Friday, February 25, 2022

Review - - The Roughest Draft

The Roughest Draft
by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: January 25, 2022
Reviewed by Santa

Three years ago, Katrina Freeling and Nathan Van Huysen were the brightest literary stars on the horizon, their cowritten book topping bestseller lists. But on the heels of their greatest success, they ended their partnership on bad terms, for reasons neither would divulge to the public. They haven't spoken since, and never planned to, except they have one final book due on contract.

Facing crossroads in their personal and professional lives, they're forced to reunite. The last thing they ever thought they'd do again is hole up in the tiny Florida town where they wrote their previous book, trying to finish a new manuscript quickly and painlessly. Working through the reasons they've hated each other for the past three years isn't easy, especially not while writing a romantic novel.

While passion and prose push them closer together in the Florida heat, Katrina and Nathan will learn that relationships, like writing, sometimes take a few rough drafts before they get it right.

Santa says:

The Roughest Draft by authors Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka was an amazing introduction to these authors. They were writing in a new genre having authored YA novels in the past. I have to say that it is a triumphant 5 star foray into the contemporary adult romance world. 

This book had me at the edge of my seat! Is it a murder mystery? No, not in the least! It’s a romance! They had both a professional and personal relationship that exploded spectacularly. 

The main characters, Katrina and Nathan, are - or were - successful, rising star co-authors. Everything was going along great until it didn't. And we are not told why right away. The reasons unfold almost organically as their stories are told from each character’s point of view. 

The book opens a couple of years after one of the authors, Katrina, had walked away from the partnership and from writing while Nathan continues to pursue a writing career.  However, they still have one more book under contract and their publisher and agents are holding them to fulfilling that obligation. Nathan and Katrina have no choice but to hunker down and write that final book in the close proximity of a rented house in Florida just like they did when they collaborated on the other two books. 

Nathan and Katrina have their work cut out for them. They are two lost, wounded people. The tension is almost a physical entity. They face many emotional obstacles as they find their way back as writers and friends and, ultimately - finally - lovers.  

The authors of The Roughest Draft are a husband and wife team. I imagine there are many challenges in writing together. This is the first book I have read by them and, easily, one of my favorites for this year. I will be following their books both in this genre and in YA.


Thursday, February 24, 2022

Winner - - Kate Pembrooke


The randomly chosen winner of a

print copy of Not the Kind of Earl You Marry

by Kate Pembrooke is:



Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Winners - - Debbie Mason's Highland Falls


The randomly chosen winners of

a four-book set of 

Debbie Mason's Highland Falls series are:

Cathie P.


Laurie G


Please send your full name and

mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Review - - Before Buckhorn

Before Buckhorn
by B.J. Daniels
Buckhorn, Montana - Book 4
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: February 22, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

Former cop Jasper Cole has come home to Buckhorn to ranch—and to find some peace. But there’s one part of his past he doesn’t object to facing again. Darby Fulton acts like she’s forgotten the searing one-night stand they shared in college, but to Jasper, she’s as fascinating and tempting as ever. And when she’s drawn into an unsettling local mystery, he follows, despite his misgivings.

Bad things have been happening to Buckhorn residents, and Darby’s sure it has something to do with a new store called Gossip. As a newspaper publisher, she can’t ignore the story, any more than she can ignore her deep attraction to Jasper. And as their investigation reignites that spark, it also pulls them both into a twisted scheme of revenge, where secrets are a deadly weapon…

PJ's Thoughts:

Note to self: don't start a B.J. Daniels book at night. I know better. At least, I should know better. Obviously I don't, considering I finally closed my Kindle at 3:00 AM because I kept falling asleep and dropping it on my pillow. Thankfully, not on my face. Did I mention I had to get up at 7:00 AM for an early appointment? Did I care? No, I did not. I was that immersed in this story. I needed to know what was going to happen next. If only I could have kept my eyes open. 

