Are you ready, romance readers? We’re about to make this Monday extra sweet. Adriana Herrera’s Dreamers series is one of our all-time favorites. This contemporary romance series is packed with humor, heart, and love stories that make readers swoon. We’re thrilled to be revealing the cover of American Sweethearts, the fourth and final installment.
Before we get to the cover, let’s take a closer look at what readers can expect from American Sweethearts:
Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist for his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been.
Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.
New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second-guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself—her career, her relationships, her life—is no longer what she wants.
What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.
By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach… if they can just accept each other as they are.
Are you ready to get your first look at American Sweethearts?
Prepare to fall in love.
Cover designer John Kicksee did a stellar job. Juan Pablo looks ready to win Priscilla back, and steal our hearts while he’s at it. We especially love how beautifully this cover fits in with the first three in the series: American Dreamer, American Fairytale, and American Love Story.
That’s not all we have for you. We know we couldn’t just tease a cover and leave you wanting more, so here’s an exclusive excerpt:
No matter how I was handling my own feelings about my love life or my future, tonight had made me feel grateful. Tom and Camilo’s wedding had been not just beautiful but it had been a freaking love fest. It was impossible to be sad in the presence of two people that much in love with each other. It was also so good to be with family and friends to lift Milo up. No one deserved a happily ever after more than him.
The guys and Ayako had brought down the house with their adorable and hilarious speech. Even Milo’s prickly ass hadn’t been able to keep from cackling as they relayed hilarious stories about Camilo’s reputation as the group’s ring leader and all the ways in which they loved him. For their first dance, Tom had actually flew in Juan Luis Guerra, whose music meant so much to both of them, and they danced to “Cuando Te Beso,” as we all basically melted from crying and how monumental it all felt.
It was past midnight and the party was still going strong. And another one of the merengue bands Tom hired for the wedding had all the Latinx people still going hard on the dance floor. I’d danced about three songs in a row with my dad and was about to call it quits when I felt someone tap my shoulder.
Before I could turn around I saw my father’s face light up. “Juan Pablo, you cutting in?”
He moved so he was standing next to my dad, a shy smile on his face, and my traitorous stomach dipped from how handsome he looked. He’d been dancing all night too. With his mad salsa skills he was always in high demand at weddings. At some point he’d unbuttoned his shirt, so I could see just a peek of that chiseled chest I’d been getting eyefuls of all week.
My dad released my hand and looked between the two of us. “Que dices, Pris?” What could I say? No?
I mean, I could but… I may not have wanted to admit it to myself, but I’d kept an eye on him as he’d danced with other partners tonight. No matter who it was he was always the one leading. He was a beautiful dancer and I wanted to dance with Juan Pablo. He knew it too.
I winked at my dad, trying to keep the mood light and not make this a thing like I seemed to do with everything lately and extended my hand to him. He took it immediately, as my dad clapped a hand on his shoulder and pointed to my mother, who was sitting at our table watching the dance floor with a tired smile. Her gauzy yellow dress hiked up to her knees from the ocean breeze that was coming in. “I’m gonna get Maritza and head to the room. You got your key, right?”
I nodded and my dad walked off, leaving me in Juan Pablo’s arms. Just as I was about to make a snarky comment about his dance card finally having an opening, the first notes of “Entre Tu Cuerpo y el Mio” started and he and I both stiffened at once.
Of fucking course our old song would start playing the moment we began dancing.
“That’s a throwback.” Juan Pablo wasn’t even trying to sound casual as we started moving. I couldn’t even remember the last time we’d danced together. It’d been years, but as soon as he pressed his hand to the small of my back and started moving we were back in sync. Our feet stepping in unison, hips swaying to the same exact beat. I closed my eyes, confident in J’s lead as I listened to the singer belt out the lyrics to what had been our anthem. I felt his grip tighten when she sang about lovers that gave each other their very souls, bodies that fit so perfectly there was no space at all between them when they came together. He pressed closer and I let him as I mouthed the words form the song, my head thrown back.
I felt his beard brush against my face. We were almost the same height but with my heels on I was just a little bit taller. I smiled at that thought, because for all his posturing and vanity, Juan Pablo had never cared. On the contrary, he loved seeing me in heels.
“How did you enjoy the rest of the night?”
Oh shit. He was going to talk to me then. Because I wasn’t having enough of a problem not swooning over what his hips were doing or the man sweat and Tom Ford aftershave combo I was enveloped in right now.
