Recommended Read, Review

Review: Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera (2020)

Heat Factor: It’s a slow burn and it’s HOT

Character Chemistry: These two are 100% meant to be together and I needed them in my life

Plot: Desta, a humanitarian aid worker, finally returns to Ethiopia after having lived there with his parents as a small child. He soon meets Elias, who is studying psychology and works for the same humanitarian aid agency. Basically, they become this beautiful, sexy thing that will haunt me for years to come.

Overall: This book knocked me straight on my hiney in all the best ways, and you have to read it.


Desta and Elias. Even the names sound like a kiss, don’t they? Or a SIGH. Which is something I have been doing nonstop since I read this sweet, sexy book.

Basically, both Desta and Elias are kind of living a suspended life when they meet–Desta is working in humanitarian aid, and although he enjoys the work, it’s the life his parents loved and he’s not so sure it’s something he wants to continue pursuing. He’s doing the work as a way to love his grieving mother and honor his deceased father, but he’s just not living his life the way he wants to live it. And Elias is also doing humanitarian work–but he’s studying psychology and wants to go to Columbia for his PhD. He’s also having to live in the closet and grapple with the knowledge that his dreams could come at the expense of his family and his life in his country, a place he deeply loves.

So anyway, Desta and Elias meet, and the tingles start immediately. They connect deeply, but keep things very superficial for a long time because of the risks of being caught in a country that is unfriendly to LGBT relationships. Plus, even when they do take the leap into what is a very spicy and amazing relationship, insecurities and discomfort creep in. But of course–the best relationships push us to be the best possible versions of ourselves and that isn’t always a very comfortable process, is it?

This book was everything. If I had the luxury of not reading anything for a few days just to enjoy it longer, I would. I loved seeing their awareness of one another unfold, their friendship burst open, their intimacy creep forward slowly and then crash together all at once…it was just seriously so beautifully done. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.


Buy Now: Amazon


Looking for something similar?

M/M romances

Love stories set in Africa

Thoughtful romances

1 thought on “Review: Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera (2020)”

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