Good Sex and Social Justice
American Sweethearts the last of the Dreamers series is out today and even if it’s a bit bittersweet to see this series I love so much come to an end I love that this story is the one that closes the series. It’s my first M/F and it’s the book with a main character whose experience is the closest to my own. Priscilla Gutierrez is a Dominican woman who is grappling hard with forging her own path and what that means in terms of her family and way she envisioned her life.
Pris and Juan Pablo are very counter culture characters both in romance and in the world they belong to. Pris is trying hard to legitimize work that she finds important, empowering sex positive education in queer communities of color, while also trying to find meaning and passion in her own life. Latina women have a complicated relationship with sex. So many of the reductive stereotypes flung at us are centered around our “spicyiness,” we are perceived as oversexed and promiscuous. While in our own culture and the larger one we are told again and again that to be a good Latina we must be chaste and pure. Nevermind that the men are being told that they need to f*ck anything that moves in order to be “real men.”
If you add to that the history of Afro-Latinx people and the discrimination and erasure of our bodies and our identities, it gets really messy. How do we reconcile pleasure and fulfillment in bodies that hold so much past sexual trauma? This stuff is confusing and really sets us up for really unsatisfying sex lives, no matter how romantic our partners are. How can we truly be satisfied if we don’t know what we want? Or if we do but don’t feel like we can voice it?
Orgasms by telepathy are not a thing. So with Pris and J I wanted to present a pair of people with scars and their own tumultuous history whose connection is really anchored on how good they are together when it comes to pleasure. For Pris and J sex has always been a place of growth, learning and connection. Over their years together they’ve figured out what they like, have come up with creative ways to give each other what they need and ultimately it’s the bridge that allows them to come into each other’s lives for good.
That is no small thing for a couple where both people are Afro-Latinx and have come up in a community that though it’s loving and supportive it sometimes does not have the most positive views when it comes to sex and women. All that to say, is that for me writing my first heroine as someone that even as she searched for meaning in her life was empowered by her understanding of her body, of what made her feel good and could explore that with her partner. J’s growth in this book comes from a lot of work (read therapy) but also a deep understanding that he had to be more than a good sexual partner to be the man Pris needed. In the end these two Dreamers allowed me to have a final conversation with readers about the many ways in which equity and agency can exist in a relationship and how intersections impact how people can arrive at their Happily Ever After.
Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist for his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been.
Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.
New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second-guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself—her career, her relationships, her life—is no longer what she wants.
What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.
By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach…if they can just accept each other as they are.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last fifteen years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings. When’s she not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Genre: Contemporary Genre: Romance Orientation: Bisexual Pairing: M/F Publisher: Carina Press Tag: Friends to Lovers Tag: Guest Post Tag: Own-Voices Tag: Part of a series Tag: PoC Adriana Herrera American Sweethearts Dreamers series