La Familia: Book 1
Publication Date: January 8, 2022
A romantic suspense comedy set in Silicon Valley, a young Latina teacher, Dina Salazar, is asked by her Mexican-born grandmother to rescue her cousins from a dangerous Mexican drug cartel. After all, her stern grandmother tells her, she is the “smart one” in the family. To do so, she has to recruit help from her hated ex-fiance. What’s a girl to do when “la familia” calls?
SAVING LA FAMILIA by Donna Del Oro, about a latina teacher who’s recruited by her Mexican-born grandmother to save her cousins from a dangerous Mexican drug cartel. It’s a romantic-suspense comedy with many “buen dichos”!
Saving La Familia by Donna Del Oro has a lot of action throughout. There were twists and turns to the story filled with Mexican-Americans and their culture, lots of secrets, past hurts, family and friends, jobs and businesses, successes and failures, drugs, cartels, family connections, loving, and love. It’s also a chance at a second-chance romance for the main character, Dina. I love the sweetness of the cover, although there was some darkness throughout.
Saving La Familia is fast-paced and has several storylines woven together even when they don’t seem to be. At the start of each chapter, there are quotes by different characters that shed some light on what’s to come.
The cultural details rounded out the story nicely. This is Dina’s story through and through, and much of it deals with her relationships and interactions with her family, extended family, past boyfriend Rick, best friend Lisa, and others. Dina seems to be in over her head to help save a cousin and her son who lives in Mexico that she and the rest of the family didn’t even know existed. But she wants to make her grandmother proud since the cousin Dina’s grandmother’s newfound granddaughter who needs help, and they’re all caught up in a dangerous situation.
I loved how Dina and Rick’s romance was portrayed and how Rick always seemed to be there for Dina’s family. But is Rick worth a second shot after the way he treated Dina in the past?
The family dynamics were realistically depicted. There was a lot of Spanish sprinkled throughout, which was translated for the reader. The villains were truly evil and added another layer to the story.
There was nice closure as well as a hint of how their lives turned out. There were several happily ever afters. Ms. Del Oro is a new-to-me author. I hope to read some of her other romances and have added a few to my TBR pile.
With genuinely seat-of-my-pants suspenseful action, tender moments, and realistic characters, Ms. Del Oro has struck an outstanding balance with her La Familia series, and I look forward to reading the next books in the series.
Donna Del Oro lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats. She taught high school and community college English classes for 30+ years and is now happily retired. When not doing research, writing novels, or reading voraciously, she travels and sings with the medal winning Sacramento Valley Chorus.
Donna is a member of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime in addition to the Valleyrose chapter of the RWA. She has judged RITA entries and does developmental editing on the side. Two of her novels, Operation Familia and Born To Sing, have won national and international awards.
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Thank you for reviewing!
Nice review. Sounds fun to read.
Ms. Weiss, thanks for your review, much appreciated! SAVING LA FAMILIA was truly a labor of love, a story that resonated through my childhood and bicultural upbringing. My latino family, to some extent, lives on in this novel!–author Donna Del Oro
I’m glad you liked the review Ms. Del Oro. The title is what first attracted me to the book since I’m first generation American on my dad’s side – he was born in Italy and 2nd generation on my mom’s. So much of the story resonated with me.
I enjoyed the excerpt and Saving La Familia sounds like a great book for me! Thanks for sharing it with me! Thanks, JoAnne for sharing your review! Have a splendid day!
Thank you for sharing your review, the book sounds really good
Thanks so much for your review!