Ramón and Julieta

Alana Quintana Albertson. Berkley, $16 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-33622-9

All’s fair in love and tacos in this fun Latinx riff on Romeo and Juliet from Albertson (the Heroes Ever After series). Handsome, ambitious CEO Ramón Montez is used to getting what he wants, from acquiring luxury cars to closing a deal on property in Barrios Logan for his family’s fast-food empire, Taco King. What he wants most now is the sexy señorita who stole his heart with her delicious fish tacos on the Day of the Dead. Chef Julieta Campos is determined to save her family’s taqueria, a community staple of Barrios Logan. She’s mortified to discover that the masked mariachi she’s crushing on is actually the scion of Taco King, the restaurant’s fiercest competitor. The rift between their families only grows when Julieta learns that Ramón’s father stole her mother’s taco recipe years ago. With protests rising over the Taco King takeover in Barrios Logan, the star-crossed lovers must decide if their love is worth fighting for or just a recipe for disaster. Albertson’s emphasis on Mexican cuisine puts a refreshing twist on the Shakespearean tragedy, and though Ramón and Julieta’s dialogue is stiff at points, their chemistry is palpable. Romance fans will be pleased—but are advised not to read this one on an empty stomach. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literacy. (Feb.)
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