It is now officially not-Latinx Heritage Month, I hope you’ve all had a good one. And more importantly, I hope this month gave you an idea of how many amazing stories and fantastic stories are out there waiting for you to start them and support them.
Books read: 9 Books DNF’d: 0 SlowburnBooks (that I didn’t immediately get caught up in): Never Look Back Fave read out of the 7: You Had Me At Hola Fave cover out of the 7: I would say You Had Me At Hola again, but to pick another one I would say Muse Squad Genre most represented: I think it’s pretty evenly divided, there’s three contemporary, three fantasy and three romance, i guess if you count some of those contemporary and fantasy have some romance in it I guess romance Overall rating: 4 stars, there’s still two books of those (Happy Hour At Casa Dracula & Island Affair) that I haven’t reviewed, but I think overall it’s a 4.
There’s still more to come this month, especially spooky reads.
First tomorrow I have Sil’s #spookycreaturebookchallenge post which will basically recommend you a book with one spooky creature, I’m really excited to share my list with all of you and see how many you know or have read. Or even how many I can convince you to read 🙂
On the last day of Latinx Heritage Month I thought why not promote upcoming YA books. While I would love to do an exhaustive list of ALL Latinx (YA, Adult, MG and picture books) that’s going to be released in the coming months and next year. This was more of a last minute putting together this list in a whim because even though LHM is over after today, there’s still amazing and magical and funny and sweet and heartwrenching books upcoming to support and read.
Hi all! As mentioned before I planned on doing another recommendation lists, but I thought why not take the time to gush about this amazing rom-com I had the chance to read on LHM. I will continue doing Latinx recommendations lists even when LHM is over. For now, let me gush about this lovely book.
Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers. After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.
Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy. After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.
Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars. With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.
6 reasons to read this book *mc is puerto rican-american, LI is puerto rican *includes tropes like misunderstandings, pining, coworkers to lovers, broody hero, celebrity romance *cast is majorly latinx with a lot of diversity, latinx identity with all the messiness of family dynamics *discusses anxiety, mental health, representation in hollywood, telenovelas, paparazzi, famous life, consent, stalkers * funny romcom that’ll remind you jane the virgin and ugly betty *HEA
cw: anxiety, mental health, past instances of stalking
You Had Me At Hola tells the story of Jasmine Lin Rodriguez who finds her face splashed across tabloids thanks to her boyfriend deciding to have a very messy public breakup without telling her beforehand they were over. But thanks okay because Jasmine will star in a new bilingual romcom tv show. And leading ladies are badass queens making jefa moves who don’t involve her new cast mate telenovela hunk Ashton Suarez. Ashton was just killed off in his last telenovela, he’s worried his career is dead too. But this new American show he’s been casted in could give him the chance to break into the radar of Hollywood casting agents. This of course doesn’t involve having a disastrous first meeting with his costar or that sexual tension between them. With his career on the line and her wanting to not be in the media spotlight, their moments together rehearsing and kissing and that romance brewing between them might prove challenging, especially as Ashton is trying not to expose his most guarded secret.
There’s so much about this book that I loved, Jasmine was a wonderful main character, she was determined, straightfoward, genuine and funny, I loved her strength of character, I loved her family even with all the craziness but that’s what family is about sometimes. I loved Ashton, his fears, his anxieties, how hard he tried to protect himself and his family.
The overall cast of this story was so latinx, so so latinx, the cast and crew of their tv show is all latinx, apart from maybe one, if I remember correctly, Jasmine’s family in NY was all puerto rican of course, and Ashton’s family who was in Puerto Rico too. This book is infused with latinx references from telenovelas to those romcom tv shows that come from telenovelas. But more than that, it had some very interesting themes of latinx identity and representation in Hollywood. Two themes I am very very passionate about. So you can see how this book is already touching on things I’m fond of.
But have I mentioned their chemistry? because one interesting aspect of this book was the two stories that ran at the same time, Jasmine and Ashton’s romance at the same time that we read the tv show they’re both starring in and the second-chance romance from their characters. I looked forward to reading both their outside of the cameras romance as well as the telenovela’s plot. I think for me one of the highlights was this and the behind-the-scenes bits of their acting, their rehearsals especially were parts of the novel that I most enjoyed. This is mainly to do with their chemistry and more than that, I love reading about characters who don’t have a great first meet but then have to learn how to deal with each other.
