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American Love Story: A Multicultural Love Story (Dreamers Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 274 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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|Book 3 of 5 in Dreamers|
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"The story is incisive and modern, navigating the complexities of privilege, purpose and power, all while exploring intense passion." —The Washington Post
"It’s thoughtful and sexy, the characters are engaging and the relationships extremely well-written. It’s another winner for Adriana Herrera." —All About Romance
"American Love Story has it all: heart, humor, heat, and heroes you won’t soon forget. […] I’m eagerly looking forward to falling in love with the rest of Herrera’s characters and stories." —Bookish
"Herrera returns to her Dreamers series with a sexy romance that explores stereotypes and racial injustice." —Library Journal
"Herrera builds a diverse narrative where prejudice and fear are immediately present alongside the passion and angst at the heart of Patrice and Easton’s relationship." —BookTrib
"Herrera serves up high heat, serious social commentary, and laughs in perfect measure." —Book Riot
About the Author
Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last fifteen years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings.--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- Publication date : October 7, 2019
- File size : 1100 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 274 pages
- Publisher : Carina Press; Original edition (October 7, 2019)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07S8HH7LK
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #472,138 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Their romance is sort of a slow burn that we’re joining ⅔ of the way in progress. Easton and Patrice hooked up repeatedly the summer before this book opens, clearly with amazing chemistry and lots of denied feelings, and then Patrice basically ghosted (to the extent you can ghost on something that has no expectations or labels). Now he’s back in Ithaca and Easton is all game to jump right back in, while Patrice is hesitant.
Set against a plot of escalating instances of "driving while Black" traffic stops, American Love Story has one of the most unique and compelling “obstacles to HEA” I think I’ve ever seen. Patrice passionately and deeply believes in criminal justice reform, Black Lives Matter, and fighting loudly and proudly against systemic racism. Easton, who is white, is an ally (thank god this is no ‘reform the racist’ trope) or, at least he’s as much of an ally as he knows how to be and he’s willing to learn, but he’s also a representative of an unjust system. As the two men say at one point, this goes beyond just “incompatible jobs” and into fundamental, bedrock ideals territory.
I’ve never really seen a romance do such a good job exploring the burden and the weight - the emotional labor - of being an activist. Patrice can’t - won’t - opt out of this role, but it has really heavy consequences for him. He feels like his duty to his community must come first, over even his own personal happiness or well-being. He struggles to let anyone get close or let himself rest. How can he relax his standards when these are real, life-and-death issues with life-and-death consequences? Easton meanwhile - doing his best, god bless him - feels the strain of being held up to what seem to him to be impossible standards, littered with tripwires that are invisible to him. How can he be in a relationship where one mistake could get him permanently iced out?
The resulting story is a push and pull between the relationship both men want (even if Patrice won’t admit it) and the responsibilities they have. It is a deep, real, and original story that had me crying multiple times and so, so proud of the two men by the epilogue.
Unfortunately, someone on Carina’s editing team fell down on taking a last pass at this. There were lots of little blippy grammar errors - sentences missing words, using “my” instead of “me” a few times, characters’ names mixed up - that I’m not used to seeing from this usually very professional publishing house. It’s especially unfortunate to see this in what is otherwise such a high quality book.
Overall, American Love Story was a 4.75 star read for me. Kept only on the low end of a 5 by the editing errors and the fact that it is a heavy read.
Content warnings for on-page traffic stops and police harassment of Black men, lots of racial microaggressions both aimed at and observed by our Black MC, unsupportive familial homophobia (in a sub-plot), and explicit sexual content.
Patrice has just started a job as a professor at Cornell economics professor, and returning to Ithaca brings him back in contact with Easton, a local lawyer. Patrice and Easton had a short-term attachment about a year ago, when Patrice was helping his friend Nesto get his food truck up and running in Ithaca. Patrice and Easton’s chemistry was off the charts hot, but things dissolved when Patrice returned to the City.
So can they just pick up where they left off?
Ideally, yes, but it’s not that simple. Patrice, who is Haitian-American, finds himself having to justify his Twitter activism when he speaks out against a variety of social issues, including the alarmingly high number of African-American men being pulled over by local police for no reason.
And Easton, who works as a DA, comes from a completely different background: he’s white, his family is moneyed, and he owns the apartment building Patrice moves into. He acknowledges the problems with the police, and wants to do something to help, but it’s different when considering the issue in an abstract sense.
At times, the issues they face seem insurmountable, and Patrice and Easton have to work through need if they’re going to fight for their love.
This book has so much to say about race, politics, immigration, activism, and finding one’s place in the world. Patrice’s outrage at the injustices he sees is visceral, making this the most emotionally evocative entry in the series.
As a fan of the series, I appreciated the chance to see some of the characters from previous books, and as much as I loved the secondary romance, I really hope those two get their own book eventually.
