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Here to StayTitle: Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: Carina Press (August 25, 2020)
Format: E-arc
Blurb: 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.

This one was so good. Adriana Herrera is a new author to me and I can see that I have been missing out! The writing was really engaging, the characters were entertaining and the plot was engrossing. I really loved this book because it combined family loyalty with real community issues and a sizzling romance.

Julia del Mar moved from New York to Dallas to follow a boyfriend who dumped her soon after she arrived. He also stiffed her with the apartment that needs two people to pay for so Julia cannot afford to lose her job. She works for a charity foundation, an arm of a high fashion company run by two sisters.

Rocco Quinn is a New Yorker who was sent to Dallas as a financial consultant to the foundation that Julia worked at. The problem is that the two sisters who run the fashion company are being challenged by a younger brother who wants to streamline the fashion company and maximize profits by phasing out their philanthropic wing, which is where Julia works. Julia tries her best to show Rocco what her department means to both the fashion house and to the community.

Julia plans a series of get togethers for the “Gotham Exiles” aka the New Yorkers who now live in Dallas and Rocco joined the group. The sparks between Julia and Rocco was evident but what added to the drama was the fact that Rocco was hired to end Julia’s job. Added to the burgeoning attraction, was Julia’s family. I was laughing so hard because I remember my mom and grandmother worrying about me when I moved from Dallas to New York.

Her family is so protective, loving and hilarious. Julia’s family were scene stealers and they made me crave Dominican food. I also loved the subplot with Rocco’s family and their issues. It helped illuminate Rocco’s values and lets the reader get to know him. I really liked him and Julia as people. They care about other people even to their own detriment.

If you want a book where the author really develops the characters and the plot is relatable, then you have to read this book. Definitely one of my top reads of 2020.

*Special thanks to Carina Press via Netgalley for the e-book given in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author: Adriana Herrera 

Adriana 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 she’s not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a trauma therapist in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Her Dreamers series has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist and has been featured in The TODAY Show on NBC, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Library Journal and The Washington Post. Her debut, American Dreamer, was selected as one of Booklist’s ‘Best Romance Debuts of 2019’, and one of the ‘Top 10 Romances of 2019’ by Entertainment Weekly. Her third novel, American Love Story, was one of the winners in the first annual Ripped Bodice Award for Excellence in Romantic Fiction. Adriana is an outspoken advocate for diversity in romance and has written for Remezcla and Bustle about Own Voices in the genre. She’s one of the co-creators of the Queer Romance PoC Collective. Represented by Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary.

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