Betsy St. Amant is the author of more than fifteen inspirational romance novels, including The Key to Love, and a frequent contributor to iBelieve.com. She lives in north Louisiana with her husband, two daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of pickle-flavored Pringles. When she’s not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white chocolate mocha—no whip.
In this interview, Betsy talks with us about her latest book, Tacos for Two.
FF: Can you please provide a brief summary of your latest novel, Tacos for Two?
Think “food truck wars” meets You’ve Got Mail! Rory and Jude have fallen for each other anonymously online, not realizing the other is their biggest competition in an upcoming food truck contest they both are desperate to win. With a multilayered family dynamic, witty online banter, and loads of spicy conflict, Tacos for Two will leave readers chuckling, cheering, and craving Mexican food.
FF: Tacos for Two is the second book you’ve published with Revell, after The Key to Love. How does Tacos for Two differ from your previous novel?
The Key to Love was sweet, while Tacos for Two is all savory! My characters in The Key to Love were searching for identity and the true meaning of love, while Tacos for Two centers more on the themes of family heritage, loyalty, and sacrifice.
FF: The main female protagonist is Rory Perez. Can you please tell us a little more about her character and her backstory?
Rory has a heart of gold and a strong sense of loyalty to family—that’s why she is still working so hard to make her aunt’s food truck business succeed even though she can’t cook. She feels an obligation to her cousin with special needs and her late aunt—who was like a mother to her—to make the food truck a success . . . even if it’s to her own detriment. Rory loves jogging, lavender tea, and her heritage but is sick of Mexican food, hates change (and cilantro!), and is weary of carrying so many burdens. Her one escape has been communicating online via an anonymous dating app, through which she’s formed a deep friendship with a man she knows only by the handle StrongerMan99. Rory must learn that change is inevitable, and sometimes, that’s a very good thing.
FF: Rory and Jude have already met . . . even if they don’t know it yet. Can you share how the idea for their meet-cute came to be?
You’ve Got Mail has always been one of my favorite movies. I couldn’t resist setting up a similar meet-cute as a nod to the Tom Hanks classic! I also love the instant conflict that arises in romance novels when characters have a secret identity that must be discovered and responded to.
FF: Both characters feel trapped by family circumstances. Can you elaborate on the similarities you see between these characters and why they may have some common experiences?
Rory and Jude have much more in common than they first think. Jude is wealthy, and Rory is struggling to make ends meet for her inherited food truck business, yet they both are driven by a need much deeper and more vital than finances. They’re both struggling to thrive in a life seemingly chosen for them, rather than one of their own making. Once they start relating to each other on this level, the chemistry—and the conflict—only increases!
FF: Why did you choose to give your more recent books food-centered themes?
This unintentional “brand” of mine just evolved! It started with my novel All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes and was followed by several novellas that also featured bakeries, cupcakes, or sweet treats. The Key To Love followed suit with a French twist. After that, I thought getting out of the bakery and into a food truck might be a fresh and fun change for my readers!
FF: What do you hope readers experience when reading Tacos for Two?
I hope readers alternate laughing and swooning over Rory and Jude’s online banter, find a new love for their own family heritage, become more open to the concept of change, and of course—crave tacos with extra cilantro!
FF: What are you working on next?
I’m working on a novel right now that involves a high school English teacher, an unlikely wish in Times Square, and a famous novelist with writer’s block!
Tacos for Two
Betsy St. Amant
Release Date: October 12, 2021
Rory Perez, a food truck owner who can’t cook, is struggling to keep the business she inherited from her aunt out of the red–and an upcoming contest during Modest’s annual food truck festival seems the best way to do it. The prize money could finally give her a solid financial footing and keep her cousin with special needs paid up at her beloved assisted living home. Then maybe Rory will have enough time to meet the man she’s been talking to via an anonymous online dating site.
Jude Strong is tired of being a puppet at his manipulative father’s law firm, and the food truck festival seems like the perfect opportunity to dive into his passion for cooking and finally call his life his own. But if he loses the contest, he’s back at the law firm for good. Failure is not an option.
Complications arise when Rory’s chef gets mono and she realizes she has to cook after all. Then Jude discovers that his stiffest competition is the same woman he’s been falling for online the past month.
Will these unlikely chefs sacrifice it all for the sake of love? Or will there only ever be tacos for one?
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Buy Tacos for Two from Amazon HERE!