Reviews

Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera

miss_majuu's review against another edition

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3.0

A very fun baking and sapphic romance. For my personal taste it was too smutty and not enough build-up.

katieinca's review against another edition

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3.0

Sweet concept perfect for winter reading: romance between two contestants on a holiday baking reality show. Sorta steamy for a while, but at some point the author just went there so much it started breezing past me in a kind of clinical way. I wish I'd have been more consistently able to tell which POV we were in without flipping back to the beginning of the chapter. Warning: it's a novella, which can make a romance feel a little rushed.

rainbowbookworm's review against another edition

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3.0

My issue with most novellas is that the plot could be developed more. That is what I felt when I finished this one. I also had very high expectations for it, so that may have also contributed to my being underwhelmed by it.

marieintheraw's review against another edition

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4.0

You know what's good for July? A Christmas-time baking competition. Especially if it's steamy.

kathryn_reads_paiges's review against another edition

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lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.75

Full RTC

mijntjeguus's review against another edition

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2.0

Not my favourite characters and a non existent plot

peculiarly_reading's review against another edition

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Was not in the Christmas spirit. Next year!

mateika83's review against another edition

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lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

tshepiso's review against another edition

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Started on: march 1st, 2024
DNF'd on: March 7th, 2024
DNF'd at 40%

I hate to DNF another sapphic romance but I hate forcing myself to read books I don't like more. Unfortunately while Mangos and Mistletoes has rave reviews it just didn't work for me on several levels. 

My big problem with this book was its approach and structure. I'm not the biggest fan of insta-love/lust between characters. And while that may seem like an unfair criticism for a novella I've seen authors work to build a romantic dynamic between characters in similarly short page counts. Unfortunately Adriana Herrera in this book chooses to almost exclusively highlight Kiskeya and Sully sexual attraction to each other which to me just isn't as interesting.  

Further I thought It was an odd choice to put our two lead at odds with each other given the limited page count. Kiskeya's animosity to Sully felt incredibly forced and juvenile. She was standoffish and rude in way that frankly made her pretty frustrating POV to read from. Sully's response to Kiskeya stonewalling while reasonable didn't leave much room for a fun romantic dynamic to develop. I'm sure things change as the story unfolds but 40% into the novella nothing about this romance intrigued me enough to continue.

I think my final disappointment with this novela was its use of the baking reality TV show premise. I got 40% into the novella and the competition hadn't even started. While we see our competitors go to various pre-show socials and mixers but we see none of them talking strategy or planning their bakes.  I was even hoping for some behind the scenes producer shenanigans or talk about what filming was like. This is the second reality TV show romance I've read that felt like it didn't understand the appeal or structure of reality tv and couldn't reproduce the fun of it in a book

Again take my opinion with a grain of salt cause I didn't finish the book and some of my complaints could have been resolved as the story developed. but unfortunately nothing about the beginning of the story made me want to know how everything would play out. 

jackiehorne's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5 Herrera takes the high-concept setting of a televised bake-off show set in Scotland and uses it to explore issues of cultural identity as well as romance. Kiskeya Burgos, budding professional pastry chef, and Sully Morales, amateur baker, are paired as partners for the bake-off, despite of (or because of?) their shared Dominican heritage. But not only are the two wildly different personalties—Kiskeya a focused, driven introvert, Sully a live-in-the-moment extrovert—so, too, is their relationship to their Dominican heritage. Sully, a second-generation immigrant, celebrates her heritage, and wants to use what she knows about Dominican cooking to make their baking contest challenges stand out. But Kiskeya is only three years removed from the DR, and came to the United States on her own. And her coming out as queer has estranged her from her family back home. So Kiskeya is definitely "not going to be all over-the-top Dominican" in her baking.

Both Kiskeya and Sully need to learn to compromise, and to understand each others' differences, as well as their attractions, if they are going to have a chance of winning the bake-off—or a chance of having any kind of relationship after the show ends.

Since this is a novella, the romance here happens pretty quickly, and the couple's issues get resolved fairly easily. Still, I've rarely read a romance in which a character is estranged from her culture, and has to negotiate both with herself and with a partner how much she is going to let others (and herself) define her by that culture.