Daniels set the stage for this story from the first page with the creepiness of gathering crows foreshadowing danger, death...possibly murder? She gave me a community of intriguing characters with complex backgrounds. Then she added in the mysterious Leviathan Nash, newly-arrived owner of Gossip, an invitation-only business that has Buckhorn's citizens on edge...and worse. What exactly was happening in those 30-minute sessions with the weird little man that was causing devastation, rage, and worse among the fine folks of Buckhorn? And why does it seem like Jasper Cole and Darby Fulton are smack-dab in the middle of Nash's quest? Who is this man? What does he want? And how far will he go to get it?

Before Buckhorn is twisty, compelling, mysterious, creepy, and impossible to put down. It's the kind of story that pulled me in, gave me a main couple to pull for, secondary characters who tugged at my heartstrings, danger that had my heart in my throat, and sent me on an emotional roller coaster ride, all the while keeping me on the edge of my seat as I tried (and failed) to figure out exactly what would happen next. I loved it!

This is the fourth book in Daniels' Buckhorn, Montana series. While the main storyline of Before Buckhorn stands well on its own, there were pieces of information about key secondary characters, past events, and future stories that I felt I would have understood better had I already read the first three books in the series. I will be doing that soon. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Review - - The Lady Tempts an Heir

The Lady Tempts an Heir
by Harper St. George
The Gilded Age Heiresses - Book 3
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 22, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

Tall, dark, and brooding—to say that American Maxwell Crenshaw stood out in the glittering ballrooms of London is an understatement. He vowed never to set foot in England again, but when a summons from his father along with an ultimatum to secure his legacy has him crossing the Atlantic for the last time, reuniting him with the delectable Lady Helena March, he can’t deny the temptation she presents. Or the ideas she inspires…

Lady Helena March is flirting with scandal. Instead of spending her time at teas and balls in search of another husband, as is expected of a young widow, Helena pours her energy into The London Home for Young Women. But Society gives no quarter to unmarried radicals who associate with illegitimate children and fallen women, and Helena’s funding is almost run out. So when the sinfully seductive Crenshaw heir suggests a fake engagement to save them both—him from an unwanted marriage and her from scorn and financial ruin—Helena finds herself too fascinated to refuse the sexy American.
As their arrangement of convenience melts oh so deliciously into nights of passion, their deception starts to become real. But if Max knew the true reason Helena can never remarry, he wouldn’t look at her with such heat in his eyes. Or might the Crenshaw heir be willing to do whatever it takes to win the one woman he’s never been able to forget…

PJ's Thoughts:

I've been eagerly counting the days until the release of this book since first seeing Helena and Max on the page together in book two, The Devil and the Heiress. Happy to say their journey did not disappoint. 

Fake relationships are one of my favorite tropes. I liked that Max and Helena entered into this one with equal commitment and benefit. It was obvious that the close proximity generated by their faux relationship was going to lead to deeper feelings but the path they traveled to get there was brimming with peaks, valleys, and a few surprises. I enjoyed the fact that they both evolved because of their time spent with the other. I liked their mutual respect, their shared social conscience and desire to help those less fortunate, their ambition, and determination to forge their own paths regardless of pressure from family. And I loved their chemistry! These two set off enough sparks to start a forest fire. St. George slowly ramped up the tension between them, allowing the passion to build organically. So good.

I had no idea how the author would solve the dilemma of Helena and Max coming from two different worlds, with family, friends, work, and passion projects in each. In the end, it was done in a way that was satisfying and believable. One key element keeping the pair apart was a very personal secret Helena was keeping, something many real-life couples deal with. St. George could have solved this dilemma in an oft-used "miracle" manner but chose to take a more realistic approach. Kudos to her for doing so. For me, it solidified the depth and strength of Max's love and commitment to Helena. 

It was fun to see August and Violet (Max's sisters) continue on their journeys with their husbands as they weaved in and out of Max and Helena's story. I was also delighted to learn that their American friend, Camille will have a chance to claim a happy ending in St. George's next book, The Duchess Takes a Husband. After basically being sold by her parents to a horrible Duke with one foot in the grave in exchange for a title, she's more than earned her shot at love and romance. 

If you haven't yet read the first two books in the Gilded Age Heiresses series, click on the titles to read my reviews of The Heiress Gets a Duke (August's story) and The Devil and the Heiress (Violet's story). All three books in the series have my enthusiastic recommendation.  

