review written by Andrew Kyle who is a successful chef and restaurant review. It was a very depressing way to start the novel. Then the story jumps a little ahead, and Julie’s restaurant had to close, and she now lives with her aunt and is temporarily working as the caterer for The Rose Chalet, a wedding venue. She’s meeting with a client to set up the meal for the wedding, but instead of the client, the client’s brother shows up. Who just so happens to be Andrew.

I did not read the blurb very clearly, and when I realized that the hero of the story was Andrew, and it didn’t sit well with me. While I did like Julie and Andrew their relationship just did not work for me. Andrew is a successful chef, who is now starring in a TV show about cooking. He has an absolute passion for food. And he’s definitely attracted to Julie. But he’s so successful, and he continues to criticize Julie’s cooking, although not harshly. He also kept pushing her to be more creative in her cooking, and not sticking to the recipe, and it just felt off. Especially since it was the man telling the woman how it was “supposed to be.” It messed with the power in their relationship and it made me so uncomfortable.

On top of that, some of the logistics didn’t seem right. Like Julie making samples for weddings without ever talking to the clients first to see what they wanted. I mean, that doesn’t make sense. And how things went on the TV show that Andrew is filming also seems unrealistic.

I just could not like this book. In large part because it felt like Andrew had a lot of power over Julie. I really love Bella Andre’s books, and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books, but the Wedding Gift was a let down.


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

14 Responses to “Audio Review: The Wedding Gift by Bella Andre Writing as Lucy Kevin”

  1. Rowena

    Hmm, this doesn’t sound like it would work for me either. I wouldn’t like to sit through chapter after chapter of the superior hero telling the inferior heroine what she’s doing wrong…especially if the hero gave the heroine a bad review that in turn kind of led to the close of her restaurant. Yeah, not for me.

    You’re doing awesome on your read through Andre’s backlist though. Go you!

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I wasn’t clear in my review. I’m sorry. Andrew doesn’t exactly act superior, although he does think HIS was is the best way when it comes to cooking. He isn’t nasty. All the the same the power between Andrew and Julie was all wrong. It made me uncomfortable.

  2. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I do not like that imbalance of power either and how critical he seems of her. There are ways to be encouraging and motivating without coming off as critical. It’s hard to get behind a romance where I don’t feel like one character doesn’t respect the other. While most of Belle Andre’s books have been seriously tempting for me this one sounds like one I’ll skip.

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I didn’t like the imbalance either. Although I don’t think I was clear in my review. Andrew definitely criticizes Julie’s cooking, but more in a constructive criticism way. All the same, he does think HIS way is the BEST way when it comes to cooking.

  3. Nick

    Sorry this was a disappointment, Quinn. I can see where you are coming from especially with the power imbalance between the two. I really don’t see how a romance could work between those two in circumstances like that. I hope this will be the only Bella Andre book you don’t like!

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      The imbalance of power definitely left me uncomfortable. I do think there are times when this kind of storyline could work (You’ve Got Mail sort of fits because his store puts her out of business), but things were definitely off here.

  4. Sophia Rose

    I’ve seen this set up in a movie and read it in another book. It does have to be handled just right for it not to overbalance into a not-so-romantic side. If it’s got comedy to it, I like it, but if it gets too heavy like this one sounds like, then I can see where it would be disappointing.

    But yay on one more down toward the challenge.

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