Author: Chanel Cleeton

Buddy Review: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Posted April 11, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: Next Year in Havana by Chanel CleetonReviewer: Ames & Rowena
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Format: eBook, Print
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction
Pages: 394
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 A-Z Reading Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity--and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution...

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest--until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa's last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she'll need the lessons of her grandmother's past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year in Havana takes us on an emotional journey to Cuba, in both the past and the present as our main characters, Marisol Ferrera and Elisa Perez, battle through emotions, secrets and the hardships of war, all while falling in love with men that came with their own complications.

Rowena: This was really angsty and while I did end up enjoying it (I even cried), it was a bit slow to start. What did you think, Ames?

Ames: I have to agree. It took me a good while to get into it. Part of it was that in an odd switch I wanted to read this book in print, not in e-format. It’s usually the other way around. So I finally made my way to the bookstore and then I couldn’t finish this book fast enough!

And the angst wasn’t emotional angst. It was -oh my god we’re in the middle of a revolution and we could die- kind of angst. Which I was totally into. I can admit that I don’t know a heck of a lot about Cuba but this book did a really good job of making what happened, relevant and thought-provoking as well as providing a dangerous background for our main character’s grandmother.

Rowena: Yes, the romance took a back seat to all of the angst from everything else that was going on. Once I got the hang of both timelines, all of the characters, and what was going on, I zipped right through this book. My heart hurt and then it soared for both Elisa and what she lived through, how hard her life was even though on the surface, her life looked pretty fluffy, it was anything but and for Marisol, too. When she gets to Cuba, she’s expecting to hear stories of her beloved grandmother through people who once loved her and confided in her but she found so much more than that and I was so here for all of it.

I really liked the way that Cleeton wove this tale. She brought everything going on in Cuba to the front of a very compelling story and I really enjoyed it.

Who was your favorite character?

Ames: Elisa was definitely my favorite character. My heart definitely hurt for what she went through. But I liked how we learned about her story through Marisol’s eyes. I agree with you, I like the way Cleeton wove these two stories together. I liked Pablo more as an old man than when he was younger. His experience and his heartbreak was what made me cry. I really wonder how Elisa and his life would have worked out if Elisa knew the truth. This was a bittersweet book. And I promptly pre-ordered Beatriz book once I was done. LOL.

Rowena: Same. I connected with Elisa’s story and her struggles with every single thing that she went through. From her struggles with loving a man who was fighting on the opposite side of the side her father supported to the way that her family had to creep out of the country to survive and everything that she felt with toward her brother and not being able to know for sure that he was safe and all of that.

I felt the same way about older Pablo. He missed out on so much and my heart for him and just everything. His love for Elisa was true and it was strong and it lasted his entire life even though he moved on. It was so heartbreaking. I’m super glad that I read this one and will definitely be reading more from Cleeton, she’s got magic hands weaving the good stories. I need more of that in my life.

Are you going to read When We Left Cuba? I’m already reading it and so far, it’s just as fantastic as this one was. I give this one 4.25 out of 5 stars, what about you?

Ames: I am planning on reading When We Left Cuba. I needed to read something light and fluffy after Marisol and Elisa’s story though so I’m glad I have a bit of a wait until it’s released. I know I’m going to want to read it in paperback. LOL

I’m giving Next Year in Havana 4.25 out of 5 as well. Despite a bit of a slow beginning it’s definitely an engrossing story and it hits you in the feels. I highly recommend!

Final Grades

Ames: 4.25 out of 5
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

Related Books

Next Year in Havana
When We Left Cuba


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Review: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Posted April 9, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: When We Left Cuba by Chanel CleetonReviewer: Rowena
When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

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...

Chanel Cleeton strikes again with another emotionally driven story that hit me in every single feel in my body. After finishing Next Year in Havana, I looked forward to jumping into this book because I was mighty interested in getting Marisol’s Great-Aunt’s story. Beatriz Perez was the real deal in the first book and she is just as intense and amazing in her book…maybe even more so because we got her front and center with every single page.

