Friday, July 7, 2023

Review and Giveaway - - Kiss Me, Mi Amor

Kiss Me, Mi Amor
by Alana Quintana Albertson
Love & Tacos - Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 4, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

Enrique Montez, smooth-talking heir to the Taco King empire, is man enough to admit that he made a critical error when he underestimated Carolina Flores. The agricultural hotshot should have been an easy conquest—who would turn down the chance to partner with California’s largest fast-food chain? But instead of signing her name on the dotted line, Carolina has Enrique eating out of the palm of her hand, and when fate steps in with an unexpected opportunity, Enrique is willing to do whatever it takes to capture her heart.

Growing up as the daughter of farmworkers, Carolina spent her youth picking strawberries in the fields of Santa Maria and vowing to improve the lives of people like her parents. Now, as one of only a few Latina farm owners, she has no time for romance and she’s certainly not about to let the notorious Montez brother anywhere near her business—even if just being near Enrique makes her skin tingle.

But she is willing to let him help get her overinvolved family off her back. When Carolina’s father and her lovelorn sisters mistake Enrique for her (nonexistent) boyfriend, she reluctantly agrees to a series of pretend dates to their town’s traditional Mexican-American holiday celebrations. Soon the fake feelings turn real and both Carolina and Enrique must convince each other to take a chance on love before their vacation romance is over.

PJ's Thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about this second book in Albertson's Love & Tacos series. There are several things I enjoyed. The Mexican-American representation is strong in this book as it was in the first. Albertson paints a vivid picture of cultural expectations and traditions amongst the Mexican-American communities throughout California, adding a rich palette of textures to the story. Traditional foods are a strong thread and, yes, there was plenty of drooling on my part. While the author highlights colorful festivals and warm, welcoming families, she doesn't shy away from the darker side of life among these families, especially in the agricultural areas, and I appreciated that. Low wages and inaccessible healthcare are a concern and a thread of reality these characters work to combat. 

Where the story fell a bit short for me was in the main characters, in particular, Enrique. I had a difficult time connecting with him and because of that, I didn't feel as invested in his relationship with Carolina as I had with the lead couple in the first book. I wanted to see more growth in his character. Others may not have the same difficulty with him as I had. 

I did not have the same reaction to Carolina. Her situation tugged at my heart as she struggled with her loyalty to her family, including her ultra-conservative, controlling father, and her desire to be an independent businesswoman. She's caught between two cultures with no easy way forward. I found her evolution, and her layers, to be much more complex and meaningful than Enrique's. In the end, I was happy with the romantic conclusion to the story though I did feel the resolution to Carolina's falling-out with her family was wrapped up a bit too quickly to be believable. 

The cast of secondary characters add another layer of richness - and conflict - to the story and has me intrigued enough about the Montez brothers to want to know where their journeys will lead them next. I'll be sticking around for youngest brother, Jaime's story in book three. 

Have you read Alana Quintana Albertson yet?

Do you enjoy learning about different cultural traditions?

What's your favorite ethnic cuisine?

One randomly chosen person posting a comment before 11:00 PM, July 9 will receive a print copy of Kiss Me, Mi Amor.

*U.S. only
*Must be 18


  1. A new author for me. Love reading about different cultures. Love Mexican cuisine!!

  2. Ms Albertson is a new to me author. And yes, I like learning about other cultures, we live in a world with other cultures so learning is imperative. And since I live in Texas, of course I like Mexican cuisine. I also like Italian food very much probably because I originated in a part of the country where that was paramount. Thanks for this introduction to this new to me author.

  3. I have not yet read her books but they are on my wish lists/want to read lists! I adore both Italian and Mexican food and would hate to have to choose between them! I always enjoy learning more about different cultures and their traditions and love books that include this information!

  4. She is a new author for me. I love learning about cultural traditions. Currently one of my favorite cuisines is Japanese.

  5. I've not read Alana Quintana Albertson yet, but do love reading different cultural traditions and cuisines. I don't have a favorite, but am thankful we live in an area where we've had the chance to enjoy many of them locally!

  6. This is a new to me author. I love the cover! My favorite cuisines are Mexican or Thai.