Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Mangos and Mistletoe

Rate this book
Kiskeya Burgos left the tropical beaches of the Dominican Republic with a lot to prove. As a pastry chef on the come up, when she arrives in Scotland, she has one goal in mind: win the Holiday Baking Challenge. Winning is her opportunity to prove to her family, her former boss, and most importantly herself, she can make it in the culinary world. Kiskeya will stop at nothing to win , that is, if she can keep her eyes on the prize and off her infuriating teammate's perfect lips.

Sully Morales, home cooking hustler, and self-proclaimed baking brujita lands in Scotland on a quest to find her purpose after spending years as her family’s caregiver. But now, with her home life back on track, it's time for Sully to get reacquainted with her greatest love, baking. Winning the Holiday Baking Challenge is a no brainer if she can convince her grumpy AF baking partner that they make a great team both in and out of the kitchen before an unexpected betrayal ends their chance to attain culinary competition glory.

152 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 7, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Adriana Herrera

39 books1,021 followers
USA Today bestselling author ADRIANA HERRERA was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings.

Her debut Dreamers, has been featured on Entertainment Weekly, NPR, the TODAY Show on NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Oprah Magazine.

When she's not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
356 (17%)
4 stars
772 (38%)
3 stars
680 (34%)
2 stars
144 (7%)
1 star
43 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 511 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,474 reviews19.2k followers
December 23, 2019
Y'ALL. This is the best smutty F/F romance I've ever read. It was SO smutty but also so sweet and pure and gave me all of the Bake Off feels. THIS WAS SO GOOD YOU NEED TO READ IT IMMEDIATELY
Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 57 books7,900 followers
December 13, 2019
An f/f novella set in a Great British Bake Off type reality show. In other words, it is right here to offer you comfort which may be much needed in these God-awful times. Two Dominican bakers with very different experiences working together in pursuit of victory and falling in bed then love along the way.

It's not cosy--the heat level is high and the relationship is often quite jagged and awkward as one of the women struggles to let the other in and, well, not be a jerk--but that means it shows us forgiveness and listening and the real effort to do better by each other. I think I find more comfort now in people screwing up and managing to forgive and doing better than in books where everything is angst free. I want to know there's a way back when all seems lost, and Herrera does that terrifically, here and in her stellar Dreamers series.

Also, the food descriptions are amazing. The cake. I really need the cake. Please send me cake.

I had an ARC from the author.
Profile Image for hedgehog.
216 reviews32 followers
December 17, 2021
- The two first-person POVs were indistinguishable from each other. I frequently had to search for names to figure out who was narrating.
- The artificial antagonism in the beginning made Kiskeya look like a nut, tbh. And not just toward Sully. I laughed out loud when her assessment of the Cartoon Stereotype Villains was that "they were fucking snobby". Lady, before these two women even opened their mouths, you were shitting on their looks and their baking abilities. And of course, the narrative makes her justified in being mean, which is some nonsense. I'm so sick of romance books villainizing other women just because they're the 'wrong' type of women (but it's okay, because look! They really were Evil!). No thanks, actually!
- I don't know what other reviewers are talking about with the food descriptions. I mean, flavors get listed off, sure, but there's a difference between a book talking about food and a Food Book, if you get what I mean. My senses weren't engaged at all. For a book centered around baking, the details are very thin on the ground and in some cases, nonsensical. The leads wholesale come up with a recipe on the fly for multiple baked goods and the proportions and flavors are just right on the first try! Wow! That's... that's not how it works. Baking =/= cooking. Even on the technicals in GBBO, the contestants are given the right measurements for the bake, and then they're judged on the execution.
- It's set in Scotland so one of the interchangeable leads can make fetishizing comments about Scottish accents, but otherwise I don't know what the point was because there's no sense of place. Just like the characters were interchangeable. At least that's consistent. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My biggest problem was the source of friction between the love interests. Sully is, stop me if I'm wrong about this, but she's second-generation American or at the very least was raised in the States. Kiskeya is a first-gen recent immigrant. Their experiences and connections to their heritage are going to be different... and that's okay. No single experience is better or less authentic than the other, that's the wonderful and messy reality of diaspora, but throughout the book, Sully repeatedly shits on Kiskeya for not performing her ethnicity/culture the "right" way. It's very clear that the narrative agrees with Sully's perspective as the correct one. The implication that if you're X group, you have to perform your X-ness in all aspects of your life or else you're secretly ashamed or some kind of culture/race traitor is total bullshit. I resent the hell out of Kiskeya being narratively punished for falling out of step during the one time in the baking challenge she dared to not use ~Dominican flavors. There's a nuance here about not being ashamed of one's heritage, but it's COMPLETELY lost in this ham-handed insistence that she has to pigeonhole herself into the stereotype or else she's just bowing to Racism. This is simply ridiculous. If someone told me that every time I made spaghetti instead of rice, I was ~betraying my heritage~, one of us looks like a lunatic bigot, but it's not me, just sayin'.
Profile Image for JenReadsRomance.
291 reviews1,466 followers
December 1, 2019