Monday, February 21, 2022

Review & Giveaway - - Say You'll Be My Lady

Say You'll Be My Lady
by Kate Pembrooke
The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair - Book 2
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: February 22, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

Lady Serena Wynter doesn’t mind flirting with a bit of scandal—she’s determined to ignore society’s strictures and live life on her own fiercely independent terms. These days, she chooses to pour her passions into charitable causes with the vibrant group of ladies in her Wednesday Afternoon Social Club. But there is one man who stirs Serena’s deepest emotions, one who’s irresistibly handsome, infuriatingly circumspect, and too honorable for his own good...

Charles Townshend, former boxer and consummate gentleman, worries Serena’s reckless nature will earn her the ton’s scorn…or put her in serious danger. Though Charles isn’t immune to the attraction between them, a shocking family secret prevents him from ever acting on his desires. But it seems Lady Serena doesn’t intend to let his penchant for propriety stand in the way of a mutually satisfying dalliance.

PJ's Thoughts:

The ladies of the Wednesday Afternoon Social Club are back and this time it's Lady Serena who is in the spotlight. A strong-willed woman with a finely-developed social conscience, Serena has no interest in tying herself to a man through the bonds of matrimony. That doesn't mean she wouldn't be interested in a close relationship of another sort. Too bad the only man who inspires thoughts of that kind is too honorable to be seduced. Oh yes, and he's also her dear friend. 

Friends to lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes, one that Pembrooke used to good effect in this novel. I enjoyed the solid foundation of friendship between Serena and Charles, the ease and open communications they shared. I liked that they were their true, authentic selves with one another. Yes, each had a secret tucked deep into their hearts but, eventually, those were revealed and it was a testament to their respect for one another that those reveals did not precipitate angst or drama. Instead, they only deepened the affection and understanding between them. I was intrigued by the cross-class facet of their relationship. While Charles had strong connections to certain members of society, he was neither titled nor wealthy, a deficit (in his eyes) that he felt strongly eliminated him from Lady Serena's marital consideration. Good thing the lady who held his heart was confident, self-assured, and boldly certain of what she wanted.

I adored Jem, the young boy who unexpectedly entered their lives and opened both Serena and Charles to new possibilities. He was an absolute delight whose scenes with Serena, Charles, and Serena's father touched my heart and left me happily smiling. I wish we had seen more of him in the latter part of the book. He was a bright ray of sunshine that I missed. 

There's a richly depicted secondary cast surrounding Charles and Serena who add texture, humor, conflict, and support to the main characters without detracting from the central romantic journey. It was fun to catch up with characters from book one, make the acquaintance of some new ones, and set the stage for the next book in the series. I'm already excited for a new hero who is a reluctant peer, notorious rakehell, and, apparently, enjoys reading time tucked into quiet corners of a local bookstore. Or is the lovely young lady who frequents that store the draw? I've already marked my calendar for Phoebe and Simon's story in Sweet Dreams Are Made of Dukes, due to be published in the fall of 2022.

While I enjoyed the first book in this series (read my review) and characters from that story (including Serena and Charles) are also present in this second book, readers should absolutely be able to enjoy Say You'll Be My Lady on its own. If you have not yet read book one, however, be sure to check out the giveaway below.


Do you enjoy the friends-to-lovers trope?

Have you read Kate Pembrooke's debut, Not the Kind of Earl You Marry, yet?

Are cross-class romances your cup of tea? What do you like/not like about them?

One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, February 22 will receive a print copy of Not the Kind of Earl You Marry

*U.S. only
*Must be 18
*Void where prohibited

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Review - - Up in Smoke

Up in Smoke
by Kate Meader
Hot in Chicago Rookies - Book 1
Publisher: Kate Meader LLC
Release Date: February 22, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

Lives are on the line at Engine 6 … and so are hearts.

Running an engine crew in the Chicago Fire Department is my dream job, and between that, my awesome kid, and my nosy sister, I lead a pretty great life. Bruised and burned by my marriage, I don’t have time for dating or drama, but I always have time for pie. And when I share a slice of cherry with a sweet redhead, followed by the hottest, dirtiest, most pulse-pounding kiss of my life, I start to rethink the possibilities.

