cover image American Love Story (Dreamers #3)

American Love Story (Dreamers #3)

Adriana Herrera. Carina, $8.99 mass market (368p) ISBN 978-1-335-21597-0

Herrera’s intriguing third Dreamers contemporary occasionally bogs down as its protagonists struggle to feel worthy of each other. In Ithaca, N.Y., Patrice Denis, a Cornell professor and social justice activist, and Easton Archer, interim Tompkins County district attorney, attempt to pick up where their steamy fling left off in American Dreamer. A year after being ghosted by Patrice, Easton encounters him at the local grocery and they reconnect. But subsequent attempts to revive their romance are complicated by a rash of racially motivated traffic stops throughout the county. It’s Easton’s job to defuse the situation before it escalates, and it’s Patrice’s job to protest when he doesn’t. With all their differences and justice on the line, love may not be enough. Herrera delicately weaves a difficult romance around the serious topics of institutional racism, privilege, and social responsibility. As the book often states, there are no easy solutions, and Herrera’s emotionally charged character study demonstrates this well. The downside is that readers never see the protagonists at their best, making it hard to believe in their conflict-plagued romance. Fans of previous installments will find this one doesn’t quite sparkle as much, but it’s still worth reading. Agent: Linda Camacho, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Oct.)