Mangos and Mistletoe is a sexy and awesome Christmas novella. The two heroines, Sully and Kiskeya are in Scotland to participate in a baking competition show. They are assigned to be partners and Adriana packs a lot into the novella. It's a Novella, so there's a bit of insta-lust, but when they are assigned to be partners in the competition, sparks fly. It was super hot and I liked that and also: ONLY ONE BED.

Both women are Dominican, but they disagree on how much flavor from their culture should be included. Kiskeya is worried that if they overdo it, the judges will mark them down, while Sully isn't going to hide her her culture from anyone. The exploration of these difference and their families and the role of toxic masculinity and how it impacts them is really engaging. I was impressed by how these explorations of how each woman is impacted by her family and culture vs her own drive were so deftly handled.

Anyways, it's a pretty quick wrap up, but that's how novellas are. It was a great holiday read, lots of cooking action in the kitchen for those of you who like that, and lots of cooking action in the bedroom for those of us who like that.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for a fair review. Full disclosure: Adriana is a friend of mine and has appeared on the Fated Mates podcast a few times.

Profile Image for Leah.
370 reviews122 followers
December 6, 2020
‘Mangos and Mistletoe’ is about two Dominican women who go to Scotland for the chance to win a bake-off competition. This is an opposites-attract romance as Kiskeya is pretty grumpy and I think a little introverted. Sully, on the other hand, is friendly and outgoing with all of the other contestants.

So, I don’t really know what about this one. I didn’t love and I didn’t hate it. I really liked the beginning and the main characters but it lost me somewhere along the way. I hate that I can’t put it into words to say exactly what it was that lost me.

Also, the “there’s only one bed” trope made me laugh. Especially because they’re staying at a castle…

Like I said, I loved the beginning, it started out strong but by the ending I felt unsatisfied and disappointed. I think it’s because they only knew each other for a week and were already feeling some heavy emotions and I just didn’t feel that emotional connection?

Clearly, others have loved this one and didn’t have my issue. So, there’s a good chance if you’re reading this and haven’t read ‘Mangos and Mistletoe’ yet, you’ll like it. I just needed a deeper connection to buy into the heavy emotions.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
1,983 reviews3,308 followers
December 15, 2021
This was perfection! If you're looking for a sweet and steamy sapphic holiday romance that's grumpy/sunshine in a baking competition with food descriptions that will make you hungry, then this novella is absolutely the one for you. Both characters are Dominican, participating in a televised holiday baking show in Scotland. I loved it. I do tend to enjoy Herrera's writing and this was really what I wanted from the novella. That said, if you aren't a novella person and need characters to have a lot of time to develop their relationship, this might not work for you. But for me it totally hit the right note.
Profile Image for Mara.
1,511 reviews3,675 followers
December 26, 2020
3.5 stars -- This is a fun holiday take on a romance set during a GBBO type competition that somehow managed to be very cute and very smutty all at once! The only thing that held me back from fully loving this is a weakness I think a lot of novellas have, which is that it is not going for a campy tone so the plot mechanics of having people fall in love so quickly have a high bar to clear
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,074 reviews903 followers
December 4, 2019
I finally finally finally got to read the Great British Bake Off inspired romance of my holiday dreams. Yay! Extra special because it is from Adriana Herrera and features a buttoned up professional patisserie chef who is completely unwound by her baking partner, the ray of sunshine and confident Sully who I totally have a book crush on now.

