Ramón and Julieta is heartwarming, entertaining, and romantic contemporary spin on Romeo and Juliet with amazing Latin American representation.
Ramón and Julieta (Love & Tacos #1) by Alana Quintana Albertson
Publication Date : February 1, 2022
Publisher : Berkley
Read Date : July 2, 2023
Genre : Romance
Pages : 304
Disclaimer – Many thanks to the publisher for eARC via NetGalley.
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When fate and tacos bring Ramón and Julieta together on the Day of the Dead, the star-crossed pair must make a choice: accept the bitter food rivalry that drives them apart or surrender to a love that consumes them.
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.
Ramón and Julieta is heartwarming and delicious contemporary spin on the original Romeo and Juliet. Julieta is a talented chef at her family restaurant in Barrios Logan who specializes in seafood-based Mexican dishes. She has worked hard to keep the restaurant open and successful.
When she meets Ramón for the first time on the Dia de los Muertos celebration in mask, they instantly feel attracted to each other but they both hide their real name and have a lovely night until Julieta finds out who Ramón is, the CEO of Taco King fast food chain. Even though she has very strong feelings for Ramón, she can’t hope to be with Ramón as her mother and her entire community hate Taco King because Ramón’s father built his restaurant chain by stealing Julieta’s mother’s family recipe.
Ramón and his father buying the entire block where Julieta’s restaurant is and his father intention of turning her restaurant into Taco King and increasing the rent of other shops in the block that the community cannot afford to pay further dashes any remaining hope of love. It was interesting to see what they will choose between love and family and the community.
The plot is immersive and engaging. Writing is gripping, entertaining and fast-paced with alternative perspectives of Ramon and Julieta, and the setting of Barrios Logan adds its own character to the story.
Characters are interesting. Julieta is hardworking and responsible woman who loves her restaurant and community. Her passion for food and feeding her customer is infectious. But she has lots of doubt especially when it comes to her heart. She is weary of uncertain future and that was understandable but I didn’t like her doubts towards Ramón even when he assured her, was transparent with her, and knew he loved her no matter what and still she didn’t trust him or gave him time to make things right. Even after knowing about Ramón loveless childhood and abandonment issues, she abandoned him when he needed her and put her community first.
Ramón is my favorite. He is much more mature in the entire book. He is smart, kind, compassionate, fair, and true to himself and to the people he loves. His love for his brothers is lovely. It was sad to read how he suffered for his parents’ mistakes. He didn’t deserve to be treated like outsider in his own community for what his father did. I also think the community was too hard on him just because his fast-food chain catered to everyone and not just the community and his explanation about why they had to change their style and food quality wasn’t illogical. I loved him for how he figured out the solution to all problems.
While the attraction between Ramón and Julieta is instant, I loved how they flirted in their first meeting. Chemistry is sparkling and hot and it was amazing to see them falling for each other slowly. I absolutely loved how their love struggled with their parents’ dispute and the community’s hate. There are many amazing moments between them. My favorite is when Ramón took Julieta to honor her father after the festival ends in their first meeting and sings their favorite song.
The theme of gentrification, community, culture, resilience, right the wrong, belongingness, and love is well written. I absolutely enjoyed reading representation of Latin-American life, the history of Chicano activists’ protest, language, food, description of Barrio Logan, and festivals.
I anticipated lots of things from the beginning. I was surprised it didn’t go in the direction I was thinking which was a positive thing but I was expecting more resistance, and more heartbreaks looking at how this is a romantic spin on the tragic Romeo and Juliet but that wasn’t the case.
The real resistance they should have faced didn’t actually come until 90%. I loved Ramón’s confrontation with his father and how he came up with the solution and what he did in the end but I feel he forgave Julieta too easily and after what the community did with years of name-calling and not accepting him, they didn’t even apologize to him or let’s just say I didn’t feel fully satisfied with the end and that’s why I’m giving this 4 stars.
Overall, Ramón and Julieta is heartwarming, entertaining, and romantic contemporary spin on Romeo and Juliet with amazing Latin American representation.
I recommend this if you like,
Theme of gentrification and community
Sizzling and delicious chemistry
Rich guy/poor girl
Millionaire falling for normal person
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