After Hours on Milagro Street by Angelina M. Lopez
"The way this book messed with my emotions is no joke!"
Rating: 4.5 stars
Spice: 3.5 chili peppers
Representation: Mexican-American, Strong Woman
Content Warning: alcoholism (mentioned), neglect (mentioned), racism
"Guapo pobrecito her grandmother calls him. The “poor handsome man.”
Professor Jeremiah Post, the poor handsome man, is in fact standing in the way of Alejandra “Alex” Torres turning Loretta’s, her grandmother’s bar, into a viable business. The hot brainiac who sleeps in one of the upstairs tenant rooms already has all of her Mexican American family’s admiration; she won’t let him have the bar and building she needs to resurrect her career, too.
Alex blowing into town has rocked Jeremiah to his mild-mannered core, but the large, boisterous Torres clan is everything he never had. He doesn’t believe Alex has the best interest of her family, their community, or the bar’s legacy in mind. To protect all three, he’ll stand up to the tough and tattooed bartender with whom he now shares a bedroom wall—and resist the insta-lust they both feel.
But when an old enemy threatens Loretta’s and the surrounding neighborhood, Alex and Jeremiah must combine forces. It will take her might and his mind to save the home they both desperately need." - Author's Website
When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure that I was going to like it. Although the beginning gripped me, I was turned off by Alex's pov for a while. She came across as dismissive of her family, town, and culture. Thankfully, this changes! It took me a while to motivate myself to keep reading, but I'm glad I did. I came to understand and like Alex and Jeremiah. They had undeniable chemistry and I loved learning about the history of Mexican-Americans in the Midwest through Jeremiah. I love that Lopez included so much of the history of the traqueros! It made me want to learn more and I hope it inspires other readers, too.
While I wish there was more background to Jeremiah's story, I understood why there wasn't space for that and loved the book regardless. Alex's relationships with her family really had me in my emotions! Especially towards the end. I was near tears!!! Keep your tissues nearby, friends.