“A Dish Best Served Hot” is a beautifully written second chance romance with an emphasis on community and family.
Saint Vega and Lola León have history. They dated in high school but choices and circumstances caused them to go their separate ways. They reconnect when they are both called into a situation with their grandfathers at the nursing home. Papo Vega and Benny are engaged in a prank war of epic proportions and their involvement in this book provides some well placed comic relief.
The connection between Saint and Lola is immediately evident the moment they lay eyes on each other again. I really appreciated how they individually owned their mistakes from the past and put them aside to find a new location for the community center/shelter, El Hogar. Community is a big theme in this book and it highlights a common interest for them as a couple while also being a key part of Lola’s identity.
Another major theme in this book is family and the author does not shy away from tough realities. There is growth for the characters as individuals and also in their relationships with each other and their families. The other shining star of this book is Saint’s daughter, Rosie. She is a precocious four year old that never stops talking around family, but refuses to talk at school. No one knows why, but Saint is a staunch advocate for his daughter and Lola follows suit when she becomes Rosie’s substitute preschool teacher. These three create their own family unit and some of my favorite scenes in this book are of them together.
The conflict in this book comes about due to an outside source and forces Saint and Lola to face some hard truths about themselves. There is a third act breakup, but it makes sense and allows them to work out the things that are holding them back.
This book broke me in the best way. I feel like I typed a lot of words in this review without really saying anything, but I find that happens when I really love a book. “A Proposal They Can’t Refuse” made me feel the same way. I am fully invested in these characters and cannot wait for more books about the Vega family.
*The rep in this book is fantastic. Lola is plus-sized and bisexual. Saint is dealing with PTSD from the military. There is also chronic illness and LGBTQIA+ rep with side characters.
Series: Vega Family Love Stories
Type of Series: Interconnected Standalones
Tropes: Single Dad, Second Chance, Family Series, Mental Health Rep, LGBTQIA+ Rep
POV: 3rd Person Dual
Third Act Breakup: Yes
Release Date: October 31, 2023
Note: I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review.