Review Tour + Giveaway: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley

In 1960s Florida, a young Cuban exile will risk her life--and heart--to take back her country in this exhilarating historical novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick.

Beautiful. Daring. Deadly. 

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...

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Learn more about When We Left Cuba including downloading the book club guide and more at:

**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**

"How differently would my life have turned out if I'd been born in this country, if I hadn't come into a fractured and divided island caught in never-ending turmoil?"

When We Left Cuba was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. After falling in love with Chanel Cleeton's beautiful and touching words and sentences in Next Year in Havana, I couldn't wait to see what else she had in store for us. Beatriz, the main character of this book, is introduced in Next Year in Havana and I just knew her story would be adventurous and mysterious. So I was pretty excited when the author announced that she was writing her book. I was hooked from start 'til finish, and I read this book in two sittings. I just couldn't put it down. The ability of this author to tell a story is just magical, I was Beatriz while I was reading this book, and I was feeling everything she was. I understood why she did certain things, and couldn't let it go. She isn't your typical heroine, and I loved that she stayed true to herself until the end.

"Love ebbs and flows, a low-level hum in the background, but anger sinks its claws in you and refuses to let go."

Like with Next Year in Havana, the history and politics regarding Cuba was told perfectly. It was so interesting and engaging, and it piqued my interest even more. I mostly read romance books, and even though the romance in this book is a bit in the background, it still plays an important role in my opinion. The balance between the espionage and romance scenes was really good. I can't believe I am saying this, but I wanted a bit more espionage scenes. I was totally hooked on them, and it is definitely a genre I need to read. The main characters were amazing and thankfully not perfect, they had their flaws and they were very realistic. This book wasn't predictable and I really loved that. It was suspenseful, mysterious, romantic, and heartbreaking at times. I absolutely loved this book, and I hope Chanel Cleeton will continue to write more Historical Fiction set in Cuba or any other country.

About the Author:

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.

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