Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera

Award-winning, highly-acclaimed author Adriana Herrera delivers the sexy, modern enemies-to-lovers romance you’ve been waiting for.

Starting over is more about who you’re with than where you live…

Julia del Mar Ortiz is not having the best year.

She moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, who ended up ditching her and running back to New York after only a few weeks. Left with a massive—by NYC standards, anyway—apartment and a car lease in the scorching Texas heat, Julia is struggling… except that’s not completely true. Running the charitable foundation of one of the most iconic high fashion department stores in the world is serious #lifegoals.

It’s more than enough to make her want to stick it out down South.

The only monkey wrench in Julia’s plans is the blue-eyed, smart-mouthed consultant the store hired to take them public. Fellow New Yorker Rocco Quinn’s first order of business? Putting Julia’s job on the chopping block.

When Julia is tasked with making sure Rocco sees how valuable the programs she runs are, she’s caught between a rock and a very hard set of abs. Because Rocco Quinn is almost impossible to hate—and even harder to resist.

Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press—Harlequin

This is the story of two transplanted New Yorkers who find themselves working together at a company in Texas. Their jobs make them natural opponents, but they quickly find they have more in common than they ever expected.

I’m a huge Adriana Herrera fangirl and this story definitely doesn't disappoint. Julia is a likeable and relatable heroine. Her work is inspirational, and I love her relationship with her family – and with her chosen family. Julia is a woman who doesn’t need rescuing – but she’s up for finding a partner to share her life with. In fact, it is probably Rocco who needs a little rescuing and I love how Julia is supportive of his struggles while refusing to play mummy or therapist for him. Rocco might be tall, dark, and successful on the surface, but his relationship with his family is difficult and his job leaves him morally conflicted.

I love the balance Herrera find between Julia’s personal and professional challenges and the romance that sparks between Julia and Rocco. I love the way Julia creates her own chosen family in this story and I love the way her Latinx family is such a source of strength for her. The connection between Rocco and Julia is crazy hot but Julia’s caution is incredibly relatable. I love that the drama between these two is minimal and more about logistics than the usual romance novel miscommunication and theatrics.

I found this book slower than some of the author’s previous stories. It isn't my favourite of her books, but it is still a great read. I love Herrera’s writing style and I love that her writing is reinterpreting an often problematic genre in a fresh, sex positive way for a new generation of readers. I found Herrera through her m/m writing, which I absolutely love, but I’ve been really impressed with the female protagonists in her most recent books. If all m/f romance was like Herrera’s – featuring confident, independent women who actually represent the women I know and care about in real life – I’d be more keen to read m/f romance. Sadly, Herrera is one of only a few writers currently challenging genre norms and writing romance that centres Latinx women.

3.5 stars rounded up

I really enjoyed this story, although I did feel that it somehow read slow. I can't explain it very well, but usually I read a book a day, maybe two, but this was a three-day read, because it just was a slow read. I am definitely a fan of Adriana Herrera and this was a good story, it just maybe could have been a little tighter.

Julia is making the best of a move that did not turn out as it should – from New York City to Dallas with a then cheating boyfriend. She is in an amazing job though and now is creating a friendship group based on New York exiles. This way we get to meet a great gang of people – some from the consultancy firm which could end up losing Julia her job. That one of them, Rocco, also pushes all her buttons, and it would seem she does his, there are conflicts of interest, and lots of lustful thoughts thrown in the mix from the beginning.

However, they both fight it, again and again and again. It takes a lot of courage and self-belief for them to even think about at least testing the water for a short term affair – and although everyone else sees the truth, we have to be amazingly patient. It is worth the wait, but I would have been happier if it had been a little less drawn out!

I would be very happy if this turns out to be the first in a series, and the Gotham City Exiles definitely deserve more romances.

3.5 stars

First, I have to say that I loved Julia, Rocco, and her family. The story was great but there was something that made it hard for me to want to keep reading. It didn't grab me as it did in the beginning, some parts just seem to drag along.

Julia is in Dallas after following her ex-boyfriend, who in turn left her and went back to New York. She is working at her dream job but now she has to be nice to the consultant who is there to help the company go public.

Rocco is in Dallas to do his job and get the promotion he needs to help his sister and niece. But when he meets Julia, all his plans just might go out the window. He is distracted by Julia in a way that neither of them needs, at least not at work.

As I said, I loved the storyline and some of the characters. I would like to see others in the Gotham City Exile group get their shot at love in other books. This is a first for me from this author and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last fifteen 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.

When’s she 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.

Connect with Adriana

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera to read and review.

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