This was a very sweet slightly angsty at times, romcom story with a few hijinks, miscommunication, a broody hero who has a lot of fears and doesn’t know how to deal with them so he acts all mysterious and detached, and a heroine determined to stop making mistakes but also finds herself too attracted by her co-star when rehearsing together. This joined up with their cute moments together, the cast of Carmen, their families and the overall plot of their tv show proves a perfect mix of everything you need in a romance book.
Overall, You Had Me At Hola was the perfect combination of pining, cute sweet moments between the couple, telenovela/latinx shows references, a cast of great secondary characters and sexy tension filled moments.
Alexis Daria is a native New Yorker and award-winning author writing stories about successful Latinx characters and their (occasionally messy) familias. Her debut TAKE THE LEAD won the 2018 RITA® Award for “Best First Book” and was one of the “Best Romance Novels of 2017” in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. Her super powers include spotting celebrities in NYC, winning Broadway ticket lotteries, and live-tweeting.
Today’s post is dedicated to recommending Fantasy Series by Latinx authors. When I started making this list I noticed I had at least 25 books I could include, and the more I thought about it, the more I added. So instead of making a 20+ recommendations list, I ended up making sure they were more fantasy than sci-fi and more fantasy than dystopia. There will be another version of this with Latinx authored fantasy books that are not part of a series, duology or trilogy.
Charlie Hernández Series by Ryan Calejo
Book 1 and 2 follow Charlie Hernandez who even though he likes to think of himself as a normal kid. He’s a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature.Join him in his adventures helping La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind.
The first in an action-packed debut middle grade fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology.Along with her “Muse Squad”, she will have to learn how to use their magic to inspire and empower–not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.Join Callie andher junior musesfighting against the vicious Sirens who only want to create chaos and disaster.
Sierra Santiago discovers one summer that she’s a shadowshaper, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. And with the help of a mysterious fellow artist named Robbie, she will have to unravel her family’s past, take down that someone who is killing the shadowshapers one by one in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for herself and generations to come.
This series follows the three Mortiz sisters, Alex, Lula and Rose, three teen witches from a family of witches, as they develop their powers and battle magic through epic questing in the realms beyond.Alex’s story (first book) is set in the mythical fantasy world of Los Lagos, Lula’s stories (second book) is set on the streets of Brooklyn and the third book, Rose’s story is set in the magical lost realm of Adas.
The City of Diamond and Steel Series by Francesca Flores
This series follows Aina Solis, trained to be one of the most powerful and dangerous assassins in Sumerand, a kingdom funded by immigrants, built by magic, and still reeling from an industrial revolution that’s led to all-out civil war. Aina will have to act against her boss Kohl and join forces with an unexpected allie to unravel a conspiracy that could rewrite Sumerand’s history and her own future.
In this Dominican-inspired fantasy, Finnian Voy, a face-changing thief meets Prince Alfehr, a risk-taking prince when Finn is trying to steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace. But when their fates collide, they accidentally unlock an ancient, terrible power into the world. Now they must team up to defeat this powerful evil they accidentally unleashed and save Castallan.
This series follows Manuela Azul, that as an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, she has always been confined to her small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida. But when, things change and now she’s forced to understand her past. She will uncover her own story, trace her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina. Now she’ll realise it’s not just her US residency that’s illegal, it’s her entire existence
This series follows the Emil and Brighton, two brothers growing up in New York, who have always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own-one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be. Now they found themselves caught up in a magical war generations in the making, but also brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test.
Now today was supposed to be a Cemetery Boys Review, unfortunately my Illumicrate box has not arrived yet, and since I kept wanting to make this list post, I thought why not swap it for this. There is still another Latinx fantasy books recommendations list on the works, since there’s so many books here I left out and want to recommend. That will either be posted tomorrow (if I find the time) or on the 13th.
Hi all! Still a few days to go and Latinx Heritage Month is over. I’ve had a lot of fun reading these amazing Latinx books. But like I always like to remember, this isn’t the end 🙂 Latinx books come out every year and I will continue to read, review and promote them! On this post I get to gush about this amazing middle grade book.
Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse
by Chantel Acevedo
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy Release Date: July 7th, 2020 Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret.
Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.
When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s exceptionally nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.
As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse . . . or will it undo them all?
6 reasons to read this book *mc is cuban-america, best-friend is venezuelan *muse squad is made from a variety of different cultural backgrounds, a lot of different nationalities, Cuban, Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, Haitian, Indian, Black, British representation *action packed story with inspiration from greek mythology and using greek myths *discusses global warming and climate change *very good lessons on friendship, being humble, how to deal with middle school, grief, being honest, jealousy *wholesome, full of hope and fun story
cw: fatphobic comment, mention of relative death, bullying, body shaming
Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse tells the story of Calliope Martinez-Silva who is not only grieving the death of her aunt but is also trying to figure out middle school. When returning from a concert with her best-friend Raquel, she has near death experience, she starts noticing a weird feeling and weird things happening around her. She soon finds herself in the Victoria and Albert Museum, discovering she’s the muse of poetry and she can inspire people to be the best they can be. This comes with a whole big set of complications, she’s made her best-friend into a pop sensation, she needs to inspire humanity and protect it from the Sirens who only want chaos and destruction, all while trying to hide her new identity and powers.
Can I just say I absolutely loved this book? It’s a quick, fun read. But it’s one that almost makes me wish I had these kind of books when I was younger. There are many valuable lessons to take from this book. And honestly, by the end I just feel warm, fuzzy and hopeful for the future. What more could you want about a fantasy story filled with real world problems and some greek myths weaved together. There’s a lot going on this book and while I didn’t appreciate some of the chubby comments about Callie, I still loved her as the main character, I’m always a fan of the average main character who has an average life who ends up recognising how amazing and brave she is, and at the same time what I loved about Callie was how she inspired others to be the same. Throughout the book, she grew and confronted not only her fears but also feelings like jealousy and desires that could make her use her powers for not so good things. I loved the overall cast of this book, Callie’s relationship with her mom and her brothers, the cast of Muses and even her classmates. I have to say I didn’t expect the villain, I thought it would be someone else, so I was pleasantly surprised about that.
Overall, Muse Squad was a fantastic adventure that gave a fresh new take on greek mythology with the current world, and the main character, Callie is the perfect heroine that is so easy to relate to.
Chantel Acevedo was born in Miami to Cuban parents. She is the acclaimed author of adult novels, including The Distant Marvels, which was a finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and she is also a professor of English at the University of Miami, where she directs the MFA program. Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse is her debut middle grade novel. Chantel lives with her personal Muse Squad, aka her family, in Florida.
Late post today. Last week was a bit hectic as I have started working (teaching) again, this involves commuting, wearing a face visor or a mask 24/7 and then commuting back home. I’m a bit rusty on that kind of routine so things piled up. Good thing about commuting though, getting to read (audiobooks most of the time) books 🙂 so I’ve been doing great in terms of TBR! But we’ll talk about that later! Today I bring you the review of one of my most anticipated books of this year.
Lumi Santana is a chef with a gift: she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she puts her heart and savings into opening her own fusion restaurant in Upper Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines she is inspired by. When her eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. After he goes out of his way to bake a tart to prove her wrong in a dispute, she is so irritated by his smug attitude that she vows to herself never to taste his cooking. But after she succumbs to the temptation and takes a bite one day and is overcome with shocking emotion, she finds herself beginning to crave his cooking and struggling to stay on task with her plan to save up and move on as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Julien’s obsessed secretary watches with gnashed teeth as they grow closer and becomes determined to get Lumi out of her way permanently.
6 reasons to read this book *mc is dominican-american, LI is french-canadian *feel good rom-com about two chefs, food and love in the kitchen *perfect for foodies! recipes included within the book *MC has a form of synesthesia wherein emotions are attached to food *some tropes include dislike to like, coworkers to lovers, HEA, smitten hero, miscommunication *Dominican representation, food, culture
cw: serious injury, depictions of being shocked, scars, sex scenes
A Taste of Sage tells the story of Lumi Santana who senses people’s emotions through cooking, she’s been told never to eat someone elses cooking as they could hurt her. All her savings were put into her Dominican/Other cuisine fusion restaurant on Upper Manhattan. But when it starts struggling, she’s forced to quit the restaurant of her dreams and become a sous chef at the traditional French restaurant owned by the arrogant Julien Dax. She’s determined to save up and move on as soon as possible, but when she tries his food and spends more time with him outside of the kitchen, she starts to rethink her opinion of him.
