Read Yours to Keep by Serena Bell Online


Serena Bell makes her Loveswept debut with the captivating story of a woman living on the edge—and the man who’s destined to love her.   Ana Travares has been looking over her shoulder her whole life. Her U.S. visa expired when she was a young girl, and if her secret is discovered, she’ll be forced to return to the Dominican Republic. Ana allowed herself to get close to soSerena Bell makes her Loveswept debut with the captivating story of a woman living on the edge—and the man who’s destined to love her.   Ana Travares has been looking over her shoulder her whole life. Her U.S. visa expired when she was a young girl, and if her secret is discovered, she’ll be forced to return to the Dominican Republic. Ana allowed herself to get close to someone once before—and after he broke her heart, she swore never to make the same mistake again. But when a handsome doctor asks for her assistance, she fantasizes about breaking all her rules.   Even though pediatrician Ethan Hansen is a natural when it comes to little kids, as the single father of a teenage son he just can’t seem to get it right . . . except for the Spanish tutor he’s hired for his son, Theo. Ana has managed to crack Theo’s shell—and he isn’t the only one taken with her. The sexy tutor has fired up Ethan with a potent mix of lust and protectiveness. But as he starts to envision a future with Ana, Ethan is devastated to learn the truth about her citizenship. Somehow he’s got to find a way to help her—and hold on to the woman he’s falling hopelessly in love with.  Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: Accidental Cowgirl, After the Kiss, and Blue Lines....

Title : Yours to Keep
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345549730
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Yours to Keep Reviews

  • Jill
    2019-01-18 08:38

    Ana Travares tutors students in Spanish. She's an illegal immigrant and with Spanish her first language, tutoring allows her to be paid cash and fly under the radar. Arriving in the States twenty years ago with her family from the Dominican Republic, the children's visas expired after their mother died. Ever since then, she and her siblings have been careful to live in the shadows, or risk discovery and deportation.Ethan Hansen, widower and pediatrician, is having a hard time connecting with his teenage son, Theo who is trying out a bit of teenage rebellion. When Ethan finds out Theo is behind in his Spanish studies, he hires Ana as his son's tutor.I really love when an author gives readers something different to the usual run-of-the-mill romance. Serena Bell has done that and then some with this contemporary, providing a touching, realistic romance as well as a wonderful story with subplots neatly tied in involving Ethan's practice and Ana's family.Set in Massachusetts it's so refreshing to see the protagonists with jobs or careers that aren't necessarily 'in' at the moment. And to read a romance novel that actually focuses on the romance and to see the hero and heroine falling in love, not just lust or attraction.This is a really lovely romance, written very believably. A modern take on the marriage-of-convenience trope that is not only convincingly portrayed but sweetly romantic.Steam: 3ARC courtesy of Loveswept via NetGalley

