Title: Here to Stay
Author: Adriana Herrera
Pub. Date: August 25th 2020
Publisher: Carina Press
🖤ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤
Julia Del Mar Ortiz wears her heart on her sleeve which led her to relocating from NYC to Dallas Texas with her boyfriend. She’s landed her dream job & things couldn’t be looking better until she gets dumped. Now stuck with a lofty apartment & a brand new car lease, she has to make the best of it. Running back to her family in NYC (as much as she loves them) is NOT an option! She is a Dominican/Puerto-Rican Afro-Latina running the charitable foundation for one of the most iconic high fashion department stores in the world is an honor. The only challenge is the blue eyed dark haired Irish Italian consultant hired to take them public which could mean she’d be out of a job. The foundation helps immigrant families with after school care & activities and advocates on their behalf. For Julia this foundation means everything & protecting it from getting cut off trumps her desire for Rocco Quinn. For Rocco, Julia reminds him of home with her Queens NYC swag and give it to you straight personality. He loves everything about her from the beautiful curls to the curves on her body. He also has one thing clear in his mind, he can’t mess up this opportunity to score a promotion. He has too much personally riding on his career moves & falling for the girl who is running the foundation he may have to advise against funding is just not the wisest.
Content Warning: Alcohol abuse, verbal & emotional abuse, abusive parent
There is SO much to love about this new book by Adriana Herrera who I’ve added to my top favorite Latinx authors! Julia isn’t perfect, she ackonwledges that she can be impulsive & tends to place the needs of the men in her life before her own. This wake up call she gets in Dallas doesn’t go unchecked & she’s determined to make positive changes. I LOVED seeing Julia establish herself within her found family group who dubbed themselves the “Gotham Exiles Club”. The six of them are either from NYC or from Dominican Republic & are looking for some familiarity. They do brunches, baseball games, happy hour and really come through for one another. This is all new to Julia & Rocco who are really outside of their comfort zones but who are also eager to write their new chapters.
Rocco is driven by a need to help his younger sister & niece move from NYC away from their toxic parents. Raised by an alcoholic father & mother, Rocco has some baggage & inner demons he is handling the healthy way. I appreciated seeing a character do the work with therapy & actually apply what he’s learned in moments where he knows he’s being baited. For Julia finding her way in Dallas & living her most authentic life is what she craves. Her family is quite the opposite of Rocco’s in that they are super supportive & loving (best scenes with Papi, Mami & Abue) but that can also become a safety net if she lets it. We see two ambitious individuals strive to reach their goals while also trying to abstain from giving into temptation. The conflict of interest in the workplace only makes for some off the meter chemistry & intense flirting. In Julia we get a strongly confident & sexy woman who knows what she wants. She isn’t afraid to ask for it & that for Rocco is a true on. He’s a sweetheart & a gentleman who has a whole different side to him when alone with his love interest. This romance is HOT & vulnerable in the best of ways! can we get more of these characters though? I will be sending wishes to the Book Gods for books following Dani, Jose, Tariq, Salome, and Alba (not a part of the Gotham Exiles Club but a wonderful BFF from back home) in what I’m hoping is the near future… *fingers crossed*
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