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American Dreamer

(Dreamers #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  639 ratings  ·  255 reviews
No one ever said big dreams come easy

For Nesto Vasquez, moving his Afro-Caribbean food truck from New York City to the wilds of Upstate New York is a huge gamble. If it works? He’ll be a big fish in a little pond. If it doesn’t? He’ll have to give up the hustle and return to the day job he hates. He’s got six months to make it happen—the last thing he needs is a
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Carina Press (first published March 4th 2019)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  639 ratings  ·  255 reviews

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K.J. Charles
This is a really strong debut novel, about a Dominican American from the Bronx moving out to set up his food truck business and falling for a white librarian. There's a lovely romance: Nesto is completely confident in his sexuality where Jude is still getting over the aftereffects of a religious upbringing and his family's homophobia, but Jude has put in a lot of work on himself and his relationship with Nesto is about flowering as he develops confidence, rather than one person fixing another. ...more
Audio - 3 stars
Story - 3 stars

I was prepared to love this book, because…Afro-Caribbean…yes, please!! It’s the culture I grew up in and it’s so rarely, if at all, ever part of the romance novels I’ve read. Unfortunately, I only sort of liked it.

As much as I appreciate a message being part of a story, and the sharing of culture, there is a point were the message feels too preachy and the romance part of the story is overshadowed. That was the case here. And to be perfectly honest, I felt no
WARNING: This book will make you feel hungry for a taste of Carribean/Dominican foods!! And if you live ten thousand miles away, like me, you're basically screwed

Ernesto "Nesto" Vasquez's dream is to introduce and to sell Afro-Carribean cuisine to people outside of Big Apple. Nesto packs his food truck, OuNYe, and heads to Ithaca, New York, to get his dream off the ground. Librarian Jude Fuller also has a dream to launch mobile library project, to bring books to rural kids who may not have
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an immigrant, American Dream by Adriana Herrera made me inexplicably happy. I don't have the words even to convey my feelings, as they would be a jumbled mess but with the state of the country- the whole world, really- in regards to immigration it made happy to see the topic handled- and handled well. Anyhoo, on to the book.

So much to love; here are some highlights:

-Nesto and Jude. They both dealt with so many prejudices but rose above them. They didn't allow others ignorance, and hate get
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Nesto has decided to take a big chance and take his Afro-Carribean food truck from New York City to Ithaca. His mother and sister live up there but he'll be leaving behind a bunch of friends who provide a great support system.
Growing up, books were important to Jude, it's no wonder he became a librarian. He's been dreaming of getting a mobile book van going but
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

Who just got an ARC?!?! THIS GIRL!! Ahhh!

I was sold as soon as I read that one of the MC's has a food truck!!! Can't wait to read this!

Image result for excited gif

***ARC courtesy of author, in exchange for an honest review***
DNF @43%

I was looking forward to this as I love books about chefs/bakers/etc. Unfortunately it did not work for me. (although the food descriptions were define)

The main characters had great chemistry and I enjoyed that aspect but I didn't care for anything else. The "villain" was so over the top she was like a caricature. I also wasn't buying her motivation for being so evil.

This was a sledgehammer of social justice preaching. I'm not a fan of social justice warrioring in my books but I
Leigh Kramer
CW: (view spoiler)

Do you ever finish a book and just want to hug it to your chest because you’
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
I love a good N/A romance read, but weirdly enough I don’t get many review requests for that genre! However, when this one showed up in my inbox, I jumped to read it. And I am so glad I did because I know this is going to be a series I will follow.

In this romance we need to talk about the representation. Culture is at the heart of the food truck that Nesto is running, and also has a lot to do with his storyline. I loved the Afro-latinx representation. And there were some other great discussions
4.5 Stars!

This book has all the buzz. And it should.

Adriana Herrera pens a stellar romance between Nesto and Jude as well a love story of chosen family with between Nesto and his friends.

I love a good flirt. We don't get enough of that in romance books. The like you so much, I can't help myself, I have to lean in, charm, entice. So great!

