Cover Image: Here to Stay

Here to Stay

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Member Reviews

Thank you so much to Carina Press and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
I loved this novel! It involves a few of my favourite things: dual perspectives, slow burn, a wonderfully loud family dynamic, found family, workplace romance and our two protagonists are strong, capable and go through great growth and development as the story unfolds. Content warnings below.
Julia del Mar Ortiz moved to Dallas from NYC for a dream job...and to be with a man who then quickly left her. Rocco Quinn, also from NYC, is a consultant hired by a high fashion department store to assess if their charitable foundation is worth keeping when they go public. Julia happens to run this foundation and needs to convince Rocco that helping others is worth the funding the foundation receives. Julia and Rocco are brought together outside of work hours when Julia forms a group of Gotham Exiles, ex New Yorkers who have moved to Dallas, so foster the formation of friendship in her new home.
I loved the friendship group the Gotham Exiles formed and I loved seeing Julia’s family and the Latinx humour, culture ( and food!) and seeing Rocco’s interaction with his sister and niece. I loved the focus on receiving support for trauma and good communication. I am really looking forward to reading more of Herrera’s works in the future!
CW: abusive father- verbal abuse towards wife and children ( present day and through memories) parental alcoholism, possible deportation of undocumented mother with separation between parents and children, racism, false accusations of theft, therapist crossing line (inviting patients to dinner),
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Julia del Mar Ortiz had moved to Dallas for her boyfriend who then dumps her. The only good thing to come out of is that Julia found her dream job working for a charitable foundation run by a high-end store. Things are now looking up until she hears that the store may go public, which means they may cut the foundation. A team comes in to assess and just her luck, the man she must deal with is hot, and a handful!

Rocco Quinn is in Dallas to assess a company thinking of going public. When he meets the beautiful Julia running the foundation, he quickly is torn between what he should do and what he must do. Life is not simple for Rocco and he needs his job. Will he cave to the pressures of the board? Or will he do the right thing and lose it all?

Adriana Herrera has a hit on her hands! This story has all the ingredients for the perfect story. The main characters are so well written, but it is the supporting characters that steal your heart. Julia’s family is such fun, the twins from the store are hilarious and then there are those that tug at your heartstrings. I loved every page and got drawn right into the story and could not put it down. Thank you so much to the author Adriana Herrera, Harlequin and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book to review. It was fabulous! All opinions expressed for this review are unbiased and entirely my own.
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this book was so fun! it was my first by this author and i really enjoyed it. lots of drama, but it worked well and i understood why it was needed. the characters were great and it was fast paced. loved the ending.
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This was a cute romance novel. It's about a woman who just relocated to a new city and is left by the man she moved to the city for/with. She adjusts to her new life and starts settling in meeting new friends at work. She instantly has a connection with a man where there is a conflict of interest. They try to fight it through most of the book (which got on my last nerves. Just bang already lol). The book starts off slow but makes up for it with excitement at the end.
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A cute office romance between the head of a fashion company’s charitable foundation, and the consult, hunky Rocco, that holds her job in his hands. 

Julia is determined to hate him for the sole fact that he could shut down the program and send her packing back to New York. No, she’s drawn the line and even though she is tapped as Rocco’s point of contact for the department, Julia won’t let her obvious attraction blind her to the fact that he’s the enemy. 

There’s tons of physical attraction starting from the very first, so the slowburn became a little frustrating. It’s hard to come up with reasons why they shouldn’t already be together when they are both lusting after each other hard. So my least favorite device, miscommunication, makes a ton of appearances. 

