A Caribbean Heiress in Paris

Luz Alana Heith-Benzan, heroine of Adriana Herrera's A Caribbean Heiress in Paris, has inherited her family's Caña Brava rum distillery and knows three things to be true: "First, corsets in the tropics were the purest form of evil. Second, a woman attempting to thrive in a man's world must always have a plan. Third, a flask full of fine rum and a pistol served well in almost any emergency." When she unexpectedly finds herself at the helm of the family business following her father's untimely death, she takes her corsets to the Exposition Universelle in Paris. She plans to grow a market for her products--with a flask of rum and a pistol strapped to her thigh, just in case. At the exposition, she meets the dashing James Evanston Sinclair, also heir to a distillery and one of the few men at the exposition willing to work with her.

Herrera (One Week to Claim It All) adheres to the happily-ever-after agreements of the historical romance genre without shying away from the often harsh realities of what a strong Black Latina might experience amid the rampant sexism and racism of late 19th-century Europe. Even the cooperative business model of Caña Brava, designed as "an experiment in what industry without exploitation could be," acknowledges the realities of the time period while imagining something better. In this first of a planned series (Las Leonas), readers will find it impossible not to root for the underdog couple, determined to right the wrongs done to them and those they love--including one another. --Kerry McHugh, freelance writer

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