Friday, December 27, 2019

Melinda's Review: Mangos and Mistletoe

Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera
Publisher: Adriana Herrera (December 16, 2019)
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Queer, F/F)
Dual 1st POV

Kiskeya Burgos left the tropical beaches of the Dominican Republic with a lot to prove. As a pastry chef on the come up, when she arrives in Scotland, she has one goal in mind: win the Holiday Baking Challenge. Winning is her opportunity to prove to her family, her former boss, and most importantly herself, she can make it in the culinary world. Kiskeya will stop at nothing to win , that is, if she can keep her eyes on the prize and off her infuriating teammate's perfect lips.

Sully Morales, home cooking hustler, and self-proclaimed baking brujita lands in Scotland on a quest to find her purpose after spending years as her family’s caregiver. But now, with her home life back on track, it's time for Sully to get reacquainted with her greatest love, baking. Winning the Holiday Baking Challenge is a no brainer if she can convince her grumpy AF baking partner that they make a great team both in and out of the kitchen before an unexpected betrayal ends their chance to attain culinary competition glory.

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Melinda's Review:

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again – novellas are challenging. They must be challenging to write, it’s just logical that it would be, authors have to get the pacing of the plot and both characters emotional arcs exactly right in fewer words. We have to come to love both characters, and root for their HEA. It just SOUNDS difficult! And honestly, there are not many novellas I love. I generally only pick up ones from authors I trust or recs from trusted friends.

Luckily Mangos and Mistletoe is by Adriana Herrera, author of the Dreamers series, which I’ve really enjoyed. So I knew I was in good hands! This book was designed to entice me and is an ideal holiday novella no matter what holiday you celebrate. It’s set at a GBBO-esque baking competition reality show, which I completely love and can’t get enough of this setting. Kiskeya and Sully are both from the Dominican Republic, with completely different backgrounds. They clash upon meeting and because this is a romance novel they find themselves on a team together. They clash…but there is also this intense chemistry which made me want to scream just kiss her you moron!

One of the things that I loved so much about this book is how their Dominican culture played a part in everything. Kiskeya doesn’t want to put too much emphasis on those flavors in their baking because she is worried about overdoing things, but Sully thinks it will make them stand out. This seems like such a beautiful way to emphasize that everyone from one culture is not a monolith – everyone is different obviously, and choose to express their culture in different ways. Kiskeya has a complicated relationship with the DR culture, and her family, so she is more reluctant to want to express that. And I just think that Herrera manages all of this so deftly in such a short space.

I thoroughly enjoyed the competition aspect that was the backdrop to their romance, but really, it was just that – a backdrop. The details didn’t matter much to me because I was so enthralled with the women clearly falling for each other. There is also ONLY ONE BED because of some random thing and I was so ridiculous excited about that!

Just a completely delightful read, perfect for the holidays, or really whenever you need a quick read to make you happy!

4 1/2 STARS! 

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Source: Bought

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Thanks for the review, Melinda! 


Until Next Time,

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