Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea


QOTD: Do you buy books because the cover is beautiful?

I just keep staring at this cover! I love the colors and these two are so beautiful!
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Laekan Zea Kemp
Penelope “Pen” Prado is a strong, fierce commanding presence at her father’s restaurant. Everyone runs in fear of her but that is the image she projects to protect herself. She lies to her parents over a huge part of her life and they decide it’s time she leaves the restaurant and their house. 

Xander starts work at the restaurant on her last day. He’s drawn to her and he keeps finding himself next to her. His search for his father his whole life has him living with his Abuelo. The restaurant is under threat by a local loan shark since Nacho helps everyone out and that’s not good for his business.

Pen can’t see that the more her Father pushes her away from the restaurant, the more he’s trying to shield and protect her. She’s taking it inside and letting the depression pull her down, that she isn’t good enough. It’s so hard being a parent! Your make choices for your kids and you don’t tell them why but there’s always a reason to protect them. You don’t want to fill their heads with all the junk out there. 

This is a coming of age romance between two people that don’t feel they are good enough but have helped eachother find the beauty in each other. There is no steam which is totally fine I loved the way they stripped apart eachother souls, their “imperfections”, insecurities and still loved what they say perhaps more so. 

TW: depression, talk of self harm, parent leaving, ICE.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Thank you TheNovl for my gifted copy for my honest and voluntary review!

Thank you @roziereadsandwine for buddy reading with me.


I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter meets Emergency Contact in this stunning story of first love, familial expectations, the power of food, and finding where you belong.

As an aspiring pastry chef, Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans — leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican-American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself.

Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for just that — a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his new found family and himself.

Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong — both within their families and their fiercely loyal Chicanx community — in order to save the place they all call home.


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