Recommended Read, Review

Review: Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera (2020)

Heat Factor: It’s bordering on a slow burn, but not TOO slow.

Character Chemistry: There are so many ways these two are complimentary for one another that it’s hard to summarize.

Plot: Julia left NYC with her ex and moved to Dallas only to get dumped and left with a spacious apartment and a new job at a charitable foundation she absolutely loves. However–the consultant hired to take the company affiliated with the foundation public is super dreamy, etc, and it’s a big hot mess because Julia and Rocco want to make a big hot mess with each other while their jobs are on the line. It’s a whole thing. Hard to explain. Better just read it.

Overall: This book was really, really good and I highly recommend it.

First of all, I spent this entire book hungry. Like, I had to keep telling myself to stop thinking about Dominican food. (“This is a ROMANCE, not a COOKBOOK, get WITH IT, INGRID!!”)

So eat something before you read it. PSA handled.

This is what I loved about this book–these poor loves are genuinely in a pickle. Julia’s job does tremendous good in the community, and it’s a non-profit that is run really well. As a reader, it’s understood that Julia knows that the nonprofit world can be fickle and it’s not like she’s going to hate Rocco if he can’t save the foundation. But for him to see it and appreciate it and understand the value and then recommend they cut it? It just feels wrong. And Rocco…this guy had my heart all knotted up. If he saves his job, the foundation gets cut. If he saves the foundation, his sister and her daughter lose the security his job has been providing. Just a really excellent quandary.

Julia and her family are warm and loveable. As a major introvert from a Midwestern family, I was jaw-to-the-floor aghast when her whole family showed up from NYC as a surprise and stayed with her in her apartment but I mean, they cook all this food and then they go outlet shopping, and I kind of felt like I would  have willingly participated with enthusiasm if I had the opportunity to? I felt like I was actually invited into a real person’s life, and it was warm and accepting and someone kept handing me plates of food…mmm…

While the book description involves a “smart-mouthed consultant”, I will say that that is not how I would describe Rocco. He starts out on the aloof side of the spectrum, but it’s short lived. He’s a complicated cinnamon roll, honestly. Also, you know how many reviews we have on this very site suggesting characters go to therapy? Well, ROCCO IS IN THERAPY. And it’s not presented as a big deal or even as an integral part of the story. He’s in therapy because he had a complicated and difficult childhood, and emotionally responsible adults who have that kind of baggage GO TO THERAPY so they can have healthy relationships and make good choices. And it’s not a big deal at all, and in fact I would argue that the way the author executes this makes Rocco a significantly more interesting and sexy character. (He can check your budget AND check his emotional responses in an argument. It’s hot.)

(Admission: Did you know that when I read that Rocco was in therapy I actually physically punched in the air like a lunatic winning an imaginary race because I was so gosh darn excited about seeing this in a sexy romance? Now you do.)

I closed this book quite a while ago and I’m still thinking of all the little signs I saw that Rocco and Julia are going to grow all old and grey together–so I can’t help but highly recommend it.

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

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