Cover Image: Here to Stay

Here to Stay

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Member Reviews

Julia moves to Dallas from New York with her boyfriend who dumps her and returns to New York shortly after. Rocco Quinn is in Dallas to help Sturm's, the company Julia works for, go public. Sturms has been mostly run by a set of elegant twins, but their younger brother is ready to take the company to the next level. If they do, Julia's job could be in jeopardy. There is very strong chemistry between Julia and Rocco, but will that change his mind about what is best for the company? Which will matter more to them, finding happiness with each other or keeping their jobs?

Thanks to Carina Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

This is another book that I really enjoyed. It kept me entertained from start to finish. There were a couple of surprises along the way that I didn't see coming, but overall this was a cute romantic story that I would recommend to those who enjoy work romance stories.
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I read this immediately after Herrera's Finding Joy as part of a roundup up romances by Latinx authors and while I still recommended it, it fell flat for me personally (and especially in comparison to Finding Joy).

Let's start with the pros: Herrera's writing is a delight. She knows how to build tension and OMFG her sex scenes. Dirty talk, explicit and sexy consent, and steamy—she writes some of my favorite in the industry. Her books are one-handed reads for sure! I also really loved the heroine's family, her dad especially, and wished we got more of them in the story. I was lukewarm on the friend group as I felt like they were super important, then disappeared, then back—but like their personalities and would be open to additional stories in this world. I also LOVED that it took place in a big city, and one that I haven't read many romances in.

And the cons: I really didn't like either MC to be honest. They had their moments but overall I found myself rolling my eyes at them more often than not. I also found it hard to suspend belief with some of the tension—doesn't he have a boss or coworker to talk through his concerns with? I also felt there were a few points that got dropped such as the side plot with Vicky (Julia's coworker at the clinic). The pacing felt slow and while the sex was so worth it once I got there, it was a long wait. The other thing that felt off was the pattern in which characters shared their Big Secrets. Rocco went from "vague hints" to "spill my guts" in seconds.

Even though this wasn't the right fit for me, I'm excited to dive into Herrera's backlist and would happily give other stories set in this world a chance.
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4/5 stars

This was a really nice, light, and steamy office romance! I enjoyed this as a nice palate cleanser but it's really hard for me to give any contemporary romance 5 stars. There was nothing wrong with this book in the slightest I just don't think it's going to be extremely memorable for me.

I enjoyed the characters so much. Julia and her family were so crazy and fun! I also loved seeing the representation. I loved seeing her enjoy her job and having a good work ethic because I don't see that often.

Rocco was so charming and steamy but also extremely endearing. You can tell he truly cared about Julia and I loved the bond they had from both being ex-New Yorkers.

This book perfectly balanced office drama and a steamy relationship that has a ton of chemistry and leaves you smiling.
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This is the first book that I have read by this author.
Julia is from New York, but she has been currently living in Texas because she followed her boyfriend that ends up dumping her shortly after. Due to that she is in a bind as had to have a roommate to help her pay for rent. She loves her job but feels like there is just something missing. She decides that she is going to make a club (Gotham Exiles) and have ex New Yorkers, so they feel more at home. There is one tiny problem, there is a guy in the group named Rocco who is the one that decides that if he going to merge companies.
Rocco who is also an ex New Yorker was hard to dislike lol. He and Julia were having to work with one another on Julia’s foundation and as they work together things start brewing and get very interesting.
I wonder what is going to happen in the next book in the series.
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Special thanks to the author, Harlequin and NetGalley for the advanced readers copy, this book is available now.

New York transplant now in New York, Julia Del Mar hasn’t been having the best year but, that changes when native New Yorker, Rocco comes to town and is content on turning her world upside down. With the help of other NY natives now In Dallas, it starts to feel more like home and life starts feeling a bit more of an elevator ride. How does Julia survive Rocco?

