Ana María and The Fox by Liana De la Rosa is a thoughtfully written historical romance that focuses on spreading the comforts of a true connection and the joys of sisterhood. It’s one of the few novels that acutely and beautifully showcases the hardships and joys of being an elder sibling, making the titular character so easy to root for. There’s much to appreciate about the text from the start, and the characterization is at the top of the list. De la Rosa undoubtedly understands the importance of little moments equating to big things, and the narrative is proof of this fact.
When it comes to historical romances especially, there’s an escapism that shines best when the text acknowledges the cruelties of the time, making the countrysides and elegant ballrooms much better. It’s why a show like Bridgerton works because it dives into a more inclusive world and highlights the best parts of humanity through its characters. At the same time, Ana María and The Fox by Liana De la Rosa feels like the kind of novel that would translate onto the screen so exquisitely that the thought alone is exhilarating. The stunning exposition and world-building are so easy to imagine, and picturesque that one merely needs to close their eyes to envision everything. (But what’s better than seeing it visually too?)
I went into the novel under the impression that it’s a marriage of convenience, yet I was surprised to find the plot point only happens about seventy (give or take) percent of the way in. While Gideon Fox and Ana María have exceptionally witty banter and glorious moments before actually getting together, it threw me off a bit when they kept parting. Thus, in more ways than one, it’s worth noting that this novel is a story about family before romance, which is still incredibly beautiful regardless of this detail.
There are also notes about the story being a forbidden romance of sorts, but it never feels toxic or frustrating as the trope tends to when it’s not carefully written. Still, the historical and cultural influences in the novel are more decadent and thoroughly engaging than anything else. It’s clear that a lot of heart is threaded through every line, ensuring that readers learn more about Mexican culture, which makes each heroine astoundingly complex and well-written.
It’s always easy to appreciate reading novels that focus on a culture that isn’t your own, written by an author with an intimate understanding and deep care. Seeing Spanish words accurately written make the story more exquisite and engaging, allowing anyone who doesn’t know to learn right alongside the characters who are unfamiliar, like Gideon.
Further, Liana De La Rosa’s writing style is undoubtedly one a romance reader won’t be able to get enough of, and it’s comforting to know there’s more on the horizon with stories centering around the Luna sisters. At the same time, it’s enjoyable to know this likely means we’ll get more of Ana María and Gideon in the coming novels as well, making their story that much more rewarding in the process.
Ana María and The Fox by Liana De la Rosa is now available wherever books are sold.