I have to admit this was a very quick read, the book isn’t too long but also the pace of the book helps to make this a quick and fun read. One of the things I most loved about this book was the Dominican representation, not only through food but little mentions here and there that felt real. Lumi, with all her issues and insecurities was a great heroine, one that was flawed but also determined to make it through. There were some very dramatic issues that happened in the book and even Lumi had some dramatic reactions to a lot of things – no spoilers here – which at times took me out of the story or felt too fantastical. I loved the magical way food was presented here, Lumi’s connection to food and how she could feel emotions, this was one of my favourite aspects of the book as well as all the recipes included. Julien was hard to like, it took me a while to get to know him, as when he’s first introduced you immediately think of him as the typical arrogant French rich boy. But it’s nice to see how what we know of him changes as the book goes on. The pacing of the book was, sometimes, too fast and sometimes not fast enough, and by this I basically mean that I wish there were more moments of their relationship growth. I didn’t get to see enough of their chemistry to fully get 200% (as I usually do) invested in their relationship. But even then, I like seeing the main characters be happy and together by the end of the book.
Overall, this was a good, quick read with amazing food included. I would say don’t read this if you’re hungry.
Yaffa S. Santos was born and raised in New Jersey. A solo trip to Dominican Republic in her teenage years changed her relationship to her Dominican heritage and sparked a passion for cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing and visual art. She is a member of RWA. She has lived in New York, Philadelphia, Santo Domingo, and now lives in Florida with her family.
Hi all! I kinda went into a slump this weekend, not reading wise because i’ve been reading non stop every free time I have, but I couldn’t for the life of me write one word for this review or the other. So today, as promised on my twitter will be a double review day. The second book review will be A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos, it will be posted later on the afternoon (my time BST)
We Unleash the Merciless Storm
by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Genre: YA, Dystopian Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books Release Date: February 25th, 2020
Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause. Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers. She spent years undercover, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of a civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters. There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be?
6 reasons to read this book *continues the story where We Set The Dark On Fire left it off but different POV *MC grew up as a La Voz soldier, one of the best *sapphic couple * choosing between love and a rebellion * deals with the human side of a revolution *making difficult decisions between trusting blindly or questioning your role models
cw: mentions of torture, death, graphic injuries, mentions of drowning, violence, blood
We Unleash the Merciless Storm picks up where We Set the Dark on Fire left off. Carmen is badly hurt, running away from Dani and the Garcia family. Carmen is back at La Voz, knowing full well her decisions and actions will be questioned, especially her relationship with Dani. She has to hide how attached she became to Dani, or how not objective she can be about the situation. When El Buitre, the leader of the La Voz along with the suspicious Ari start to make decision on Dani’s life, Carmen will have to decide between the rebellion he grew up in and she’s loyal to and the woman she fell in love.
Honestly, this book was hard to get through, I wanted so bad to like it, especially since the first book had so many interesting aspects and social commentary, while this book tried to continue, for me it fell short. I was expecting intriguing things from Carmen’s voice as on the first book she seems so full of mystery and secrets. That ended up being my first disappointment, her inner dialogue felt repetitive, that at times I just wanted something, anything to happen. I’m usually a sucker for pining but the way her thoughts were written, i didn’t really feel that longing or aching that I usually love from pining. The resolution of the conflict (confronting/fighting against Mateo and his regime) and the plot twist (bad guy infiltrates the rebellion) felt like such a let down, after making the stakes so high, I expected something with the same kind of intensity. I did enjoy Carmen and Dani’s interactions together but they weren’t enough for me to love this book, or have to stop myself from pausing reading every so often. Overall, it was an okay book but that didn’t really add much to the worldbuilding or explore more their dystopian situation. I’m disappointed.
Tehlor Kay Mejia is a YA author and poet at home in the wild woods and alpine meadows of Southern Oregon. When she’s not writing, you can find her plucking at her guitar, stealing rosemary sprigs from overgrown gardens, or trying to make the perfect vegan tamale. She is active in the Latinx lit community, and passionate about representation for marginalized teens in media. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @tehlorkay.
