Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction + romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: June 16th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In 1935 three women are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history barrels toward the Florida Keys in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s captivating new novel.

Everyone journeys to Key West searching for something. For the tourists traveling on Henry Flagler’s legendary Overseas Railroad, Labor Day weekend is an opportunity to forget the economic depression gripping the nation. But one person’s paradise can be another’s prison, and Key West-native Helen Berner yearns to escape.

The Cuban Revolution of 1933 left Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position. After an arranged wedding in Havana, Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. While she can’t deny the growing attraction to the stranger she’s married, her new husband’s illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.

Elizabeth Preston’s trip from New York to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles as a result of the Wall Street crash. Her quest takes her to the camps occupied by veterans of the Great War and pairs her with an unlikely ally on a treacherous hunt of his own.

Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

FOREVER A CLEETON FAN.

This is the third historical fiction book I’ve read of Cleeton’s and I am HOOKED. I love the story set-up and strength of the women in her books. It’s all captivating and I have a hard time putting them down.

I initially wasn’t sure where this book was going with the length + three different women’s stories together. While I still felt like a direct plot was missing, the three women’s stories moved me each in their own way.

What’s incredible impressive to me is how easy I fall for the romance plot lines in Cleeton’s works. Her writing makes the love story seem magical and real all together. This book literally happens over 3 days (with some increased time differences towards the end) and I was shipping every single couple with all that I was worth. I wanted their happiness, and their choices to matter. I wanted Helen, Mirta and Elizabeth to get the ending they wanted and it was delivered.

I love the way each women’s story also had connections between them. It’s an interesting thought to consider how small interactions with those around us may influence and effect our entire lives. I was also smitten with the men of this book too. How could I not mention them? I just love how each character stood out. I was never confused as to what chapter I was reading and who was speaking. Everything flowed and wove together beautifully and I will sit here and impatiently wait for Cleeton’s next book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses, some closed door scenes with little detail
  • Violence: guns, murder, hurricane, physical
  • Trigger warnings: a physically abusive husband, an incredibly destructive hurricane, attempted assault and robbery, brief mentions of a characters two family members committing suicide

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: May 2020

Longest month ever with the shortest amount of books read. Wow May was tough on me. I at least read some good books and enjoyed what I picked up!

I focused a lot on ARCs to keep on top of those. Added in a bunch of Kasie West books for their quickness and cuteness. All in all, I’m amazed I made it through 9 books with how I spent my month.

My favorite this month was easily Aurora Burning. That book was AMAZING. My least favorite was By Your Side. It was the first Kasie West book I just really didn’t jive with.

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Putting this list together made me all the more excited for the great books I’m excited for this year. It’s going to be an amazing first half of 2020.

WHO’S EXCITED?

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Release date: March 3rd

OH MY GOODNESS I CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE SJM’S NEXT BOOK IN MY HANDS.


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Release date: February 25th

I love everything Levenseller writes (no really). This book sounds so crazy good I can’t even stand waiting one more month.


The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty

Release date: June 30th

This finale is sure to be epic. It’s been a fantastic series and I’m stoked to finish it this year!


Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Release date: May 5th

I adored book one in this series and helped with the cover reveal for this one. I’m definitely a fan!


All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace

Release date: February 4th

Did someone say mermaids? I’LL BE RIGHT THERE.


Wild at Heart (Wild #2) by K.A. Tucker

Release date: March 3rd

The Simple Wild was one of my top books of 2019, I clearly have flippin’ high hopes for BOOK TWO!


Tiem of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Release date: April 21st

I absolutely ADORED If I’m Being Honest. If that was their sophomore book I am on edge waiting to see what their junior book will be like!


Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Release date: March 10th

I’m apparently all about sequels this year. This is another sequel I’m excited for after loving The Bromance Book Club. I’m curious how this story will develop with a new main character!


Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Release date: May 5th

LOOK AT MY BABE ON THE COVER. AHHHHHHH, this book will probably destroy me. I welcome it.


The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton

One of my favorite “series” of historical fiction books! I was so happy when I saw that there was going to be another one from Cleeton. YAY!

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