mobile food and books: a recipe for love
American Dreamer (Dreamers #1)
Carina Press, 2019.
This is the first novel in an ongoing series that features characters of diverse racial, ethnic, and sexual identities navigating romantic relationships in our contemporary world. So far, American Dreamer is my favorite novel in the series because the central characters have great chemistry, and their respective passion projects represent two of my favorite things: food and books. Nesto Vasquez runs an Afro-Caribbean food truck, and moves to Ithaca, New York, from New York City to both be closer to his family and to try and cultivate a viable business. Jude Fuller works at the local library, where he’s advocating for a mobile library to serve folks in the rural reaches of the library district. The novel uses the character Misty to show how white privilege and homophobia are wielded in seemingly subtle or coded ways to try and derail the two men and their projects that serve to enhance the community and reach many people. The series celebrates friendship as found family—both Jude and Nesto have strong friendships that provide family-like bonds with unwavering support. While Nesto also has close relationships to his family of origin, Jude doesn’t; the novel encourages readers to think about how much of themselves they’re willing to sacrifice in order to maintain the appearance of traditional family. This steamy, interracial romance will leave you hungry for Afro-Caribbean food and social justice.
This review originally appeared at UWGB CAHSS and Effect: Happy Hearts: Romancelandia