A Caribbean Heiress in Paris
by Adriana Herrera
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Publisher: HQN Books
Book #1 in the Las Lèonas series
Number of pages: 336
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Ages 15 and up
The Exposition Universelle is underway, drawing merchants from every corner of the globe. Luz Alana Heith-Benzan set sail from Santo Domingo armed with three hundred casks of rum, her two best friends and one simple rule: under no circumstances is she to fall in love.
The City of Light is where Luz Alana will expand Caña Brava, the rum business her family built over three generations. It’s a mission that’s taken on new urgency after her father’s untimely death and the news that her trust fund won’t be released until she marries. But buyers and shippers alike are rude and dismissive; they can’t imagine doing business with a woman…never mind a woman of color.
From her first tempestuous meeting with James Evanston Sinclair, Earl of Darnick, Luz Alana is conflicted. Why is this man—this titled Scottish man—so determined to help her? And why, honestly, is he so infuriatingly charming?
All Evan Sinclair ever wanted was to find a purpose away from his father’s dirty money and dirtier politics. Ignoring his title, he’s built a whiskey brand that’s his biggest—and only—passion. That is, until he’s confronted with a Spanish-speaking force of nature who turns his life upside down.
Evan quickly suspects he’ll want Luz Alana with him forever. Every day with her makes the earl wish for more than her magnificent kisses or the marriage of convenience that might save them both. But Luz Alana sailed for Paris with her eyes on liquor, money and new beginnings. She wasn’t prepared for love to find her.
What a beautiful story. The author does an amazing job with the imagery, somehow making the FMC and her Lèonas pop compared to the other characters. It was as if I was watching a movie where Luz Alana and her circle were in color and the rest was in black and white. Truly amazing.
There are many lessons to be learned from this story. Just as with the imagery, the author does a great job of educating her readers without it feeling like an education. Everything is organic to the story and flows with each situation Luz Alana or Evan happen to be in at the time. The setting, the concept, the interactions, all wonderfully done.
There is an instant connection between Luz Alana and Evan and I was overjoyed to learn this would be a fake relationship story. One of my favorite tropes. Before these two even agree to embark on their fake marriage, they are already in deep. Not only is there a strong physical attraction, they are both very impressed with the other’s grit and determination to go after what they want and have earned. Two extremely head-strong characters, both with an overabundance of compassion for those around them.
The only thing that detracted from this story for me was the pacing. Something about it was off and I can’t quite put my finger on why. It made it much easier to put the book down, yet I was always eager to pick it back up. Which means I will be snatching up the next book in this series as soon as they announce a publication date.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**