Title: The Kitchen Boy
Author: Augusta Li
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Page Count: 126
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: no rating
Kitchen servant Yoli is one of only three men who know a carefully guarded secret about High Commander Koehen, the brilliant general who united their lands against a common invader. The enemy wants that secret, and they are willing to use either kindness or cruelty to obtain it.
Yoli must decide if his loyalties lie with the commander, who has shown him more affection than anyone in Yoli’s life, or with his own best interests. High Commander Koehen’s attention is capricious at best—he summons Yoli only when it is convenient for him, and Yoli knows there’s little hope of a future together. Is a glimmer of a hope for love worth sacrificing a chance for prosperity beyond his wildest dreams?
First Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2013.
DNF @ 48%
This didn’t work for me, obviously. I started it, then put it down, then started again, took a long break from it, then called it a day and decided I could not continue. I am obviously not going to rate, as I did not finish it, but here are some of the reasons why I did not like this.
Yoli is a kitchen boy who helps alleviates Commander Koehen migraines by massaging him. It becomes a routine to massage other regions as well towards the end of the…let’s say session. We’re told about this within a few pages from Yoli’s POV. Then on one such meeting, the Commander starts complimenting Yoli on his beauty and seduces him for more than massaging. There’s no explanation as to what changed between all of the other times and that one. It just happens. And then a lot of instas happen and they rendezvous on the regular. There were quite a few steamy scenes after that, to the point where it felt like reading erotica more than romance. It all felt disjointed somehow. Koehen leaves on a military mission and while he’s gone Yoli is punished from daydreaming in the kitchen –I swear I’m not even making this up – and runs away. At which point he’s captured and interrogated by a group wanting intel on Koehen’s strategies and plans.
And that’s where I jumped ship. I didn’t buy the love story –there was no build-up for one after all. I just could not dredge up any interest to keep going with the book. However, I love the new cover and I have seen positive reviews from fans of fantasy novels, so perhaps take a look at other reviews before dismissing it.