I admit it started off a bit slow for me but, quickly gained momentum. I really enjoyed the characters and their quirkiness and fun they bring to the story. There was a bit of drama and an emotional ride but, it made for a wonderful story.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Here to Stay is a contemporary romance about starting over, learning to trust and value yourself, and found families. Julia and Rocco both grew up in the same part of New York City, but didn't meet until they'd moved to Dallas--her for a new hopefully permanent job, him for a temporary one. The problem? His job might mean the end of hers. So they probably shouldn't start hanging out together, right?

Easier said than done, it turns out. First, their jobs require they work closely together. Second, their brand new friend group keeps throwing them together. And of course they have some pretty solid chemistry complicating the heck out of things...

Ms Herrera did a nice job of balancing humor and angst in this story, giving us a slow burn romance that might have been frustrating at times (just have a conversation about your relationship, already!) but kept me turning the pages, hoping that Julia and Rocco would be able to pull together an HEA in the end.

Spoiler alert: they do! And OMG, it's delicious...

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
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Read 9 chapters, around 100 pages

There wasn't anything wrong here really, but I didn't find either POV particularly convincing. The voice didn't click for me, which left me bored. I also feel like the chemistry is very "I hate them but also my panties are wet" which I find weird and forced.
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Really enjoyed reading this one! I listened so part of this one on audio and partial read it and it was a great experience. I have been loving Adriana's books!
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Julia and Rocco are both New Yorkers, in Dallas, Texas for different reasons. Julia has a wonderful dream job in Dallas but is only there because her boyfriend dumped her after it was his idea to move. She decided to make the most of it though and is doing her best. Her career is going well, her social life? Not so much.
Rocco is temporarily living in Dallas to help take the company Julia works ready for an IPO. The problem with that is it may cost Julia her job. These two have an attraction to each other, though at first, they both try like hell to fight it - for obvious reasons though. They kinda work together and his decisions could affect her livelihood soooo probably not the best idea.

However, when Julia starts a meetup group for fellow ex-New Yorkers, Rocco joins and their attraction reaches a full boil. They both see that there's more to each other than they had thought and soon their relationship turns from a potential one time, under the radar thing to so much more.

These two were really great fleshed out characters. Both with a sort of savior 'put others before myself' complex. They are very similar in that way and though their backgrounds are different, there's a certain commonality and bond between them that I enjoyed a lot. They let each other be. Rocco hasn't had the best upbringing and when we meet him in this novel he is still working through parts of that relationship with his parents. Julia doesn't pity him or try to become his therapist, she's simply there and that means a lot to Rocco. Julia, on the other hand, is a self-assured woman and while she still has some initial hangups over her last breakup, is a woman that is taking all of these changes in her life in stride. She doesn't take any shit from nobody, including Rocco's ass with this Superman attitude he got going on.

I must say, I really liked Here to Stay. When they said it was heartwarming, not one lie was told. While Here to Stay is a romance, it's definitely a story of family - not just the one we are born into but the one we find and build on our own. There's a real sense of community throughout this entire novel and I loved reading it, providing me with some much-needed smiles along the way. Adriana infuses this story with great Caribbean culture and FOOD! I won't lie, I was hungry reading some of the scenes LOL. Oh and my favorite line? "One thing is clean, a whole other is Caribbean-people clean." I FELT THIS! If ain't no bleach of Fabuloso was used, is it really clean? lol lol

Ooh and lastly, the secondary characters? Fantastic! I wouldn't mind revisiting these characters!
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Quite good.
However I think it was a bit slow paced and stretched to much... Could have been shorter. Overall an enjoyable read!
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Julia works with families affected by immigration. Rocco is a consultant sent in to cut the funding for her program. Despite obvious conflicting interests, they can’t seem to stay away from each other. This story is filled with heart. Julia has a big bustling family. Rocco has a broken family. I loved the found family they both developed in the Gotham Exiles. The conflict in this story in genuine and complex. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the writing. The language is very choppy. This definitely feels like a rough draft, with an abundance of typos, which is a risk with ARCs. I think I’m getting old because I didn’t understand half the lingo in this book. I’m not “hip” enough. 😂

I really enjoyed Rocco as a leading man, however his character felt inconsistent. He made himself incredibly vulnerable and opened up about his past and his deepest insecurities very quickly on multiple occasions. He consistently overstared in public situations and it didn’t read as genuine. It was off-putting. His relationship with Julia felt like instalove which is not my fav.