The push and pull between Sully and Kiskeya's differing opinions on expressing their Dominican heritage, both in their personal lives and for the baking show, showcases Herrera's amazing ability to write romances that are both delightfully sexy and emotionally poignant.

My only regret is that I wasn't immediately able to don an apron and get into a kitchen after reading, but reading this story made me feel like I was there anyway. Is it too soon to ask for more stories set in this world?!

Thank you to the author for the ARC! My own copy is on preorder!
Profile Image for Timitra.
1,261 reviews
December 6, 2019
Rated 4.5 Stars

Mangos and Mistletoe was amazing. I loved it. It was heartwarming and relatable. I loved the tension, the smoking hot sexy times, the heroines, the issues that were highlighted, it all just worked for me. I must mention the food, I've never been hungrier while reading than I was with this book, all of the food sounded so good and the fact that I grew up with some of these foods just made it that much sweeter. This was my first book by this author and have every intention of devouring her backlist. I highly recommend this book to one and all.

Copy provided by the author
Profile Image for a.
1,160 reviews
December 20, 2019
A book with two Dominican girls, filled with Dominican culture and talking about how two people can be from the same background and have vastly different experiences with it? Sign me tf up!

This book was so freaking cute and I flew through it. There were some grammatical errors throughout but I enjoyed it enough that it didn't affect my reading. I could definitely see myself rereading this again and it was the perfect read for the christmas/winter season.
Profile Image for lauraღ.
1,400 reviews59 followers
January 8, 2021
I imagined us as little bits of soil, of earth, from the same place that had been picked up and scattered, and now were here, blending back together. Finding each other so far from where we’d come from.

4.5 stars. This is my fifth book by Adriana Herrera, and it's definitely my favourite. Not just because it's f/f, though that certainly didn't hurt its case. This little Christmas novella gave me so much of what I want from romance, with an added sprinkling of things I normally don't expect to get, wrapped up in a vibrantly cute and sexy package.  

I loved the setting; two Dominican women taking part in a baking contest in Scotland around Christmas time. I never really caught on to the whole baking show craze, but I loved this. I would have loved a little more cooking and baking scenes but, you know, novella. Sully and Kiskeya had the most wonderful energy and chemistry; it made me giddy from pretty much their first introduction. I really adore the sunshine and grumpy trope, and I REALLY liked the fact that these characters were more than just those archetypes.. It's not always easy to give readers a really clear idea of who your characters are as people when you're writing a novella, but I think that's what Adriana Herrera really succeeded at here, and was one of the reasons I enjoyed this a lot. I knew clearly what motivated them, and I came to care about them quickly. 

But what I love most about this book, and what I find that I enjoy most about all of Adriana Herrera's books, is that the diversity doesn't simply stop at the fact that these are two Dominican characters. Their dialogue is peppered with Spanish, and they speak with a lot of slang, which I've talked about enough elsewhere but I feel like I can't say it enough: I love when slang is used in romance and fantasy in particular. Very little that makes me as happy as that. This takes place in Scotland, but it feels like such a Caribbean work of fiction, which the author achieved through the food and the dialogue and some of the conversations that the characters had. It was so meaningful to see them talking about how their queerness intersects with culture. Especially Kiskeya, and the difficulties that she had with her family. I really loved this quote:  “The DR is not an ancestral home I went to for a few weeks in the summer. It’s where I lived my whole life, you know? And even though I love it, I also know I had to leave it.”. And there were a lot of little things that just delighted me, like,  instead of gingerbread houses, making casitas as conch style houses.  I could picture it so vividly.  

