A Delicious Dilemma by Sera Taíno
Different worlds collide in Sera Taino’s debut novel.
It’s hard to remain enemies when you’ve broken bread together
Val Navarro’s first mistake: going out dancing after a bad breakup when the chef should be focused on her family business. Her second mistake? Thinking the handsome, sensitive stranger she meets could be more than a rebound – until she discovers he’s Philip Wagner of Wagner Developments. His father’s company could shut down her Puerto Rican restaurant and unravel her tight-knit neighborhood. When Philip takes over negotiations, Val wants to believe he has good intentions. But is following her heart a recipe for disaster?
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
I’ll admit that I am a complete sucker for any romance that involves a chef, a baker or something similar. If there is food and sparks in a kitchen (but not a kitchen fire), I’m allll the way on board.
Enter Valeria Navarro, a feisty, smart, determined Puerto Rican chef /part-owner of her family restaurant. We meet Val on a night out with friends and family, one of her first nights of enjoyment after a very humiliating, public and pride-breaking break up. Though reluctantly out, it feels like she’s ready to just forget about the ex and try to enjoy living again, outside of her restaurant at least.
There she meets golden boy Philip. There’s an immediate connection – an ease of flirting and conversation that usually isn’t always so easy at all. What we learn, but Val doesn’t, is that Philip is Philip Wagner of Wagner Developments – the group that is gentrifying the East Ward and is a direct threat to Val’s neighborhood, her restaurant, her home and her family.
Taino wrote a beautiful story about the immigrant experience, the strength of family (not just Val’s but Philip’s family experience as well, to some extent) as well as their cultural experiences. She also touches on class and socio-economic differences. It’s a well written story that is complex and leveled and brings you in with it’s vibrancy and emotion.
The book unfolds and we follow this couple through lies and compromise. The story of community and food and the people who love and enjoy it all. And how love and compassion may conquer all the fears and uncertainty of the heart and mind.
I connected so strongly and so well and read this book in a day. Definitely be sure to check it out!!
I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.