First and foremost, thank you to the Harlequin Publicity Team for sending me a copy of Here To Stay by Adriana Herrera in physical copy and access to the ebook on Netgalley. The expected release date is 25 August 2020.
Here To Stay is the romance between Julia Del Mar Ortiz and Rocco Quinn. These two are both New Yorkers whose paths don’t cross until they both find themselves in Dallas, Texas. Julia moved from NYC to Dallas with a boyfriend who dumped her and left shortly after they arrived and Rocco is there temporarily for a job-this job entailing having to prove to a company that Julia’s job isn’t needed.
There is so much to love about this book. I love when a location feels like an added character to the story and I loved what Adriana did with the city of Dallas in this book. Dallas represented, making it work and starting over. For Julia all I kept thinking was how huge of a city Dallas is, and to be basically left there alone after being dumped how lonely and intimidating that can feel. For Rocco it was this very tempting place of new possibilities but he was holding on very tightly to what was back home in NYC. The workplace drama is always lingering in the background; Adriana never really lets us forget the reason why there is some hesitation on the characters parts but I loved that we spent quite a bit of time seeing them get to know one another and slowly piecing together the reasons why this new city was a good fit.
I will always love found family. The Gotham Exiles is formed in the book; a group of people all from New York City now living in Dallas and it was so fun to see all of them build that support group with one another. The found family aspect was such a joy along with Julia’s family! I love when family members do too much, because that is reality for so many of us. Julia’s conversations and the scenes where her family was actually around were always so fun to read. I like what she did with both Julia’s family and the Gotham Exiles because for Rocco, his family life sucked. His parents are in this constant back and forth of abuse and I really appreciate how Adriana pointed out through Rocco and Julia having a conversation some of the long term effects of being a kid who grew up in a abusive household. His focus was on getting his sister and niece out of NYC, away from his parents. His situation is also one of those where the one whose always taking care of everyone else has to learn to let people be there for him too and in the case of Julia-he has to learn that he no longer has to go at things alone.
“We hid in those bushes and kissed and touched until we were both so turned on and disheveled all we could was slink away like thieves in the night. And I guessed we were stealing. We were trying to rob a little of time, as ours was running out.“
Domestic abuse and the deportation of immigrants were two very important topics handled amazingly in this book. Here To Stay is one that I will be recommending for a very long time, especially as a book that I think shows what the romance genre is out here doing! Educating you on everyday topics while promising a happy ever after.
“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.”