Today I am very excited to talk about Blazewrath Games, an amazing latinx fantasy book by Amparo Ortiz. Thanks to Caffeine Tour and Page Street Publishing for the opportunity to read an ARC, get to enjoy this lovely book before it was released.
I’m not good at being super creative but I gave my shot on creating a moodboard, hopefully that gives you a little taste of what the book is about.
by Amparo Ortiz
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy Release date: 6th October 2020 Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance. But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.
6 reasons to read this book *MC, Lana Torres, is a brown puerto-rican girl *so much of puerto rican culture, heritage, identity! *ample queer cast of characters, BIPoC and Latinx characters, so many nationalities and ethnicities and disabled characters! found family! *fantastical worldbuilding, magic system, magical creatures *international conspiracy!! dragon-into-a-human form, so many plot twists and turn, action-packed *sports fantasy, epic dragon sport with unique set of rules
Blazewrath Games tells the story of Lana Torres, who has always preferred dragons to people. Her dream and life goal has always been to compete in the Blazewrath World Cup representing Puerto Rico, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. When Puerto Rico’s runner is kicked off the team, now Lana has a chance to be a part of the team. But a global conspiracy is brewing, the Sire, a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form and a former Blazewrath superstar have teamed up, they are burning down dragon sanctuaries and will not stop until the Cup is cancelled. Now, Lana has to navigate being a part of her beloved sport with this international threat.
I have to admit that from the moment I read the summary of this book, I knew I was going to like it. I mean sports? dragons? fantasy? I’m in! I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint, by the third chapter I was already hooked in.
Lana is an amazing heroine, she’s brave and determined but also not the typical ‘chosen one’ from fantasies. I loved that she wasn’t bonded to any dragon or had any special magic and that she took her time to think of other characters particularly the villain’s motivations and intentions, and that’s something that we don’t see very often in such fantasy books. Her inner dialogue was at times too relatable, particularly because of how down to earth she was. Her friendship with Samira was also one of the highlights of this book, Samira, a big secondary character is her best-friend, co-pilot, co-partner in crime, she’s such a great asset, and through her you really get to know Lana. I have to praise the diversity, it’s such a breath of fresh air the diverse, we had representation of so many nationalities, ethnicities, different identities, latinx characters, BIPoC, disabled, it was so natural and beautiful to read. It’s what it should be, I mean you’re telling me everyone in a magical fantasy world is able, cis, het, cmon! So thank you Amparo for showing us this wouldn’t be the case. Also can I just mention how lovely it was to see how much this book was full of Puerto Rican culture, heritage, language, identity, it was in every bit of the book.
The worldbuilding in itself was superbly done, everything was explained so well and with a lot of detail, but also in a way that didn’t feel like an overexposition, it was just done perfectly. The magic system, the sport with all its rules, and how even dragons were, was really engaging. The pace of the book is fast, i don’t mean this as a negative because I loved how fast paced it was, it fit so well with the world and the stakes. And even more with the many different plot twists, that were so well done they didn’t end up feeling like they were for the shock value. Many of the things that happen in the book can easily be related to now, and that’s one of the things I most liked, it was fantasy with its own structure, magic system, magical creatures, but also so much of it was comparable to our world.
There’s so much more I could comment on, but I’m trying hard not to spoil anything.
Overall, Blazewrath Games is perfect for fans of fantasy, dragons, and a down-to-earth, regular fan full of determination main character who has so much heart. This is now in my favourite reads of 2020, I can’t wait for the next book and anything else Amparo comes up with.
Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast. Her short story comic, “What Remains in The Dark,” appears in the Eisner Award-winning anthology Puerto Rico Strong (Lion Forge, 2018), and SAVING CHUPIE, her middle grade graphic novel, comes out with HarperCollins in Winter 2022. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.A. in Psychology from the UPR’s Río Piedras campus. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, devouring as much young adult fiction as she can, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical.
It’s been a while since I did a TBR. I’ve found that I’m actually being more productive lately, and reading is slowly picking up for me. So why not push myself set a TBR and then see how that goes.
This October I will be participating in the #AceRace Readathon. It’s a Readathon for all of October focusing on books with asexual protagonists.
