West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras is a touching Romeo and Juliet retelling that is centred around rival mariachi bands. I found the idea of the Battle of the Mariachi Bands so compelling, and I enjoyed reading about the main character’s kindness and loyalty to her family. These family dynamics are especially well-written, making this a great read for those looking for something to fill them with love.Title: West Side Love Story
Author: Priscilla Oliveras
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: June 1, 2022
Two familias in Texas, both alike in dignity, rivalries, and passion…
Having grown up in the nurturing household of Casa Capuleta, Mariana will do anything for familia. To solve her adoptive parents’ financial problems amid their rapidly changing San Antonio comunidad, Mariana and her younger sisters are determined to win the Battle of the Mariachi Bands. That means competing against Hugo Montero, their father’s archnemesis, and his band and escalating a decades-old feud. It also raises the stakes of Mariana’s forbidden attraction for a certain dark-eyed mariachi who sets her heart racing.
To Angelo Montero’s familia, Mariana is also strictly off-limits. But that doesn’t stop him from pursuing her. As their secret affair intensifies and the competition grows fierce, they’re swept up in a brewing storm of betrayals, rivalries, and broken ties. Against the odds, they vow to bring peace. But sacrifices must be made and consequences weighed for two star-crossed lovers to make beautiful music together.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Review: West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras
For Mariana, family means everything, which is why she is determined to win the Battle of the Mariachi Bands to support them financially. In order to win, however, she must defeat her family’s greatest enemies, the Monteneros. This proves to be much more difficult than Mariana had anticipated, as one of the members of this rival mariachi band turns out to be the man she shared a moment with on New Year’s Eve. As Mariana and Angelo grow closer and the competition heats up, they must balance loyalty to their families while fighting to move forward from the past.
❀ Caring Main Character
Mariana is a caring main character, and I enjoyed following her throughout the book. She has a lot on her plate as an ER nurse, and she also feels responsible for her sisters as she is the oldest in the family. Mariana’s determination to win the prize as a way to thank her family for all they have given her is so admirable, and she proves herself as a selfless character in every chapter. While Mariana is kind and hardworking, she sometimes struggle with this heavy weight on her shoulders, and I enjoyed the way Angelo balances this and teaches her to enjoy herself.
❀ Focus on Family
One of my favourite parts about this book is the focus on family. Mariana’s family, the Capuletas, open their home to children in need, including Mariana, and the environment in this home is so uplifting. Reading about Mariana’s relationship with her sisters and the love they have for one another is so heartwarming, and I loved this theme of unwavering love for one’s family.
❀ A Heartwarming Story
West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras is a heartwarming story about family rivalry, forbidden romance, and the love between sisters. I enjoyed the concept of a Battle of the Mariachi Bands competition, and the main character’s selflessness won me over. I was especially touched by the dynamics in Mariana’s adoptive family, making this a heartfelt story that overflows with love.