I slowly opened my eyes and he was looking at me expectantly, but again with that sort of Zen thing that he had going on these days. Like he could wait for my answer for as long as I needed.
“Umm it was good.” I shook my head to clear it, because there was a lot going on in there and I’d had quite a few of those signature cocktails. “You have to stop looking at me like that. I let Easton convince me to have a few Henny shots, because he thinks he’s Drake now.”
That only got me another laugh from J and that wide grin that made his dimples pop… fuck. I was weak, and that motherfucker knew right when my defenses were at their lowest, because he put both hands at my back and pushed in tight. “How am I looking at you?”
I closed my eyes again, breathed in deep and thanked the universe for my room, which was fully equipped with a set of parents. “You’re looking at me like you want to start something.”
When I opened my eyes, I expected him to be looking at me all seductive and shit, but he wasn’t. He just looked… happy. Before he spoke he smiled again and my chest tightened. I missed Juan Pablo still, no matter what happened. I missed him, and not just as a lover, but as a friend.
“I mean, I’m not going to lie. I’d love to start something with you, but I’m not going to push. I told you the last time, Pris. I don’t want to wreck things.”
That was another thing that the new Juan Pablo did, he talked. Shared his feelings openly. The song ended and the new one was an old bolero. One of those old ones that Luis Miguel had brought back in the nineties that my mom played 24/7 for months.
“Damn that’s old old school.” Juan Pablo grunted but didn’t make an attempt to bring me any closer. Boleros were a slow, tight against each other dance. If there was too much space between you and your partner, you were definitely not doing it right. But it seemed he was taking some sort of stance. I had to be the one to put us in the proper position. When I saw that eyebrow hiked up high on his forehead and that lopsided smile I gave in.
“Okay fine.” I had my arms around his neck and was swaying with him after a moment, and I had to admit, it felt nice.
“This has been a good week. I won’t lie, there’s been some sexual frustration and confusion on my end.” He laughed as I eyed him suspiciously. “You’ve been giving off some really unusual vibes Juan Pablo Campos.”
“Nah, I’m just not being my greasy shameless self.” He came to dead stop on the dance floor, as if whatever he needed to say demanded his complete attention, and mine too. “These days I’m trying to be more cautious of how I approach things, being a little more careful.”
It’s not like I hadn’t noticed it. He was different—contemplative, almost. Paying attention. Juan Pablo was the youngest and the only boy in his whole family. All his cousins were girls so he basically grew up as a prince, and he acted like it. He could be selfish sometimes. More than once his assumption that the world just had to accommodate to what he wanted had been a source of contention for us. But the hubris that seemed to always go along with that entitlement seemed to be gone now. The way he carried himself was different. The line of his shoulders was stronger, and softer at once. The set to his chin that challenged the world not to give him what he wanted was humbler. And the more I thought about it, the more I felt like this was a Juan Pablo I could almost take another chance on.
“Sorry.” I said, with an embarrassed laugh, as we danced. “I zoned out.”
Without asking for more of an explanation he started moving again. Once we were back in a groove, moving together in unison, he spoke again.
“It’s not that deep. I’m just trying.” He didn’t say what for, but he didn’t have to. I knew what he meant.
“We all are.” I sounded tired and just a bit more jaded than I used to, and for the first time I felt bothered by it. I wanted to shake that weariness off my voice. Sound like I used to, purposeful, satisfied. “I guess the mid-thirties life crisis hits everyone differently, for you it’s been a positive change.”
He laughed at that but didn’t protest either, as I looked for words for wherever I was going with this conversation. As I did the song ended and some Latinx pop song came on. I wasn’t in the mood and suddenly the urge to spill my guts to Juan Pablo was almost overpowering.
I took his hand and angled my head to the beach. “I think I may call it a night.” J’s brow dipped in disappointment, but I shook my head and tugged on him. “You want to get out of here?”
At any other time this would have been his cue to say something suggestive, or to rake his eyes over me, knowing just how to get my blood boiling. Tonight he just pulled me along with him and said, “Let’s go.”
You’ll have to wait to read the rest, but you can preorder now! The mass market paperback of American Sweethearts hits shelves on March 31, and the ebook arrives on March 30. If you have yet to read this series, now’s the perfect time to catch up on the first three!
Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last fifteen years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people, getting unapologetic happy endings. When’s she not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City, working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.