Chef's Kiss (Chef's Kiss #1)
A high-strung pastry chef’s professional goals are interrupted by an unexpected career transition and the introduction of her wildly attractive nonbinary kitchen manager in this deliciously fresh and witty queer rom-com.Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at The Discerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life.To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone’s water. When Ray accidentally becomes a viral YouTube sensation with a series of homebrewing videos, their eccentric editor in chief forces Simone to work alongside the chipper upstart or else risk her beloved job. But the more they work together, the more Simone realizes her heart may be softening like butter for Ray.Things get even more complicated when Ray comes out at work as nonbinary to mixed reactions—and Simone must choose between the career she fought so hard for and the person who just might take the cake (and her heart).Available now.Category: Adult Contemporary Romcom
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Praise for Chef's Kiss
Named One of the 100 Best Books of 2022 by Time Magazine"It’s hard to say what’s sweeter: the slow-burn romance or the drool-worthy descriptions of decadent desserts." —Time Magazine“Alexander accomplishes a masterful juggling act: the banter is snappy, the chemistry between Simone and Ray sings, the commentary on social media fame is poignant without ever verging on precious, and the exploration of Ray’s nonbinary identity within the structure of a romantic comedy hits exactly right…one of the most intricate and satisfying queer romances in years. Fans of Casey McQuiston will be wowed.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)“[D]elicious… Alexander whips up a delectable couple with Ray and Simone; they are each on their own journeys for self-awareness and self-confidence, which they gratifyingly achieve on an individual level. Alexander’s romance confronts workplace discrimination, internal biases, and issues like transphobia and misgendering with ease. Baked to perfection.” —Kirkus Reviews“[L]ike a dish of comfort food you’ll want to devour.” — Washington Post"I want to give this book the biggest hug! CHEF'S KISS is an utter delight, filled with sumptuous food, and adorable banter. This is the first time I've read a book with a nonbinary love interest, and I was cheering for Ray and Simone the entire time. At times, it can be heart-wrenching, but above all it is the ultimate feel-good read, something I will be recommending to everyone!"—Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of DIAL A FOR AUNTIES"With its adorable grumpy-sunshine pairing, plenty of pining, and sumptuous descriptions of food, CHEF'S KISS is a sweet treat of a romantic comedy. But beyond the delicious recipes and the playful banter between the charming leads is a story about the sometimes difficult realities of the queer experience, and Alexander effortlessly tackles heavier topics without ever losing sight of queer joy and the happily ever after these characters deserve!"—Alison Cochrun, author of THE CHARM OFFENSIVE and KISS HER ONCE FOR ME"CHEF'S KISS is a luscious dessert of a novel, a romantic comedy as classic as it is modern, as satisfying as it is groundbreaking." —Camille Perri, author of WHEN KATIE MET CASSIDY"A truly delightful debut, as queer as it is sweet. Cheerful Ray and prickly Simone are a match made in a test kitchen. This tasty, modern rom-com celebrates loving fiercely, living authentically, and eating well." —Georgia Clark, author of IT HAD TO BE YOU"Sweet and so deliciously written! This charming foodie romance is brimming with delectable baking and memorable characters. Simone and Ray’s connection started out a bit grumpy/sunshine, but with a pinch of kindness, a dash of mutual support, and a heavy splash of acceptance, their relationship baked up into a sweet treat that is sure to melt your heart! An enjoyable debut!" —Farah Heron, author of ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED and TAHIRA IN BLOOM
Chef's Choice (Chef's Kiss #2)
A fake dating arrangement turns to real love in this deliciously delightful queer rom-com from the author of the sweetly satisfying Chef’s Kiss.When Luna O’Shea is unceremoniously fired from her frustrating office job, she tries to count her blessings: she’s a proud trans woman who has plenty of friends, a wonderful roommate, and a good life in New York City. But blessings don’t pay the bills.Enter Jean-Pierre, a laissez-faire trans man and the heir to a huge culinary empire—which he’ll only inherit if he can jump through all the hoops his celebrity chef grandfather has placed in his path. First hoop: he needs a girlfriend, a role that Luna is happy to play…for the right price. She’s got rent to pay, after all! Second hoop: they both need to learn how to cook a series of elaborate, world-renowned family recipes to prove that Jean-Pierre is a worthy heir. Admittedly, Luna doesn’t even know how to crack an egg, but she’s not going to let that—or any pesky feelings for Jean-Pierre—stop her.Another swoon-worthy and heartwarming queer love story from a charming new voice in romance.Available now.Category: Adult Contemporary Romcom
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Praise for Chef's Choice
