Review – Behind the Curtain by Beth Kery

I loved this story and even more than that, I loved the storytelling. It was sensual and heartbreaking. It has first love and loss and undying passion and everything I want in a romance. ~ Leigh, Guilty Pleasures

Cultures clash and passion ignites in the novel that will leave you begging for more—from the bestselling author of The Affair and Looking Inside.

There’s something about this woman…

On a break between overseas jobs, journalist Asher Gaites returns to his hometown of Chicago—and allows his friends to persuade him to check out a hot new singer. At a downtown jazz club, he’s soon transfixed by the lyrical voice and sensuous body of a woman who performs behind a thin, shimmering veil…

…That could bring a man to his knees.

The veil gives Moroccan American Laila Barek the anonymity she needs since she has never been able to reconcile her family’s values with her passion for music. But one man is inexplicably drawn to her. And when Asher confronts her on a subway platform after a gig, he’s shocked to recognize the woman who walked away from him nine years ago…

Laila has never been able to forget the touch, the feel, the taste of Asher. And despite the doubt and fear that wind their way into their lives, they must trust the heat of their desire to burn down the walls the world has placed between them…
I loved this story and even more than that, I loved the storytelling. It was sensual and heartbreaking. It has first love and loss and undying passion and everything I want in a romance.

Laila and Asher came from entirely different worlds, but the spark between them when they first met was undeniable. From their initial encounter in a secluded lake, they were made for one another. But because of cultural differences and family obligation, they could only exist together in this secret world of their own making. Their friends that watched the relationship grow recognized the love for what it was, but duty to family traditions and the relative youth of the lovers made a future impossible.

Told in the form of flashback and current day, we get to see the beginning of Asher and Laila’s relationship, and the aftermath that the separation caused. How the stamp each one put on the other allowed them to grow professionally, while at the same time they each stagnated personally.

When they accidentally stumble upon one another eight years later, the attraction has not waned and they fall quickly back into the passion and need they had for one another, recognizing that this is the person they have each been searching unsuccessfully to replace.

Like all of Beth Kery’s stories, the storytelling is amazing and so engrossing that I can’t put it down. My only complaint was that it ended so quickly.

The resolution felt right to me since I felt it was realistic. People didn’t change their spots and the reactions of family and friends were what I expected, and it felt like an organic conclusion to this phase of their romance. But I wanted more! I was with Laila and Asher for the entire journey of their relationship and I felt cheated that I didn’t get to share the details of the aftermath. I was at 95% done, wondering how the author was going to wrap up the story so quickly and assumed that there would be a sequel. I was pleased that there wasn’t; not that I didn’t want to spend more time with this couple, but because everything that needed to be said had been. Their relationship, from the first meeting until this point was beautiful and deep and so poignant. But I would have liked to have the ending follow along with that same deeply sensual pace that defined their relationship, rather than the abrupt end that I received.

Nevertheless, this is a story not to be missed. The journey was its own reward.

ARC provided by Penguin Randomhouse Publishing for a voluntary review.

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