When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

Brenda’s review

Rich in historical detail, a little romance, forbidden affair, a bit of a spy thriller, with a tad of family drama.

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton is a stand alone follow up to  Next Year in Havana . The story centres around Beatriz Perez who is introduced in Next Year in Havana . I am so glad Chanel Cleeton gave her a voice with her own story here.

When We Left Cuba is a beautifully written story that explores vengeance, betrayal and sacrifices. Beatriz Perez is driven by revenge and her love for her country and caught between Cuban American politics, her family and a powerful man. I love her, passion strength and bravery and we see how fearless she is and willing to do what it takes to get her revenge.

I enjoyed so much in this story and found it had all that it needed to make for an interesting read but not heavy on the the details. It’s a fast paced read that was entertaining yet heartbreaking and heartwarming at times. While the characters are fictional they are along with some events inspired from real like people. It read a bit like a spy thriller and I was excited to turn those pages as fast as I could.  The tension and excitement rises right up to the satisfying ending. I highly recommend!

Norma’s Review

Intriguing, suspenseful, glamorous & magnetic!

WHEN WE LEFT CUBA by CHANEL CLEETON is an engaging, fascinating, entertaining, beautifully crafted and rich historical fiction novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was immediately drawn into our main characters life, Beatriz Perez and loved the romantic & adventurous journey that this book took me on.  The author’s passion and knowledge definitely shines through tenfold and where some of the content was missed by me I totally appreciated learning about this part of Cuban and American history.

I didn’t have the pleasure of reading and visiting the Perez family in the NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA before reading this novel WHEN WE LEFT CUBA.  And normally I tend to shy away from reading follow-up books out of sequence order because it somehow makes me feel like I’m missing out or cheating the “system”.  So with that being said I am definitely going to revisit the Perez family again but in the meantime I am so glad that I put all of my feelings aside and dove right into this fabulously written romantic & dashing tale of espionage, revenge, love, & family drama.  

Even though this is a follow-up and some of the characters are revisited here this is Beatriz’s story and definitely works and reads well as a standalone.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Strikingly beautiful, glamorous, gorgeous, appealing and a fitting representation to storyline. Love the cover art!
Title: Intriguing, fascinating, powerful and a wonderful representation to storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Beautifully written, passionate, knowledgeable, fluid, engaging and entertaining. Absolutely loved the writing style!
Plot: Intriguing, informative, fascinating, thought-provoking, fast-paced, atmospheric and entertaining.
Ending: A pat and happy ending that was very satisfying and pleasing. I have a fondness for Epilogues! 
Overall: A fun, tense and exciting read with fabulous characters filled with rich historical content. Would highly recommend! 

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Chanel Cleeton for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

Have you read this one or Next Year in Havana? Want to read them! Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

18 thoughts on “When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton”

    1. LOL Too funny! Isn’t that just the truth but we can try to blame it on each other! lol . I hope you love it!

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  1. Great reviews. This series sound wonderful and I am even more intrigued because I have never read any books in Cuba. Have heard this one helps readers learn something about the country. Will try and get both books. Glad y’all enjoyed it.

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    1. Thank you, Diana! I thought that Last Year in Havana was a bit heavy on Cuba and there was alot to learn there. When We Left Cuba is a bit lighter but still very interesting. I hope you can get both in and enjoy them!

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  2. Great reviews 🙂 I’ve started to see this one more and more lately (especially on bookstagram)! It sounds like such an interesting mix of so many genres, I’m keen to see how it all plays out!

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    1. Sorry Dini! I totally missed this comment. Thank you. I loved the different mix here and I hope you do too if you decide to read it!

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  3. Both of these books are on my TBR. Like someone else said, just have to find the time. Maybe I need to re-priortize my shelf. Good review!

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    1. Thank you, Carol! With new coming out all the time I find re-prioritizing help! I hope you get the chance to read both.

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    1. Thank you, Mackey! I think it will work really well reading this one because of Beatriz has here own story here. I hope you love it if you give it a try!

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  4. This time in history has always interested me. I definitely want to read both of the books in this series/duology and hope to get to them in the summer. I also love that the MC is a strong female character. Great reviews ladies.

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