Once Upon A Romance

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Sex and the South Beach Chicas by Caridad Pineiro

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Sex and the South Beach Chicas cover art Reviewer: Lori Graham
Title: Sex and the South Beach Chicas
Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Downtown Press
ISBN: 1-4165-1488-0
Release Date: September 2006
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance - Chick Lit
Year/Setting: Current/CA
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual/Sexual
Language (Profanity) Rating: Moderate
Violent Content Rating: None
Caridad's Website: www.caridad.com


This is a romance but not in the typical way a reader will think of a romance. This is about a "love" story between four friends – Tori (Victoria), Adriana, Sylvia, and Juli (Juliana). Their friendship has seen them through numerous life trials but it is about to hit a new snag. Yes, they have each had their own lives and done their own thing but coming together was always a priority. Now, their feelings haven’t changed but there are some new players being added to the mix.

The first change is when predictable Tori does the unpredictable and elopes. This starts a tailspin for this group of friends and begins some searching within each of them.

Now there are actual four love stories within the main story. Tori obviously is the first with her love of Gil. Adriana’s best friend, Riley, has announced he is marrying someone else. Now if he is her best friend, why is Adriana so bothered by the thought of him marrying this other woman? Sylvia is looking for a major news story as a reporter but finds herself being drawn into events and a particular man who she knows is wrong for her.

At this point, you ask about Juli. Juli figures she is too plain for any man to notice and since she is happy in her life as a chef and being in the kitchen that is okay by her. For her friends, however, that isn’t okay and they help Juli find herself.

I enjoyed the interaction between these four very different personalities. Because of their differences I can see why they find each other so intriguing and each of their strengths play to the others. Of course, this can also lead to some pretty heated discussions or this wouldn’t be even close to reality. Caridad handles these interchanges very well – thoughtfully and yet quite real.

While the men in this story weren’t the lead characters, the author found some very unique personalities to bring into this family. While there is obviously something each of them has in common with their perspective partner there is also some sizzle added to the equation.

Sex and the South Beach Chicas is anything but boring and there is certainly at least one character you will find yourself identifying with and cheering on as she deals with the hurdles life sends her. You will also find yourself entertained by the friends and scenarios caused by that friendship.

The only down side I could find to this book and I struggled with it a bit is that I don’t understand Spanish. Because of that language’s influence with some of the conversations I sometimes felt like I was missing pieces of that flow. It made a few of them rather hard to follow. They were, however, totally in context with the story and if I needed it bad enough I just looked it up or asked my son and learned something in the process.

Lori

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