In the Shade of the Jacaranda





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When faced with life-changing circumstances, will their love be enough to hold their future together? After Angelica Amante defied her wealthy parents’ wishes and married an illiterate Mexican stable hand,  AntonioPerez, she thought their love had overcome the biggest hurdle they would ever face. But just as Angelica throws herself into her work as a defense attorney, she discovers she is pregnant—and her world is turned upside down. As her husband struggles to save his fledgling landscape business, Angelica must juggle the challenges of a demanding boss and an unexpected pregnancy. Then their doctor becomes concerned about the health of their unborn child and their relationship with her parents becomes troubled. Soon both Angelica and Antonio are confronted with decisions that shake them to their core. Will their faith in God and their love for each other sustain them—even when it seems their dreams are slipping away?

Angelica Amante Perez has found and married Antonio, the man she knows God meant for her. But how can he get her proud, well-to-do family to accept a Mexican immigrant who is still struggling to learn English? If being hardworking, honest and God-fearing isn’t enough for them, what is? And what does that say about her family’s values?A change in leadership in the office where she works as a lawyer compounds Angelica’s issues. She thinks that her boss iscoming on to her. Meanwhile, Antonio battles prejudice and misunderstanding in American culture while starting his lawn-care business. Maybe the baby that’s on the way will solve all their problems. Or maybe this is just the beginning of heartache. Arana wrings the heart and exalts the soul with a new installment of her Regalo Grande series. Angelica’s struggles hit home. Antonio is still larger than life, but maybe that’s part of his attraction. The author has a beautiful way with spiritual matters. – 4 Stars~ Romantic Times

Her family, especially her parents, and her friends still wonder why Angelica Amante, daughter of a renowned wealthy heart surgeon, would marry an illiterate poor Mexican stable laborer (see THE WINDS OF SONOMA). In spite of the whisperers that he is fortunate to have her, she feels lucky to have an honest caring partner as her spouse as Antonio is that and more to her.However, this is not a fairy tale in which the Perez duo lives happily ever after. Life is filled with setbacks. As defense attorney Angelica becomes pregnant, Antonio’s landscaping business looks doomed to failure. When her doctor tells her she needs to rest more and work less or jeopardize the health of her unborn, her boss demands more of her. Even her parents have doubts about having a grandchild that could serve as the anchor to a marriage they oppose while Antonio worries how he will feed his two charges with his business on the brink of bankruptcy. Love no longer seems enough, but their belief in God might give Angelica and Antonio the inner strength to get through a marital crisis. As with THE WINDS OF SONOMA, IN THE SHADE OF THE JACARANDA is inspirational the way it should be told. The insightful story line contains a fabulous cast struggling with bringing a baby into the world at a time when finances are low and loving relationships are falling apart under pressure. Nikki Arana provides a fascinating character-driven tale of multifaceted faith in oneself, loved ones, and God that enable light to shine when everything seems darkest at a time that should be filled with euphoria. Harriet Klausner

If you have yet to read Nikki Arana’s debut novel titled The Winds Of Sonoma, I do want to warn you that this review will contain spoilers to that book. IN THE SHADE OF THE JACARANDA picks up where its predecessor left off. Angelica Amante Perez knows all about discrimination. After disappointing parents by getting fired from a prominent New York City law firm, Angelica returned to Northern California and fell head over heels for an illegal Mexican man named Antonio. Angelica hopes her parents will get over their issues. She’s settling into her new job with the public defender’s office. She and Antonio are attempting to launch his landscaping business. Antonio’s grandmother is coming to California to stay. More importantly, Angelica is pregnant. All is not to go as planned. What should be a joyous event turns nightmarish. Angelica’s boss resigns and a known womanizer replaces him. Someone is sabotaging Antonio’s work. But, most tragic of all is news that Angelica’s baby is not flourishing. IN THE SHADE OF THE JACARANDA is a thrilling continuation into Angelica and Antonio’s story. The characters seem real—possibly because the fictional story mirrors parts of the author’s own life. Emotionally stirring, the reader cannot help but read the story in one sitting. The baby’s life remains in the balance for the majority of the story, so it becomes critical to see the story through. I refused to take a break until I’d finished every last word. Roundtable Reviews