Until that woman walks into my firehouse and upends my well-ordered world.

Abby Sullivan is now a rookie firefighter on my crew and a threat to my self-control more dangerous than a five-alarm blaze. My job is to watch her six when all I want is to watch her fall into my bed. Lust has no place in the firehouse, and a distraction like Abby with her electric blue eyes, waves of flame-red hair, and freckles I want to map with my tongue, is one I can ill afford.

Because one wrong move … and it could all go up in smoke.

Up in Smoke is the first in the brand new Hot in Chicago Rookies series about firefighters navigating the trials of new jobs and sizzling romances as they find their place in the world and the love of a lifetime.

PJ's Thoughts:

Kate Meader's Hot in Chicago series is one of my favorite contemporary romance series. When I found out she was planning a new, connected, Hot in Chicago Rookies series, I was beyond excited. A whole new batch of firefighters with potential updates on my favorite characters from the original series? Yes, please!

Up in Smoke brought me everything I've come to expect from a Kate Meader novel. Her characters are intriguing, relatable, multi-layered, and fully formed, with complex journeys filled with steam, emotional depth, and hard-won happy endings. It didn't take me long to be emotionally engaged and full invested in both Abby and Roman. I mean, how could I not love Roman? Here's a badass, gorgeous, growly firefighter with a marshmallow core, a single dad who puts his daughter first, a man who respects and supports the woman he loves, a man who isn't afraid to be vulnerable...and he cooks! And speaking of vulnerable. My heart ached for Abby. She's a tiger on the job (I loved her determination) but carries a huge amount of emotional baggage. Her emotional journey was full of twists and turns that left me exhausted but oh, so satisfied at the end. I loved the banter between them, the steamy chemistry, and the sweetness. 

I also enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Roman's snarky twin sister, his endearing daughter, and Abby's two Academy buddies. One of those buddies is up next in a M/M crossover novel between Meader's Hot in Chicago Rookies (firefighter) and Rookie Rebels (hockey) series. I can't wait!

If you've read the original Hot in Chicago series you'll most likely love catching up with many of your Dempsey favorites in this new series as much as I did but if you're new to Meader's hot firefighters, go ahead and jump right in with Up in Smoke. But don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to know more about Luke, Alex, Gage, and the entire Dempsey clan while also getting to know the newest additions to Engine 6. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

Review & Giveaway - - The Inn on Mirror Lake

The Inn on Mirror Lake
by Debbie Mason
Highland Falls - Book 4
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: February 22, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

They swear they’re not right for each other but the matchmakers of Highland Falls are out to prove them wrong.
Elliana MacLeod has come home to whip the Mirror Lake Inn into tip-top shape, the only way to prevent her mother from selling the beloved family business. In between watching over mischievous, cigar-sneaking Grandpa Joe and trying to help Highland Falls win the Most Romantic Small Town in America contest, Elliana’s plate isn’t just full, it’s overflowing. She can’t refuse Nathan Black’s offer to fix up the inn, even if the gorgeous law enforcement officer has made it abundantly clear he considers her a friend, and nothing more.

Nate knows he’s not cut out for long-term relationships or white picket fences, and that’s what Ellie deserves. Yet keeping her at arm’s length is nearly impossible, especially once they’re working—and living—side-by-side. The more time he spends with Ellie, the more he wants, and not just for today but forever. When Ellie’s ex returns to town, has Nate missed his chance with the woman of his dreams?

PJ's Thoughts:

So many of Debbie Mason's books have hit my keeper list she's going to need her own designated shelf. She keeps getting better and better with every book she writes. I want to be friends with her characters and spend time in her fictional communities. Highland Falls now lives rent free in my mind, along with all her citizens. Hopefully, Mason intends to make this a long-running series because I am nowhere near ready to say good-bye to these characters. 

