Stories for Coffee's BLOG
DIVERSE READ: Puerto Rican main character, Mexican love interest #OwnVoices
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 / 5 stars)
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
Summary: As LA’s hottest up-and-coming chef, Alexa Montoya is known for her ruby red lipstick, award-winning arroz con pollo and a penchant for falling for the wrong kind of men. And when a confrontation with a loser ex-boyfriend lands her in some legal trouble, she’s forced to call her long-time friend, Dante Perez, to bail her out. Only this time, Dante seems different, somehow. More gorgeous, more sexy, more…mouthwateringly irresistible. Suddenly she’s tempted to give the lawyer much more than a simple thank you…
Dante is tired of seeing Alexa with guys who only know how to steal her money and break her heart. He’s watched–and waited for–her long enough. Helping with her legal situation will finally give him a chance to win her over for good. His plan? He’ll seduce her into finally believing that there’s something deliciously right between them…
Despite their chemistry, Alexa can’t trust that Dante won’t leave. But Dante knows how to win a case. And he’ll do whatever it takes to convince Alexa that she’ll always leave him hungry for more…
My thoughts: As a Cuban-American girl, finding a cute contemporary novel representing Latinx characters is incredibly difficult. Some books don’t have good representation, and other books don’t represent Latinx characters at all. So when I found Delicious Satisfaction, I fell in love with this adorable novel starring two Latinx protagonists. It tells the story of a hot-shot Puerto Rican chef who gets into a bit of legal trouble and seeks the help of her cute Mexican lawyer. Soon enough they strike a deal to become more than friends which attracts more feelings than they originally planned.
Genres: Romance, New Adult
Summary: Travis King is the worst kind of asshole.
He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards.
He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes.
And I hate him.
It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable.
But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to.
His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are a waste on such an egotistical man, which makes me hate him even more.
Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s always made that very clear.
He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed.
I’ve succumbed to his manwhore ways, but that doesn’t change a thing.
Because the King is about to get played at his own game—and lose.
My thoughts: I am a sucker for a good romance story, and when it has the hate-to-love-trope? I’m immediately sold. My friends have recommended Checkmate to me for the past couple of weeks and I read this entire book in a day because I could not get enough of it. Checkmate is basically a romance story following Viola, who has to stay at her brother’s house for two weeks during her college spring break. But things don’t go according to plan when she finds out that she’ll be stuck in the house alone with her brother’s best friend who she is incredibly attracted to and also loathes at the same time. This sets the scene for the perfect romance story that has tension, great banter, and a steamy romance that you’ll become attached to after reading a few pages. More
Summary: “all women carry
inside of them
didn’t your mother
tell you that”
In her first collection of poetry, McKayla Robbin grows language “like wildflowers / from the wounds / that for years / would not close up.” Simultaneously vulnerable and fierce, her short-form poems engage themes of femininity, identity, violence, and healing.
Genres: Poetry, Feminism, Nonfiction
My thoughts: We carry the sky is a short poetry collection split into four sections that will hit you with various emotions along the way. I read this collection in one sitting a few days ago and was struck with the beauty of Robbin’s words strung together to form such awe inspiring poems. This collection tackles the topics of current affairs such as racism and the violence that stems from that hatred. It touches upon rape culture and so many more raw topics that will leave you breathless and wanting more. This collection has so much to offer and speaks out about an array of issues that every person can relate to in some way.
Book #2 in the PASSENGER SERIES *POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW*
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Summary: All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.
Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.
As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.
My thoughts: What a conclusion to one of my most favorite fantasy duologies! This was everything I wanted and more, and I only wish that Wayfarer was lengthier so I could continue glimpsing into these precious characters’ lives. This book left me completely satisfied by wrapping up every loose end and giving each character the ending they deserve. It blew me away and made me fall for Bracken’s beautiful descriptions that were pieced together to create a world that I never wanted to escape.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Pumpkin Scones
Inspired by a character in Fangirl, I decided to create pumpkin scones relating to the time Levi made a pumpkin flavored drink for Cath in the story. Instead of making the drink itself, I decided to take the inspiration of the pumpkin flavor to create a pumpkin scone that I believe Levi would be a big fan of.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…
But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Summary: We all have tragic backstories in today’s world.