A June 2023 Indie Next List PickOne of Library Journal's Best Romance Books of the Year (So Far)“Classic romance tropes are deployed to charming effect… Like Luna’s beloved cheese plates and charcuterie spreads, this appetizing romance has something to delight a wide variety of readers. A first choice for contemporary romance collections.” —Library Journal (starred review)“Generous, tender, decadent, and sparklingly funny, Chef's Choice is a revelation as sublime as biting into an eclair. I found myself howling with laughter, ugly-crying, and falling in desperate love with Luna and Jean-Pierre. As with a perfect meal, you'll want to savor every moment and share it with everyone you love.” —Lana Harper, New York Times bestselling author of Payback's a Witch“Chef's Choice is a total delight, filled with queer joy and found family and so much warmth. Luna and Jean-Pierre stole my heart. Jean-Pierre is a tour de force of grumpy depressed European queer chaos and I would personally die for him.” —Cat Sebastian, author of The Queer Principles of Kit Webb“Start with two charming, lovable main characters, add a lot of laughs, and finish with a healthy pinch of spice and you've got Chef's Choice. I devoured every morsel of this delicious romance.” —Amanda Elliot, author of Best Served Hot and Sadie on a Plate“With hilarious banter, culinary delights, meaningful self-discovery, and two hot idiots I couldn’t wait to watch fall in love, this novel is everything I wanted and more. TJ Alexander’s blend of humor and heart is unmatched.” —Susie Dumond, author of Queerly Beloved“Chef's Choice is at once an enormously fun romp of romance tropes while also being incredibly important—by turns genuinely hilarious and swooningly romantic, and all the while, unabashedly, joyously trans. I love both Luna and Jean-Pierre with my whole heart, and I couldn't put their story down. I am so glad this book exists.” —Anita Kelly, author of Love & Other Disasters“A love letter to the trans community, Chef's Choice is a heartwarming delight! TJ Alexander's writing is a feast for the senses, sizzling with wit, charm, and the kind of characters that keep you chasing pages long into the night. Get ready to fall hard for Luna and Jean-Pierre!” —Courtney Kae, author of In the Event of Love“TJ Alexander’s witty and insightful voice, complex characters, and full-throated celebration of the joy of queer community make Chef's Choice a treat worth savoring.” —Ava Wilder, author of How to Fake it in Hollywood“In a world where content is increasingly stale, TJ Alexander is delectably fresh. Their characters are always vivid, their stories always delightful. Chef's Choice adds some much needed trans rep to the romance genre and is equally a story of both escapism and resistance. You don’t need to look much further for your next favorite book!” —Katalina Gamarra, author of Ben & Beatriz“[S]woony... The banter between leads is addictive with Alexander balancing fish-out-of-water linguistic comedy with achingly sincere emotional beats to excellent effect...the exploration of the characters’ gender identities makes many well-trod romance beats feel fresh. As long as Jean-Pierre and Luna are on the page together, readers will be delighted by their odd couple dynamic.” —Publishers Weekly
Second Chances in New Port Stephen
A trans man returns to his Florida hometown for Christmas after his career goes up in flames, only to cross paths with his high school ex in this charming rom-com about family and second chances from the author of the “delectable” (Time) Chef’s Kiss.Eli Ward hasn’t been back to his suffocating hometown of New Port Stephen, Florida, in ages. Post-transition and sober, he’s a completely different person from the one who left years ago. But when a scandal threatens his career as a TV writer and comedian, he has no choice but to return home for the holidays. He can only hope he’ll survive his boisterous, loving, but often misguided family and hide the fact that his dream of comedy success has become a nightmare.Just when he thinks this trip couldn’t get any worse, Eli bumps into his high school ex, Nick Wu, who’s somehow hotter than ever. Divorced and in his forties, Nick’s world revolves around his father, his daughter, and his job. But even a busy life can’t keep him from being intrigued by the reappearance of Eli.Against the backdrop of one weird Floridian Christmas, the two must decide whether to leave the past in the past…or move on together.Coming December 5, 2023.Category: Adult Contemporary Romcom
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Praise for Second Chances in New Port Stephen
A Publisher's Weekly Top Ten Pick for Fall 2023 Adult Romance & Erotica“Alexander (Chef’s Choice) has written a super-steamy queer holiday romance that deals with serious topics, such as substance addiction, identity exploration, and family strife, while still managing to be uproariously funny and incredibly romantic. This contemporary romance is a must-have for all libraries and for readers who relish a bit of angst and a lot of joy with their happily-ever-afters.” —Library Journal (starred review)“[A] playful and sweet second-chance romance… Readers wishing for breezy, reassuring queer romance will take joy in Eli and Nick’s love.”