Another thing that made this book drag on and kept me from getting engrossed in the story is that at least 70% of the book is just the characters inner-dialog about how hot they found each other. The dialog and even the inner-dialog aren’t very believable. There was so much random dirty talk that didn’t fit the scene or the character. In general, very little happened to progress the storyline.
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one thing i love about adriana herrera's books is how voice-y the characters are. you are so easily drawn into their stories because their voice feels authentic and real. here to stay is no exception to this. julia and rocco are just total sparks when they are on the page together. 

there's just so much to love about this story, about these characters. i mostly feel like hearts and exclamation points and fire emojis are all i need to express all you need to know about it going in. adriana is an auto-buy author for me at this point. her skills in writing authentic marginalized experiences and steamy, swoony stories are hard to compete with. 

**here to stay will publish on august 25, 2020. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgally/carina press in exchange for my honest review.
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I really really really wanted to love this. I found the writing to be very dry, I couldnt find myself getting hooked into the story and I was always looking for a different book to read.
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Here to Stay is an engaging romance with fun, likable characters. I like a good workplace romance, and when the couple is at odds with each other while being so obviously attracted to each other, it makes for a fun and interesting storyline. Rocco and Julia have good chemistry and they're easy to root for. The story is steamy and fun even with a bit of drama. In terms of contemporary romance, it's pretty standard, and some things are kind of cookie-cutter for the genre. That said, this one is good for escaping the reality that is our crazy world lately and whiling away an evening or weekend. It is well written and I'll be interested to see if any of the secondary characters get their own love stories.
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I liked this. And at times I really didn't.  This is a difficult book for me to review because other than one issue, I can't really put my finger on what I didn't like.  That one thing? Both MCs know they need to be professional at work and can't let their attraction take over. But they are not good at hiding it, they're not good at canceling it, and they sure as heck don't control themselves. And maybe that's just what rubbed me the wrong way so much. And then there was the waffling back and forth with Julia. I remember thinking "girl, make up your damn mind". 

There is a lot to like about this. The sense of family, not just blood family. The friends that Julia and Rocco make are fantastic. But the issues surrounding their jobs and what each of them have at stake, it all seemed too much for me. So I'm all over the place with this one. There were a lot of things I liked about the book, but the little things I didn't like are what I remember the most, even if I can't pin them all down
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I took a chance on new to me author Adrianna Herrera because the premise of this book sounded interesting and I was curious how New Yorkers living in Dallas (my area) would adapt.  There is no doubt Here To Stay is a socially conscious book yet it’s not preachy, I felt the NYC characters were authentic given the limited time I’ve spent in NYC, but having several friends from NYC, I felt the “twins” from Dallas were written a bit stereotypical but it’s something that always happens, the plot was engaging, the conflict on point, and the love story sweet yet sexy.  I very much enjoyed this book.
Julia Del Mar Ortiz relocated to Dallas following her fiancé who shortly after they arrived admitted he had been cheating on her and hightailed it back to NYC leaving her with a spacious (by NYC standards) 2 bedroom, 2 ½ bath apartment (I mention this because Julia is very impressed by this and it cracked me up).  While Julia loves and misses her Puerto Rican/Dominican family, she feels she has come into her own in Dallas and now that she’s organized a meeting for all the transplanted New Yorkers in the company creatively called The Gotham Exiles, she’s feeling more settled and at home.  She landed her dream job working for a high end department store’s foundation setting up an afterschool program for undocumented children and their families.  She loves her work and she is dedicated to the families she serves, but the board has brought in a consultant to give the board recommendations to be more attractive for an IPO leaving Julia’s program and the other foundation programs vulnerable and her job on the line.
Rocco “Fuc*ing “ Quinn (Julia’s name for him) is the consultant and his goal is to get this job done, hopefully secure a promotion, so he can buy a house outside of NYC for him, his sister, and his niece to live in. He’s determined to make that work as he feels he owes it to his sister for the time he wasn’t there for her. He knows one of the company owners and the CFO want to strip all of the foundation programs for a better bottom line, but after seeing Julia’s program in action he understands completely how important it is and it doesn’t help that Julia distracts him within an inch of his life.
I loved both of these characters; they were flawed but had hearts of gold not to mention dedicated and hard workers.  It was easy to feel the sexual tension between them from the start which just made the slow burn of this romance even better. There was absolutely a conflict of interest and they did their best to not get involved but sometimes, the best laid plans…well they get laid. The fact that Julia’s family pays a surprise visit and all fall head over heels with Rocco despite him not being Latinx was a huge bonus.  Rocco’s family was kind of a mess and let’s just say he felt the warmth and love that a family should have driving home just how much he wanted that in his life.
The Gotham Exiles were an eclectic group and I loved the scenes with them, I think there was an important message in that family is what you make of it and this group of transplanted New Yorkers realized that even though they changed location, they found their people.
Here to Stay was a rich and diverse story that held my attention from start to finish, I loved Ms. Herrera’s fresh and sassy voice and I look forward to reading more from her body of work.
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Adriana Herrera is a relatively new to me author, and Here to Stay is the second of her books that I've read (so far). I came to her books through some of the interviews and discussions she's done through various podcasts I follow and so I've been really interested into more of her work.

