Previous month:
February 2020
Next month:
June 2020

American Sweethearts (Dreamers #4) by Adriana Herrera {review}

American Sweethearts

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

My Review - 5 Stars

What a bittersweet end to an impressive series. Adriana Herrera has given us an immeasurable gift with each installment of the Dreamers series and I am sad to see it come to a close but also delighted Juan Pablo and Priscilla finally got their HEA.

J and Pris have had a fairly antagonistic relationship in the previous three books but here they’re trying to be on their best behavior for Tom and Milo’s wedding in the Dominican Republic, although snark and skepticism still slip through, especially on Pris’s part. They’ve had an on and off relationship since they were 14 but two years ago it became decidedly off as Priscilla had enough of Juan Pablo’s sketchy ways. Now 35, she’s reevaluating every part of her life, particularly her career as a cop, and she misses her friend. And he misses her too and wants to show that he’s changed.

Actions speak louder than words, especially given their history, but words still matter. J has gone to therapy and he’s made some overt changes in his life, including the way he decorates his home, just like they’d always discussed. He has the tea Pris usually drinks when she has cramps and a hot pad and is ready to nurture her. This was so sweet to see. He’s clearly a different man! But he struggles on the communication side of things and I really loved watching him figure out how to express himself, even when he overstepped his bounds.

Pris’s journey is more about making peace with the need to take a risk. Not only with giving Juan Pablo a second chance but turning her side hustle as a sex toy shop and podcast into her full-time gig. It’s a big risk regardless but it feels especially big because she doesn’t want to let her immigrant parents down and it doesn’t have the same stability or even prestige that being a cop has. She’s carrying such a big burden on her own and I loved watching her let J in and help carry the load.

Those two have ferocious chemistry, making for some very hot and memorable scenes. There are ups and downs along the way, making for a very satisfying HEA. I love that Pris doesn’t want to have kids and they’re both fine with being a child-free couple—this is always great to see in romance.

Like I said, I’m very sad to see this series end but what a delightful ride it’s been. I can’t wait to see what Herrera does next!

A final note, more for myself than anything else. Professional ethics, particularly for health care workers, matter a great deal to me and I was concerned during the chapter where Juan Pablo is training Yariel Cuevas, a Yankees player, and we learn that they used to hook up. Physical therapists cannot date their clients and that wouldn’t change while working for a baseball team, even if he only provides PT on the off-season. So I clarified the nature of Juan Pablo and Yariel’s relationship with Herrera. She told me they casually hooked up when Yari was in his rookie year and J was not working with him as his PT. So phew! No ethical violations there. Fun fact: Yariel will get his own story in the He’s Come Undone anthology, which I cannot wait to read.

CW: racism, microaggressions, references to child abuse cases, case involving suspected child predator and a 12 year old who gets pregnant and miscarries and runs away, reference to the predator being stabbed ostensibly in self-defense, hero’s cop father was shot in the line of duty and ultimately retired from the force, heroine almost shot on the job two years prior, colorism

Representation: Priscilla is Dominican, Juan Pablo is Puerto Rican and Italian American

 

Synopsis

Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist with his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been.

Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.

New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself—her career, her relationships, her life—is no longer what she wants.

What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.

By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach...if they can just accept each other as they are.

 

Buy the book:

Amazon (affiliate link) | Barnes & Noble

 

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from the author. The author is a friend.