I would absolutely recommend American Love Story. Readers should start at the beginning of the series in order to fully appreciate the character arcs. But really- an Ivy League economics professor as a romantic lead? Yes please! And I’ve gotta say- there’s a small preview for the fourth book, American Sweethearts, and I can’t wait for it to come out!
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/Carina Press, but I purchased my own copy because I enjoyed the book so much.
I love this series, and I love Adriana Herrera's mission of writing love stories for Afro-Latinx characters, and I love the sexy romances she shares with the world. It's bitterly ironic that I've had this book in my library for months (my book-buying habits are much more ingrained than my reading habits these days unfortunately) and by the time I read it, the issues it deals with seem tame and promising in comparison to real-life events. I know I keep bringing it up, but it's hard to read a book like this WITHOUT comparing to current events. Anyway I thought it was a hot enemies-to-lovers story that illustrated a few different aspects of racial and social justice with compassion and hope. It was a great read, both a wonderful romance and a lot of food for thought.
Top reviews from other countries
I found both Patrice and Easton great characters, fully formed and developed, with backgrounds that explain the way they react. They grow together and even though I felt Patrice was being an ass a couple of times, he's called on it, he has good reason for it, and he eventually learns from it, so sincerely it's all you can ask for.
I however felt it way too heavy on exposition and taking instead of showing. Which is not really a terrible bad thing but by the end of the book I felt it dragged. Here your mileage might vary and you might want every single feeling put on the page for the characters, while I'm ok with them making a commitment to stay together for the foreseeable future, so take it with a pinch of salt.
But then there was the writing style... Paragraph upon paragraph of inner monologue, often following the initiating part of a dialogue, so I had forgotten which question an answer was supposed to be answering when it was finally given. Inner monologue is a nice tool when you use a first person narrator, giving insight when dialogue or action don't fit, or purposefully misleading your audience when required. I felt it was used redundantly on top of the dialogue and / or action here, so the whole thing got repetitive and boring, or it was used instead of action. I know some people prefer everything explained in great detail, without room for interpretation, yet I personally prefer understanding characters by their actions. And all that redundancy still wouldn’t have been so bad if there hadn’t been important developments in the story compressed into mentions in passing (like the fact that one mc had been practically living with the other for some time), so the book seemed unbalanced.
The final straw for me was the unnecessary drama shortly before the end or rather, the confusing solution to it.
+++ Mild Spoilers +++
Yes, everyone overreacts once in a while, and shock and fear for your life seem good reasons to do so, so far, so fine. Then it got weird.
To me, the point of a romantic relationship seems to be that you go to greater lengths for the other part of it than for the people next door, that you are willing to risk more for your partner than for others. That you value that person above people that are not as close to you. Easton valuing Patrice’s life above all else seemed like the only likely reason for the behavior Easton is "accused" of for final drama. Yet, it is never stated that, yes, as a partner, he had a right to react the way he did, that anything else would have made him a not very invested partner, regardless of what he did or didn’t do before his partner was involved in one of the incidents. Instead, we are made to believe Easton was not doing good enough as a partner for Patrice, and the relationship is saved when he publicly admits to that. Maybe I got that wrong and there was implicit acceptance that what Easton did was not per se bad and he has a right to decide on his own actions, but seeing as everything else had been inner monologued to death before, I would have expected to see that also resolved explicitly and not left to my imagination. That wasn't the only time there was an implausible twist in a relationship issue (Eastons father would have humiliated Patrice further had Easton told him Patrice was his boyfriend. That was the issue Patrice needed to forgive, not the not introducing as the boyfriend part? Huh?)
Although there was constant anger about injustice caused by racial bias, it wasn't the main storyline of the book. The concept and the causes of racial bias weren't explored in any detail, the book stayed descriptive. This was also a book about someone too emotionally immature to have a serious relationship falling so hard he decides to grow for love. Which would have been a nice storyline on its own, yet again, the book stayed mostly descriptive due to the writing style. The same goes for the initial plot bunny “can’t love the enemy”; although there is one scene over dinner where there is actual conflict happening, it seems fabricated. In other words, those men are not very convincing enemies to begin with, so why does there have to be a solution to this? The "can't love the enemy" issue could still have acted as Patrice's cover issue for his immaturity issues regarding romantic relationships, and it did to some extent.
That sub-plot (or subversive plot?!) dragged on with no build-up, no arc to speak of; every time the mcs met, their dilemma was the exact same as the last time until very close to the ending. So on the last few pages, the story practically jumped from unresolved except for the aforementioned unsatisfying solution to the Easton-storyline to an attempt at a solution to the Patrice-storyline in the epilogue. Also, for a book marketed as a love story, there just wasn’t enough emphasis on the love part for me; that must have mostly taken place off-page. For example, I had to be told that the attraction between the mcs was turning into love, I couldn't "read" it from what happened, there wasn't enough action there (I'm not referring to all the action between the sheets, steaminess doesn't require love).
To sum it up, this book felt a lot like it ended before the story really began, more like a novella, which it might have been taking out the redundant parts. In novel format, it wasn’t a satisfying read for me.