“Utterly charming… A Proposal They Can't Refuse is a surefire winner!” —Mia Sosa, USA Today bestselling author of The Worst Best Man
Natalie Caña turns up the heat, humor and heart in this debut rom-com about a Puerto Rican chef and an Irish American whiskey distiller forced into a fake engagement by their scheming octogenarian grandfathers.
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. But just as he and his grandfather are on the verge of winning a national competition, Granda hits him with a one-two punch: he has cancer and 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Family, food, and whiskey set the scene in Natalie Caña’s sparkling rom-com debut. Feisty Kamilah Vega is the superstar chef in her family’s Puerto Rican restaurant—but unfortunately, the business is failing. Kamilah’s lifelong friend Liam is part owner in his family’s distillery, which is also having a hard time. When the pair’s grandfathers push them into a fake engagement to jumpstart their flagging businesses, things really start to heat up. Kamilah’s spirited interplay with her loving but forceful family and Liam’s heartbreaking backstory add great emotional texture to the story. Caña builds the romantic tension masterfully, leaving us wanting more (along with a plate of arroz con gandules).
Childhood friends are forced into a fake relationship by octogenarian matchmakers in Ca a's wildly fun and foodie-friendly debut. Chef Kamilah Vega's life revolves around her family's Puerto Rican restaurant, El Coqu . So when the gentrification of her Chicago neighborhood puts the restaurant in a tight spot, Kamilah hopes that entering the Fall Foodie Tour will put El Coqu back in the spotlight. Convincing her family is a struggle; her abuelo agrees, but with the condition that she marry his best friend's grandson, Liam Kane, whom she's known since childhood. Liam has helped his grandfather run the family distillery, which shares a building with El Coqu , for a decade and is set on winning a national competition. But his grandfather, too, gets in on the setup, and both men threaten to sell the building if the youngsters won't give each other a chance. To outwit them, Kamilah and Liam agree to a fake engagement but they're unprepared for how tangled their lives become and for the feelings that bubble up between them. Kamilah and Liam's passion for their work and connection to their Puerto Rican and Irish heritage, respectively, shine through, and Ca a does a fantastic job surrounding them with vibrant communities. This delightful mix of food, familia, and culture will leave readers hungry for more. Agent: Patrice Caldwell, New Leaf Literary.