I adore the Primas of Power and Alexis Daria's writing, so it's no surprise that A Lot Like Adiós was a quick, fun read for me.
Gabe and Michelle grew up right next to each other and were best friends until Gabe abruptly left for college on the other side of the country and cut all communications. Now he has to open a NYC location for his successful LA gym and Michelle is the best marketing pro in the NYC biz... and Gabe's partner has hired her. When Gabe realizes what's happened, he calls Michelle for the first time in 9 years and she demands that as part of her agreeing, he has to stay with her while he's in town. And of course they mend their relationship and explore the romantic and sexual feelings they'd been repressing all those years ago.
Second-chance romance isn't a favorite trope of mine, as I often struggle to hand-wave away the conflicts that were big enough to keep two people apart for years. This worked for me because Michelle was honest with herself most of the time. She knew she was mad at him and didn't pretend otherwise. Plus the "let's get it out of our system" banging was early and often, always an amusing premise for a romance reader. (It never works and the love interests always think it will. They make plans, we laugh.)
The only thing I had a hard time with was Gabe's relationship with his controlling parents. He left without telling anyone and then cut off his parents a couple years later at a family wedding, all because his parents were controlling and none of them were able to communicate in a healthy way. I don't have the ability to judge how this would read to others, but I'm estranged from one side of my family for a similar reason and the reconciliation in this book didn't work for me at all. It was too fast and felt to me like his father had suddenly changed and the ongoing estrangement was Gabe's fault for not staying in touch. Like I said, I'm too close to this.
Back to to the good stuff!
I bought A Lot Like Adiós in paperback but ended up reading it on audio, as is so often the case these days. The audio was well done and I zipped through in two afternoons.
Both main characters are bi, hurrah!
Mich and Gabe have lots of sex, but as usual Daria uses her sex scenes to look at some common--but not common in romance novels--aspects of sexual intimacy. For example, Mich doesn't usually bother trying to orgasm with a partner, while Gabe is into foreplay. So she's trying to get it over with but Gabe is trying to savor the experience. And *shocked face* they actually talk about it! Feeling like your pleasure is too much work or takes too long is a pretty common experience for women and I'm glad that Daria didn't treat it like Mich was just "repressed" or something. If you read You Had Me at Hola and appreciated the use of lube, you'll like this book for similar reasons.
Overall, this was a really solid read and I'm looking forward to the third (and last *cry*) prima's book!
Content warnings: strained family relationship, mentions of past physical injury, secondary character's wife is pregnant (mentions of pregnancy, c-section and grand-parental injury)
I was approved for a review copy of this book by the publisher, but read a copy I purchased.