What do you do when the one who got away suddenly reappears in your life? In Justine’s case, she tries to do her best to control her raging emotions while convincing her former love, Rafael, to loan her the money to save her failing newspaper. When Rafael proposes that she spend the month with him in exchange for helping her paper, Justine agrees. Not just for her employees, but also for herself. But is Rafael there to help her or destroy her? The “Indecent Proposal” trope is an interesting one because of the power dynamic. Inherently, it is an unequal relationship which can lead to consent issues.
However, I need to give the author credit when it comes to handling it. Justine never loses her agency, and Rafael isn’t the stereotypical billionaire alpha. There are definite callbacks to both “Indecent Proposal” and alpha romances, but the tropes are played with even if they are sometimes played straight in the end. Both of the characters have depth and motivations that are outside of the romance, which is often forgotten. I adored that both Justine and Rafael owned their sexuality and that this book was very sex-positive. Sex positivity is rarer than you might think in romance. Women are often demonized or degraded for “not being pure” while men are encouraged to be promiscuous. That wasn’t the case here. Both characters were up front with their sexual history and it wasn’t shamed and in fact, was actively discussed. I also loved that the characters had lost their virginity together in the past (not really a spoiler considering this is a second-chance romance).
My biggest quibble was that Rafael often fell into the “Hot Latin Lover” stereotype… and that some of the Spanish was a bit gratuitous… A bigger problem was that much of it was untranslated, which can be difficult for a reader who isn’t fluent in the language.
This is especially true in regards to the slang which can vary from region to region. So, I’m actually moderately fluent in Spanish… at least when it comes to reading (don’t ask me to write or speak it.) But when I ran into the word “coño” I had to pause. Because where/how I learned Spanish was from speakers who came from either Chile or Spain. In Chile, it’s a pejorative for “Spaniard” while in Spain it means “cunt/pussy.” The actual line in question… “Coño, don’t think the worst of me.” and neither definition I knew worked. Apparently I needed to know that the Cuban meaning for coño is Fucker, Bastard, Damn, or Shit. Welcome to Slang… And you thought English was bad with the regional idioms… That being said, the sex is incredibly hot. It’s incredibly well described and lovely to read. Frankly, all of the description in this book is lovely. As a former Florida resident, I appreciated the fact that the setting was as much of a character as the humans.
I also enjoyed the realism in regards to the newspaper industry. The author clearly knows her stuff when it comes to this, and it shows. Also there’s an A+ Transmetropolitan reference, which tickled my inner graphic-novels geek. In all, this is a solid and sexy second-chance romance. And I’m happy to give it: Four stars.
*** I received a copy of this book through NetGalley
Like our reviews? Buy us a coffee!