A Proposal They Can’t Refuse had me in tears. It’s a dual POV romance book that focuses on family and expectations. On having the bravery to be honest with those who love us the most, even when it’s not what they want. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Kamilah Vega is desperate to convince her family to update their Puerto Rican restaurant and enter it into the Fall Foodie Tour. With the gentrification of their Chicago neighborhood, it’s the only way to save the place. The fly in her mofongo–her blackmailing abuelo says if she wants to change anything in his restaurant, she’ll have to marry the one man she can’t stand: his best friend’s grandson.
Liam Kane spent a decade working to turn his family’s distillery into a contender. Now he and his grandfather are on the verge of winning a national competition. Then Granda hits him with a one-two punch: he has cancer and he has his heart set on seeing Liam married before it’s too late. And Granda knows just the girl…Kamilah Vega.
If they refuse, their grandfathers will sell the building that houses both their businesses. With their futures on the line, Kamilah and Liam plan to outfox the devious duo, faking an engagement until they both get what they want. But soon, they find themselves tangled up in more than either of them bargained for.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
This debut adult romance had my heart in strings. A Proposal They Can’t Refuse has not only fake dating, but a fake engagement planned by Kamilah and Liam’s grandfathers. You read that right. I love how they’re basically blackmailed into a fake engagement from everyone else. Except it’s not like there’s nothing for them to work with. Former childhood friends/maybe crushes, their interactions now are just full of snarky banter. But this fake engagement will have them pivoting real fast.
Suffice it to say, if you’re in it for family drama and fake engagement shenanigans, add this to your TBR right now. Because it delivers tension and sparks galore. At the same time, Caña delivers a nuanced story about the gentrification of a neighborhood and this conflict between traditions and transformation. Between authenticity and adaptation. Watching Kamilah and Liam both struggle with this idea of the past having a hold on us, made me adore A Proposal They Can’t Refuse.
Yet the backbone of this book are the characters. Dual POV is a brilliant choice here. It allows us to see the softer side of Liam and Kamilah. The pieces of memories they share with us. And what I loved about their relationship is the way the accept each other as they are. How they want to be seen, to have their opinions validated. This universal desire packed on top of their history allows readers to see their navigating these big dreams and legacies on their shoulders.
The lingers feelings of anger and resentment. A Proposal They Can’t Refuse, at its core, asks how long will they continue to do what their family wants? To be stuck in a cycle that might inadvertently destroy who they are? To let their sense of duty and legacy keep them away from themselves. Caña’s debut is emotional – I was crying at the end – and swoony. For romance readers, this is 100% a must read! Find A Proposal They Can’t Refuse on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.