On Episode 69 of the GSMC Book Review Podcast I had the pleasure of speaking with Priscilla Oliveras about her book Her Perfect Affair. This is the second book in Priscilla's Matched to Perfection series, which features the 3 Fernandez sisters. The first book in the series, His Perfect Partner focused on the oldest sister, Yazmine. The third in the series, Their Perfect Meolody, which comes out in December, will focus on the youngest sister, Lilí. This middle book, though, focuses on the middle sister, Rosa, and was just released on March 27, 2018.
Rosa Fernandez doesn’t act on impulse—she’s the responsible one, planning her career with precision, finally landing a job as the librarian at conservative Queen of Peace Academy, confining her strongest emotions to her secret poetry journal. But she’s been harboring a secret crush on dreamy Jeremy Taylor, and after one dance with him at her sister’s wedding, Rosa longs to let loose for the first time. She deserves some fun, after all. So what if she doesn’t have a shot with Jeremy, not with his wealthy pedigree and high profile lifestyle. But one dance leads to one kiss, and soon Rosa is head-over-heels...The adopted son of a prominent Chicago lawyer, Jeremy has a lot to live up to—especially with his birth father in prison—the perfect example of a bad example. With a big promotion and a move to Japan in the works, Jeremy is worlds away from settling down. But sweet, steady Rosa is a temptation he doesn’t want to deny himself, at least for now. Yet when their simple fling turns complicated, everything they’ve both worked for is threatened—except the red-hot intimacy they’ve found together. Can forever really grow from just-for-now? (Source)
Rosa is a typical middle child: she is a peacemaker between her sisters, she feels responsible for the family, and she doesn't act without thinking first. Until her sister's wedding and her decision to go for it with Jeremy. That one decision sets in motion a series of events that will affect both Rosa and Jeremy, their families, and their futures.
I really like Rosa as a protagonist because of the 3 sisters (who you will get to know regardless of which book you start with) I felt the most connection with her. She is a thinker (an over-thinker at times), she loves books, and poetry, and she is a librarian. I love the fact that she is a high school librarian as my father is retired after being the K-12 librarian in my hometown and I seriously considered becoming a librarian as well. Libraries, and librarians, have a definite soft-spot in my heart. I also like Rosa because of her quiet, rule-following, thoughtful way of going through life.
I also appreciate the story between Jeremy and Rosa, which in many ways is a typical romance, but in many other ways steers away from some of the best-known tropes of the genre. Theirs is a relationship based on respect and genuine liking. They both come from close families (although they are close in different ways) and want to incorporate their families and their relationship as much as possible.
- Women's Fiction
What I enjoyed:
- The Fernandez family. They are very different from mine in terms of culture, but very similar in other ways, and I loved how close they are and how involved in each other's lives.
- The bilingual aspect of the book. The Fernandez sisters speak both English and Spanish, and just as most people I know who are bilingual, they switch effortlessly back and forth between the two languages, depending on their surroundings. Don't worry if you don't speak or read Spanish, though, there is nothing that isn't explained, and Priscilla does her translations in ways that flow naturally with the structure of the story.
- Rosa's Tia Dolores. She's a secondary character, but she leaves an impression. Delores is Puerto Rican but she reminded me in many ways of my Norwegian grandmother. They are both formidable, fiercely loving and loyal, and show that love through food.
- A romance series with Women of Color as the protagonists. I enjoy variety in the characters, stories, locations, cultures, etc. of the books I read and I am always happy when I can about different kinds of people, different cultures, and different locations, even if the book I'm reading is fiction.
- I also appreciated the fact that Jeremy and Rosa are an interracial couple. Families are increasingly diverse, and it is wonderful to see that diversity represented in fiction.
Who should read Her Perfect Affair?
- Fans of romance.
- Fans of stories with a multicultural aspect.
- Fans of serial romance, particularly involving the same family.
- "Eventually she'd given up wishing for a date. Books were far safer companions."
- "Man, it felt like he and Rosa were tiptoeing around a purple-striped elephant sprawled on is designer couch. Both afraid to poke it, fearing the potential fallout."
- "Guilt burned in her chest. Failing to meet expectations or responsibilities went against every instinct she'd honed in the years since Mami's death. The need to please others and do what was right had become second nature. Her penance, though she had never shared this truth with anyone."
Where you can find Priscilla online:
4 Chicas Chat Group Facebook Group
Fiction From the Heart Facebook Group
Amazon Author Page: Priscilla Oliveras
GoodReads: Priscilla Oliveras
My first language was Spanish, followed quickly by Spanglish as I learned new words and phrases from other kids on the playground. With a Mexican American dad who served in the Navy and a Puerto Rican mom who earned her business degree from the University of Puerto Rico, my life has been a mix of our Latino culture and good ol’ US of A traditions. Kinda like my books.I’ve always been a reader—my parents even remind me about how I won a trophy in 2nd grade for reading the most books over the summer. In high school I tried my hand at writing short stories, and I read my first Harlequin romance while waiting in a hurricane shelter with my parents and siblings in the Florida Keys. When I started complaining about being bored, my dad—yes, my dad, that’s not a typo—handed me one of his Harlequin romance novels.VOILA! A DEVOTED ROMANCE READER WAS BORN!Years later, as a married college student with a new baby, I decided to try my hand at romance novel writing. Boy, is that a book that will remain stuffed under my bed until…well, let’s just say, forever. I typed it on my handy dandy electric typewriter in one semester, put a sticky note with my name and address on the front page and mailed my “baby” off to New York. Yes, I hear your gasp of shock. No cover letter, no query letter. Nothing. Totally not the right way to submit. But what did I know? It wasn’t until later that I was introduced to Romance Writers of America by a how-to book.RWA is the premier organization for all romance writers. Through RWA I’ve learned about the business of publishing, honed my craft, and met some of my best friends and mentors.Now, five books, two more kids, countless military moves, one bachelor’s & two master’s degrees later, I’m still plugging away on my writing. In fact one of my degrees is a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. I’d recommend this program to any genre fiction writer interested in honing their craft, whether published or not.Or, if you’re not up for an MFA, but you’re interested in learning more about writing romance novels, take a look at my continuing education course offered by ed2go. “Romance Writing” is a 6-week, 12-lesson course on the craft of writing a romance novel.After my day job and my writing, in my free time I enjoy running, playing tennis, dancing, going to the theatre, watching sports (Go Cubs! Go Gators!), reading and watching romantic comedies, and spending time with family and friends.In short, I’m a proud Latina who enjoys family, fun, romance and the occasional nap in my backyard hammock. (Source)
To hear the interview with Priscilla please click here.