Today I am so pleased to welcome Adriana Herrera back to Joyfully Jay. Adriana has come to talk to us about her latest release, American Fairytale. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks so much to Jay for inviting me back to share some of my favorite romantic spots in Harlem and the Bronx which are the setting for, American Fairytale, the second installment in my Dreamers series. Fairytale takes place in New York City. What better place than the Big Apple to set a modern-day fairytale romance between a swoon-worthy billionaire and a very prickly social worker.
Camilo Briggs (who we know from American Dreamer) is a New Yorker through and through, and by that I mean, he has not time for BS. Enter Thomas Hughes, the irresistible billionaire who comes into Camilo’s life and does his best to sweep his off his feet. To do so, Tom relies on the magic of the BX and Harlem to make his move.
I chose to set Fairytale in Harlem and the Bronx because they are the parts of New York City that I know best, and also the ones where my own New York City roots are. The Bronx is where my aunts landed when the emigrated from Dominican Republic in the sixties, and Harlem was where I first felt settled and like a true New Yorker after my own passage from the island over thirty years later. Even though they have not been the most popular settings for romances novels they are nevertheless full of gems and iconic spots, ideal to go with the one you love.
My first pick is one of my favorites restaurants in New York City, Red Rooster, where Tom and Camilo have their first *ahem* business meeting. This restaurant is the embodiment of swag and a throwback to the Harlem Renaissance days. Its owner, Chef Marcus Samuelson is Ethiopian born, raised in Sweden, but a self-proclaimed Harlemite. The food and vibe of the place encompasses all that awesomness. Red Rooster is a must for people looking for an outstanding evening out, and basically a perfect first date spot. Get the Chicken and Waffles and the Obamatini…You will not regret it!
Once you’ve done brunch at Red Rooster head a little further uptown and to the West to one of THE most romantic places in the city, The Cloisters. Although not strictly in Harlem, the Cloisters is in Washington Heights, a VERY Dominican part of NYC. It’s a museum that is part of The Met system and it is gorgeous. The building is a replica of a French Abbey and it has a world-class collection of medieval art. The views of the Hudson River are amazing and in the spring and fall it is a breathtaking spot.
Now moving to the Bronx, I have another spot where Camilo and Tom went on a date (I mean a meeting) in American Fairytale, the New York Botanical Garden. The grounds are massive and it’s right in New York City. The conservatory alone is worth the visit, and if you are lucky enough to be in town during the spring Orchid Show, you should definitely go.
Last I have my favorite restaurant in Little Italy (not the one in downtown, the OG Little Italy on Arthur Avenue, where THE REAL REAL go) it’s Zero Otto Nove. This spot has amazing food and the inside is decorated to look like a little street in Italy. It’s so cozy and the food delicious. Perfect for an intimate dinner after a stroll at the Botanical Garden which is just a ten minute walk away…You can also cross the Fordham University campus while you’re at it, which is another BX gem.
So these are my recs for some BX and Harlem romance! Hope the next time you’re in NYC, you come for a little fun and lots or romance Uptown!
“Herrera delivers an emotionally resonant, sensually charged second Dreamers contemporary (after American Dreamer) that will knock readers’ socks off.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“With a superb understanding of human strengths and weaknesses, a genuine appreciation for the important role different cultures play in our world, a generous dash of sharp humor, and a real flair for crafting heart-tugging characters, Herrera continues her Dreamer series, following American Dreamer (2019), and puts her own sizzlingly sexy spin on the idea of a modern-day fairy-tale romance.”—Booklist
Fairy-tale endings don’t just happen; they have to be fought for.
New York City social worker Camilo Santiago Briggs grew up surrounded by survivors who taught him to never rely on anything you didn’t earn yourself. He’s always dreamed of his own happily-ever-after, but he lives in the real world. Men who seem too good to be true…usually are. And Milo never ever mixes business with pleasure…until the mysterious man he had an unforgettable hookup with turns out to be the wealthy donor behind his agency’s new, next-level funding.
Thomas Hughes built a billion-dollar business from nothing: he knows what he wants and isn’t shy about going after it. When the enthralling stranger who blew his mind at a black-tie gala reappears, Tom’s more than ready to be his Prince Charming. Showering Milo with the very best of everything is how Tom shows his affection.
Trouble is, Milo’s not interested in any of it. The only thing Milo wants is Tom.
Fairy-tale endings take work as well as love. For Milo, that means learning to let someone take care of him, for a change. And for Tom, it’s figuring out that real love is the one thing you can’t buy.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
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. https://adrianaherreraromance.com/