And the romance was just so sweet and swoony and sexy!!! It moved a bit fast, but it certainly wasn't the most egregious offender that I've ever seen in that regard. I feel like this could have used a bit of a closer edit; sometimes sentence construction in prose seemed a little off. The little side plot with the snooty antagonists was overdone, and at one point the heroines make a really silly and questionable decision?  

But those barely register as flaws. I just had such a good time with this little novella. I hope Adriana Herrera has more sapphic work in her future; I know I'll definitely be reading them.  
I wasn’t shy or tentative about kissing, but I knew this one would be hard to come back from. I let myself feel the terrifying clarity that doing this with Sully could cost me everything. 

I did it anyway.
Profile Image for Acqua.
536 reviews188 followers
January 30, 2020
3.5 stars.

An adorable F/F romance novella following two Dominican women who meet at a baking show, feat. dislike to love dynamic! And, did you know that there was only one bed?
I really liked this one - the writing might not always have been the best (the sense of setting was completely lacking¹), but the food descriptions, the relationship and the sex scenes were all well-written.

While Kiskeya and Sully are both Dominican, they have very different relationships with their culture, as Sully was born in America and Kiskeya grew up in the Dominican Republic, and have different experiences with growing up queer and Dominican as well; I loved seeing how this influenced their dynamic, made them clash just as much it made them understand each other and fit together.

Overall, a light, fun holiday read.

¹ [This book was making such a big deal out of the fact that the show took place in Scotland that it reminded me of Her Royal Highness. Then it barely bothered to talk about anything at all that would have made it feel as if it actually had a setting.]
Profile Image for Cande.
1,030 reviews179 followers
May 7, 2021
i'm sad to say this one of the worst audiobooks i have had the displeasure to listen to. please, if you tell me a character speaks fluent Spanish, get a narrator who speaks Spanish. it was so sad that I wasn't able to enjoy all the flirt in Spanish because the accent was so!!! cringy!!!
Profile Image for currentlyreadingbynat.
540 reviews35 followers
December 17, 2021
This was the December pick for a queer book club I've recently joined in my city. It's a quick novella, which is why I think I didn't connect with it as much as I would've liked to. We're told a lot about how the MCs are feeling towards each other, but it doesn't get transferred into how we're shown it. Both mains have interesting backgrounds, but the friction their shared heritage causes within this felt a bit weird. There's one part in the novel where I was so annoyed by one character's opinions towards the other that it really just made me feel uncomfortable and disappointed.

I think if you went into this looking for just a short, smutty read with a bit of food description, you'd enjoy it. Unfortunately, I just couldn't read it as simply as that though.
Profile Image for Ness (Vynexa).
481 reviews113 followers
December 24, 2019
a f/f novella who are bakers in a competition that takes place in Scotland? YES, PLEASE!

this was a quick, cute and smutty read. exactly what I needed.

my only “complaint” was that both of the characters sounded the same to me. there wasn’t really anything to tell them apart. it felt like I was reading from the same POV every chapter.

however, the smutty scenes were A1!

⭐️ 4 STARS ⭐️
Profile Image for Sandra Andersson.
77 reviews33 followers
February 15, 2021
It started out strong and I really liked the beginning but then everything seemed to just happen way too fast. I just didn't feel like the two main characters knew each other well enough for everthing that happened to be happening.

I also had a hard time knowing which of the characters POV I was reading for so I had to go back and search for a name but that might just have been me though.

It was okay though, 3.5★
Profile Image for AnnMaree Of Oz.
1,444 reviews25 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
December 6, 2020
DNF @ 25%

Pros: Diversity in characters and location. I liked that they features two mains from the Dominican Republic. Plus other minority contestants. Then set the American Baking/Cooking show in Scotland.

Cons: Kiskeya came off as such a judgemental ass. She was constantly criticising absolutely everyone even before she met them, and really didn't play well with others. She was no fun. (I get it, it's a thing, but there's only so much party pooping one can take... and she had the audacity to call other contestants snobs, I was like 'seriously?')
Sully however did have a way of antagonizing Kiskeya, too, Her constantly trying to banter with her was kinda off-putting, and like she was trying way too hard. (Which overall felt like the tone of the book)... Boy she really didn't know when to shut up.

