Title: Mangos & Mistletoe
Author: Adriana Herrera
Rating: 4/5 stars
“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.” (description from Goodreads)
This new story from Adriana Herrera ticked off many boxes for me. 1) Holiday themed, 2) novella that’s holiday themed, 3) FF Romance that includes both 1 and 2…and the list could go on and on. Last year, I enjoyed Herrera’s debut American Dreamer, the MM Romance with a food truck owner trying out his business in Central New York. Mangos and Mistletoe was a nice way to really test out this author’s versatility. She goes from a MM series to this FF novella and sets it in Scotland. That made me want to read it right away.
I really enjoyed the dynamic the two main characters, Kiskeya and Sully, had. In many ways they’re two totally different people despite the link of them both being Dominican. They both have different relationships with being Dominican and different motivations in their baking professions. Putting them together could have spelled disaster, but it didn’t. They worked so well together (not just in the ways of romance).
Herrera was able to develop great characters, not just in the two heroines, but also with the side characters. And even though I don’t know most of the baking terms used in the creations during the competition, it makes me want to learn more about it all. And maybe I’ll go watch some baking shows to add to my reading.
It was great to see how Herrera can write a great romance again. I think she did a great job jumping into FF Romance and showed that love is love. Doesn’t matter who’s in love. Just matters that it’s well written. I can’t wait to see what else is planned from this author. I know I’ll need more from her after I finish the other Dreamers novels. I hope to see another novella like this one. It was just what I needed to finish off last year and begin this new one.
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About the Author:
Adriana was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings.
When she’s not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
She’s one of the co-creators of the Queer Romance PoC Collective and serves as the VP of Programs for the Romance Writers of America New York City Chapter.
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