A review by nic55
American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera


3.5 stars

Definitely didn't like this as much as the first book in this series, but it was still pretty good. Both Thomas and Camilo had a good amount of depth to them and I loved the fairytale/swept up vibe to their whole relationship. Their care for each other was really sweet and their banter was fun. Like the first book, all the cultural elements are incorporated really well. In some ways, it was reminiscent to how Beverly Jenkins does the same thing. I also appreciated how Adriana approached having a white main character in Thomas who grew up in the DR and had a strong connection to the culture while also navigating his privilege. Very nuanced and never cringy. I continue to really love all the side characters in this series and how strong/real the familial relationships and friendships are.

Despite my loves, I did have some issues with this book. I'm not a millionaire/billionaire/trillionaire romance girlie and, in some ways, would definitely react like Camilo in terms of wanting to keep my agency, etc. I had no issue with the way he navigated the power dynamics between him and Thomas. However. I wish he had a similar reckoning in terms of his inability to ask for help/hyperindependence. The character development felt a bit lopsided. The steamy scenes were hot but not super impactful in terms of the story/romance. Their instant emotional chemistry was nice but made the pacing feel off...the tension mostly had to do with money rather than their feelings. Also, while I liked Thomas' grovel at the end, it lowkey seemed like another flavor of the same thing they just fought about??

All that being said, I am excited to continue reading this series and eventually even more Adriana Herrera. Though this one didn't hit for me, I trust the consistency of her characters and values enough to keep exploring.