Despite having some pacing issues, I really love the setup and the eventual HEA!
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If you’re looking for a delightful read about transplants from NYC to Dallas, look no further than Here to Stay. The description calls it an “enemies to lovers” but I actually disagree. There is professional conflict between Julia and Rocco because Rocco’s job is to essentially cut Julia’s job. However, there is always a burning attraction between the two and never really antagonism between them personally. Adriana Herrera is an expert at creating great friend and family groups and she’s excels with both Julia and Rocco’s families as well as the Gotham exiles friend group. Rocco is the perfect sweet and supportive cinnamon roll hero who just has the most adorable moments. Everything he does is to help and support his sister and niece and I just love that. Julia took a risk moving to Dallas with a boyfriend and was burned. She is very hesitant to let Rocco in and their professional issues do not help. The chemistry between them, though, is too strong to ignore and I loved seeing them give in and start to fall in love. Overall, a terrific and delightful read!

*Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is phenomenal! Am I surprised? No. Am I ecstatic to add a new contemp to my list of my all time fave romances? Yes!

The premise is Julia del Mar Ortiz moves to Dallas with a dirt dude who gaps it, and she's left to pick up the pieces in a brand new city. Luckily, she has a job she loves, with the social arm of a fashion company. Our guy Rocco Quinn is a consultant, just there to do the books, make some recs, and head back to NYC to get his sister out of a shit sitch. BUT THEN.

Here to Stay whimsically, consent-ily, funnily, and dramatically embroils you in Rocco and Julia's lives, ambitions and insecurities; and you really do start to feel like a part of their friend group (and anyone would be so lucky to have friends like The Exiles).

Rocco is my new fave contemp hero. He's a hottie and a genuine sweetheart -- an *actual* good guy, no Awards For Good Boys stuff here. He's also one big walking raw feeling, especially when it came to his newfound friendships. His softness had me in knots. The first line of chapter 19 I squealed out loud, SQUEALED, on account of his perfect little heart.

Like that wasn't enough, once the sexual shenanigans kicked off he shrugs the soft boi cloak and reveals himself to be, like, the dirty-talking God of the female orgasm? I expired. 

It's hot stuff. 

Julia is wonderful too. This is extreme professional competency porn. Plus, find me a feminist who is into men who can't relate to the difficulty of navigating the line of giving magnetic men too much of yourself or not enough.

I enjoyed learning about Dominican and Puerto Rican culture, especially in the family scenes and in the food chat, and the pet names phone call really had me melting. 

I thought this was a thoroughly perfect feminist romance. I laughed, I squealed, I cried my mascara off.

This is going on the reread shelf.
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Ever move cross country for a guy and then get dumped for your efforts? Well that is what happened to Julia. While she might have loved to move back to her beloved NYC, she loves her job! Getting to work at a company that thrives doing charitable work, which she is now in charge of running, can you say dream job. 

However on of the siblings of the company wants to take the business public to an IPO, and they bring in consultants to evaluate the company's charitable giving, and position to bring it public.  Enter Rocco, a fellow New Yorker, he is riding on this job to go well so he can get a promotion and help his family. It doesn't help that he finds Julia attractive, but he tries to keep his distance. I loved the camaraderie in the group Julia creates of the exiled New Yorkers. Each character was supportive, and sweet, funny, and intrusive when they needed to be. I love the sharing of Julia's family and her culture. How loud, sweet, loving, and caring they were, accepting Rocco into the fold when they meet him. It is the kind of family we should all hope to have, and want to be apart of.  

This was my first book from this author and I enjoyed this book so much it certainly won't be my last.
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Here To Stay follows the story of Julia who is a social worker who helps run a non profit program at Sturm’s. When her program is at risk of being cut, she’ll have to do her best to fight to keep it. She has to team up with Rocco, her “enemy” and crush to prove that her program is needed for the community all while not falling for him. Both are making a home away from home and they find commonplace in coming from their New York backgrounds.

Julia has such a bright personality that shine through. She’s hard working and passionate about providing resources to those in the non profit program. This one of reasons why Rocco is so drawn to her as a person. Even though they come from different backgrounds they share a lot of common experiences. They fall for each other.

I also love the variety of characters in this group. The group of friends that come together cleverly named the “Gotham Exiles” find comfort in each other, their background, and being away from their home base, New York. Each of them is out of their comfort zones and they are a source of support for each other. Their group text and conversation had me smiling and admiring their tight knit friendship.

