I’ve been waiting for JuanPa’s book with alternate joy and sadness. Joy, because he will round out the dynamic foursome that form the central protagonists of Herrera’s American Dreamers series, a series that has brought me an immense amount of joy; but also sadness because it will soon be over (thought I notice there is a Christmas novel being planned for release, so this takes some of the sting out of the series coming to an close).
When I saw the excerpt for this book at the end of American Love Story, I knew I was going to love it.
JuanPa and Pris have been dating on and off for most of their lives. They and their family have a lot of history and it is interesting to note just how vested their respective families are in the outcome of their relationship.
JuanPa and Pris meet on a private plane after having had their last breakup over a year before. The plane carries not only their families but also the Patrice and Easton (American Love Story) to the Dominican Republic for the wedding of Camilo and Thomas (American Fairy Tale). Nesto is already there with Jude (American Dreamer), coordinating the catering for the event. It’s amazing because all the couples from the previous books play their parts in this novel.
Meanwhile, JuanPa and Pris try to play it cool but their chemistry gets the best of them – and the reader. The remainder of the book deals with how they’re going to make it last this time.
This is definitely a second -chance romance, and in this dynamic, Juan Pa has really done the hard work of trying to be a different man for Priscilla. Here, it is Pris who has to re envision what she wants out of life, what sacrifices she is willing to make to live authentically and how vulnerable she is willing to be to accept the love she wants.
The sex-positivity is amazing in this book. Priscilla engage in what Herrera has referred to as sex activism – based on the work of Audrey Lord. Pris runs sex positive workshops teaching elderly clients about sex toys. It is this side hustle that presents her with her internal conflict – should she give up her career as a police officer, a job that she not only once loved but also honors her family’s ambitions for her (her father is a retired police officer). As the daughter of Dominican immigrants, expectations for her success are high but what if her definition of success is different from the one her family has envisioned for her? And can she risks the collective dreams of her family if there is a possibility of failure?
The sex positivity doesn’t end there. While the other books in the Dreamers series are m/m, this one is m/f. However, JuanPa is bi, and there is an incredible pegging scene that blows the roof off the hotness in this novel.
As I’ve already mentioned – everyone wants these two to win. The sense of community in this series culminates with the families and friends all conspiring to help these two idiots build a love that lasts. But first they have to get out of their own way. Juan Pa fighting his old, bad habits and Pris learning to be vulnerable, take risks and give herself permission to live authentically is one of the best plot arcs in this entire series.
Adriana Herrera delivers the goods in this installment of a series that has nothing short of excellent. I never want it to end.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to buy: Adriana Herrera Books