  • Mandi Schreiner
    2019-01-10 04:52

    I’m pretty disappointed with this one. The quick set-up is that the hero Ethan is a widower with a teenage son and they don’t have a great relationship. He is a pediatrician and he realizes he needs a spanish tutor for his son. Enter the heroine. Ana is an illegal immigrant from the Dominican Republic. She came over at the age of seven on her father’s work visa, but then her father never actually came and her mother died, and she just got away with being in the country. She is fearful of being caught and recently had to leave her teaching job. Ethan asks her to be his son’s tutor, and a romance develops. She keeps her secret of being illegal from him at the beginning.When I heard this book had a heroine who is an illegal immigrant it definitely got my notice. I also really enjoyed this author’s two previous novellas. But from the start this hero rubbed me the wrong way. He stereotypes and judges women and I could barely stand it. Like when he refers to another school mom:He knew perfectly well she was married. Most of the women in Beacon were. Which didn’t stop them from flirting; it only stopped him from flirting back.The non-flirting on his part wasn’t sexual deadness, not by any stretch. He could appreciate the glories of Beacon’s stay-at-home moms just fine from a visual perspective – expensively colored and straightened hair, subtly applied makeup , bodies finely tuned through obsessive, boredom-induced exercise.Well I am so glad Ethan could appreciate and stereo-type and judge these women. Thanks so much Ethan.And when he first meets Ana, thank goodness she is dressed in a manner that doesn’t fall into his stereo-type!She wore battered sneakers, not new leather boots like the mommies, and carried an equally battered backpack – not an expensive handbag. And she hadn’t flirted, which filled him with relief and, perversely, a need to win her interest.See, what strikes me funny here is that he has a lot of money. He is a doctor. He lives in a big fancy house and drives a fancy car. But I guess he can, just not the other women in his town? The ‘mommies’ are not allowed to show wealth because that means they fall into the flirting category?And you ask – why does he call the desperate housewives, ‘mommies?’ Let me show you an example of Ethan’s mindset again:Desperate mommies were an occupational hazard, like parents who asked him pediatric questions at awkward moments. They were usually the mothers of infants or toddlers. They felt ugly and unattractive because of post-pregnancy body changes, insecure because dynamics in their household had shifted radically, and bored because they were smart and highly educated but they’d been forced to spend long hours playing Candy Land and watching Sesame Street. It all added up to a terrible case of frustration, and he was, unfortunately, an outlet.He felt sorry for them. Actually, he hurt for them, partially because he remembered when Trish went through a similar phase. But that didn’t keep him from maintaining a safe distance – as much for their own good as his.*Mandi starts to rip her hair out*I can’t with this mind-set!! This hero is SO judgmental. SO condescending toward women. I’m so glad he is so valiant and can find the strength to keep away from these women who are so bored by being MOTHERS that the only thing they can do is throw themselves at him. Because right – our kids bore us and we never want to play with them and getting our hair done and buying new fancy shoes is just not fulfilling. Might as well try to cheat on our husbands too. Oh and don’t forget we aren’t proud of our post-pregnancy bodies.This is not a hero that I want to see fall in love. Ana needs to run in the other direction. But she falls directly into his trap.“You’re too sexy for your own good. That’s why the mommies all want to be around you.”The brake light of the car in front of them flared, coloring their faces. He laughed. “Yeah, right.”“You are!” She briefly let her hand rest on his arm, and, primed as he was, even that was enough to make his cock feel heavy.“I don’t’ think so. I think it’s a rescue thing. Everyone wants to be rescued. The mommies want to be rescued from their lives of drudgery. I’m just a convenient superhero.”Spare me. Please someone spare me.Ana. You can rescue yourself. You’ve been doing it for 20 years!! Speaking of Ana, the way she figures out her problems with being an illegal immigrant is very predictable. And the portrayal of immigrants? That is pretty stereotypical too.As I said, this author’s first two novellas were really strong and romantic. This one comes out of left field and gets a big fat F from me.

  • Claire Robinson
    2019-01-01 00:38

    So Serena Bell, what can I say about her. Well she writes a bloody good book thats for sure.I loved Ethan and Ana's story. It is unique to me in that it deals with the issue of a long term illegal immigrants and the harsh realities of their everyday lives in America. You are pretty much invisible (and want to stay that way). No ID, Bank Account, Drivers License, Credit Cards....I could go on, but summing it up, it makes life incredibly complicated. Ana and her family have become adept at being invisible, flying under the radar, working jobs where no-one asks questions and surviving as best they can. That is until Ana gets in a situation that requires Ethan's intervention. The sparks fly from then on in. This story develops gradually, as does the relationship between Ethan and Ana, you are given a glimpse of Ana's family life and the vast contrast between that and how Ethan and his son Theo live. I loved Theo, he added a whole separate dimension to the story, a teenager dealing with the loss of his mother, the emotional shutdown of his father, and the prospect of a whole new chapter with Ana in his and his fathers lives. Ethan, mmmmm......Hot Doctor, need I say more and hell yeah does he have a good bedside manner!!! Such an enjoyable read from the get-go. I would call this a grown up romance. The writing is mature, well paced and the bedroom scenes are Spicy. The book is written from both Ethan and Ana's POV which works really well, and one of my favourite phrases of all time is in the book "testicular fortitude" having balls by any other name!! Classic. Great Plot, Great Characters, Great Read. ARC provided by Netgalley, and it was a pleasure to provide the above review.

