Take Two Review: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton (Audible Edition)

When I first read this book, it was my first time reading anything by Chanel Cleeton. I hadn’t read Next Year in Havana yet so it was my first time reading about the Perez family.

Cleeton has another new book coming out this month and I desperately wanted to be ready for it so I downloaded Next Year in Havana on Audible and listened to it and fell in love!

Then I wanted to go back and re-read this one since I didn’t really have a full understanding of the Perez family and I thought that now having read Next Year in Havana, this one would make a lot more sense and get me all caught up and ready for Last Train to Key West.


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. (summary from Goodreads)

Take Two Review

When I read about Beatriz the first time, I loved her and I think even more this second time around. After reading Next Year in Havana, I had a better understanding of the Revolution and how it effected the Perez family. While it isn’t necessary to read Next Year in Havana first, I think it added a lot more depth to the story than I originally thought.

This time around I felt like I was able to concentrate on Beatriz’s story a little more and appreciate the difficult choices that she had to make. I loved that she wasn’t really a conventional heroine. She was strong, knew who she was, and wasn’t afraid to make difficult choices. She did have one weakness though—Nick.

I personally didn’t love Nick. I thought that Eduardo would have been a much better match for her but I can also see why she didn’t view Eduardo in that way. Nick was her person even if I didn’t love him, they clearly were two people who loved each other that probably shouldn’t have but yet they couldn’t fight it. I still felt very invested in their romance and their story but it was Beatriz’s career choices and the history of the Revolution and time period that really kept me reading this time around.

When I read this book the first time, I was more invested in Beatriz and Nick’s romance but reading it this time, my focus was different and I still enjoyed it just as much this time around. As a side not, I think Beatriz’s romance is much more a romance for a woman where as Elisa’s romance from Next Year in Havana was much more the romance of a young girl. The complications in Beatriz’s romance seemed more flushed out than Elisa’s but both were great. I am so excited to read Cleeton’s new book in a couple of weeks, even if it doesn’t follow a Perez sister, it does follow someone else in the Perez family and I can’t wait see how it unfolds.

Book Info and Rating

Audio CD, Unabridged , 1 page
Published April 9th 2019 by Blackstone Audio
ISBN 1982550376 (ISBN13: 9781982550370)
Review copy provided by personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Take Two Review rating: 5 stars
Genre: historical fiction



Charming comments go here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s