Kiss Me, Mi Amor
Author: Alana Quintana Albertson
What I’m Talking About:
As the middle child of a family that runs a hugely successful restaurant chain, Enrique wants to make his own mark on the business. After reading about self-made farmer Carolina Flores, Enrique wants to shadow her and learn about her ethical farming practices.
Carolina has worked hard to buy her family farm and give the employees safe working conditions and fair compensation; there is no way she’s going to partner with one of the fast-talking Montez brothers. However, when Enrique offers to help her out with some family issues, the pair realize they make a good team.
Overall, I enjoyed Kiss Me, Mi Amor, a modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Growing up in a strict, traditional Mexican household as the eldest of ten daughters, Carolina is expected to marry a strong Mexican Catholic man who will take over the family farm while she stays home cooking, cleaning, and raising a family. While Carolina wants none of that life for herself, her younger sister Blanca does, but she cannot date until Carolina has a boyfriend. When Enrique goes along with Carolina’s plan to play her boyfriend, her repressed frustration over her parents’ restrictive ways and traditions boils over into a huge family feud.
I loved the big family and learning more about traditional Mexican customs and farming. While the story is a romance, it’s also Carolina’s journey of self-discovery. We see her grow and change over the course of the story as she learns to break from the ingrained tradition that borders on abuse to standing on her own. On the other hand, I don’t feel I really got to know Enrique. We do see him learn more about farming and change his attitude about getting his own hands dirty with the hard work, but we are told about his emotional growth, which takes place prior to the story (possibly in the first book?). That said, I felt his character development is lacking. He plays it all zen and mentally balanced, but when Carolina needs space to be on her own, he makes it all about him, acting like a complete ass. He gives her space but never apologizes for his rush to push her into more.
In the end, Kiss Me, Mi Amor is an enjoyable read. It also has a stunning cover – probably my favorite of the year.
My Rating: B Liked It — Recommend
About the Book:
It turns out that a fake relationship is the perfect recipe for a love that sizzles hotter than Santa Barbara’s spiciest salsa–when it’s between enemies….
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 over-involved 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.
Release Date: July 4, 2023
Series: Love & Tacos #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Retelling
Format(s): paperback (304 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: Publisher
Amazon (affiliate link)