In The Inn on Mirror Lake, Mason skillfully blends the humor, emotion, suspense, and feel-good romance that have been a trademark of this series. There's plenty of flirtatious fun between Nate and Ellie, along with snappy banter and sizzle but Mason skillfully balances that with complex layers that explore the emotional baggage both carry. I love the marshmallow center Nate hides beneath his tough exterior (except with his five older sisters and five nieces - what fun those scenes are!) and the bad-ass (don't mess with my loved ones) core of steel inside Ellie. I also love the fact that these are two experienced adults who come together as equals and know what they want. Well...Nate thinks he knows. 

The quirky senior citizens of Highland Falls are once again front and center and living up to their meddling, matchmaking reputations. I very much enjoyed Ellie's maternal grandfather and the judge. Their relationship with Ellie is endearing, protective, and at times, hilarious. And, of course, Ellie's paternal grandmother is up to her tricks, as usual. Her special relationship with Nate continues from the previous book and is just so much fun. And then there are the couples from the first three books, family and friends, matchmakers in their own right, who seamlessly flow in and out of the story, adding humor, poignant emotion, and help keep the progression of Nate and Ellie's journey flowing. There are other key characters who also bring additional richness and depth to this story, and notched a place for themselves in my heart, but I'll leave you the joy of discovering them on your own. 

This is a series that I feel is best enjoyed by reading the books in order. However, if you don't wish to do that I would recommend at least reading book three, Falling in Love on Willow Creek, where the individual journeys of Nate and Ellie begin, before reading The Inn on Mirror Lake. Regardless of where you begin, Debbie Mason's stories - and characters - are sure to tickle your funny bone, touch your heart, and leave you begging for more. 

CW: While much of this story is lighthearted and fun, there are also deeply emotional topics that are introduced, including grief, mental abuse, and physical abuse that could be distressing to some readers. 

Have you read any of Debbie Mason's books yet?

Highland Falls is a lovely little town of Scottish origin set in the North Carolina mountains. What's your favorite setting for contemporary romances?

As part of a contest the town has entered, the rooms at the Inn are each decorated in the style of a fictional couple. What couple would you choose for a room re-do? 

Two people who post a comment on this review before 11:00 PM (EST), February 20 will each receive a print set of the first four books in Debbie Mason's Highland Falls series: Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge, Christmas on Reindeer Road, Falling in Love on Willow Creek, and The Inn on Mirror Lake

Thank you, Forever Romance, for this generous giveaway!

*U.S. and Canada only
*Must be 18
*Void where prohibited


Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Tour Review - - Ten Rules for Marrying a Duke

Ten Rules for Marrying a Duke
by Michelle McLean
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Release Date: February 14, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

Bookish Arabella Bromley never gave a fig for society's rules - until her sister ran off with a man below her station. Now Arabella is desperate to restore her family's ruined reputation to favor amongst the ton. She'll have to marry quickly and well. But in order to carry off her plan, Arabella needs a duke...and she has just the rakish fellow in mind. 

The Duke of Whittsley has an ungentlemanly tendency to disregard the rules. Unfortunately, a sense of mischief doesn't excuse a high-ranking noble from family duty - especially where it concerns producing a son. And that's where he can't quite resist Arabella's distinctly outrageous plan: if he saves her family, she'll give him an heir. 

Now the deal's been struck. They have one year to achieve their goals and ten iron-clad rules to keep them on track. Like long, scorching kisses and ensuring they're both exquisitely satisfied. And the only thing that could ruin their plan is the one thing they never planned on: love

PJ's Thoughts:

This book is like a warm hug tucked between bookends of witty charm and laugh-out-loud humor. I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time I was reading. I'd never read Michelle McLean before this but after finishing Ten Rules for Marrying a Duke, I want to read everything she's ever written. 

McLean plunges the reader straight into the story with a "meet cute" that immediately captured my interest, followed by a proposition (proposal?) that sealed the deal. I was captivated within the first few pages and knew I would not be putting this book down anytime soon.

Silas and Arabella fairly leaped from the pages. These two were so wonderfully developed, with quirks and flaws and good hearts beneath it all. They have such a great dynamic with Arabella charging so delightfully and unexpectedly into Silas's life and taking him by surprise at every turn. Silas, in return, turns all of Arabella's notions on their head, in the best possible way. I loved their rules. The scene where they concoct them - with Arabella's good friend acting as skeptical scribe - is hilarious and watching them do their best to adhere to them (when they aren't breaking them) is an absolute delight. They are both so sure of what they want from life - love is not on the list - but sparkle so sweetly as they finally discover the joys of opening their hearts (following the requisite misunderstanding and a bit of angst). 

