A review by tshepiso
Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera

Did not finish book. Stopped at 40%.
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.