Narelle here. Today I’m sharing with you my book recommendation for Tacos for Two, a new CCR release from Betsy St. Amant. Betsy was also our guest last week at StoryChats @ InspyRomance podcast/YouTube.
Rory Perez, a food truck owner who can’t cook, is struggling to keep the business she inherited from her aunt out of the red–and an upcoming contest during Modest’s annual food truck festival seems the best way to do it. The prize money could finally give her a solid financial footing and keep her cousin with special needs paid up at her beloved assisted living home. Then maybe Rory will have enough time to meet the man she’s been talking to via an anonymous online dating site.
Jude Strong is tired of being a puppet at his manipulative father’s law firm, and the food truck festival seems like the perfect opportunity to dive into his passion for cooking and finally call his life his own. But if he loses the contest, he’s back at the law firm for good. Failure is not an option.
Complications arise when Rory’s chef gets mono and she realizes she has to cook after all. Then Jude discovers that his stiffest competition is the same woman he’s been falling for online the past month.
Will these unlikely chefs sacrifice it all for the sake of love? Or will there only ever be tacos for one?
I enjoyed reading Tacos for Two, a foodie contemporary romance set in a small town in north Texas. Rory believes she’s a terrible cook, and she has inherited her aunt’s food truck business called Salsa Street. Her sweet cousin, Hannah, has Down’s syndrome, and needs Rory’s financial support to help pay for her assisted living accommodation.
Rory relies on Grady, her friend and loyal chef, to keep Salsa Street going. Grady and his wife, Nicole, are like family, and Rory is working full-time with Grady in the truck to keep Salsa Street afloat. The annual town food truck festival includes a contest with a cash first prize that would fix Rory’s financial problems.
Jude is a lawyer who doesn’t want to sit the Bar exam and continue working at the family law firm with his ruthless father and self-absorbed brother. Jude’s grandmother was influential in establishing the town, and his father is the wealthy patron who regularly donates funds to support the town. Jude has a love for cooking, and he wants to learn how to make the tacos he loved from his childhood. Jude gets the bright idea to ask Rory for cooking lessons in order to remember their housekeeper’s traditional recipe plus gain the skills to open his own taco food truck.
The meet cute between Rory and Jude is fun, and the cooking lessons are hilarious. When Grady becomes sick with mono, his wife Nicole steps up to help Rory with Salsa Street. Trouble arises when Rory learns Jude is her competition for the food truck prize, and we see the enemies-to-more trope playing out in the story. For a lawyer, Jude wasn’t smart in not predicting how Rory would react to learning she was training her competition. But, considering how Jude’s family steamroller people to get what they want, it’s not surprising that Jude didn’t think through all the implications of paying Rory for cooking lessons.
A fun and rocky romance develops against the backdrop of their adorable and anonymous online messaging relationship. In real life both Rory and Jude are emotionally shuttered and slow to trust, but online they’re emotionally vulnerable with each other and moving from friends territory to something more. I loved the ending of the story and all the twists and turns along Rory and Jude’s path to happily-ever-after.
Being an Aussie, I loved learning more about traditional Mexican and Tex Mex food. Jude loved cilantro and Rory hated cilantro. I’m with Jude on this point, and in Australia cilantro is known as coriander. The minor characters were delightful, adding charm and many hilarious moments. I recommend Tacos for Two to readers who like fun foodie contemporary romances with a light faith element.
I received a complimentary ebook from the publisher. Many thanks to Revell and Net Galley.
Questions for you: Do you agree with Rory (no to cilantro) or Jude (yes to cilantro)? Do you like tacos? Do you like reading foodie romances? I’d love to hear your thoughts.