Cons: Certain turns of phrases constantly being said. Like "Basic bitch" and "Stank face"... it felt like the author was trying too hard, or only had internet lingo to use as dialogue which jarred me - and so it ended up like 'Hello fellow kids' to me. Calling everyone 'bitch' does not a good impression make. It reminds me of when I was far too young and dumb and thought swearing was cool.

I saw no real interpersonal connection here, and the 'trying too hard to be hip' writing irritated me. It all felt so very forced, so I decided I couldn't continue since it was annoying me so bad.
Profile Image for AnnMaree Of Oz.
1,444 reviews25 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
December 6, 2020
DNF @ 25% It felt like the writer was trying too hard to be provocative. And trying too hard overall.

Pros: Diversity in characters and location. I liked that they features two mains from the Dominican Republic. Plus other minority contestants. Then set the American Baking/Cooking show in Scotland.

Cons: Kiskeya came off as a judgemental ass. She was constantly criticising absolutely everyone even before she met them, and really didn't play well with others. She was no fun. (I get it, it's a thing, but only so much party pooping one can take.)
Sully however did have a way of antagonizing Kiskeya, too, Her constantly trying to banter with her was kinda off-putting, and like she was trying way too hard. (Which overall felt like the tone of the book)... Boy she really didn't know when to shut up.

Cons: Certain turns of phrases constantly being said. Like "Basic bitch" and "Stank face"... it felt like the author was trying too hard, or only had internet lingo to use as dialogue which jarred me - and so it ended up like 'Hello fellow kids' to me.

I saw no connection here, and the 'trying too hard to be hip' writing irritated me. It felt so very forced, so I decided I couldn't continue since it was annoying me so bad. Sorry!
Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,052 reviews808 followers
December 4, 2019
ARC kindly provided by Adriana Herrera

Rep: Dominican lesbian mcs, mlm side characters, Japanese side character

Mangos and Mistletoe is an f/f hate-to-love novella, so you know I'm kicking myself for not liking it as much as I hoped. It's a case of the it's-not-you-it's-mes again, where what I liked less about the book is completely personal yadda yadda yadda you know the drill. (Though, just a side note, three stars is still a good review and that's a hill I would die on.)

The novella follows Kiskeya and Sully, two contestants in a Christmas cookery show. However, from the moment they meet they clash, and it's only made worse when they're paired up for the challenges.

What I liked

• Sully was a sweetheart and I loved her a lot. In fact, she was easily my favourite character (not that that's hard when there aren't so many characters because it's a novella but. Favourite all the same).

• The progression of the relationship felt very natural. They went from being antagonistic to learning to work together better (while also sleeping together, of course) to a little way in love. And it was the softest!

What I liked less

• Let's get this one out of the way because it's the most personal. Me and the writing style didn't get along. There. Done. Moving on.

• Kiskeya always felt a little like she was teetering on the side of too rude to Sully for me to actually root for her. I mean, it's not like I couldn't see where she was coming from for at least some of it, but she just felt a little too rude at times when she needn't have been.

So yeah. Read the novella. Ignore my review. Do it.
Profile Image for WhittyReads.
366 reviews8 followers
December 21, 2020
This book is so cute and sweet. I smiled the entire time I read this! Please read this if you haven’t already!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (technically 3.5 round up because I had the best time reading this one!)
Profile Image for Jane (whatjanereads).
515 reviews93 followers
December 13, 2021
TW: homophobic family

