22. Her Perfect Affair by Priscilla Oliveras 3/27 Friends to Lovers with complications. Rosa & Jeremy’s night together was hot but AM awkwardness turns into regrets. Both have guilt/family issues to sort out before they get on the same page. Really lovely rom. #bkbrk #rombklove
— Ana Coqui (@anacoqui) March 8, 2018
Rosa is a school librarian at the suburban-Chicago-area Catholic high school she attended as teenager and she is the Fernandez sister most invested in being the "good-girl". As a teenager she made a bad decision that haunts her to this day and that mistake makes her hyper-cautious. But at her older sister Yazmine's wedding, she lets loose a little. After all her planning and stress, the wedding has gone off without a hitch, so she lets Jeremy, her sister's good friend who she had developed a crush on, talk her into a dance & champagne. Having more fun than she has had in ages, Rosa doesn't want the night to end and invites Jeremy up to her room.
Two months after an awkward morning after,and embarrassment fueled brush-off by Rosa, Jeremy is happy to hear from her again, hoping that they might recover and sort things out, and maybe give dating a try. He isn't however expecting to learn that is the reason Rosa has sought him out again is that she is pregnant. He has lots of emotional baggage about his birth-father, his absence and presence in his life and his desire to never let his adoptive father down that Rosa's news rock him to core.
The conflict in this book was so wrenching. Rosa is having a difficult pregnancy, facing the possibility that she might lose the job she loves, so it is just so tempting to not fight Jeremy, to accept his proposal and his help, but she just can't say yes, not for any reason other than love. She sometimes draws lines in the sand that seem harsh because she is worried about caving and Jeremy pushes too hard because he is just so scared.
I really loved how Rosa isn't willing to let them skip steps just because it would make things simpler, especially when she doesn't understand why Jeremy is pushing so hard. Oliveras does a fantastic job depicting Rosa's close-knit middle-class Puerto Rican family and how it contrasts with Jeremy's loving but much more formal and wealthy family. The little details of how the sisters interact were familiar, especially with how they relate to their godmother, exasperation and appreciation of her fierce love for them, sharply felt in the absence of their parents.
As someone who has been a librarian in a private Christian school, I thought Oliveras depiction of Rosa's work environment believable and her tension about how things could play out, very realistic.
My favorite part of this romance is how Jeremy and Rosa have to resolve their own drama around their families and careers even as they sort out their feeling for each other. Oliveras doesn't divorce these conflicts from each other, but they are not conflicts that are resolved in one simple encounter or conversation rather it was organic and messy and incredibly charming.
I am eager to read Lili's story and I hope that with Oliveras' RITA nomination and the special sale price, folks take the leap and try out His Perfect Partner too, although Her Perfect Affair stands alone perfectly.
I received a copy of Her Perfect Affair from the publisher, Kensington for review consideration.
I don't usually participate in blog tours but I do occasionally make exceptions for a very small group for books that I feel strongly about. I had already read a copy Her Perfect Affair before I was approached to host and I was happy I could agree to do so wholeheartedly. Below you will find links to a Rafflecopter Giveway hosted by Oliveras's blog tour company along with an excerpt from Her Perfect Affair and blurbs for the first two books of the Matched to Perfection series.
The official blurb:
About Her Perfect Affair:
The Fernandez sisters have always had big dreams, and the talent and drive to pursue them. And in this sunny, spicy new series, each one will discover that success is that much sweeter when love follows . . .
Rosa Fernandez doesn’t act on impulse—she’s the responsible one, planning her career with precision, finally landing a job as the librarian at conservative Queen of Peace Academy, confining her strongest emotions to her secret poetry journal. But she’s been harboring a secret crush on dreamy Jeremy Taylor, and after one dance with him at her sister’s wedding, Rosa longs to let loose for the first time. She deserves some fun, after all. So what if she doesn’t have a shot with Jeremy, not with his wealthy pedigree and high profile lifestyle. But one dance leads to one kiss, and soon Rosa is head-over-heels . . .
The adopted son of a prominent Chicago lawyer, Jeremy has a lot to live up to—especially with his birth father in prison—the perfect example of a bad example. With a big promotion and a move to Japan in the works, Jeremy is worlds away from settling down. But sweet, steady Rosa is a temptation he doesn’t want to deny himself, at least for now. Yet when their simple fling turns complicated, everything they’ve both worked for is threatened—except the red-hot intimacy they’ve found together. Can forever really grow from just-for-now?
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Rafflecopter for Her Perfect Affair Blitz Giveaway:
Priscilla is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner a prize pack containing a $50 Amazon Gift Card, an XL shirt featuring the book cover, a Spanish fan with Priscilla’s website, and a coffee mug and coaster with Priscilla’s logo. Two (2) Runner-Up winners will receive an eCopy of His Perfect Partner (Matched to Perfection #1)! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
Copyright© 2018 Her Perfect Affair
“Buen provecho,” the old man murmured.
She gave him a shy smile of thanks as she reached for the proffered champagne flute, then sidled away from the bar.