  • Kristen
    2018-12-24 04:44

    In Serena Bell's Yours to Keep, this contemporary romance debut deals with hard-core issue of the immigration status in our country and what would you do for love. For Ana Travares, she's been living under the ICE's radar as an undocumented citizen since her mother's death. And she's under pressure for taking the CORI in order to tutor high school students. When Dr. Ethan Hansen's son Theo needs a Spanish tutor, he requested her tutoring services. From there, he had helped transformed Theo and bridged the gap between father and son, which had been chartered some rapid waters in their relationship. But Ana tries not to fall in love with Ethan, since she knew her secret about her immigration status and her protective brother wouldn't approve. When he catches wind about her citizenship, he proposes a plan to keep her in the country and in her life to get her green card. When her brother finds out, he encourages Ethan to break it up, when the forces against her had propelled her to do it first. Later, during a family crisis, Ana calls Ethan to come to the rescue. That had changed everything between them, when Ethan wants to do it right and make Ana his wife and to give her the American dream of hers to keep for her own with a happy ending.

  • Luv My Books ♡
    2019-01-03 06:43

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a great story about the life of an undocumented immigrant woman from the Dominican Republic. I love that Serena Bell thoroughly gave us a full back story for Ana and showed us what life was like for her and her family of a brother, sister and a nephew and two nieces living together in the shadows, illegally. Ana's gifts and bravery made her shine as a Spanish tutor. Meeting handsome pediatrician Ethan and becoming his 15 year old son Theo's Spanish tutor changed her life. This beautiful couple got a beautiful story! I thought this book was nice and long and full of great detail. The times when they would second guess their choices and the times of conflict made sense to me and that push/pull made me want their happily ever after even more. I will continue to devour Serena Bell's books for sure! She gives a great story and I love her writing!

  • Shirley Frances
    2019-01-04 06:50

    Ana finds herself facing her greatest fear - being found out. She has always kept to herself as to not draw to attention to her precarious situation. Smart, independent and self-sufficient, Ana just wants to be able to live her life without having to look over her shoulder.Ethan has been going through the motions of his life since his wife passed away years ago. His only grounding presence is his son and even that relationship is sinking. Looking for a way to make something right in regards to Theo, he hires Ana as a Spanish tutor. Upon meeting, he can't deny that he is attracted to her. She ignites in him feelings that he thought were buried after his wife died.Try as they might, Ana and Ethan fight their attraction, both for different reason, but both wanting more with every moment spent together. They let go, they retreat, they come together again. It was all a bit whiplash-inducing, but very, very enjoyable nonetheless.I loved that Ethan and Ana had doubts about opening up to someone else. I especially understood why Ana held back. Coming from a Latino family myself, I understood perfectly well the sense of duty that she felt towards her family and the guilt that she felt whenever she thought about moving on.Ethan's hesitations were well-founded too. He had never felt about a woman the way he felt about Ana. With her presence in Ethan and Theo's life, she brought them laughter, happiness and peace. Something that they had lost along the way.Serena Bell did a great job of bringing these characters together. Their interactions were interesting and entertaining and their chemistry was off the charts. I appreciated the fact that the author kept the story real. Both Ethan and Anna were dealing with real issues that affected their relationship one way or the other. Having a teenage son and being a doctor does not leave for a lot of time to work on a relationship. Add to that the fact that Ana herself had a hectic schedule and is completely understandable when the communication lines start to fail.My only complain would be the Spanish references that threw me off from the story as I was reading it. Not because I didn't want them in the story, but because I kept correcting them. My first language is Spanish and there were a couple of errors in the copy I was provided.All in all, Yours to Keep was a nice, hot, romantic read with two complex characters that learn that they each have to let go of their fears and trust and accept each other in order to move forward into a meaningful relationship.I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.

