A tough Chicago cop can’t stop thinking about the softhearted victims’ advocate who drives him crazy in ways both good and bad.
Lilí, the youngest of the three close-knit Fernandez sisters, is a victims’ advocate at a clinic on Chicago’s West Side. After experiencing some difficult times, she is determined to help those who suffer from injustice, especially women and children. Her caring approach clashes with the hard-nosed tactics of cop Diego Reyes, who has seen it all and doubts that violent offenders can change. Despite clashing professionally, Lilí and Diego are attracted to one another, an attraction that deepens when they realize they share a love of music. Diego plays classical guitar, while Lilí once danced and sang with her father’s trio. They both believe that “Familia primero”: “The faraway, almost blissful expression on Diego’s face as he spoke about his mami was like a lasso looped around Lilí, drawing her to him. It spoke of a kindred yearning for those who had shaped their lives, and continued to do so, even though they were no longer with them.” Lilí’s loving, boisterous family entices Diego, but he has familial secrets, keeping him frustratingly elusive. The third entry in Oliveras’ Matched to Perfection series returns readers to the multilayered, nuanced portrayal of Chi-Town, from Lilí’s posh condo in the Loop to the working-class neighborhoods Diego patrols to the middle-class suburb of Oakton where the Fernandez sisters were raised. New readers will have no trouble jumping in, although the action picks up right where the second book ended. Oliveras (Her Perfect Affair, 2018, etc.) tackles domestic violence and substance use disorder with nuance and empathy, though at times her depiction is limited by genre requirements, as when Lilí and Diego smolder at each other over a crime scene.
A surfeit of mental lusting only slightly mars a rich romance between two very different Chicagoans of Puerto Rican descent whose clashes over social justice are less important than their love of music, family, and each other.