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  • Suspenseful, Mysterious, Romantic and Emotional.

    "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.

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  • Completely captivating!

    This was such a wonderful story! I really enjoyed Chanel Cleeton's Next Year in Havana so I was really excited to learn that one of my favorite characters in that book would get to tell her own story. This is that story. The events in this book take place after those in Next Year in Havana and while I enjoyed seeing all of the characters again, this story stands on its own. I was hooked by this story from the very beginning and had a fantastic time with this book. This is really a big story. Beatriz and her family are living in Florida after fleeing Cuba when Castro came into power. The family has suffered a lot of losses and it has been a difficult adjustment. Beatriz and her family hope to go back to Cuba but are also trying to make a life in Florida. Beatriz's mother would like to see all of her daughters married but Beatriz has other ideas. She has turned down quite a few marriage proposals and is more focused on revenge. This story was filled with excitement. Beatriz works with the CIA and let's just say that her life is far from boring. She was passionate about the cause that she was working towards and it was really quite interesting to see her in action. Some of her missions were more exciting than others but it was great to see her in action. I was really taken by the romance in this story. It was not your average romance and I am actually somewhat surprised that I was so taken with it but I just found myself swept away by their chemistry. Nick and Beatriz were just great together. They were incredibly attracted to each other and couldn't seem to stay apart even when they tried. There were so many things that seemed to work against the possibility of a relationship between them but they just couldn't stay away from each other. There were things about their relationship that made me sad and I wouldn't necessarily say everything turns out well but I think they were both better for knowing each other. I really enjoyed the politics and history that were a part of this book. This was such an eventful period of time and I loved seeing some of the events that I have learned about worked into this story. I thought that all of the little details that the author included really added to the authenticity of the story. I would highly recommend this book to others. This was a captivating story about a passionate character working to make a difference in the world while trying to find some happiness for herself. I cannot wait to read more from this talented author. I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

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  • Could not put it down!

    Juste like Next Year, the book was a great mix of romance and political intrigue. This makes for a great beach read!

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