Just for the Holidays…

Harlequin Desire. (Sambrano Studios, Bk. 2). Nov. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781335735249. pap. $5.25.
Herrera’s second “Sambrano Studios” romance (following One Week To Claim It All), about a family-run American Spanish-language media empire. Casting director Perla Sambrano reconnects after six years with her old boyfriend Gael, who’s trying out for the new Sambrano Studios movie. Having had their youthful relationship derailed years ago, Perla and Gael now must weigh their chances of getting hurt again against the pain of denying themselves true love. Hero and heroine have rich inner lives and compelling reasons to both avoid and seek out the relationship. Readers looking for a certain level of realism will find it here, combined with a dash of escapism. Using specific details, Herrera creates a compelling family dynamic and reassuring setting in very few pages. The book deals realistically with past hurts and doesn’t assume a fairy-tale ending can fix everything, though readers should have no doubt about the eventual happily-ever-after.
VERDICT Readers looking for holiday joy are sure to find it here, with winning characters and an emotional reunion perfect for the Christmas setting.
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