As for the romance! Woo boy! The steam level in this book was so spicy! Rocco and Julia have got it bad for each other. They fall hard for each other, but also recognize that they both have to work through thing in their pasts to develop a solid relationship. I loved that Rocco was so kindhearted and caring, he’s just a softie at heart. He doesn’t have a huge support system like Julia does and it was so sweet how she and exiles got him to open up and support them.
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Adriana Herrera can;t do no wrong. This book was amazing! i really loved the social justice aspect within romance.

Adriana is going to be on the What to Read Next Podcast on August 25, 2020.
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One Sentence Summary: Julia del Mar Ortiz is trying to make the best of her new job after moving to Dallas for a guy who promptly dumped her, so the last thing she needs is an attraction to consultant Rocco Quinn -- especially when his report could take away funding for her job.

Here to Stay about set my kindle on fire because Julia and Rocco were on fire together! They're somewhat enemies because Rocco's report on the Sturm corporation's finances could take away funding for their humanitarian arm where Julia works. But in reality they can't stay away and they don't dislike each other at all, the complete opposite in fact. As two New Yorkers in Dallas they bond over their shared experiences growing up in NYC and I loved seeing the friendships that Julia and Rocco created with the rest of the Gotham Exiles as they called themselves.

I loved Julia as our heroine! She's passionate about her work, dedicated to her family, and not afraid to ask for what she wants. Julia was a lot of fun and I enjoyed watching her find her place in Dallas and take control of her life. I also laughed every time she said referred to Rocco as "Rocco fucking Quinn". And speaking of Rocco, he's my favorite kind of hero; sweet and kind but also wild in bed. Bless Rocco's dirty, dirty mouth! Rocco doesn't want to hurt Julia's job but he needs his upcoming promotion to help his sister and niece and basically he couldn't be anymore perfect. Both Rocco and Julia have some ups and downs but their connection is undeniable and I loved watching them fall in love.

This doesn't appear to be a series but I'll keep my fingers crossed that maybe we'll get stories for the rest of the Exiles because they were so much fun. Adriana Herrera is a master at character development and I felt like I really knew the side characters and fell for them just as much as Rocco and Julia.
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I am a huge fan of Herrera's Dreamers series, so I was super excited when I saw she had a new book coming out and couldn't wait to jump in.

Perhaps I'm spoiled by the Dreamers series or maybe I had higher expectations than this story could deliver, but I this book fell flat for me. I liked Rocco and Julia just fine, and I enjoyed their diverse group of friends. One thing Herrera is excellent at is creating fleshed out side characters without taking away from the MCs, and she knocked it out of the ballpark again with Here to Stay.

Individually, there was nothing bad or off about each character. However, I missed the connection between Julia and Rocco. I didn't feel that these two belonged together. 