  • Dianne
    2019-01-14 04:59

    The fear of deportment for an illegal immigrant from the Dominican Republic threatens to become reality, until her knight in shining armor comes to her rescue she is cornered by her manipulating boss. Not only has pediatrician Ethan Hansen helped her out of a bad spot, but Ana now has the opportunity to return the favor by tutoring Ethan’s rebellious son in Spanish. The story of their growing love is filled with joy, heartache and the likelihood that they can never be together.Yours to Keep by Serena Bell is a heart-warming love story of two lonely people from different worlds who must fight against odds in an attempt to find happiness. Will the forces working against them be too much? Should they fear the government removing Ana from the country, separating this pair or will her family plunge the final wedge to drive them apart?Serena Bell has written with feeling and depth, creating a very realistic world for her characters to live in. Ethan is truly a hero. Ana is far from a weak damsel in distress, she is strong, intelligent, but in a precarious situation as an illegal immigrant in this country, even though she fights every step of the way to earn her keep and independence while staying under the radar. Ms. Bell has penned a wonderful romance filled with just the right mix of tension, heat and emotion.I received an ARC edition from Loveswept in exchange for my honest review.Publication Date: November 11, 2013Publisher: LovesweptISBN: 9780345549730 Genre: Adult Contemporary RomancePage Count: 323Amazon | Barnes & Noble

  • Beth
    2019-01-19 08:53

    Yours to Keep was a great story with an endearing romance, strong sexual chemistry and a moral lesson to boot.Ethan, oh Ethan, might just be the perfect man. He accepts Ana for who she is and doesn't judge her by her social economical status or her differences.There is no other way to describe Ana but strong. She faces what ever comes her way and takes it head on for the benefit of her family. She also is a devoted and talented teacher.This is the first book I've read by Serena Bell, but it won't be my last. She writes characters that you'd want to call your friends. This is a true love story where two people finding happiness in each other and not the person they want each other to become. Yours to Keep was a charming, emotional enriching romance with insight into the life of illegal immigrants. I received this ARC copy of Yours To Keep from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication November 11, 2013.Written by: Serena BellPrint Length: 323 pagesPublisher: Loveswept Publication Date: November 11, 2013Rating: 4 StarsGenre: Contemporary RomanceAge Recommendation: AdultLearn More at: Serena Bell's WebsiteFind this book on: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor more reviews check out Tome Tender's Book Blog or find us on Facebook.

  • Michel Reinhard (Smut Book Junkie Reviews)
    2018-12-22 05:03

    ARC provided by the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.Serena Bell is a new author in my reading library. I was impressed with her short story in the Christmas collection Heating Up The Holidays. I was looking forward to the release of Yours To Keep. The anticipation was worth the wait. Yours To Keep was fabulous. It was fresh and unique. The story was written with a sensitivity to the subject matter that makes readers aware of the immigration issues we face here in the United States. This is a hot political issue and there are torn feelings for these issues. Serena Bell handles both sides of this issue with a finesse that does not make either side look bad. It gives the reader an understanding of the issue at hand and those affected by this issue.The characters come to life and the reader sympathizes with both characters. They are charming, realistic, and have a way of embracing the reader’s heart. The romance between the two is realistic.The reader not only experiences an embracing love story, they also experience a way of life that affects many immigrant families.The reader will walk away with a new perspective on immigration, immigration laws, and how families are affected by these laws. Serena Bell pens a beautiful love story and tackles sensitive issues in a very positive manner. Her writing is superb.Well done! I highly recommend this book.

  • Nakeesha
    2019-01-07 02:44

    I was so impressed by the roller coaster of emotions I experienced reading this work. Racial, classist, stereotypical, prejudical highs and lows that made me angry, happy, sad, thoughtful and then back around again. Bell WENT THERE, unafraid, unapologetic. And in the middle of all of that, there was a really good romance story and character transformation. These are the kinds of stories I want to read. This is the kind of writer I want to be: unafraid to tackle tough issues with a heap of lyricism.

    2019-01-13 02:43

    *ARC provided by netgally *I thought this would have been a refreshing read. Sadly it dissapointed on so many stupid levels , I liked the summary which was what drew me to this novel but sadly it just did not match up to standards.The hero was not what I was expecting , he was weak nothing at all to what I pictured . The only saving grace in this was the hero's son which was sweet . This story could have been handled much better but it git stuck with so many cliches that it did not resonate to anything great for me .2 stars

