I have been a HUGE fan of Chanel Cleeton over the years. I have loved all of her novels in different ways and for different reasons. Each. time I crack open one of her books I am guaranteed to be transported to an exotic location with a thrilling family. I have read some of her books twice just because I love them and also to refresh where we are at in the Perez family story. I have certainly read the books out of order so don’t feel like you need to go back and read the others first before this one, but it certainly helps gain a full understanding of the family history and politics.
I love the Perez girls, especially Beatriz so seeing that she would be part of this latest novel made me really excited to read it! While maybe not the central focus of the novel, she at the very least puts in an appearance so fans of previous books will enjoy that. Cleeton has earned a spot on my auto buy list and I am always eager for the spring to come to see what sort of exciting novel that Cleeton has come up with!
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read and Cleeton’s books always stand out head and shoulders above many of the books in the genre. They are fresh, full of rich history, and so well written and researched. If you have not read these books yet you are absolutely missing out and should stop what you’re doing and read any of the books in this series (including this one!) it’s so good and I can’t sing the praises of the books enough. They are all amazing and for different reasons.
When Isabel Perez travels to Barcelona to save her sister Beatriz, she discovers a shocking family secret in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s new novel.
Barcelona, 1964. Exiled from Cuba after the revolution, Isabel Perez has learned to guard her heart and protect her family at all costs. After Isabel’s sister Beatriz disappears in Barcelona, Isabel goes to Spain in search of her. Joining forces with an unlikely ally thrusts Isabel into her sister’s dangerous world of espionage, but it’s an unearthed piece of family history that transforms Isabel’s life.
Barcelona, 1936. Alicia Perez arrives in Barcelona after a difficult voyage from Cuba, her marriage in jeopardy and her young daughter Isabel in tow. Violence brews in Spain, the country on the brink of civil war, the rise of fascism threatening the world. When Cubans journey to Spain to join the International Brigades, Alicia’s past comes back to haunt her as she is unexpectedly reunited with the man who once held her heart.
Alicia and Isabel’s lives intertwine, and the past and present collide, as a mother and daughter are forced to choose between their family’s expectations and following their hearts. (summary from Goodreads)
I loved that this book took us on an adventure to Barcelona rather than exclusively in Cuba. Almost all of Cleeton’s books are set mostly in Cuba but this one has an added little big of excitement by being set in Barcelona too. But readers who have enjoyed learning and reading about Cuban history (like myself) will still find something to love in this one because Cuba is still very much part of the story. In this book the stories of Cuban and Spanish history come together to give the readers a unique experience and with Cleeton’s practiced hand and well researched content—-you will find something to love and something special in the pages!
Beatriz has been a fan favorite in the series for many readers (myself included) and seeing her make a reappearance in this book was so satisfying. As I mentioned earlier even though she isn’t really the focus of the story, it’s nice to catch up with her and see what she’s gotten herself into now! The other sister Isabel hasn’t really been the focus of the other books so I was excited to get to know more about her character and see how her story unfolded. Up until this point I felt like Beatriz was my favorite but now I am not sure, Isabel added a unique element and narrative to the story and I absolutely loved getting to know her better.
This book has three different POVs and as always, Cleeton always brings the POVs together seamlessly and leaves readers feeling content, satisfied but at the same time wanting more of the Perez family and Cuba. This book was no different! I finished it and immediately began wondering what’s next! This series overall is so well researched, written, and the characters distinguish themselves in the most memorable ways! I loved this book and cannot wait for Cleeton’s next release. If you love historical fiction Cleeton’s books are not to be missed!
Book Info and Rating
Format: paperback 320 pages
Published: May 24 2022 by Berkley Books
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: historical fiction