At 10 years old Joel was uprooted from his home and everything he knew in Portugal to start a new life in the States. At 26 he finds himself returning for the first time in thirteen years. So what if looking into the eyes of his childhood best friend again still makes his heart race out of his chest?
Living in sunny, laid-back Portugal isn't all it's cracked up to be. For David, dreams of being a pastry chef come second to working in his family's café where his renowned custard tarts draw in the crowds. Seeing Joel brings old feelings back. Feelings he’s not sure he’s brave enough to acknowledge to anyone other than himself.
With the inspiration of an old travel journal, the two friends embark on a real journey through memories in a country where looking back into the past runs as deep as the blood that courses through their veins.
Falling in love was never meant to be a stop along the way, but maybe inevitable when you have the adventurous spirit and courage to pursue what you want, make love under the stars and even figure out how to jumpstart an old Citroen 2CV in the middle of the Alentejo countryside.
Made In Portugal is Ana Newfolk's debut novel and is a standalone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no cliffhanger. Fair warning, there will be naked man parts touching, know-it-all grandparents, a red car, and pastry, lots of pastry.
Made In Portugal is approximately 74000 words.
My Rating - 5 Stars!!!!!
It's not everyday that I find a book like Made in Portugal that makes me want to tell everyone to read it right away! I am so damn impressed with this book by Ana Newfolk.
From the very beginning, I knew this book was going to be special.
Joel and David are everything you want in a M/M Romance. After growing up as best friends, they are reunited and what follows just warms the heart.
This book contains so much sentiment, so much romance, and an overabundance of love. The trip the two set out on is so damn wonderful, and when they are together physically, the chemistry is off the charts.
The overall journey for these two is so powerful. David had spent his life in the closet, fearing the repercussions if his aunt and uncle ever find out he's gay. His reasons for this are sound, but his constant public rejection of Joel is devastating.
The lessons in this tale are fantastic. There is a big difference between living with caution versus embracing your true self and fully living. Sometime you need to return home to find your true self, and it is ok to do so.
And one of the most special things about this book is that Ana manages to feature the deceased parents as some of the most important people in the story. She does so in a creative and emotional way that is astounding.
Want a romantic preview? '"I love you so much I'm not even sure how all the particles in my body remain in one place when you're not around."'
Made In Portugal is as romantic as it can get. Ana Newfolk has far exceeded any expectations I had going into this book, and I can't wait to see what she writes next!