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity? I’ve had this book forever in my TBR, and I’ve heard so much about it, so now I have a legitimate excuse to push myself to read it. That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert She wants a fake relationship. He needs something real. Talia Hibbert is an insta-read for me, I love how she writes romances, but for some reason I haven’t read this Ravenswood series, so this will give me an excuse to check it out.
Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. With her allies, no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, she uncovers the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, is it too late to save the city — or themselves. This is another book that has been on my radar, I am using it both for LHM and the Ace Race, because why not
Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee Natasha “Tash” Zelenka has gone viral, her modern adaptation of Anna Karenina is now on everyone’s mouth and even nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual. I own this book, which makes it perfect for me to finally pick it up and read it.
Latinx Heritage Month doesn’t finish until the 15th, I still have 3 more planned books to read and review
A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?
So lots to read this month, I planned on doing something for Black History Month here in the UK but I think my TBR is pretty big, there will be some recommendations lists to celebrate this with Black British authors and readings.
Hi all! Back with another Latinx Recommendations List.
Now, initially I thought of making one just of Latinx Romcoms, unfortunately I have to admit it wouldn’t have been that long and I would have left out so many good romance novels. I mean more than I have already left out! There’s just so so many good Latinx ones that I could easily make a 20 Latinx romance book recommendation list.
For this particular list this time each romance novel is matched with a common romance trope.
Amara Maria Robles is a good girl. So good that she gave up her dreams of becoming a renowned pastry chef to help her parents with their struggling Mexican bakery. Yet her parents reject any changes she suggests, and refuse to sell her mouth-watering confections. Clearly being a good girl isn’t paying off. So when her brother’s sexy ex-best friend walks into the bakery, Amara’s tempted to be very bad indeed…
After a scandal twelve years ago, resident bad boy Eric Valencia has returned to make things right with his family and friends. One glance at Amara and her wicked curves, however, and Eric finds himself thinking about how she’d feel beneath him—something he promised Amara’s brother he would never think about, let alone do.
But this bad boy is in deep trouble…because Amara’s determined to have her cake, and Eric, too.
Graciela Rodriguez is determined to break her engagement to Ciudad Real’s most eligible bachelor—even if it means ruining her reputation.
Vicente Aguirre has been hired by Graciela’s aunt to keep her wayward niece from damaging the family name along with her future. When her charms prove irresistible, will he fall for the infamous Miss Rodriguez?
Ad executive Tomas Garcia shouldn’t even be thinking about his daughter’s alluring dance teacher, Yazmine Fernandez. Burned by a shattering divorce, he’s laser-focused on his career and giving his young daughter, Maria, the secure home she deserves. Plus, he’s certain that with her talent, Yaz will be leaving Chicago and heading back to Broadway as soon as she can. But Yaz’s generous spirit and caring concern are sparking a desire Tomas can’t resist and doesn’t want to let go . . .
For Yaz, good-looking workaholics like Tomas simply can’t be part of her life ever again. She owes it to herself to get back her confidence and fulfill the dreams her papa could not. She’s glad to spend time with Maria and taste the family life she feels she can never have. And she’s sure that she and Tomas can keep their attraction under control because there’s so much at stake. But each unexpected intimacy, each self-revelation, makes the fire between them grow hotter with every step and every risk to their hearts . . .
Event planner Sofia Silva is hiding a big secret. No one can know that her engagement to her lying, cheating fiancé is over. Until she meets gorgeous, wealthy newcomer Jonathan Gunther. Jon moved to Miami for a legally sinful life of waterfront property, convertibles and no emotional entanglements. When he invites Sofia to lie low at his house, their undeniable attraction explodes…but will her dilemma ruin their chance at forever?
After a very public breakup with a media-hungry politician, fitness trainer Tori Alvarez escapes to Aruba for rest, relaxation, and copious amounts of sex on the beach—the cocktail, that is. She vows to keep her vacation a man-free zone but when a cute guy is seated next to her on the plane, Tori can’t resist a little harmless flirting.
Hollywood heartthrob Carter Stone underwent a dramatic physical transformation for his latest role and it’s clear his stunning seat mate doesn’t recognize the man beneath the shaggy beard and extra lean frame. Now Carter needs help rebuilding his buff physique and Tori is perfect for the job. It doesn’t hurt that she makes his pulse pound in more ways than one.