While I enjoyed the diversity and social justice themes, the romance wasn't there for me. Had this book been pitched as something other than romance, I would probably give it 4 stars, because everything else about the story was wonderful.
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Adriana Herrera is launching a new series this summer starting with Here to Stay. New Yorker Julia del Mar Ortiz starts the Gotham Exiles Club as a way to make friends after her recent move to Dallas, Texas and isn’t happy to learn Rocco Quinn wants to join. Rocco is a new consultant for the high fashion department store she works for, and has the power to shut down the charity foundation she runs. Family is a major theme in this book, and Herrera expertly explores its various forms—from Julia’s tight-knit one, to the found family created by friends, to Rocco’s desire to give his sister the kind of familial support he never had. It’s all beautifully tied into the concept of home and the idea that it doesn’t need to be a singular place; it can be where you grew up and also where you grew into the person you wanted to be. I adored Julia, Rocco, and the entire Gotham Exiles Club. I cannot wait to see where Herrera takes the series next.
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I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera is a stand-alone novel, but I’m hoping that it will become a series, and we will get to hear more about the other members of the Gotham Exiles Club. Julia del Mar Ortiz moved to Dallas to be with her boyfriend; however, that didn’t work out, and now she’s there alone, and so she creates the Gotham Exiles Club, a social group for former New Yorkers who are also trying to find their way in Dallas.  She wants to put down roots in Dallas because she has a job that she loves and finds fulfilling as the program director for the Sturm Foundation, which runs programs for immigrant and refugee children and their families. Unfortunately the parent company Sturm’s a fashion empire is about to go public and Rocco Quinn also a New Yorker, the team leader of the consulting company hired to manage the IPO has been directed by one of the partners and the CFO of Sturm’s to eliminate the programs to make the company look more saleable. Both Julia and Rocco struggle with the intense chemistry they feel for each other in an enemies to lovers romance,  and even thought it seems impossible you have to cheer for them to find a way to make it work. There are so many things to enjoy about this book red hot chemistry, strong friendships, families, amazing food that will make you very hungry and of course the love story at the heart. I highly recommend reading this book. Steam Level: Whoa it’s hot in here. Publishing Date: August 25, 2020 #HereToStay #AdrianaHerrera #CarinaPress #HarlequinRomance #ContemporaryRomance #OwnVoicesRomance #bookstagram
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One of the best feelings in the world is to fall in love with a book. The nerves when you’re reading the first pages, the anticipation when you get to know the characters and feel that something is up in the air… It’s magical. I felt that way reading Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera, a new-to-me author I was invited to review. 

The story talks about Julia, a born and bred New Yorker who moved to Texas with a boyfriend. The guy isn’t in the picture anymore, but our girl has built a life in this new place, working in something she’s passionate about. Her life seems to be good despite her break-up and being apart from her family, until Rocco Quinn appears like a menacing (although sexy) figure in the horizon. This guy will get to decide if the foundation she works with will get cut during a merger that will be happening soon in the company. 

Our guy, Rocco, has a life of his own in NYC. He’s in Texas only temporarily, where he expects to do his job and go back home with his sister and niece. He doesn't expect to find someone like Julia del Mar Ortiz, neither expects the attraction and the insane chemistry between them.

I had a great time with this book, I also loved both Julia and Rocco so so much! This story has a great cast of secondary characters as well, and I’m pretty sure you will fall in love with Julia's family (especially with her abuelita), and the NY Exile group. This story kept a smile on my face the whole time I was reading it, and while I was surfing through the pages I discovered a wonderful author I can’t wait to read more about. 

So, if you're looking for a slow burn friends-to-lovers romance, take a look at Here to Stay!
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Audio review:
Story – 5
Performance – 5
Overall – 5

So good, so hot!  

I mostly read (or listen) to MM romance these days and I first became acquainted with Adriana Herrera's writing through her Dreamers series.  The first three books in that series were MM but the fourth was MF and I was almost surprised to enjoy it just as much as the others.  So, it was no hardship for me to agree to do a blog post for her latest book, Here to Stay.

This story is seriously HOT – like panty melting hot.  I read portions of it and then I listened to the audio book.  Sean Crisden has long been a favorite of mine but Carmen Vine is a new-to-me narrator.  The combination of their two voices was perfect for this story.  Sean Crisden's voice during the hot scenes made me go looking for a fan. 😊

There was conflict in this story because the job goals of the two MCs were kind of in opposition to each other.  Rocco's job may eventually put Julia's job in jeopardy.  Despite this conflict, they fall very much in love.  Still Rocco is torn between his obligation to his younger sister and her child, and his love for Julia.

This was such a rich story; t's filled with family and friends who added depth and humor.  Rocco's parents are pretty horrible and they provided a suitable amount of conflict.

I particularly enjoyed listening to the audiobook because there are so many words I would not know how to pronounce on my own.  (My high school Spanish was 50 years ago!)  I love learning new words and that is just one of the reasons I enjoy reading Adriana's books.  Her stories challenge me in a good way and I look forward to reading and/or listening to more of them.

