Certainly, Possibly, You, by Lissa Reed
Publisher: Interlude Press
Series: Sucre Coeur Series
Release Date: October 6, 2016
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Sarita Sengupta is in her last semester of grad school and has finally realized she doesn’t have a career plan, a girlfriend, or a clear outlook on life. She works as a pastry shop’s head decorator, but is otherwise drifting without direction until a friend’s birthday party ends with her waking up in surprise next to Maritza Quiñones, a pretty ballroom dancer whose cheerful charm and laser focus sets Sarita on a path to making all of the choices she’s been avoiding.
POC (Latina and Indian)
Let me start by saying that I did not read this book under ideal circumstances. All told, it took me two weeks from start to finish; partly because I didn’t have much free time, but also because this book simply did not call to me after a long day. Overall, it was a well-written book but there were a few things that kept me from giving it a higher rating.
Right off the bat, there was a minor incident of unexplained biphobia (or what I could only assume was biphobia) when Sarita learned of Mari’s bisexuality. It was a very brief moment that was brushed aside and forgiven, but I couldn’t help but find it off-putting. I fully expected there to be a story behind Sarita’s reaction further along in the book, but to my dismay, there was none.
Another moment that gave me pause, also early on the in the book was, well, dental dam. Yes, safe sex, I know, but I can’t lie, the way it was written pulled me completely out of the scene. At the risk of sounding shallow, I was relieved that it only came up the one time, and yes, our heroines went on to have sizzling and safe sex thereafter.
Speaking of which, our two gorgeous heroines had great chemistry and were just so darned cute together. However, I felt that their relationship never really progressed beyond the early dating or hanging out stage, so when conflict arose, I felt that both women were putting the cart before the horse in regards to their future together. I could understand Mari withholding her future plans from Sarita in the event things didn’t work out, but Sarita totally lost me when her brain went into overdrive and started planning on following Mari wherever Mari’s career may take her.
Despite Sarita being the primary of the two main characters, I felt her perspective lacked depth and I had a difficult time relating to her. I loved that there was a lot of interaction with her (mostly) awesome family. There was even an interesting subplot involving her parents, as well as dealings with her hateful older sister. Drama with her sister did play itself out, but I was hoping for more in terms of her parents’ big news. In many ways, I liked Mari’s character more – her family was just as awesome (okay fine, I have a soft spot for loving POC families), and her love for dance and her drive to succeed really shone through. With Sarita, I wasn’t even convinced she liked Philosophy, never mind that she wanted to continue with her doctorate after grad school (which conveniently fell in line with her plans to be with Mari).
If you’ve read the first book in this series (which I highly recommend), you already know that this particular author is not afraid to capture our hearts through our stomachs. Not only were there delicious baked goods courtesy of the bakery where Sarita works, there was also yummy Indian and Latin home cooking. A simple word of advice: Have strawberry milk and chocolate muffins handy.
Lissa Reed is a novelist in the contemporary LGBTQ+ romance genre. She was born in Lake Charles, LA and during a childhood spent moving around as part of a U.S. Navy family, picked up writing as a hobby and hasn’t much put the pen down since. She blogs frankly about life with depression and anxiety, the writing process, cooking, and her cats.
She lives in the DFW area of Texas with her two cats, an unkempt balcony garden, and an alarming collection of nail polish. Her blog name comes from the fact that she is from Louisiana (and its many, many swamps and bayous) and she really does have a secret past as a sort-of debutante.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.