Tacos for Two – 3 Star Review

Tacos for Two by Betsy St. Amant

I’ve been in the mood for a romance novel recently. One of my guilty pleasures are books that revolve around food. I’m not sure where I first saw this one, but I quickly added it to my Amazon book wishlist, and ended up having it gifted to me. Success! I was even more excited to discover that it has an enemies-to-lovers trope, which is another check mark in my “must read” list.
Tacos for Two by Betsy St. Amant is a retelling of “You’ve Got Mail” where we meet our two main characters, Rory and Jude. They are unknowingly texting each other through a “text only” dating app and fall quickly head over heels with each other. Rory, who has very limited cooking ability, inherits a food truck through her Aunt and Jude searches for a way out of his family lawyer business and decides to enter in the local food truck competition to pursue his dreams of cooking. “Real life” Rory and Jude become instant enemies. Their in-person interactions are extremely messy and the amount of negative comments that come out of Rory’s mouth was almost off putting, meanwhile their dating app conversations are so sweet, wholesome and encouraging.

Here’s where I faltered on this book. I actually do appreciate the brashness of Rory’s personality because, quite frankly, it felt believable to me. Often in romances or rom-coms the love interests seem so even keeled bordering on saccharine. The “big blow up” toward the end sometimes seems so petty within the romance/rom-com genre. It was nice to see a character that was relatable, even if by the end I was still saying “Oh come on, Rory. Open your eyes.” Jude didn’t really have a fault. His fault was his toxic, narcissistic family members which is not Jude’s personal fault. To be honest, I’m not sure why Jude stuck around after Rory treated him like she did but, hey, A+ effort for Jude. He’s a hopeless romantic, I guess. For how messy and uncomfortable this book was, the Epilogue was rolled in powdered sugar, dunked in melted chocolate and wrapped in beautiful cellophane packaging with the most gigantic bow on top. It’s typical for rom-coms to have that “Happy Ever After” ending but this one almost felt like it was supposed to be for another book and was just added on at the end. For how relatable the character’s emotions were through the book, this epilogue felt like it was crash landing from the unknown. The “spice level” of the book is non-existent. So if you are looking for some steamy scenes, look elsewhere. The biggest disappointment of all comes at the very end of Chapter Twenty-Five. It is relayed that a character is drunkenly singing karaoke to “the Backstreet Boys’ “Bye, Bye Bye.””
Fourteen year old me is so disappointed in this glaring error. Out of all of the songs one could pick to have the character singing, they had to incorrectly choose that one. And no one through the entire editing process caught it.

Something I did enjoy (as expected), was the whole concept of the food truck and the competition. This book made me crave tacos, so one day at lunch I hit up my local taco joint that serves street tacos. It was fun to be eating tacos while simultaneously reading a book that centered around them. The characters had realistic goals and pursuits outside of the romance that were interesting and well fleshed out. The supporting cast of characters were great. It had a few comedic moments but it was pretty straight forward. This wasn’t a BAD book by any means, it just was not a home-run for me. Also, I’ve never seen “You’ve Got Mail” so the tie-ins were a little lost on me, but if you like that movie then I have a feeling you’ll like this book!

-A Review by Kelly

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