4 stars — Well this was a solid second chance celebrity romance! I have quite a few books by Ms. Herrera in my collection, but surprisingly this is the first I’ve read (if you don’t count hearing her read from her book at an event). I kind of love that Harlequin is really embracing the move forward to include more books with characters of colour by authors of colour, and not having it be a separate line. As a white girl, I always felt a bit intimidated trying out a line that’s not marketed towards me (which is my own fault), but I doubt I’m alone. Anyways. Gael had your typical hero moments of believing something rather silly since childhood, but because it made an impact that young, it stuck with him. It was a tiny bit frustrating, but I’ve definitely read worse, more thickheaded men. And even though he did have great support from the female family in his life, it still took him a bit to get his head screwed on right. But we got satisfying moments where you could see that foundation cracking along the way, so it made it worth it when he got there eventually. And it felt more authentic that he had to straighten himself out, and not just believe someone else immediately. I loved the way he loved his family, and had great relationships with them. And I loved how much he appreciated Perla, and missed her, and how you could see it in so many little ways. Perla was a fantastic strong heroine to love. I appreciated that she may have been more meek and vulnerable in the past, but the Perla we meet is working her way to the strong woman she always was inside. She wasn’t all the way there, but she gets closer and closer as the book goes on. She’s passionate about her work, sassy, caring…just pretty easy to love. I could tell how much her new family mattered to her, and how much she wanted that love and togetherness. They were pretty awesome together too. Yes, there was a lot of tension and conflict given their history, but you could feel the chemistry between them. Lots of great secondary characters, my favourites definitely being Gael’s family — his twin Gabi, his Mom, and his Abuela. They were just kind of perfect. And seeing glimpses of Esme has me curious about her book now. There was even a fantastic mention of a character from Alexis Daria’s You Had Me at Hola!! I was like “wait, isn’t that…?” and it was!! Super fun. So yeah. Had some great holiday moments, and was a solid second chance book.
Audiobook Review: Overall – 5 Performance – 5 Story – 4 Hot and sexy second chance story! I love second chance stories and this one is great. Perla and Gael were together back in college and then he left her. He’s now a successful actor and she’s the casting director for a movie that he wants a part in. There’s a lot of devious stuff going on in this story and Gael’s uncle is at the root of most of it. I really enjoyed listening to this book. Lola James has a great voice and I loved learning how to pronounce words that I might not have known how to if I were reading this book. I came to Adriana Herrera’s writing from the M/M books she wrote for Carina Press. While I still prefer those books to her M/F ones (I read mostly M/M) I’ve been enjoying listening to the Sambrano Studios in audio format. A complimentary copy of this audiobook was provided to me at my request but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author and/or narrator.