When We Left Cuba

By Chanel Cleeton

ISBN# 9780451490865

Author’s website: chanelcleeton.com

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


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…


Beatriz Perez wants more than anything to avenge her brother’s death in Cuba and her family’s lost legacy.  She does not care about being a debutante and finding a husband.  Indignation and revenge consume her, and she jumps at the opportunity to work for the CIA with grandiose hopes of killing Castro herself.  Of course, nothing prepares her for Senator Nicholas Preston.  Young, golden, and from a powerful family, his life, his marriage, and his ambition are all laid out for the taking.  What he did not plan on was Beatriz.  Author Cleeton takes readers on a suspenseful ride of political intrigue, Cuban history, and romance.

When We Left Cuba is the follow up to Next Year in Havana, but it can definitely be read as a standalone novel.  I enjoyed getting to know Beatriz.  Her spirit and independence make her a woman ahead of her time.  I do not know if I think she is more brave or naïve, probably both, to dive head first in to the world of spy games, but she faces both successes and failures.  Nick is debonair and his charm oozes off the page.  I can see why Beatriz is so drawn to him.  Their chemistry is electric and drives the story forward, and their relationship becomes complex.  I am also drawn to Eduardo, feeling confident that there is much more to him than his handsome playboy façade.  The romance receives heavy emphasis, but there is a nice balance between it and the political intrigue.

When We Left Cuba highlights an interesting time in American/Cuba history and is a satisfying read.  Recommended for fans of author Chanel Cleeton, readers who appreciate complex politics, and those who enjoy romance and women’s fiction.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*