Review: West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras

The second I saw this cover for the cover reveal, I nearly swooned! It’s so pretty and I absolutely love the colors—plus the pose was absolutely eye catching. I couldn’t WAIT to start reading it! I was never a fan of West Side Story, I think I watched the film once in high school and just never felt invested in the story, even though it was a Romeo and Juliet retelling.

However, I could totally get excited for this book even if it was a retelling of Romeo and Juliet/West Side Story. I couldn’t wait to see the story come to life in the pages of this book. Plus mariachi and margaritas? It’s literally the perfect book to read this spring on a beach somewhere! I am so excited to finally share a bit about this book with you guys and of course share my thoughts.

This is my first book by Priscilla Oliveras but it won’t be my last! I have seen a number of other books by Oliveras pop up on my radar off and on over the years but it was this book that finally made me want to read her books! I am so thrilled to discover this amazing new to me author! I loved this book and I cannot wait for the next one! Also today is Cinco de Mayo so I thought this would be the perfect book to review in celebration of Latinx heritage!

Summary

A heart-stirring romance of star-crossed love, feuding familias, and the bonds of sisterhood by USA Today bestselling author Priscilla Oliveras.

Two familias in Texas, both alike in dignity, rivalries, and passion…

Having grown up in the nurturing household of Casa Capuleta, Mariana will do anything for familia. To solve her adoptive parents’ financial problems amid their rapidly changing San Antonio comunidad, Mariana and her younger sisters are determined to win the Battle of the Mariachi Bands. That means competing against Hugo Montero, their father’s archnemesis, and his band and escalating a decades-old feud. It also raises the stakes of Mariana’s forbidden attraction for a certain dark-eyed mariachi who sets her heart racing.

To Angelo Montero’s familia, Mariana is also strictly off-limits. But that doesn’t stop him from pursuing her. As their secret affair intensifies and the competition grows fierce, they’re swept up in a brewing storm of betrayals, rivalries, and broken ties. Against the odds, they vow to bring peace. But sacrifices must be made and consequences weighed for two star-crossed lovers to make beautiful music together. (summary from Goodreads)

Review

In Texas where this book is set, mariachi music is a massive part of the Mexican culture. Frankly everywhere in the South West. I lived in Arizona for 10 years and the mariachi scene is a big deal there too. I am not Latinx, but I enjoyed getting to explore the rich culture and music in this book. The culture and music are their own characters in this one and I loved that! While the music was so fun to explore, the star of the show here is the romance between Mariana and Angelo.

I felt that Mariana and Angelo had fantastic chemistry right away. There was a bit of enemies to lovers in the story which evolved into star crossed lovers and I just loved how it all came together. There was enough heat to keep romance fans interested and excited without crossing over into ‘too much’ territory. I loved how well they worked together as a couple and I was invested in their story and rooting for them.

While there was a lot to enjoy in this one for me, I did think that the author needed to explore the Montero family dynamics a little more. Throughout the book the Capuleta family was the family taking center stage. I loved their family and the dynamics but I also felt like I knew them better than I knew the Montero family. I think it might have made their story stronger especially as a family rivalry. I felt like I sided with the Capuleta family more since I felt more of a connection with them if that makes sense. This story clearly had deep roots in the classic Romeo and Juliet play, I loved the little twist on the names and the family feud but I just think it could have been a little stronger. Overall I rated this one 4 stars I really loved it and thought it was a fun read. I can’t wait for the upcoming books in this series!

Book Info and Rating

Format: 332 pages, paperback

Publication: June 1 2022 by Montlake

ISBN: 9781542031233

Free review copy provided by publisher, Montlake in partnership with the Tall Poppy Writers/Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.

Rating: 4 stars

Genre: contempo romance

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