Book scene: Grandfathers meddling take rom-com | Explore Yakima


A Proposal They Can’t Refuse has a wonderful array of themes that I adore in a book: food, family, culture (Spanish in this case), and two main characters who are impossible to love. Oh, and some Irish whiskey!

Kamilah Vega is a fiery Puerto Rican chef determined to make her family’s restaurant, El Coquí, a success. She hopes that attending the Fall Foodie Tour will help publicize the restaurant forever. Convincing her family is a struggle, however, as they aren’t too keen on the changes that would be necessary to win. Worse, they don’t believe her to be successful.

The restaurant shares a building with a distillery.

Liam Kane and his grandfather have turned the family Irish distillery into a successful business and hope to win a national competition with their secret new whiskey blend. But just as they are about to get things started, his grandfather breaks the terrible news: he has cancer, he’s not seeking treatment, and he’s determined to marry Liam before his time is up.

He also happens to be best friends with Kamilah’s grandfather, and when these two meddling grandfathers get together, disaster always ensues. I’m sure you can imagine what they’re up to. Kamilha’s grandfather promises to help her with the Fall Foodie Tour, and Liam’s grandfather promises to take care of treatment IF the two try a relationship between them. If they refuse, their grandfathers will sell the building where both shops are located. With their future at stake, the two agree. Or at least they pretend to agree. Surely it’s not that hard to fake a relationship for a while. …

Kamilah’s passionate attitude and Liam’s great business acumen prove to be the perfect match. But these childhood friends have a lot of baggage, and it’s hard to pull through while pretending you don’t have feelings for each other.

My favorite characters were hands down the mischievous and meddling grandparents. It all seems a bit strange at first, but when you learn about Liams and Kamilah’s past, it starts to make sense.

The book contains some great Puerto Rican and Irish folklore references and the constant descriptions of food and whiskey will leave you hungry and thirsty.

Natalie Caña was recognized by Hip Latina as one of 10 Latinx romance novelists to keep on your radar, and the book itself can be found in some anticipated readings for 2022, including Oprah Daily.

• A Proposal They Can’t Refuse: A Rom-Com Novel (Vega Family Love Stories, 1) by Natalie Caña was published by Mira Books on June 7th. It costs $15.99.

• Anne Zastrow works for the Inklings Bookshop. She and other Inklings employees review books each week in the Discover section on Sundays.


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