Behind the Curtain Book Review *Beth Kery*

May 10, 2017 by

Behind the Curtain Book Review *Beth Kery*

 

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…

 

Behind the Curtain is one of Beth Kery’s best book to date. This is a multi-cultural Contemporary romance that has so much win on the pages. Not only does the main couple have incredible chemistry, but the underlying message here is powerful. It’s all about destiny and fate, but also doing what’s best for yourself, even though your family, and some of your friends may be against it. This has a Romeo and Juliet feel to it, based on the flashbacks of our heroine and hero when they were young. These flashbacks cement the emotional intensity between these two, and an all consuming love that can’t be denied.

Asher Gaites is an international reporter who will most likely win a Pulitzer for his amazing work soon. He comes back to the US after years of being abroad during some dangerous situations. Asher comes from money. His father owns a media conglomerate, and his parents expected him to run the company. He’s a disappointment in their eyes because he doesn’t do what they want him to do. Asher loves his work, but he feels adrift in life. He wants to live his life on his own terms, and not be ruled by his father’s iron fist. While in his hometown of Chicago, he catches up with his two best buds of many years. They want him to enjoy what Chicago has to offer before he’s off and running to report on some war in another country. There is a mysterious singer who has a voice of angel. She sings in a nightclub, but behind a curtain. No one knows what she looks like.

Asher goes to hear the singer, and is struck dumb when he recognizes her voice. She is Laila, the woman he first met when he graduated college, and she only nineteen one summer. They fell for one another hard. She was his first love. But because they were caught together (literarily in bed), they were separated. Now that he’s back, he won’t let Laila go.

Laila comes from a very traditional Moroccan family. Her parents, and she were born in the USA but they are very dedicated to their Moroccan heritage. Her parents are very protective of Laila, even thought she’s an independent woman who has tried to live the life she wants and not what her parents expect of her. She sings behind a curtain so she can hide her identity, although she is ready to take off. She is going to record her first album, plus the media wants to know who Laila really is. Everything is about to be unveiled, especially when she meets a blast from her past- Asher, the man who was her first love in every sense of the word. Now that he’s back, temptation arises again for Laila to renew her relationship with the man she has never forgotten.

But even though Laila and Asher are adults, their past haunts them because of their parents who are very set in their ways. Asher’s rich WASP parents refuse to listen to Asher’s wants and needs. Laila’s parents want her to embrace her roots more, which means settling down with a family and marrying a men they approve of. Can Asher and Laila be together and loving one another in the open even though they may be turned away by those they love?

Behind the Curtain is one of the best romances of 2017. Every page had me hooked from beginning to end. This is a smart romance featuring a mature couple who connect in so many ways. Both Asher and Laila are in awe of one another, not just because of their physical attraction for each other, but because of their insight and intelligence. They steam up the pages in so many ways. One love scene, which gets two big thumbs up from me is straight from a steamy train scene ala the 1983 movie, Risky Business (also takes place in Chicago). Woo wee, I was very hot and bothered, but in a good way.

The one downside is Asher’s father. He comes across as too one-dimensional and stereotypical. I can understand he wants Asher to work for the family company, but he is too authoritarian, and clueless to Asher’s success. His mother is wishy-washy and doesn’t bring too much to the story. Laila’s parents and extended family members are so colorful and wonderful in their personalities. You understand better why her parents want certain things of Laila because their culture is well portrayed here. Also the ending is a bit abrupt, and a somewhat different HEA that some readers may be disappointed with. But these small issues I have don’t take away the richness and loveliness Behind the Curtain has to offer.

Behind the Curtain is a much read romance for 2017. This is romance done right, including proving how love and acceptance in all forms makes the world a much better place. A MUST READ! (Berkley)

Final Grade: A-

 

A few other Behind the Curtain reviews:

Book Sniffers Anonymous

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Harlequin Junkie

 

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