I would have read Island Affair based on the cover alone. Add to that some lovely tweets back and forth with the author, Priscilla Oliveras, and I knew I had to try it!
Island Affair is the first Latinx romance I’ve read. That’s embarrassing to admit out loud, but I’m about to get real with y’all.
I was a little intimidated as soon as I saw the first couple of lines of dialogue in Spanish (our hero, Luis Navarro, is of Cuban heritage). I admit this openly, because I think it’s one of the hurdles that a white woman like myself might let stand between me and a great book. You might ask yourself: am I going to be able to relate to the characters in this book? Imagine what Latinx, Black, other people of color must feel like when so many of the options that come from traditional publishers are from white authors from children’s books up through adult genres.
If you’re willing to admit you might feel the same picking up a Latinx romance, let me save you from missing out on this one. Oliveras expertly translated the Spanish dialogue (it’s only a piece of dialogue here and there) throughout in a way that felt completely natural and was easy to read. I’m so glad I didn’t let my fear of the unknown keep me from this truly fantastic read.
Our heroine, Sara Vance, is a social media influencer (I’m really enjoying books with influencers as main characters lately) who doesn’t feel like she measures up to her family full of doctors — both of her parents and both siblings are doctors! Having been raised largely by a nanny (who coincidentally taught her Spanish), she views her family as cold and distant and is dreading a family trip to Key West. Odds are she probably wouldn’t have even gone on this trip if it hadn’t been in celebration of her mother being cancer free.
When her boyfriend Ric stands her up at the last minute, she runs into sexy firefighter/paramedic/dive captain Luis and hatches a plan: he’ll pretend to be Ric. More than your typical fake relationship that turns into real feelings, Sara and Luis both have very real demons they’re battling. Sara is recovering from an eating disorder, and Luis has been betrayed by his fiance and his brother (and it goes so much deeper than that). Mix that in with Sara’s family issues, and there are a lot of emotional, raw moments in this one.
I normally gravitate to sweet/clean romances with little more than a kissing scene, but this one was smoldering with sexual attraction and tension. Seriously, I had to fan myself a few times, haha! The attraction between these two will get your heart racing.
Check this one out if you want to be transported to the beautiful Florida Keys and dive into a complex, but sexy, fake relationship turned romance. Just look at that cover? How can you not want to read this beauty?!