All the building blocks to set the stage, food truck chef, librarian, new city, a dream, close friends, the sizzle of chemistry for a troupey good romance.

Sam (AMNReader)
I feel like I've been issuing this warning a lot lately, but don't read this book while hungry or you might end up eating your e-reader.

Seeing Jude's house, I got an image of myself walking up the pathway and opening the door to find him there waiting for me...

There's a lot to like in this book. And sometimes, it's a bit irritating. For one thing, this was a lot of 'tell' almost like a recipe. Nesto told us how he was, Jude told us how he was, there was a one-dimensional bigot loser creating
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook review

We have a new voice on the m/m scene; Adriana Herrera, and what a talented voice she is. American Dreamer was a delight to listen to and I will for sure look for more books by this author. Herrera weaves a beautiful tale about a man with a dream and how he goes about to fulfil it, the adversities he face, the joy and the love.

Nesto Vasquez is an out and proud Dominican American who loves authentic food. All food. He dreams of setting Afro-Caribbean cuisine on the culinary map,
reviewing audio books

4.25 stars from me. As far as Sean's narration is concerned...well, he's one of my favourite narrators although I don't always think that the stories he narrates suit his voice; however, in this instance he and the characters matched very well indeed IMHO...notwithstanding the fact that his Nesto Spanish voice seemed to disappear shortly after the narration started, but maybe that had to do with the fact that he had several Afro-Caribbean characters to deal with.

As for the story, it was great
Barb ~rede-2-read~
Wow! This is a great debut novel. Not only heartwarming, it was also full of the richness of pride in a Dominican Republic heritage, and on a lighter note, full of descriptions of Afro-Caribbean foods that made my mouth positively water.

Nesto Vasquez moves his Afro-Caribbean food truck from his original base in New York City to the wilds of upstate New York—Ithaca, home of Cornell University, to be exact. His mom has lived there for the past ten years, along with his aunt and cousins, and his
This book had a lot going for it. Some great, wonderfully diverse characters, strong family and friends, mouthwatering descriptions, authentic voice and some really well done dirty talky sex scenes. However, it had things that really detracted. It tackled a lot of emotional things (homophobia, xenophobia, racism, familial shunning, evangelical proselytizing, cancer, death) but never seemed to really get emotional enough. The time hoping was a disappointment and made everything seem disconnected. ...more
Elisabeth Lane
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished American Dreamer last night and wow was that a fantastic book. Jude and Nesto's stories were both intense: Jude's evangelical family background and Nesto's immigrant one both come with challenges that are fully portrayed. But we mostly see joys: Nesto's friends and family were delightful and the food truck details were fun. Both felt like fully realized characters. Some if their strengths were also their weaknesses, which feels very true to life. Plus I loved the author's voice and ...more
MsMiz (Tina)
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The MC's, Nesto and Jude, are full of purpose, passion, love, and faith in themselves as well as each other. I always love a story with strong secondary characters and this book was full of great friends, strong woman, and a tight knit community. I would love to say that the antagonist was exaggerated, but alas we all know someone exactly like this. The story has a great sense of culture, one that takes you a long for a ride as well as teaches you something special; what it is ...more
This was such an enjoyable romance!

It felt real and rich, with a lovely family--both found and not--aspect. And the food. I am so hungry! I enjoyed the way Nesto's and Jude's relationship developed...including the bumps and communication issues, and how each owned up to their own flaws and worked to change.

The rest of my impressions will go behind a spoiler cut, 'cause I can't really talk about what I liked without spoiling some things.

(view spoiler)
Kaje Harper
This book is full of the flavors of Nesto Vasquez's Afro-Caribbean heritage, as he moves his food truck business to Ithaca, New York and tries to make a success of it away from the cultural melting-pot of the City. His family and friends are a big part of the story, warm and opinionated and vibrant, giving him a community he didn't lose with the move. Nesto is almost larger than life with his enthusiasm for life, for his food, for his culture and everyone he cares about. The kind of guy it would ...more
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

American Dreamer was not on my radar until I came across it on NetGalley. I'm so glad I requested it because I've found a new author whose writing I really enjoy. American Dreamer was such a satisfying romantic read in every sense of the word.