Sparks are flying, until a pesky paparazzo reveals Carter’s identity. Tori is hurt and pissed. She wants nothing to do with another man in the limelight, but she’s still got to whip him into shape. Can Carter convince Tori he’s worth the threat to her privacy that comes with dating a famous actor, or will Tori chisel him down to nothing before he even gets the chance?
One night. New Year’s Eve in Miami. Even workaholic Alana Hernandez can’t resist the call of the city, especially if it will get her little sister off her back. But a night of celebrating turns into a night of mischief when an alluring stranger catches her eye across the dance floor.
No names. Former Navy Seal Cole Roberts isn’t looking for anything more than a good time in Miami. Since leaving the military and being betrayed by his former fiancée, he’s not interested in unnecessary complications. But the moment he sets eyes on the sultry beauty, Cole knows this night will be far from ordinary.
No going back. Neither Cole nor Alana are looking for a relationship, so they strike a deal: One night. No names. No repeats. But things get complicated when their night of passion becomes something neither can walk away from.
Gina Morales wants to win. It’s her fifth season on The Dance Off, a top-rated network TV celebrity dance competition, and she’s never even made it to the finals. When she meets her latest partner, she sees her chance. He’s handsome, rippling with muscles, and he stars on the popular Alaskan wilderness reality show Living Wild. With his sexy physique and name recognition, she thinks he’s her ticket to the finals—until she realizes they’re being set up.
Stone Nielson hates Los Angeles, he hates reality TV, and he hates that fact that he had to join the cast of the The Dance Off because of family obligations. He can’t wait to get back to Alaska, but he also can’t deny his growing attraction to his bubbly Puerto Rican dance partner. Neither of them are looking for romantic entanglements, and Stone can’t risk revealing his secrets, but as they heat up the dance floor, it’s only a matter of time until he feels an overwhelming urge to take the lead.
When the tabloids catch on to their developing romance, the spotlight threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their careers and their shot at the trophy. Gina and Stone will have to decide if their priorities lie with fame, fortune, or the chance at a future together.
After years of living the life his oppressive parents wanted for him, Cameron Blake is ready to pursue his dreams of being a reclusive artist. Pleasing the faithful baseball fans of the New York Emperors has been rewarding, but now all he wants is peace and quiet. That and an irreversible vasectomy. Because there’s no way he’s passing on the heavy burden of the Blake genes to an innocent child. But Cameron never gets what he wants. Ever. The last thing Adrianna Arenas needs is for her ex to slide back into her life. Not when she can throw a nine-year-old curve ball that will change his game. Not when his father could tear her world apart with a simple phone call. Especially not when, despite everything that stands between them, her insides go wild when Cameron walks into a room. But Adri never gets to keep things the way she needs them. Ever. After ten years, fate brings Cameron face-to-face with Adrianna, the woman he never forgot, and the little girl that ties them forever. It all goes back to the secrets, jealousy, and heartache that destroyed the magical summer when they loved each other madly, broke each other’s hearts, and changed each other’s lives.
Skilled, sculpted, and sexy, the men of adult entertainment are the kind of guys a woman reserves for her fantasies, not her reality. But is there more to these professional hotties than meets the eye?…
The day Robyn Flores meets Zac Fallon is one of those days. You know, when you’re already late for work. Mostly because you haven’t really slept since your best friend abandoned you for her fiancé and her exponentially better life. The kind of day you drag yourself to the cleaners to pick up your laundry, only to discover you’ve got the wrong bag—Star Spangled sequined thong, anyone? So Robyn is definitely not ready for the ridiculously gorgeous guy at her front door, except that they have each other’s clothes. But then, is any woman ever ready to meet the love of her life?
There’s just one problem: Zac Fallon is not the love of Robyn’s life. Zac knows, despite the all-too-intimate dinner they share, he doesn’t have a shot at her. Because the next time Zac sees Robyn, he’s front and center of the male revue headlining her best friend’s bachelorette party. So much for wooing the pretty schoolteacher, much less impressing her old-fashioned family, with his upstanding lifestyle. Now he’s only got one way to win his dream girl. It’s gonna be the steamiest, most irresistible seduction she’s ever seen. And this time it will be no act…
There’s so many other tropes and books I could have recommended here, and that might be left for a part 2 of this list. What did you think? Any particularly trope you’d like a recommendation of? Any book(+trope) you think I missed?