Here to Stay is the story of Julia, a NYC exile living in Dallas after she followed her boyfriend to town only to be ditched by him shortly after the move. In spite of that, she's built a life for herself and works hard at the charitable foundation she's been tasked with managing. Enter Rocco, the consultant hired by the company Julia works for - the consultant hired to decide what the company should continue to fund and what they need to let go of. 

This was a really fun, afternoon romance read that was exactly what I needed during the tail end of round 2 of pandemic lockdown here in Melbourne. 

Julia is at an interesting point in her life - she's moved away from family to follow a guy who didn't deserve her and ended up alone and without close friends or a family network to support her. She's working hard to adjust to a new city, to maintain her job to a standard she's proud of and trying to make friends. She's a very relatable character who has strong ties to her family and their Afro-Caribbean. By contrast, Rocco is someone who's going through the motions of his life - he's got a successful career and travels for work, but he's estranged from his parents and trying hard to support his younger sister and her child. He's not looking to change up his life much until he meets Julia and is intrigued by her.

Aside from the romance - which was great! - I also liked how the story of finding friends (and even 'found family') while living interstate was handled. Julia spearheads this by inviting all the NYC explants from her company out for drinks in the hopes that a few people will turn up and that group of people band together over the course of the narrative and it was really delightful to see how beautifully this was handled. Making friends as an adult can be tricky and I think it was a wonderful inclusion.

I also deeply appreciated the cultural undertones in the novel - Julia's passion for her (and her family's culture) and the way she dedicates herself to building the best possible program to help children of migrant workers gives the story a lot of heart. As an Australian, it also gave me insight into a culture and experience that I don't have a lot of first-hand knowledge about.

This is an easy, comforting romance read in the best possible way.
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I've loved Adriana Herrera's other books, but sadly this one really didn't work for me. In a romance novel, I need to really click with the characters and be drawn in instantly, and that just never happened so I didn't feel invested in it and didn't really feel the chemistry. I found the beginning rather info-dumpy. Honestly, not much was technically wrong with this, but I just didn't feel drawn in by it.
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Here to Stay has the familiar beats of a romance novel, but the shifting perspectives to our main characters keeps it fresh. The crew around Julia and Rocco bring a vibrancy to the world and Herrera give readers everything they could want in a love story.
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I didn't dislike it, but found it very easy to put down. I ended up starting and stopping several times because I was a bit bored. I'd consider reading more of the author's work, but this one wasn't a total winner for me.
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