—Publishers Weekly“Second Chances in New Port Stephen is a uniquely charming and unapologetically queer holiday romance. It trades kissing-in-the-snow for an exquisite, sun-drenched slow burn that will leave you smitten over Eli and Nick. With an authentic voice and a dash of steam, Alexander captures the timely complexities of returning to a home you've outgrown while also rediscovering a love you've never let go of. An absolute gift to readers!” —Timothy Janovsky, author of You're a Mean One, Matthew Prince“From start to finish, this hilarious and tender rom-com stole our hearts! It’s joyfully queer, laugh-out-loud funny, and scratches every small town and holiday romance itch possible. (And did we mention the hot single dad???) Five second chance stars!” —Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone, authors of A Merry Little Meet Cute"Second Chances in New Port Stephen absolutely blew me away; Eli and Nick are the perfect pair and I rooted for them every step of the way. Nick's father, Mr. Wu is my hero, for not only accepting Nick just the way he is, but for fishing without ever catching a fish." —Lyn Liao Butler, author of Crazy Bao You"In Second Chances in New Port Stephen , TJ Alexander offers tender characters who bring wit and resilience to each obstacle in their way, including the mishaps and miscommunications of their own making. Eli and Nick are the best type of Florida men—all heart, super hot, at home with baby manatees and maybe even with each other—and I adored every page of their story." —Deb Rogers, author of Florida Woman“In a world that feels increasingly dark, this book is a light. Second Chances in New Port Stephen is sexy, hilarious, heartwarming, and gloriously queer.” —Camille Kellogg, author of Just As You Are"A small-town romance with a great big heart. You’ll rooting for Nick and Eli as they find the courage to change, to seize second chances, and to love each other." —Jenny Holiday, author of So This is Christmas"TJ Alexander's newest rom com brings holiday cheer and second chances for not just Nick and Eli, but the people nearest and dearest to them. An amazing read that will pull at your heartstrings!" —Codi Hall, author of Along Came Holly
A trans regency romance featuring Lord Christopher Eden, a “man of unusual make” whose penchant for privacy is upended when he is given the dreadful task of finding a wife by the end of the London Season if he wants to keep his estate -- a situation further complicated by Lord Christopher's intriguing new valet, who is harboring a secret of his own. View deal announcement.Coming 2025.Category: Adult Historical Romance
A jaded bartender is wooed by a charmingly quirky couple in this fresh and sizzling polyamorous rom-com, set in the exclusive world of high-end cocktail bars—from the acclaimed author of the “tender, decadent, and sparklingly funny” (Lana Harper, New York Times bestselling author) Chef’s Choice.As a bartender at Terror & Virtue, a swanky New York City cocktail lounge known for its romantic atmosphere and Insta-worthy drinks, Mel has witnessed plenty of disastrous dates. That, coupled with her own romantic life being in shambles, has Mel convinced love doesn’t exist.Everything changes when Bebe walks into the bar. She’s beautiful, funny, knows her whiskeys—and is happily married to her partner, Kade. Mel’s resigned to forget the whole thing, but Bebe makes her a unique offer: since she and Kade have an open marriage, she’s interested in taking Mel on a date.What starts as a fun romp turns into a burgeoning relationship, and soon Mel is trying all sorts of things she’d been avoiding, from grand romantic gestures to steamy exploits. Mel even gets the self-confidence to enter a cocktail competition that would make her dream of opening her own bar a reality. In the chaotic whirl of all these new experiences, Mel realizes there might be a spark between her and Kade, too. As Bebe, Kade, and Mel explore their connections, Mel begins to think that real love might be more expansive than she ever thought possible.With TJ Alexander’s signature “witty and insightful voice, complex characters, and full-throated celebration of the joy of queer community” (Ava Wilder, author of How to Fake It in Hollywood), Triple Sec is a passionate, thirst-quenching love story that will have you asking for another round…or three.Coming June 4, 2024.Category: Adult Contemporary Romcom
International Preorder Links
Want a signed, personalized copy of my books anytime of year? Order through the links below and my local indie, Word Up Community Bookstore, will hook you up. You can also buy my first three books as a bundle here. Please use the Comment box when ordering to specify the name you'd like me to make it out to.
