Keeping Carmen Ruiz by Alyson RootKeeping Carmen Ruiz by Alyson Root is the follow-up to Alyson Root’s brilliantly written Finding Molly Parsons which was just the beginning for this group of found family.

Faith found her soulmate, Nathalie, and Mateo snagged his long-time crush, Daniel. But for Molly, love slipped through her fingers. Carmen Ruiz’s quest to uncover the source of her emotional barriers may just pave the way for an unforgettable, cross-country journey for love and liberation.

Molly and Faith head back to the heart of Kentucky, while a firehouse holds more than eye candy for Enid, and a guest greets Mariana she’s waited thirty-seven years to meet again.

With Mateo and the irreverent Enid by their sides, Faith, Molly, and Carmen travel coast to coast to spur on healing and facilitate the future they all desire on the way back to The Sunflower Ranch.

The place that brought them together now possess questions that will test their bonds.  Will Faith mend the strained relationship with her mother, Maureen? Can Mateo forge a life without his big sister and protector? And is Molly ready to keep Carmen’s heart—for good? 


If you haven’t read Finding Molly Parsons, you must stop right now, grab your copy, and read it immediately. Only then can you proceed with Keeping Carmen Ruiz.

Readers are taken on a physical and emotional journey that picks up where Finding Molly Parsons left off. Alyson Root has the most exquisite way with words. One minute she’s got me snorting with laughter and the next wiping tears from my eyes from a character’s profoundly moving statement. Emotional, moving, and heartwarming are three adjectives to describe Keeping Carmen Ruiz with its dynamic characters, thought-provoking experiences, and magnificent dialogue.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Keeping Carmen Ruiz touched something so deep inside me that I needed time to reflect on my journey through the story to process everything that happened fully. This found family with their support and love for one another had me so invested that I could not put the book down because when I did, I kept thinking about them, wondering if answers would be found, pasts would be confronted and moved on from, and if they would all have their happily ever afters.

While Molly, Faith, and Carmen’s journeys are the primary focus, the supporting characters play significant roles in the narrative. Root’s ability to develop each character’s arc, even those who aren’t at the forefront, speaks volumes about her skill in crafting a rich and engaging story. I’m impressed with how she seamlessly weaves together multiple character journeys to create a cohesive story.

I’m not sure how it’s possible but Enid Butcher became even more irreverent, inappropriate, and endearing in this book! I highlighted all of her dialogue knowing that in times of crisis, I’ll read through her words which will immediately make me laugh out loud as I put things in their proper perspective. Oh! How I wish I could see a picture of her doctored prosthesis.

Keeping Carmen Ruiz has a wonderful romantic subplot! Overcoming past challenges to be together adds depth and relatibility to Molly and Carmen’s relationship. Faith and Nat’s relationship goes well beyond young love. Both are mature beyond their years. The support, compassion, and deep love they have for each other consistently brought a smile to my face. Mateo and Daniel’s longing for one another finally bring them together and I’ll be honest, they’re perfect for one another! These different romantic journeys contribute to the richness and diversity of the story and make my romantic heart swoon!

Heads Up

Mentions of religious oppression, intimidation, abuse, and homophobia.

The Conclusion

Keeping Carmen Ruiz is the powerful sequel to Finding Molly Parsons which delves deep into the complexities of personal growth, relationships, and overcoming challenges. Alyson Root’s ability to infuse warmth and humor into the narrative while tackling difficult subjects is commendable. The love, compassion, respect, and honesty these characters have for and with one another propel them toward growth and a brighter future. I can’t say enough good things about this book! Trust me, it’s a winner that will stick with you for a long time!

Excerpt from Keeping Carmen Ruiz by Alyson Root

Tapping her fingers on the table, Molly weighed her next move. First, she wanted Carmen to know she was around, if she needed to talk or something. She’d send a message, nothing too forward, just saying hi. Leaving the lines of communication open was a good thing, right? The best option was remaining friendly while Carmen was away. Molly might be out of sight, but she wanted to remain on Carmen’s mind.

Second, and the scariest part was getting a grip on her own trauma. With Faith in her life, Molly couldn’t help but reminisce, and remember. It wasn’t all bad, but naturally, the shit with her brother often surfaced, causing a dull ache in her chest. Not to mention pangs of anxiety as she recalled feelings of being alone and scared at such a young and vulnerable age. If Carmen was going to do the work, so was Molly.

Faith was right, Molly needed a plan to keep Carmen Ruiz if she were lucky enough to get a chance to be with her. And one surefire way for Molly to mess up a potential relationship was her tendency to run or push people away. It was a coping mechanism that only kept her living life alone.

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Series: The Lost and Found Series

Finding Molly Parsons

Keeping Carmen Ruiz

Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: B0D3YFS9NJ

Publisher: Indie Author

Alyson Root Online

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Note: I received a free review copy of Keeping Carmen Ruiz by Alyson Root No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site