ROMANCE

After Hours on Milagro Street

Carina Jul. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781335639929. pap. $15.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Alex Torres-Armstead and Jeremiah Post want the same thing: the building that currently houses Alex’s grandmother’s bar, Loretta’s. Bartender Alex thinks she can whip the bar into shape, then leave for the next rung on her career ladder. Jeremiah, who lives in one of the tenant rooms upstairs, has his own secret plans for the space. Alex doesn’t trust rich, white Jeremiah to have her Mexican American community’s best interests in his plans. Jeremiah isn’t sure why Alex has such a large, angry chip on her shoulder, but he can’t seem to budge it long enough for her to listen to his ideas. When they find out that other, more nefarious parties want the building and don’t have any qualms about how they get it, Alex and Jeremiah call a truce. Working together to save Loretta’s uncovers past secrets; can it also break down the barriers they’ve built around their hearts? The story moves quickly, with engaging writing and a complex, layered plot that pulls readers into Jeremiah and Alex’s developing relationship.
VERDICT Lopez’s (“Filthy Rich” series) likeable protagonists, with immediate chemistry and connection, shine in this steamy novel (the first in a planned series). Recommended for general purchase.
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