Just for the Holidays

Adriana Herrera. Harlequin Desire, $5.25 mass market (224p) ISBN 978-1-335-73524-9
Exes get a second chance in Herrera’s steamy second Sambrano Studios romance (after One Week to Claim it All). Perla Sambrano, v-p of casting at her family’s entertainment company, volunteers to convince movie star Gael Montez to take the lead role in a forthcoming project. There’s just one problem: Gael was Perla’s college boyfriend, and she hasn’t seen him since he shattered her heart six years ago. Gael’s shocked when Perla shows up at his Hamptons mansion, but their spark is still there and a read-through of the script leads to a passionate kiss. Gael’s mother, who always loved Perla, walks in on them and delightedly assumes they’re back together. Desperate not to disappoint her, Gael asks Perla to pretend to be his girlfriend for the day—but when a storm strands Perla with the Montez family for the holidays, the lie snowballs. Herrera has a gift for imbuing tropey situations with psychological nuance and grounding scorching love scenes in character work. She does her job almost too well: Perla and Gael are so compatible that the soapy motivation for their initial breakup and flimsy reasoning for why they should stay apart feel unbelievable. Still, this hot, heartfelt contemporary proves hard to put down. Agent: Linda Camacho, Gallt & Zacker Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/16/2021
Release date: 10/26/2021
Genre: Romance/Erotica
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