I wake up chained to the wall of a dark cell aware of two things: I failed my sister, and I smell my enemy.
When I’m taken to meet Dare, the alpha of the Silver Tip pack, I’m sure I’m about to lose my throat. The last thing I expect is for the Alpha to recognize me as his fated mate. No way is he going to let me go now, and I still have to find a way to rescue my sister.
As I plot my escape to save her, I find that if I leave, Dare could be killed by power-hungry members of his pack. And now he’s more to me than my fated mate—my heart is involved. With time ticking by on my sister’s life, I have to make a choice I never thought I’d face—my sister’s life or my mate’s? That’s if I can survive the undead shifters intent on killing me first…
Genres: Romance, LGBTQIA+, Paranormal, Adult Fiction
My thoughts: It has been years since I have read a good paranormal story following werewolves who get pushed together by a mate bond. Daring Fate was the type of book that you dive straight into and read in one sitting because the action, romance, and angst will grab your full attention. This is an incredibly unique story, not only because there are undead werewolves, but two male werewolves are mated together in an epic romance that I absolutely fell in love with. Their love that, at first was a bit fast paced, gripped my heart and made me root for them as they went through various situations involving the packs in the world.
Summary: Fans of acclaimed author Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Bloodwill devour her latest novel, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen.
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.
But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.
The last queen standing gets the crown.
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Magic
My thoughts: Three Dark Crowns is a tale of deceit, magic, and rivalry. It follows three sisters who each wield a fantastical power as they train to eventually fight to death for the title of queen. Each sister is supposed to contain a strong power. One controls storms and fires. One can withstand the strongest poisons. One can create beautiful plants and tame animals. They each are building up their strength to claim the crown, but who will win? Not is all as it seems as the book develops and people begin to realize that two sisters are hiding the fact that their powers are weak.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Buttermilk Waffles
Leigh Bardugo is one of my top five favorite YA authors, so, when she released Six of Crows, I completely fell in love with the gritty story she created in the Grisha world. I connected with each character she introduced and loved how utterly badass they all were in their own ways throughout the story. I just knew I had to make a Food and Fiction post inspired by Six of Crows AKA one of my favorite new releases in 2015. I even asked Leigh Bardugo, on Twitter, what food I should make to reflect her character Nina Zenik, and she said waffles! Thus ensued me making delicious buttermilk waffles in the name of Bardugo’s fierce female character, Nina Zenik.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Six of Crows is a fantasy version of Ocean’s Eleven where a motley group of characters have to band together in order to pull off a seemingly impossible heist. It’s full of action, intrigue, diverse characters, and witty banter that you will not get enough of. Set in the fantastical Grisha world, Leigh weaves a tale of friendship and adventure in a dark setting that you won’t ever want to leave. This book will leave you spell bound and make you feel as if you are apart of Kaz’s crew with the way each character is so relateable. I adore this novel and cannot rave enough about it’s flawlessness.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | Chocolate Mousse Brownies
I adore mousse and brownies. So when I found a recipe on Tumblr, mixing both of the desserts together, I knew I had to create this recipe. The moment I began baking this dessert I immediately began imagining Celaena Sardothien, from the Throne of Glass series, enjoying this yummy dessert because she has a major sweet tooth. She loves her yummy foods and this recipe was the perfect one to match the epic series that she is in.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling | Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
I adore anything that has to do with Harry Potter, so I decided to make a series of Food and Fiction centered around all four of the Hogwarts Houses (Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff)! The first house I wanted to create a dessert for was Ravenclaw because that is my Hogwarts House! Each house represents different personality traits, and Ravenclaw stands for intelligence, wit, wisdom, creativity, originality, and individuality.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the “Harry Potter” series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts.
I only recently read the entire Harry Potter series, when I found out that I was going to the Wizarding World in Orlando a few years ago, and I absolutely adore it. I can’t believe it took me such a long time to read this series, but I am so glad that I finally picked it up. The entire world that JK Rowling created within those seven novels entrapped me and made me wish that Harry Potter was real and that I could attend Hogwarts. I adore this series so much and I love how this series reminds me of cozy autumn nights cuddled under blankets.