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Publisher's Summary

Toby Andrews is cooking up more than a little trouble for Evan Blankenship. Because of pranks, indiscretions, and plain bad timing, his ability to work in New York's temples of haute cuisine is a thing of the past. When Toby's sister tells him he should look up an acquaintance whose restaurant - Le Potiron - is failing, he doesn't have much choice.

Pretty soon he's in bed, literally, with a cook who hates people, trying to save a restaurant that only the neighborhood mothers seem to love, and on the verge of another - possibly painful - lesson or two about what it means to be successful.

Evan hates everyone but Toby. Toby likes to stir things up. See what's on the menu at Le Potiron in Stirring Up Trouble.

©2011 Z.A. Maxfield (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Stirring Up Trouble

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I'm sorry but what a shitty sister

I liked Toby generally but the sister screwed with his life a lot and not one apology. A lot of mistakes on names during narrations. I finished because I have ocd with unfinished books but it was cringe worthy, sorry.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been good.

By chapter 7 I knew I couldn't care less about any of the characters. If all of a sudden they got hit by a bus it wouldn't have made the book any worse. The premise had potential but fell flat with severely underdeveloped characters.
The narration was at times jarring. A women character is introduced and apparently she is an 80 year old chain smoker ex drill sgt. with throat cancer, while men sounded higher pitched and more feminine. During sex scenes he did a "sexy voice". When there are quotes around that term it never ends up sounding sexy. I skipped all sex scenes because the voice pitch and speed made me seriously cringe.
If you just need background noise this would work fine because it won't grab your attention for long.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator's reading is way too campy

I abhor people who do not take responsibility for their actions and this story brimmed with them. The protagonist is completely self-absorbed and entitled. Most of his problems arise because he does not think of the consequences of his actions and how they impact others. You are entitled to screw up your own life but you have no right to make short-sighted decisions where others pay the price for your mistakes. But it seems to run in the family because his sister is a selfish asshole, as well. The way she stuck Toby with her kid borders on neglect and as an attorney she should know better. Her and her husband needs to put their child first, not their jobs or their parents. If they had such time constraints, they should have hired a nanny or waited to have kids. Those are the major problems I had with the story and characters. I had a bigger issue with the narration. It was way too campy so it was hard to engage with the characters. The narrator's performance made the main character sound like a bobbleheaded, superficial twink, made his best friend sound like Harvey Fierstien, and most of the female characters sound like drag queens. For the sex scenes he used his "bedroom voice", it was not as titillating as he might have hoped.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Eh...spoilers

Okay. This started out cute but that changed when Toby met Evan. From the get go, Evan laid out his boundaries(he doesn’t like people, it’s his restaurant etc) IMMEDIATELY Toby brings someone into Evan’s space(his kitchen, which is sacred). Toby continuously pushes Evan around and just does what he wants and acts like he owns the place instead of Evan. They tentatively mention a partnership,literally in the same conversation after Evan opened up about his horrible partnership, and here comes Toby, taking advantage and makes major reconstruction to Evan’s restaurant. Toby also decided that Evan, who has long hair and probably actually likes it , needs a haircut. All in the name of Toby being a selfish, childish prick who wants to make a food critic regret blacklisting him. This book is so gross in that way and I hope people don’t actually treat people this way. Toby just flies in and disrespects Evan’s everything and somehow they fall into a relationship. I made it almost halfway. I’m glad this was included in my membership and that I didn’t actually spend money on this.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A few pronunciation issues, but great story.

I understand that there are certain words that aren't in common usage, and therefore most people don't know how to pronounce them. However, if your job is a Narrator, and you happen upon one of those words, you should certainly take the time to find out how those words should be pronounced. Not only does that help educate the listen to that word, but it also prevents people who know that word from balking at the egregious mispronunciation.

Other than those few issues, this is a really cute story.

Definitely worth a listen!

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible narration, poorly drawn characters

I don't have the Kindle book to compare, but the wrong characters' names were used repeatedly (Tony instead of Toby, Deb instead of Steph). Other words were horribly mispronounced. Character voices, as other reviewers said, were annoying and ridiculous (a young mother isn't going to sound like she's been chain smoking for 80 years and I hated Toby's whiny voice). Moving to the writing, the sister in particular, as mentioned by others, is selfish and very unlikeable. I was not invested in either MC. And if Toby is in love with Evan, he should know when Evan's twin is not Evan. That's "Loving a Twin 101." Don't waste your money or even an Audible credit on this.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

entertaining

Did the story keep me engaged: yes
Were there any parts I found annoying: no
Did I feel an emotional connection to the characters: not really
Would I listen to it again: there are others i'd listen too before it, but i'd listen again if i were looking for something short.
Story comments: Was entertaining enough, but I would have preferred more back story on Evan.

Narrator comments: Narrator did a good job, there were a couple of slips (eg: Tony instead of Toby - but this could have been in the text). I had no problem distinguishing any of the characters and inflection was in all the right places - overall I have no real issues.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Eek.

I don’t know how the average rating is so high, but wow. The characters are not fleshed out very well, the main character Toby (which the narrator will occasionally call Tony -very confusing the first time he did it, only somewhat less confusing after that), is not really likable at all, the blocking (I think that’s what you call it) doesn’t always make sense- the locations of the characters in relation to the to one another is weird. For example, at one point they put their foreheads together for a sweet moment but the following sentence has one of the characters taking a hit off their cigarette… would you take a hit off your cigarette while your forehead was touching someone else’s? All I know is I wouldn’t. The narrator isn’t great tbh, at least in this case. Like I said, sometimes he says the wrong name, I didn’t really like the voices he uses, etc but most of my irritation is with the story. I didn’t finish it-felt like a waste of time. To be clear, I’m generally a ZA Maxfield fan and I put off reading this book for a while- gave me mediocre vibes- and I was right. Glad it didn’t cost me a credit is all I have to say about that.

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loved this one

I loved this one. The characters were well thought out and believable. The comedy of chaos was great.

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Great Story

I just loved this fun MM romance. Toby is a struggling chef, one who has a dark cloud following over him. After losing yet another job, he is black balled in the city by a critic. He gets an interview with a restaurant owner, who is also struggling to keep the doors open. It seems like they won't hit it off, but boy do they ever! Evan needed Toby, and Toby needed Evan. There are ups and downs and lots of fun watching them get to know one another while saving the restaurant. Great narration!

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 07-15-22

Five fun chef’s kisses!

Overly enthusiastic or just plain unlucky, chef Toby Andrews has a habit of being fired from each of the fine-dining restaurants he’s worked in. When he meets Evan Blankenship, the grumpy, people-hating, kilt-wearing cook at the struggling Le Potiron, he’s pretty sure history is about to repeat itself. Still reeling from the nosedive in his finances from the split with his former boyfriend, Evan hasn’t got much to be happy about but he’s willing to be talked into Toby’s creative ideas for change and maybe more. I loved this work-place romance, it’s almost totally set in restaurants and ZA Maxfield has captured the business of the kitchen and the hubbub of the dining room perfectly. The narrative sits with the bubbly Toby and it’s a classic grumpy / sunshine romance with two well-written characters. It’s highly entertaining with plenty of nemeses out for blood if Toby and Evan don’t self-sabotage things themselves. Biff Summer’s audio narration was hugely entertaining, great job!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Gehrminator
  • 03-28-22

Nice story, not very polished writing

The narration was fine, although the book must had some edits because they didn't always match.

I liked the story & plot but I felt the writing could have benefited from some tighter editing or a more mature hand. Honestly the sex scenes seemed to ramp up from nowhere or didn't always service the story, I don't know there was something off with them.