by Priscilla Oliveras
Series: Matched to Perfection #2
Also in this series: Their Perfect Melody
Publisher: Zebra Shout
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
A ZEBRA SHOUT FRESH NEW ROMANCE
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?
I enjoyed the first book in this series, His Perfect Partner, so I was looking forward to Rosa’s book. While there’s obviously extra depth to the story if you’ve read the previous book, I think this could be read as a standalone. Overall, this is a sweet ode to family and an exploration of obligation and sacrifice.
Rosa, the middle Fernandez daughter, is the caretaker of the family, who stepped up to become the replacement mom after their mother died in a car accident. She’s finally completed college, as per her plan, she’s happy to start work as the librarian at the Catholic school she attended as a child. What wasn’t part of her plan was to step outside her comfort zone and finally make a move on Jeremy, who she’s had a crush on since she first met him, at her older sister’s wedding. Jeremy’s only recently moved to Chicago after working in New York for a while. Jeremy’s adopted, and it’s given him his own hangups. His adoptive father, Sherman, is a founding partner at one of the premier law firms, but rather than going in to law, like his younger brother, he decided to pursue his master’s in IT. His personal expectation to live up to his stepfather’s example – and to avoid becoming his biological father – were so crushing he fled to New York. He’s also had his eye on Rosa. Her shy, retiring demeanor hides a core of steel, and Jeremy sees that, and is elated when she shows definite interest in him. Eight weeks later, though, an unexpected result from that night stresses their friendship and may destroy their chances at a relationship for good.
“Dios, he was such a good guy.
Her heart ached with that knowledge, because it also meant there was no way she could be certain whether he was here with her because he really wanted to be, or out of his sense of duty.”
Rosa, despite her shy sweetness, is firm on what she wants from life – and it’s not a shotgun marriage to Jeremy. She wants the kind of loving marriage her parents had, and watching the negotiation between the two as they tried to figure out how they fit in each others’ lives was lovely. I’m not usually a fan of pregnant heroines because sometimes the emotional shifts are taken to the extremes, and while I felt Rosa was exceptionally stubborn and did blow hot and cold occasionally, it wasn’t enough to detract from my enjoyment. The descriptions of Puerto Rican culture were immersive and very enjoyable, and while there’s Spanish sprinkled throughout the story, it was all done in a way that even non-Spanish-speaking me could understand. From the food to the community ties, you could feel the warmth radiating off the page.
As for cons, since the focus of the book is on Jeremy and Rosa’s relationships, it’s pretty slow paced. At certain points in the book I did catch myself checking to see how many chapters were left just because I was getting frustrated with how many roadblocks Rosa kept throwing in the way of their relationship. However, I do think Ms. Oliveras presented good reasons why Rosa was so hesitant about a relationship with Jeremy, even if it felt like it took a while for both characters to come to the same conclusions.
Overall, this book was a lovely family-oriented romance with a strong, principled heroine and a cinnamon-roll hero. I’m very much looking forward to the youngest sister’s book!