4 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras

West Side Love Story Priscilla Oliveras Cover

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.

Title:West Side Love Story
Author:Priscilla Oliveras
Series:TBC (Book 1)
Trope(s):Enemies to Lovers
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:San Antonio, Texas, US
Release Date:1st June, 2022
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A vibrant and interesting romance

4 stars

I always enjoy reading what Priscilla Oliveras writes. She manages to weave her romances with such a vibrant sense of the Latinx community and family – I never fail to become engrossed in the world she creates for her books.

In this tale we get a modern re-telling of Romeo and Juliet. Just take out the death and destruction – and add in mariachi music! Hell yeah! Why have we not had other books set around a battle of the bands, mariachi style? Well, since this is the start of a new series, I guess we do now!

Our heroine is Mariana – the eldest Capuleta daughter and leader of Mariachi Las Nubes. After her younger sister enters the group into a battle of the bands, Mariana is determined to win and give back to the parents who gave so much to her and her adopted sisters. She’s more of a sensible sort but I liked her from the first. Especially since she found herself throwing her sensible-ness out the window when she meets – and kisses – a delicious stranger on New Year’s Eve. I saw a lot of myself in her and liked that she was the person in our couple who needed a little more convincing to take a chance on love.

“He was a sweetheart – but a deliciously hot one.”

Angelo is one of my favourite types of heroes in that he’s the one that’s more of a smitten kitten and so wants Mariana to give them a chance. I liked that he was loyal to his family but not ignorant to their faults. He was a sweetheart – but a deliciously hot one. He was fab.

While there was a chemistry between our couple, and some nice smooching, the steamy scenes with this story are very much behind closed doors. That seems to suit the feel of the book but I do tend to prefer a bit more sex in the book.

I loved the parallels to Romeo and Juliet in the story – but only the non-tragic bits, obviously! Making the animosity come to a head with the battle of the bands was a stroke of genius and I loved hearing all about that – as well as the importance and history of it.

I was slightly overwhelmed by the number of characters, names and the setting of the scene that went on with the story. Understandable in the first of a series but it was the main reason that I dropped a star. I fully expect that not to be a problem in the next book in the series, Kiss Me, Catalina which features Mariana’s sister, Cat, and Patricio Galán. I can’t wait to go back and meet this rowdy rabble once again for another happily ever after.

4 stars

* I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion *

PRISCILLA OLIVERAS is a USA Today bestselling author and 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. She and her work have earned praise from the Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Redbook, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, among others. Priscilla earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and currently serves as adjunct faculty in the program and teaches the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. While she’s a romance genre junkie, Priscilla also considers herself a sports fan, beach lover, and Zumba aficionado, who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.

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TBC Series:

West Side Love Story Priscilla Oliveras Cover

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