REVIEW – NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA by Chanel Cleeton

SYNOPSIS

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.

 

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

In one step, I know power, the drugging effect of it coursing through my veins. With one step I am removed from the fringes and thrust in the middle of my life. In that space of the step, my world shifts. Everything is different now, and nothing will ever be the same again.

 

 

 

NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA is beautifully written and at times excessive in the detailed description of the surroundings and landscape of Cuba and its inhabitants. It did enable me to picture a Country I will never get to see in my lifetime and in that aspect, I did appreciate the descriptive narrative. This read more like a history book than a romance. While there are two sets of couples, they seemed to play a secondary role to that of the main characters which were Cuba and its history of unrest and rebellion.

The story switches from past to present. The past being 1958-59 Havana, where Elisa Perez lives with her parents and sisters. In the present, Elisa’s granddaughter, Marisol Ferrera, is on a journey from Miami to Cuba where she has been assigned the task to spread her grandmother’s ashes. Although having been exiled from Cuba for nearly sixty years, Elisa always yearned for a chance to someday return to the Country she called ”home”. When she was nineteen she fled Cuba with her family after Fidel Castro came into power. Her family was one of the wealthiest and powerful in Havana and a prime target for Castro.

 

 

Marisol was very close to her grandmother and her death affected Marisol deeply. She knows that it still isn’t safe for her to be going to Cuba but is determined to fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish. She’s also excited to be going to the place that her grandmother spent so many nights telling stories about. Marisol embraces her heritage. When she meets Ana Rodriguez, Elisa’s childhood best friend, Marisol is given a box that Elisa left behind. What she discovers inside is a secret that Elisa took with her to her grave and Marisol questions whether she ever truly knew her grandmother. Marisol sets off on a mission to uncover her grandmother’s secret past and along the way finds her own romance with Luis, a history professor at the University of Cuba and also Ana’s grandson.

 

 

During flashbacks, we learn how Elisa meets her one true love and how a happily ever after for them is nearly impossible. When we are back in the present we see that history is repeating itself with Marisol and Luis.

Will Marisol have the HEA that her grandmother was unable to attain?

Here are my overall ratings on the book:

Heroes: 4
Heroines: 4
Plot: 4
Angst: 3
Steam: 2
Chemistry Between Hero & Heroine: 3

NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA is currently available.

Book Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pdQBKF
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2pYsJJY
iBooks: http://apple.co/2pvYffq
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2zrt11m
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2wPZPMU

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