REVIEW: American Love Story by Adrianna Herrera

The Official Description: No one should have to choose between love and justice.

Haitian-born professor and activist Patrice Denis is not here for anything that will veer him off the path he’s worked so hard for. One particularly dangerous distraction: Easton Archer, the assistant district attorney who last summer gave Patrice some of the most intense nights of his life, and still makes him all but forget they’re from two completely different worlds.

All-around golden boy Easton forged his own path to success, choosing public service over the comforts of his family’s wealth. With local law enforcement unfairly targeting young men of color, and his career—and conscience—on the line, now is hardly the time to be thirsting after Patrice again. Even if their nights together have turned into so much more.

For the first time, Patrice is tempted to open up and embrace the happiness he’s always denied himself. But as tensions between the community and the sheriff’s office grow by the day, Easton’s personal and professional lives collide. And when the issue at hand hits closer to home than either could imagine, they’ll have to work to forge a path forward…together.

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!

Just the facts: M/M romance, contemporary, HEA/HFN, political.

A lot of push and pull between two men… both political in their own right, but are they on different sides?  Their attraction keeps bringing them together while the challenges in the world around them seem to push them apart. – Kinzie Things

My thoughts bit:  Patrice is a newly appointed professor when he is reunited with ADA Easton. They come from different backgrounds, Patrice was a refugee raised by a strong and vibrant single-mother. Easton comes from a privilege that he’s embarrassed by… and he throws himself into his work. Lack of attraction isn’t a problem for these two men. They had a few nights together the previous summer and have now found themselves living int he same town. The attraction is still there on both sides.

The problem is that Patrice seems to feel that he can’t open himself up to someone like Easton.

There’s a lot going on in this story and it’s a bit tricky to unpack. Herrera has touched on some really timely issues considering the current political climate in the US. The town that is the setting for this story has had several occurrences of people of color being harassed by law enforcement officers. Patrice is very political. He’s well-known on twitter for his outspoken views, he volunteers where he can and he tries to speak up for what he believes in at every possible occasion. As ADA Easton does his best to fight for justice, but some things are out of his hands or have to be handled with political finesse.

Time and again these two men find themselves retreating from each other as the situation around them becomes more and more volatile.

Patrice was a difficult character for me to like. His views on what happens in the US … and to him and his friends were absolutely right. There’s something very broken about the system but I found it difficult to take how quick he was to take out his frustration on Easton. This is definitely an HFN ending, but I can’t say I’m very convinced that these two characters would find a way to stay together given the complexities of their lives.

There were a few things that bothered me a little once the book concluded. Patrice is a professor but there’s very little characterization in terms of him as a teacher. There are a couple of really brief scenes during which he’s at work, and that’s it. It seems as though him being a professor was more of a throw-away fact.

The political issues and challenges in the book are very real and authentic. I was a bit disappointed that there was no resolution to the ongoing issue in their town. There really was little forward movement at all in terms of what Easton and Patrice were trying to accomplish. The story felt a little unfinished to me, but it is categorized as a “M/M romance” so I may have been expecting too much from the plot! Kudos to Herrera for getting me that interested that I wanted it to continue!

All in all, this was an engaging read and gets 3 stars from me!

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In This book: (SPOILERS) descriptions of racism and bigotry, a character describes being outted in the past, references to and descriptions of law enforcement officers racially profiling, descriptions of young people of color being treated inappropriately by law enforcement officers, prostitution.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel

 

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of American Love Story by Adriana Herrera from NineStar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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