A review copy of the ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and a review copy of the audiobook was provided by Harlequin Audio, but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***
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Julia initially moved to Dallas to be with her boyfriend, but when he left her and moved back to New York, she became determined to make Dallas work as her home. Then Quinn F**king Rocco walks in. He's a consultant tasked with deciding whether the foundation she runs is worth the expenses for its parent company, and therefore is a threat to everything she has worked for. But despite her conviction to stay away and stay professional, they quickly become friends and then give into the heat and tension they feel between them. 

Adriana Herrera has this talent for making you miss places you've never been. I felt it in <i>Finding Joy</i> and I felt again in this book when the Gotham Exiles (the group of coworkers who are all transplants from New York) were all greeting one another for the first time and felt like they were coming home. Even as Julia and Quinn grew to love Dallas and their lives there, you could still feel their love for NYC.

Julia and Quinn individually are such lovely people. Julia is a strong woman who makes such a difference in people's lives in her work as a social worker. Her only hold up is that after uprooting her life for her last boyfriend, she is scared of devoting herself to another relationship and then putting her partner's needs over her own again. Quinn himself is so focused on putting his sister and niece's needs above his own that he feels he has no right to consider his own needs. They're honestly similar in a lot of ways and I loved watching them support one another and realize that the feelings they have between them are too strong and real to ignore. 

I also adore all of Julia's family. Herrera always does an incredible job with her secondary characters and this book was no exception. Her parents are so supportive and really help her work through issues she's dealing with. And the way Quinn fits in so seamlessly was also wonderful to see. Particularly given how terrible his own parents are. 

I think this is a solid romance with both a fantastic found family as well as relational family (at least on Julia's side. Only Quinn's sister and niece are awesome). Herrera also works in some great commentary on immigration and undocumented families near the border and balances that with some dirty and fun sexy times. This book is on brand Herrera, and though it's not my absolute favorite of hers, it was still a joy to read.
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Here to Stay is a charming office romance. Julia moved to Texas to follow her boyfriend, but when she gets there, she is dumped. Julia is strong and decides to focus on her dream job, but the company wants to go public and a consultant is hired to determine if the program Julia works for is worth saving. 

As she fights to save her job, she befriends the enemy AKA Rocco, the consultant, a New York exile like her. The more time they spend together, the more sparks ignite. They both fight the attraction but it becomes more and more difficult and succumbing would very well mean that one of them will be out of work.

The romance is so charming. I adored Julia's family, which reminded a bit of the island I'm from. I could very well picture my own mother doing that. I loved that the romance was between two individuals with different cultures. It was amazing to read about these two characters. The banter, the chemistry, the humor - I loved it all. 

Both characters are exactly what the other needs and it's beautiful to watch them love, struggle, and grow. I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.
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Heartfelt, playful, and enticing!

Here to Stay is a heartwarming, humorous tale that transports you to Dallas, Texas and into the lives of both Julia del Mar Ortiz, a kind, compassionate, Dominican-Puerto Rican woman who after being dumped shortly after relocating to Texas from Queens is more than happy putting all her time and effort into her dream job, running the charitable foundation for Sturm’s, and Rocco Quinn, an Italian-Irish, handsome, young man tasked with helping Sturm’s get ready to go public and potentially recommending chopping those parts of the company, such as their charitable foundation, that may be an unnecessary expense to the companies bottom line.

The writing is sensual and light. The characters are intelligent, kind, considerate, inclusive, and endearing. And the plot is a push-pull tale full of workplace drama, familial responsibility, witty banter, tender moments, expectations, goals, friendship, diversity, compromise, chemistry, and love.

Overall, Here to Stay is another sweet, passionate, satisfying novel by Herrera that’s more than just a typical enemies-to-more rom-com with its abundance of culture and tradition, social consciousness, and timely perspective.
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Adriana Herrera does it again! HERE TO STAY is sexy, funny, and the perfect way to spend your day. 

I have already pre-ordered copies for my library’s collection. 

NetGalley provide a free copy for an honest review.
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