Rep: 2 lesbian MCs from the Dominican Republic

I was so excited for a sapphic Christmas story, because honestly they are kinda hard to find? Give the lesbians some holiday spirit!!!
I absolutely loved the setting of this: a baking show in Scottland, both of the MCs set to win!
I honestly have to say that I didn’t really like Kiskeya a lot. She is super grumpy and mean towards Sully without any reason at all. Sully was super sweet and I liked her and the way she stood up for herself.
I loved reading about their very different relationships toward their Dominican Republic heritage though.
For me the transition from the kind-of hate to the making out came a bit sudden and then the steamy scenes came one after the other (came, ha…ha).
For me the drama in the end was pretty unnecessary too, they only knew each other for 2 days and I don’t think you’re expected to share one of your most personal things/secret with someone? Sex doesn’t automatically mean trust and intimacy.
This story was also really short, so making me believe that these two were head over heels in love with each other after 3 days also didn’t happen.
All in all it was an okay read, I think I would have maybe liked it better if I read it instead of listening to it because I didn’t really like the narrator. She had this constantly pissed off tone and that didn’t give me a lot of happy feelings toward the MCs in the first place.
So if you want to give this a try I would recommend reading it over listening to the audio.
Profile Image for Grapie Deltaco.
538 reviews1,127 followers
December 24, 2021


In a story featuring a Dominican from the island and a Dominican from the states, it was nice to see two common realities with representing culture in predominantly white spaces. Kiskeya deeply fears falling into stereotypes and has experienced homophobic alienation from her family back home resulting in her avoiding being heavily tied (visually and to the public) with her cultural identity. Sully, on the other hand, has immense pride for her roots and is always looking for a way to infuse Caribbean aesthetics and flavors into her baking. The two clash when paired up for a Great British Baking Show-esque reality show from a combination of differing views on representing culture and Sully getting a rise out of bothering/pushing the beautiful Kiskeya.

We watch Kiskeya open up and loosen up about optics and we see Sully gain some patience and regret jumping to conclusions so quickly.

We also as watch as Kiskeya and Sully fall into a passionate and steamy romance 😌🤚

My only critique would have to be in the language used in both perspectives being too similar to properly distinguish the characters' voices from one another at times. The general personality differences can only do so much.

CW: explicit sexual content, references to misogyny and homophobia
Profile Image for Alex (HEABookNerd).
1,622 reviews226 followers
August 7, 2021
MANGOS AND MISTLETOE was a really cute and fun read filled with delicious baked goods. I've never really watched a baking competition show but I liked the set up for how our heroines meet. To make matters even more interesting, there's a mix up at the hotel and Sully and Kiskeya are forced to share a room and a bed during their week long competition.

Overall, I liked the story but it just doesn't stand out for me and some of this might be the novella format because everything felt a bit rushed to move the story along. Sully and Kiskeya were both really enjoyable characters and while they're both Dominican, they have very different life experiences. This is the source of most of the tension in the story because Kiskeya is all about minimizing her cultural roots because of bad experiences and Sully is all about proudly blasting her culture. This dynamic of showing how a person's culture can be both positive and negative in their life was probably my favorite part of the story because it felt so real. This was only my second book by Adriana Herrera but I'm looking forward to more.
Profile Image for Sarah.
785 reviews
December 2, 2019
3.5 stars. Thanks so much to the author for the ARC of this book! I enjoyed this holiday romance novella about two Dominican women who find themselves in Scotland together, paired up in a TV holiday baking challenge. As they clash over how much of their culture to incorporate into their baking, they also feel building attraction to each other. There were some things I didn't like--the villains seemed like paper-thin caricatures, and the final conflict the two leads had seemed way overblown--but overall this was fun and exactly what I was in the mood for. The detailed descriptions of the food were delicious just to read, and the sex scenes were steamy. If you're looking for something romantic to get you into a holiday mood, this might just hit the spot.
Profile Image for K..
3,607 reviews1,002 followers
September 18, 2021
Trigger warnings: difficult family relationships as a result of sexuality, anxiety.

This was very cute and very sweet and made me want to bake things. Was the romance a little too fast-paced for my liking? Absolutely. Did I care? Not even remotely. I loved the idea of a baking competition that's holiday themed and where the contestants have to pair up. I liked the dynamic between Kiskeya and Sully. And this was definitely steamier than I anticipated given its length. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this and I can see myself rereading it in the future when I need some Christmas funtimes.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 511 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.