In Review: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Posted July 28, 2019 by Kim in 5 Stars, In Review / 0 Comments

In Review: When We Left Cuba by Chanel CleetonWhen We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
Genres: Historical Fiction
Publication date: April 9, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Format: eARC, 346 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
My rating:

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez--her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro's inner circle and pulled into the dangerous world of espionage, Beatriz is consumed by her quest for revenge and her desire to reclaim the life she lost.

As the Cold War swells like a hurricane over the shores of the Florida Strait, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. When the ever-changing tides of history threaten everything she has fought for, she must make a choice between her past and future--but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything--not just the island she loves, but also the man who has stolen her heart...

I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In Review: My Thoughts

If you saw my review for Next Year in Havana back in March, you’ll know how deeply I fell in love with Chanel’s first historical fiction. It was a switch for me, a pretty much solely romance reader, but it’s still one of my favorite books of the year so far. And an all time favorite. The follow up, When We Left Cuba, also has a special place in my heart. It was beautiful, empowering and unforgettable.

Beatriz Perez was a force of nature. I knew this based on the little time she appeared in Next Year in Havana. But I also knew there was so much more to her than what I saw in that book. I couldn’t wait to get the full story. I was utterly enamored with her from the first pages of When We Left Cuba, torn between wanting to devour the entire book and savor it. In case you’re curious, I chose devour, reading it in one sitting. Beatriz’s strength and determination was enviable and I found myself on the edge of my seat more than once, wondering what would happen. And the romance? Oh, my heart. It might never recover.

Beatriz’s story — and When We Left Cuba overall — was everything I wanted and more. I lived for everything from the espionage to the romance (of course). My feels had feels during this book. I think I highlighted about a 1/3 of it because the words were just so gorgeous. I could feel Chanel’s passion for Cuba and the Perez sisters in every single word. My own words just can’t do justice to hers and to the things these books have done to me. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy historical fiction, but hers fit oh-so-right for this romance-loving lady. I can’t wait to see what she gives us next.

Favorite Quotes:

The thing about collecting marriage proposals is that people assume you’re a flirt, and perhaps I was, once, long ago, but now it feels unnatural to play the coquette. I am somewhere between the girl I was and the woman I want to be.

“You should try a little rebellion sometimes. It’s really not so bad.”

“Cuba is my home. It will always be home. I will always wish for it to be better, to be what I think it could be, but yes. It will always have my heart.”

If I’m going to have regrets in this life, I’d rather them be for the chances I took and not the opportunities I let slip away.

“Will you dance with me, Beatriz Perez, kisser-of-revolutionaries and thief-of-hearts?”

Men come and go, revolutions rise and fall, and here we stand.

About Chanel Cleeton

Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

Let’s Chat

Have you read When We Left Cuba?
What about Next Year in Havana?
What’d you think?

Kim Sig

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