The book starts off with our hero Nesto and his food truck moving from NYC to upstate NY in order to chase after his dreams of opening a restaurant. Nesto was a very well-rounded and familiar character. I found him to be charming, familiar and endearing.
Ang -PNR Book Lover Reviews
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate ☀️ Olson
[free review copy] My new favorite m/m romance! Herrera NAILED what so many writers try and fail to do - build a deep and satisfying love story within the context of our complex and difficult racially charged country. This story is about love, of course, but it's just as much about being Dominican in the US and being gay in the US and being in a mixed-race relationship in the US. But Herrera did an excellent job of showing just how woven together those things are, and not portraying them as ...more
Forget a T-shirt cannon, I want a book cannon because holy cannoli, this is one of the best romances I've read EVER, and firing copies of it directly into crowds of people seems like an effective way to create a buzz. Adriana Herrera writes like a grizzled 20-year veteran of the genre, but she's a debut author?! Shut the front door. I just. can't. get. over. how good this was. Nesto is moving his Caribbean food truck operation upstate from NYC, and while he’s happy to be near his family again, ...more
This was a really sweet romance that I liked but didn't love. There were a few things that didn't click with me--it was a bit too sweet for my tastes (the less romance characters call each other "baby" the better, in my book) and the villain was a cartoonish caricature. But there was a lot here to like too, especially the descriptions of food and Nesto's close-knit group of friends--I'm looking forward to reading their stories too! Definitely recommend to readers who love sweet m/m romance.
Rachel Reid
Such a great start to a new series. I can’t wait for the next one. I loved the MCs, the Dominican representation (and food!), the villain, the supporting characters...all of it! And the audiobook is a delight to listen to.
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow...this book is damn near perfect. I read it in one sitting, and it going on my immediately reread list


I’m calm.
I know some people like going into books blind, so I'll put content warnings below in spoiler tags. I highly recommend you read them if you don't mind being spoiled for plot points that occur toward the end:

(view spoiler)

Before I start rambling (I'm
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m-romance
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris, the Dalek King
It’s not quite starting over, but moving out of NY to open his food-truck business in Ithaca sure is a new chapter in Ernesto’s life. But he has the support of his family, and a certainty that his Dominican food will be different enough to make his dreams, if not come true, at least have a better shot at growing past the already crowded confines that is New York City. And, despite a few rough patches, it actually is working. For his business, as well as his dating life. At least the ...more
Rachel Kramer Bussel
American Dreamer is a deeply moving, sexy and wonderful male/male romance, part of Adriana Herrera's Dreamers series. The story centers on Nesto (aka Ernesto), who moves to the college town of Ithaca from NYC to open his Afro-Dominican food truck (whose food listings definitely made me hungry!). He's totally focused on his business, but still finds time to flirt with local librarian Jude Fuller. Jude is scarred from his family's homophobia and rejection, a sensitive soul who's chosen to keep ...more
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Adriana Herrera was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 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.

Her debut novel, American Dreamer, has been featured on Entertainment Weekly, NPR, the TODAY Show on NBC and was selected as one ALA Booklist's Top

Other books in the series

Dreamers (4 books)
  • American Fairytale (Dreamers, #2)
  • American Love Story (Dreamers, #3)
  • American Sweethearts (Dreamers, #4)
“Oh man, I wonder if the owner is Dominican. He kind of looked Dominican,” she said, tilting her head to the side. I laughed at her because Carmen was always on the hunt to spot a fellow Dominican, and yet never really made an effort to befriend any of the ones who lived in town. She said it was like having a fire extinguisher, it’s reassuring to know it’s there, but you don’t need to carry one around all the time.” 0 likes
“I’m a big fan. Don’t give me too much credit on my Latinx music prowess though; I discovered them in the whitest way possible.” At this all three of them turned to me with different versions of a look that said, “Oh, I can’t wait to hear this.” I paused for effect, then quickly muttered, “NPR.” 0 likes
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