Oh friends! Did you catch this delightful novel from Priscilla Oliveras? This has everything: crazy family dynamics, a convoluted (in a good way) plot that takes Sara and Luis from strangers to friends to lovers, all while Luis is playing the role of Sara’s boyfriend, which becomes real and then is threatened when….
Well, let’s not give too much away!
Sara and Luis each have families who love them but with some strained relations, and overcoming those estrangements will be part of their journey together, a part that Luis plays perfectly to help Sara’s family heal, but is unable—or unwilling—to do for himself.
Oliveras has created two characters we truly root for in Sara and Luis, the social influencer who has always been misunderstood by her overachieving family, and Luis, the heroic firefighter—known as Santo (the saint)—who will do almost anything to help someone in need.
His agreement to play Sara’s boyfriend is problematic in his Key West community, since everyone knows him and trying to keep the secret of his fake romance (that grows increasingly real) from his family becomes a lost cause, making the plan more complicated once she meets his family and they fall in love with her as much as her family has fallen in love with him.
Oliveras creates a scenario that feels somewhat unlikely to start (faux romance scenarios can often feel unrealistic) yet sells it, mainly through the way the characters are set up: hero Luis and resolute Sara, who wants to live her life on her own terms but has always felt her family’s disapproval to the bone.
Once the characters and the ruse are established, we are all in watching Sara and Luke navigate their sizzling attraction, the increasing complexity of the ploy, and the growing depth of their emotional attachment as the week progresses.
This is a delightful caper, brought more fully alive by the vibrant Key West setting that Luis introduces Sara (and the reader) to, and the broad, lively cast of Latinx characters that jump off the page and offer a diverse spectrum of personalities and social interactions.
A fun, touching, uplifting read. (And don’t miss Oliveras’ other titles, too!)
Find the books:
Priscilla Oliveras @Amazon
ISLAND AFFAIR @Amazon
USA Today bestselling author Priscilla Oliveras launches a new romantic comedy series set in Key West, Florida and filled with humor, Latinx culture, and fun family dynamics perfect for summer beach reading…
Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro—a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancé . . .
Luis’s big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island’s laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he’ll always help someone in need—especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their “how we met” story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it’s time for Sara to return home, will their fake relationship fade like the stunning sunset . . . or blossom into something beautiful?
(This review is part of Read-A-Romance Month. Hope you’ll come back every day to check out my book recommendations. You can find the calendar here. Also check out The Romance of Reading, a Facebook “book club” where we’ll have great authors guest hosting every week.)
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