Their chemistry is off the charts and the steam they generate is creative, explosive, and a bundle of fun. What these two can get up to in a carriage, behind a leafy tree, and in dark corners of a ballroom kept me gloriously entertained and grinning from ear to ear. 

The secondary cast of characters are also richly depicted, adding humor and emotion to the overall story. I like that everyone was given a happy ending while at the same time not downplaying the bumpy road ahead for those who ran afoul of society's strictures. 

If you're a fan of Tessa Dare or Julia Quinn, this book should be right up your reading alley. Like books by both of the afore-mentioned authors, I have no doubt Ten Rules for Marrying A Duke will be a book I turn to more than once when needing an uplifting dose of laughter, sizzle, fun antics, and joyful happily ever after. 


Winner - - Miranda Liasson


The randomly chosen winner of the

Miranda Liasson giveaway package is:

Katie Chapman


Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Winners - - Galentine's Day


The four randomly chosen winners of a Galentine's Day 

package of books from my home library are:


Latifa Morrisette




Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Winner - - Island Queen


The winner of a signed, hardback copy of

Island Queen by Vanessa Riley is:



Please send your full name and mailing address to:

theromancedish (at) gmail (dot) com

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Review - - The Family She Never Met

The Family She Never Met
by Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: February 1, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

Jessica Russo knows nothing about her mother's family or her Cuban culture. Every time she's asked about it, her mother has shut down. But when the Cuban grandmother she's never met sends her right-hand man, Luis, to offer Jessica the chance to come to Miami and meet her estranged family, she can't help but say yes, even as she knows it will pain her mother.

The woman that Jessica meets is nothing like what she expected. Her grandmother is successful, intelligent, determined, and all too willing to take blame for what has happened to cause the estrangement, and, more importantly, to try and set things right. As Jessica spends time with her grandmother in her beautiful island home, she learns about her family's history and what caused the schism between her mother and grandmother.

As days with her grandmother turn to weeks, Jessica is determined to find a way to heal her fractured family. And in the end, Jessica might just learn something about herself and what it means to embrace the many facets of her identity.

PJ's Thoughts:

During the years I lived in SW Florida, I had many friends and co-workers whose families had escaped to the U.S. from Cuba. Their feelings about their allegiance to their homeland, the (often successful) lives they had left behind, the struggles of learning a new language while forging a new life in a strange country where they were often not welcomed, and their expectations for their children and grandchildren were understandably complex and multi-layered. Pineiro captures all that and more in her poignant and realistic portrayal of a fractured, Cuban-American family in The Family She Never Met.

I was immediately intrigued by these characters and the mysterious estrangement that had caused Jessica to grow up knowing nothing of her mother's family in Miami nor the trials they had endured in the past. Pineiro skillfully guides the reader through their journey, using brief flashbacks at strategic points to fill in the blanks of their family's saga while at the same time allowing the reader to get to know the characters in the present day. It gave me the opportunity to understand these characters fully, to experience their flaws, fears, mistakes, and motivations. It made them more real to me, their circumstances more compelling, and in the case of Jessica's mother, the anger stemming from her childhood more understandable. I appreciated the fact that the author took her time with them, not giving them easy fixes but letting the characters evolve organically, allowing forgiveness and healing to come slowly, realistically. 

I also enjoyed the depiction of Jessica's father's Italian-American family in New York, characters who have been instrumental in guiding her life since she was born. The dichotomy between the two sides of her family clearly showing that no two immigrant experiences are alike. 

While this book is centered around the multiple generations of women in Jessica's family, there is also a strong romantic thread with a happy ending that is an integral part of Jessica's journey, not only bringing love into her life but also helping her to more completely understand both the challenges and expectations placed upon the Cuban exiles within and outside of her family.

After you finish the book, take a minute to read the author's note. It explains how Caridad Pineiro was able to create characters and a story with so much authenticity and heart. Knowing her own family's history made reading this book an even richer experience.