Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Ramon And Julieta
Author: Alana Quintana Albertson
Book Series: Standalone
Smut Level: 2/5
Diversity: Mexican American MCs and Mexican American characters
Recommended For…: adult fiction, romance, contemporary
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Recommended Age: 18+ (Gentrification, Death, Grief, Language, Sexual content, Alcoholism, Romance, ICE, Violence, Gore)
Explanation of CWs: The book is a romance book, so it has sexual content, active sex, and romance in it. The book also discusses gentrification and displays issues that Hispanic/Latin communities face, such as ICE, disproportionate imprisonment, and poverty. There is death that is mentioned briefly, some very slight grief, cursing, some alcoholism shown, and some very slight violence and very very slight gore.
Publisher: Berkley Books
Synopsis: Ramón Montez always achieves his goals. Whether that means collecting Ivy League degrees or growing his father’s fast-food empire, nothing sets Ramón off course. So when the sexy señorita who kissed him on the Day of the Dead runs off into the night with his heart, he determines to do whatever it takes to find her again.
Celebrity chef Julieta Campos has sacrificed everything to save her sea-to-table taqueria from closing. To her horror, she discovers that her new landlord is none other than the magnetic mariachi she hooked up with on Dia de los Muertos. Even worse, it was his father who stole her mother’s taco recipe decades ago. Julieta has no choice but to work with Ramón, the man who destroyed her life’s work–and the one man who tempts and inspires her.
As San Diego’s outraged community protests against the Taco King take-over and the divide between their families grows, Ramón and Julieta struggle to balance the rising tensions. But Ramón knows that true love is priceless and despite all of his successes, this is the one battle he refuses to lose.
Review: I absolutely loved this amazing book. The story was well written and the characters well developed. I especially loved Julieta as she was a tattooed curvy female, which I haven’t seen a lot in books, and both MCs were 30 and over, which is also something not normally shown in romance books from my limited experience. The book is a sweet Romeo and Juliet retelling, but the author made the story her own in a unique fashion. The book also had a lot of Spanish words intermixed throughout the book and a lot of different Hispanic influences, which I very much enjoyed. It felt like a read that a lot of people, especially those who are Latin/Hispanic would be able to identify with greatly.
The only issues I had with the book are that the smut part of the book started really late in it, at about 62% in, and the book didn’t have a lot of enemies to lovers runtime before they started actively falling for each other. The book also wrapped up within 5% of the novel and it just felt a bit rushed at the end. Unfortunately the problem with gentrification is that it can’t be easily solved and I don’t expect the author to have most of the answers, but it just felt like it was a bit of a dropped ball at the end.
Verdict: It was great and I highly recommend it for the story, the discussion of gentrification, and for the romance.