Review: Tacos for Two by Betsy St. Amant
Synopsis: In a modern retelling of You’ve Got Mail, Rory Perez and Jude Worthington butt heads over food trucks and cilantro, while ColorMeTurquoise and StrongerMan99 fall text-first in love. Their relationships are extremely messy and sparks are always flying, but you know what they say—all’s fair in love and food truck contests.
I had high hopes for my first official foray into the world of romantic comedy...and, unfortunately, they weren’t quite met.
Tacos for Two is a great book—technically speaking. It had a solid plot, no typos or errors, quality writing, smooth pacing (you’ll find that pacing means the world to me), and a happily-ever-after. If it had been marketed as a simple inspirational contemporary romance, it would’ve certainly fit the bill. However, I really didn’t catch on to the comedic aspect. I’m sure for You’ve Got Mail fans, there were plenty of references and similarities (most of which I caught, even though I’ve never seen the full movie) that would’ve had them chuckling under their breath. As for comedy that would bust a gut or please every reader? Not really. It was more of a comedy of errors...or just a funny idea that someone who can’t cook would run a food truck...than anything else.
I also think that, as far as romance goes, I enjoyed the banter between ColorMeTurquoise and StrongerMan99 far more than I did the interactions between Rory and Jude—even if all of StrongerMan99’s texts did seem a little unlike a guy to me. There was way too much conflict and doubt between Rory and Jude for it to have been resolved so quickly—especially considering how they further complicated things over and over again.
That said, at least we had a happy ending. I know it’s a guarantee in romances these days, but with the amount of drama in this book? I had my doubts, y’all. Plus the epilogue? You gotta love those!
On that note, though, once I reached the end, I realized a few things had never really been explored or answered. For example, we never actually learn to Thomas was, or how Grady came to work for Rory’s aunt Sophia, or exactly how different her childhood was. All of these things seemed to have shaped Rory in such a definite way, so I would’ve liked more than just a passing mention of them.
The most unsatisfactory aspect of Tacos for Two, for me, was the lack of a strong message. I feel like there was this outstanding potential for a story of forgiveness and loving your enemies...but despite a few casual comments, none of that was really put into action, if that makes sense. I didn’t walk away from this story with anything more than well, they could have… Not to mention that there was absolutely no Christian content whatsoever, and on top of that, drinking and alcoholism is portrayed in a very grey manner, so to speak.
As for the characters...I loved Grady and Hannah and Nicole—all three of them were dears. Mayor Whit and Madison, Jude’s father and brother...these characters all had strong personalities and interesting stories that entwined with Jude’s. But as for Jude and Rory themselves? W-e-l-l, about that.
For me, there was very little about Rory and Jude’s characters—both of them—that I could connect with or relate to, which made it difficult for me to put up with all their drama. Er, I mean, understand their thoughts and actions. There wasn’t much loveable about them either. Jude could be a bit arrogant, presuming, inconsiderate, and oblivious at times; while Rory was proud, impulsive, resentful, and easily offended. Now, I understand that characters can’t be perfect. *looks at her own* Yep. Definitely can’t be perfect. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t have some redeeming qualities, which, aside from some ambition and persistence, these two didn’t really have.
Let it be noted that I give Scarlett O’Hara prompts for being ambitious and persistent. That’s really not saying much.
So, all in all, did I enjoy the story? Yeah, I guess I did, because it was interesting. I mean, I finished it, didn’t I? That ought to count for something. Would I read it again? Nope. Would I recommend it? Well, depends. Like I said, You’ve Got Mail fans and readers of clean fiction would gobble this up. Me? Eh, it wasn’t my style. Maybe I’m not cut out for romantic comedy after all.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided by the publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
PS: I expected better food descriptions. I mean, I love tacos, and this is a book all about tacos...and yet it did nothing for my southwestern cravings. The food descriptions just seemed so...flavorless. And, trust me, I've read some books that have made my mouth water. Not this one. *pouts*
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About the Author
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of over fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her hubby, two total opposite young daughters, a collection of coffee mugs, and one fur-toddler in the form of a mini-Schnauzer. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a cold brew with vanilla cold foam. She blogs frequently at www.ibelieve.com, a devotional site for women. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com