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A fantastic story with wonderful representation of the Puerto Rican / Dominican cultures, with a sweet and swoon-worthy romance, laugh-out-loud family, and a strong bond between a found family.

HERE TO STAY
by Adriana Herrera
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: August
 25th 2020 by Carina Press
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★½
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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.
Okay, so, why this is the first time I read a novel by Adriana Herrera?! This book is gold! I loved it from beginning to end!

When he spotted me, he did the slightest double take and then, just for a second, he smiled. Julia del Mar, you're in danger, girl.

Julia moved from NYC to Dallas to follow her boyfriend, who later on dumped her. Thankfully, she found a wonderful job--running a charitable foundation that helps families. Unfortunately, her job is on the line, and the one who can either put a good or bad word is the new consultant, Rocco Quinn.

It's hard for me to relate to characters lately. So when I started this novel and found myself relating to Julia and her family, I knew this would be a book I wouldn't forget. Julia is Puerto Rican and Dominican, and let me tell you, the representation of both cultures is on point! It was exactly how I would have described it. We're loud, we're noisy, we're family from the moment we meet, and so much more that Adriana included. And gosh, don't get me started on arroz con gandules! Seeing this authentic food to both PR and DR being described so well in the story filled me with so much pride!


For her mom and grandma, lack of gandules was right up there with lethal levels of dehydration.

Even though we have two main characters, the story felt like it wasn't just about them; it was also about the side characters. Their presence is always there, in a good way. We get to see these former NYC residents with Latin background come together as co-workers and as family. From their first get-together, the reader gets to feel their bond immediately. Their interactions, their nosiness, their personalities brought so much to the story!

I found Julia to be a wonderful, compassionate, selfless woman that I admire. Every situation that gets thrown her way, she manages with grace. I loved her personality and how dedicated she is with everything she stands for and believes in.

I did get a bit tired with Julia always running away from Rocco. While I did understand she was doing it because it wouldn't be good for them to be together because of their jobs, I mostly felt she was using it as an excuse. Still, Julia's and Rocco's moments together were beautiful. I loved how we meet Rocco little by little.

"That man looks at you like you're the answer to every question he's ever had. Trust that you can be that to someone."

Rocco’s character is like an onion, and as the story goes on, we get to peel one layer at a time. Each layer that came off showed a wonderful man that had my heart melting over. Rocco is such a sweet man! Well, he’s a dirty-talking man in bed that had me with eyes wide open. But at the same time, he’s unbelievably sweet and swoony! He deserves all the recognition in the world. When he started calling Julia muñeca, I legit MELTED! I’m pretty sure I read that part at least 5 times. Yes, I melted each time.

Julia's family was something else, in the best way possible. I loved all the wonderful advice Julia's dad gave her. I loved how nosy her mom is (extremely similar to my mom). And then we have abuela, who's pretty much an exact replica of my grandma in terms of personality. I was laughing so hard when Rocco offered to clean the kitchen and everyone else was watching and waiting to see what would abuela do. It's literally how it is in Puerto Rico!

"My parents and my grandma only have one volume setting, and it's loud."

Most stories I've read with a Latin background barely touch on the culture, yet Adriana went all in with it. I honestly felt like I was reading a book about a family member. Adriana gave me a story with all the culture I've ever wanted for a book to have when it comes to Puerto Rican culture. THANK YOU FOR DOING US JUSTICE!

If you're looking for a story with a different culture (PR/DR), POC-characters (and author), authentic characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and a story that will live in your heart, HERE TO STAY is totally for you!


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