About the Author
TJ Alexander is a critically acclaimed author who writes about queer love. Originally from Florida, they received their MA in writing and publishing from Emerson College in Boston. They live in New York City with their wife and various houseplants.See their book recs at Bookshop.org. (Disclosure: TJ is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.)For journalists and bloggers writing identity-focused round-ups: TJ is trans nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.Please direct any media or business inquiries to info (at) jillgrinbergliterary (dot) com with "ATTN: Larissa Melo Pienkowski regarding TJ Alexander" in the subject line.You can connect with TJ online at:
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Content Warnings for Chef's Kiss
CHEF'S KISS contains the following:○ A nonbinary character who uses they/them pronouns, who is not out in the workplace at the beginning of the story, and who is referred to as she/her until they come out○ Misgendering after the coming out (accidental from allies & purposeful from non-allies)○ A fatphobic comment from a huge jerk○ Alcohol (social drinking; a character gets drunk)○ Mild blood and prescribed drugs in a post-surgery context○ Mentions of past child neglect (a now-grown character was kicked out of the house as a teen for being gay)
Content Warnings for Chef's Choice
CHEF'S CHOICE contains the following:○ Depictions of transphobia○ A brief accidental misgendering○ A moment of street harassment of a trans woman (resolved quickly with the perpetrator frightened away)○ Discussions of various gender affirmation surgeries○ A scene involving needles for hormone replacement therapy shots○ A trans character has a panic attack because of a fear of airport security
Content Warnings for Second Chances in New Port Stephen
SECOND CHANCES IN NEW PORT STEPHEN contains the following:○ A main character who is a recovering alcoholic, is sober, and does not backslide/relapse○ A main character whose mother died in a car accident a few years prior to the events of the book○ Mentions of anti-Asian racism & stereotyping in the gay community and society more broadly, as well as allusions to institutional anti-Black racism in the public school system and politics○ Mentions of anti-trans legislation and growing anti-trans sentiment in Florida law○ A divorced couple who are amicable but develop a child custody issue○ Non-penetrative sex between a trans man and a cis man
Content Warnings for Triple Sec
TRIPLE SEC contains the following:○ A cis woman/cis woman/genderqueer person romance○ Accidental misgendering of a genderqueer character with they/them pronouns by very minor characters○ Alcohol and drinking, not usually to excess (a side character gets drunk once)○ Legal drug use (cannabis) by a side character○ Sex scenes involving combinations of the main characters that include: frottage, oral sex, fingering, dirty talk, mild domination, exhibitionism, mutual masturbation, & sex toys.
VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH: SECOND CHANCES IN NEW PORT STEPHEN
Tuesday, Dec. 5 @ 7PM EST
Hosted by Midtown Reader, Tallahassee FL
Free! Register here.
Preorder from Midtown Reader to get a signed bookplate & exclusive swag.
IN-PERSON BOOK LAUNCH: SECOND CHANCES IN NEW PORT STEPHEN
Wednesday, Dec. 6 @ 7PM
The Ripped Bodice, Brooklyn NY
Preorder from The Ripped Bodice for a signed, personalized copy plus exclusive swag.
IN-PERSON AUTHOR CHAT: SECOND CHANCES IN NEW PORT STEPHEN January Queer Book Club Selection
Sunday, Jan. 28
Busboys & Poets, 235 Carroll St NW, Washington, DC