Sought-after social media influencer Sara Vance, in recovery from an eating disorder, is coming into her own, with a potential career expansion on the horizon. Despite the good news, her successful siblings (and their perfect spouses) have a way of making her feel like the odd one out. So, when her unreliable boyfriend is a no-show for a Florida family vacation, Sara recruits Luis Navarro—a firefighter paramedic and dive captain willing to play the part of her smitten fiancé…
Luis’s big Cuban familia has been in Key West for generations, and his quiet strength feeds off the island’s laidback style. Though guarded after a deep betrayal, he’ll always help someone in need—especially a spunky beauty with a surprising knowledge of Spanish curse words. Soon, he and Sara have memorized their “how we met” story and are immersed in family dinners, bike tours, private snorkeling trips . . . sharing secrets, and slow, melting kisses. But when it’s time for Sara to return home, will their island romance last or fade with the stunning sunset?
|Series:||Keys to Love (Book 1)|
|Point of View:|
|Location:||Key West, Florida, US|
|Release Date:||28th April, 2020|
Sultry fun in the sun
With such a gorgeous cover comes the promise of a sultry, fun, fake romance that turns all too real under the sun soaked backdrop of the Florida Keys. And what I had hoped for is exactly what I got with this really enjoyable tale.
We start with our hunky hero – Luis Navarro – who has suddenly found himself facing a very unwelcome 7 days off firefighter duty due to complications with a rescue. Luis is my absolute jam when it comes to a hero. He’s the strong, silent, brooding type but he’s also got a serious Prince Charming complex where he feels he needs to save everyone around him. And that’s why the meet-cute and subsequent crazy plan of playing fake boyfriend to Sara and Sara’s family, makes perfect sense!
As much as I had my swoon on for Luis, I really, really loved Sara. She had issues – don’t we all – but she was doing her best to overcome them and I loved that she was a bad boss b!tch but also a very real, and at times vulnerable girl. She was just someone you could like and also relate to.
The best part was definitely the way that Sara and Luis played off each other. From the start, they balanced each other out and could bring each other back around when they got too bogged down in their issues. But don’t worry – this book isn’t angsty at all. There are serious topics covered but while the book has depth, it doesn’t drown you with the seriousness of things. There’s a fresh and fun vibe that sits perfectly with the setting of the book. Key West – and the Florida Keys – is almost a character all itself. I definitely want to visit for more than just the weather!
There was a build up of the relationship between Sara and Luis but while we get some foreplay, as soon as it gets to the real deal, the door closes. While I normally prefer something more explicit when it comes to sex scenes, it doesn’t take anything away from Sara and Luis’s relationship.
The Vance family were fun to get to know but it’s the Navarro family that really stole my heart. Well, maybe I’m reserving judgement on Enrique for the moment. They were exactly what I imagine when I think of a tight, loving Cuban-American family and it was great to see them interact with each other. I cannot wait to read Anamaría’s story (hopefully with Alejandro) and okay, fine, Enrique’s too.
I really loved Priscilla Oliveras’ writing style. It was interesting, fun and eminently readable. There are smatterings of Spanish dotted throughout the book, in keeping with the culture of the Keys and the Navarro clan. This helped me realise that my Kindle has a translation feature – who knew? – but you don’t really need it. Ms Oliveras cleverly words it so you know what’s happening even if you don’t understand or translate the Spanish. But I still looked everything up (because my Spanish is pretty poor and I need to know all the things!) and I was so smug by the end of the book that I was catching onto some phrases!
This is the first Priscilla Oliveras book that I’ve read and I loved her storytelling, her style and her characters. I will definitely be looking out for more of her books and especially the next books in this series. She packed romance, love, family and humour into this book – it’s exactly the pick me up I needed. 5 stars.
PRISCILLA OLIVERAS is a USA Today bestselling author and 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. She and her work have earned praise from the Washington Post, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Redbook, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist, among others. Priscilla earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and currently serves as adjunct faculty in the program and teaches the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. While she’s a romance genre junkie, Priscilla also considers herself a sports fan, beach lover, and Zumba aficionado, who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.