Jeremy fell into step alongside her and her heart rate blipped with glee.
“What did he say when he handed you your drink?” he asked. “Good something, right?”
She nodded, remembering Jeremy’s recent decision to start learning Spanish. “Literally it means, ‘enjoy your meal,’ but in this sense, it’s more like, ‘enjoy.’”
“Well then”—leaning closer to her, he clinked his flute against hers—“buen pro-pro—”
“Provecho,” she finished, her belly flip-flopping at his chagrined smile.
They walked a few more steps before she worked up the courage to ask, “So, um, where’s your date?”
The tall blonde who’d been his plus-one was the epitome of old money and high class, a glaring reminder that Jeremy came from a wealthy, established Chicago family. Rosa, on the other hand, came from a small town on the Island, her parents having transplanted from Puerto Rico to the Humboldt Park area of Chicago when they were first married, then later to Oakton in the suburbs.
She and Jeremy, not to mention his date, weren’t quite the same pedigree.
“Uh-huh. Is she your . . . ?” Rosa let her voice trail off, wondering what his response might be.
“Family friend. I mean, we dated years ago, but decided we’re better as friends.”
Rosa breathed a soft sigh of relief.
“Anyway, she ditched me a while ago.” Jeremy brushed it off like his date leaving him behind didn’t bother him. “Her parents are hosting a charity event over on Michigan Avenue and she wanted to put in an appearance.”
“You didn’t want to go?”
“And miss this fun?” He jutted his chin out at the people dancing to a well-known merengue hit. Couples packed the floor, some more seasoned and coordinated than others, but all having a great time.
They reached an empty table and Jeremy pulled out a chair for her.
“I haven’t seen you out there,” he said. “How come?”
He sat down to join her, his muscular thigh inadvertently brushing against hers. Tingles of awareness danced a cha-cha down her leg.
“Um, well.” Hyper-attuned to his nearness, it took Rosa a second to find her words. “This is more Yazmine and Lilí’s scene. I guess I tend to be a much better party planner than a partygoer.”
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that.” Jeremy’s lips quirked as he slid her a teasing glance. “I seem to recall you play a mean game of charades.”
Rosa laughed, remembering Lilí’s birthday this past spring. It’d been their first family celebration since Papi’s death, so Lilí had kept it an intimate affair at home with the three sisters; Tomás; his six-year-old daughter, Maria; Jeremy; and a few other close friends.
She and Jeremy had wound up on the same charades team. That night, they’d been on a similar wavelength or something, quickly guessing each other’s clues before anyone else.
Lilí had cried foul play.
Yaz had dubbed them the dynamic duo.
Rosa had soaked up the shared moment, their uncanny connection. Later, she’d composed a few verses about it in her private poetry journal.
“By the way, Yaz mentioned how you stepped in to help so she wouldn’t stress as much today. Everything turned out great.” The pleasure in his bright smile, directed right at her, made Rosa’s pulse skip.
She ducked her head, embarrassed by his praise. “It wasn’t that much.”
“Right,” Jeremy answered, his tone dripping with disbelief.
She peeked at him from under her lashes. At some point in the evening, he’d shed his suit jacket and rolled up his shirt sleeves, revealing his muscular forearms. As always, she was drawn by his ruffled dark blond hair and square jaw. But even more so by his friendly eyes and the easy camaraderie they shared.
He took a swig of his champagne, eyeing her over the rim.
What did he see when he looked at her?
His Perfect Partner
Ad executive Tomás Garcia shouldn't even be thinking about his daughter's alluring dance teacher, Yazmine Fernandez. Burned by a shattering divorce, he's laser-focused on his career and giving his young daughter, Maria, the secure home she deserves. Plus, he's certain that with her talent, Yaz will be leaving Chicago and heading back to Broadway as soon as she can. But Yaz's generous spirit and caring concern are sparking a desire Tomás can't resist and doesn't want to let go . . .
For Yaz, good-looking workaholics like Tomás simply can't be part of her life ever again. She owes it to herself to get back her confidence and fulfill the dreams her papa could not. She's glad to spend time with Maria and taste the family life she feels she can never have. And she's sure that she and Tomás can keep their attraction under control because there's so much at stake. But each unexpected intimacy, each self-revelation, makes the fire between them grow hotter with every step and every risk to their hearts . . .
Now a double finalist for the 2018 RWA RITA Award -- Best First Book and Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length categories!
Add to your TBR list: Goodreads
PRISCILLA OLIVERAS writes sweet contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. Her debut release, His Perfect Partner, and the second book in her Matched to Perfection series, Her Perfect Affair, both earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Since earning an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, she serves as English adjunct faculty at her local college and teaches an on-line course titled “Romance Writing” for ed2go. Priscilla is a sports fan, a beach lover, a half-marathon runner and a consummate traveler who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock. To follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life, visit her on the web at https://prisoliveras.com/, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/prisoliveras or on Twitter via @prisoliveras.