North to You by Tif Marcelo
Released: June 6, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “I don’t think I can be a gentleman for much longer.” I suck in a breath as her hands come forward to the buckle of my belt.
“I don’t think I asked you to be one.” She jerks me closer.
Debut author? Check. A heroine who owns a food truck? Check. A hero who is a super good guy and gets a second chance at wooing his girl? CHECK.
Drew is in the army but home on leave for a few weeks in his home town of San Francisco. His parents, from the Philippines, own a Filipino restaurant called True North that needs some updates and a new image. His family is very close-knit, and Drew’s father really wants Drew to abandon the army and come back home and run the restaurant – but this is not what Drew wants. He doesn’t mind helping out while he is home on leave, but managing a restaurant is not something he sees for his future.
Out one night with his buddies, he runs into his former crush from high school, Camille and he can’t believe it. Camille owns a food truck called Lucianna, and she specializes in homemade breads, meatballs and paninis. She does well for herself as her food is amazing and she utilizes social media well. The food truck business in San Francisco is very competitive though, so it’s always stressful making sure you have a good spot and trying to out do your competitors. Camille is dedicated to this and is very passionate about this industry. She too is shocked to see Drew. Having dated briefly but intensely in high school, only to have Camille move away very suddenly, their reunion is a bit awkward. But Drew wants to rekindle their romance, badly. Camille is definitely interested but also a bit wary as she knows Drew only has a limited amount of time before he has to go back to the middle east.
This man and I know nothing about each other as adults except for what we revealed in the last hour. He knows nothing of my dreams and hopes. I don’t understand the life he’s chosen. And yet I’m bound to him with leftover feelings that are so innocent and pure, feelings I’m not sure where to place now that they’ve been pulled from memories packed away.
One thing is sure. Right now is perfect.
I approach him, place my hands on his chest.
He rests his fingers lightly on my waist. “Camille – ”
I stop him with a kiss.
They start a sexy romance but they each keep a secret – Camille doesn’t tell Drew she owns Lucianna and Drew doesn’t tell Cam his family owns True North – and when she starts parking outside of True North, this causes some competitive drama between the two.
This author does such a nice job not only in letting the readers really get to know Camille and Drew well but also immersing us in the food truck business. If you are a foodie, you will enjoy this book. I could see Camille preparing and selling all her food – the sights and sounds of it all. It made me damn hungry. Camille really wants to prove to herself and to the memory of her late grandmother that she can be successful at this. She puts a ton of pressure on herself, and you can feel that it really weighs her down. She also wants to be able to send her sister to an exclusive art school – more pressure to make things work. Drew is there as a great support system, even if he doesn’t know at first exactly what she does. He finds out about her food truck first, and then keeps it a secret that his family owns True North – as there is a little social media war between the two. But Drew is such a good guy. Trying to help his family out with the restaurant, and trying not to let the guilt of not following in his father’s footsteps overcome him. His parents put pressure on him and he learns to stand up for himself and draw up some solid boundaries. I liked his back story a lot.
Their romance builds at a steady pace throughout the book and made me smile a lot. The author allows Drew to court Camille and it’s so romantic. They do silly tourist stuff, and just hang out and get to know one another.
I’m hoping book two features two supporting characters in this book who have a secretive romance of their own.
Definitely give this one a try.