Beatriz really stands out in this book. She makes this entire story work. She’s bold, she’s beautiful and she makes no apologies for who and what she does. She was also brave as hell. She knew what she stood for and even though she fell in love with a man who complicated the hell out of her beliefs, and her life, she didn’t apologize for her love for him either. I admired the hell out of her because she was fierce in her beliefs and her loyalties.

This story takes place when the relationship between the US and Cuba was not good and it shows us how complicated living during this time was and I just really enjoyed the drama, the passion and the romance between Beatriz and her boo thang. It wasn’t an easy read. There are things that happen that I wasn’t too comfortable with but because Chanel Cleeton wrote these things in (see content warning above) a way that I couldn’t help but understand, I didn’t mind it too much. There were times when my heart hurt for everything that Beatriz went through and there were times that I about swooned over how passionate Nick and Beatriz’s romance was. There was also times when I cheered for Beatriz because the bitch likes to get shit done. She’s probably my favorite character in both this book and Next Year in Havana and I’m SO glad that I read it.

Do I recommend this book? You bet your ass I do. Go forth and read this one, you won’t regret it. I promise.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Related Books

Next Year in Havana
When We Left Cuba


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Review: Fly with Me by Chanel Cleeton

Posted December 9, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Fly with Me by Chanel CleetonReviewer: Rowena
Fly with Me by Chanel Cleeton
Series: Wild Aces #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Pages: 320
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

From the author of the Capital Confessions Novels comes the first in the steamy Wild Aces Romance series.

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot Noah Miller—call sign Burn—loves nothing more than flying hard and fast. When he meets a gorgeous and sassy woman while partying in Las Vegas, he immediately locks on to her.
Jordan Callahan owns a thriving clothing boutique, but her love life is far less successful. Her luck changes when six feet, two inches of sexy swagger asks her to dance and turns her world upside down.

One scorching weekend becomes an undeniable chemistry that they can’t leave in Vegas. But the long distance relationship and their different lives threaten to ground their romance. And when the dangers of Noah’s job become all too real, Jordan learns being with a fighter pilot means risking it all for a shot at love…

I hadn’t read any books by Chanel Cleeton before picking this one up but I sure am glad that I did because this turned out to be a fun read.

What happens in Vegas is supposed to stay in Vegas but when you hook up with a hot fighter pilot, you want to keep that party going so I don’t blame Jordan for wanting to stay in contact with Noah after their time in Vegas came to a close. The chemistry between Noah and Jordan happened quickly and I felt the sparks flying all the way in L.A. That first night when they met in that crowded bar (or was it a club? I can’t remember) and the way Noah was eating Jordan up with his eyes and how sure he was that he was going to get lucky after he dropped the fighter pilot card (a lot quicker than he usually drops it) had me laughing. Their whole romance had me laughing, sighing and raising my eyebrows because it was super hot and I loved it.

When their weekend ended and they had to go their separate ways, I wondered how they were going to make it work and I liked the way that Cleeton had them work it out. It wasn’t easy to start up a relationship when you guys live several states away from each other and then throw in a complicated job for Noah that can take it him away from Jordan at the drop of a dime without him being able to tell her where he’s going, makes things even harder.

Noah was a total badass that had me drooling all over the place. He was strong, sexy and carried himself in a way that had me sitting up to take notice. He was hot stuff and I really enjoyed getting to know him. I loved seeing him with his friends but I really enjoyed seeing him with Jordan. He just did it for me.

Jordan was a great heroine. She was smart and I thought Cleeton did a great job of writing Jordan’s character. She played those dating games in the beginning (the hard to get, coy crap that I normally hate) and I was excited to see everything play out. She was smart and she had a great support system, backing her which was nice. I really enjoyed seeing her and Noah figure their stuff out.

This was a great introduction to the Wild Aces series and I’m definitely going to be reading more. If you’re in the mood for a steamy contemporary romance with hot ass fighter pilots then you should definitely try this one out. It’s good, I promise!

Grade: 4 out of 5

Giveaway Alert

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that this giveaway is not sponsored by Book Binge and is open to U.S. Residents only. 🙂


Tagged: , , , , , ,