  • Margreet Asselbergs
    2019-01-05 03:38 rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️For twenty years, Ana Travares and her family, have lived under the radar. Moving from the Dominican Republic to the US at age seven with her mother and brothers was legal at the time, until her father changed his mind about coming and left the children alone with a dying mother and an expired visa. Ana adjusted well to the language and the culture, and learned to use that to her advantage. Working as a Spanish tutor and adult ESL teacher, she has been able to avoid any legal entanglements that might expose her or her close knit family. Until one day her sleezy supervisor calls her into his office waving some immigration documents and makes some strong sexual advances in return for which he suggests he can make them disappear.As a pediatrician, Ethan Hansen is well-known for his ease with kids, and it doesn't hurt that his good looks are a hit with the moms. However, he is out of his league when it comes to his own teenage son, Theo. After his wife's death, eight years ago, it has always just been the two of them, but the last few years have been progressively more difficult. This last stunt of Theo's, bailing on his Spanish classes, is testament to that. Determined to grab the bull by the horns, Ethan is outside the supervisor's office in search of a Spanish tutor, when he hears a woman's voice cry out, "Stop it!". The voice belongs to Ana, and Ethan can't believe his luck when he determines the beautiful but slightly distressed woman is in fact a Spanish tutor. Without any hesitation he hires her to help out his son and within no time Ana has Theo eating out of her hand, with Ethan not far behind. But Ethan can sense that Ana is holding something back, she is skittish and at first resistant to his advances. Or it could just be he has gotten rusty over the years, but the heat in her eyes tells a different story. Ana can't hold out for long, and even though she knows she should tell Ethan the truth about her status, she can't seemt to find the right time.It is inevitable that Ethan finds out about Ana's citizenship and he is hurt that he didn't trust her enough to tell the truth. Anna thinks she, once again, has been unceremoniously dumped and is devastated. Although slightly bruised, Ethan is far from ready to give up on Ana, and spent his time considering ways in which he could help her. When he faces her with the proposal he has come up with, she can hardly believe her ears. Her initial reaction is anger and fear, but slowly she starts to see the beautiful possibilities.......*****A heart-felt and genuine story. Really captivating storyline and an interesting show of cultural diversity and parallel. Aside from the fact that it was a truly great, hot, juicy love story, of course!!!!Very well done, the way the background contexts for both main characters were slowly laid out through the story, rather than all piled up in the beginning. I love when writers let us get to know the characters the way we would in real life.........little by litte, as circumstances dictate, in a purely natural flow. That's what Serena Bell did here with both Ana and Ethan. No big information sheets thrown at us at the beginning, just a progressive 'getting to know' process.......wonderfully done!!It helps to better understand where each of the individuals' perspective. Even Ana's brother's, who may not always seem like such a great guy, but because of the situational and background picture that was emerging, even his point of view was sort of understandable.Ana has known nothing else but to live 'in the shadows' for all of her cognisant life. Avoiding direct questions, situations where paperwork would be needed (there are so many of those!!), always keeping a low profile, trying hard not to stand out. It must have been utterly tiring and completely absorbing to have to be that aware always. Almost like living in occupied or enemy territory, scary. Not surprising therefore, that she doesn't trust easily, or even at all! She wouldn't know how, she's never been taught how, or proven she could. Her saving grace from becoming as distrustful and cynical as her siblings, is that she believes in love, with an innocence that makes those around her so protective, she believes there is inherent goodness in people. Ethan is a good man, a decent man, but simply going through the motions after the death of his wife left him with a young son to raise by himself. He really never moved on from simply functioning. Not truly engaging with Theo, yes he would do all the practical parenting stuff, but he would really connect with his son. Which is why Theo at fifteen, becam the bane of his existence. His brother James had tried to tell him to 'get a life' a number of times, but I don't think it resonated until he met Ana and actually felt there WAS a life to be lived. It didn't hurt that she fairly effortlessly was able to get through to Theo in a matter of hours and somehow managed to ease the tension between Ethan and his son at the same time. What I love about this story is that it is NOT the usual trope of rich doctor saves poor immigrant girl, or some such thing. For one thing, I'm not sure who is saving who here....... and for another, the 'poor immigrant girl' ended up with a fair set of brass balls, once she discovered there were avenues she could take on her own. She was determined to 'save' herself, one way or another, I think Ethan was the one who was more at risk of getting lost here........A great story, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Serenca Bell does not disappoint when it comes to creating chemistry and passion between her characters, but it doesn't overshadow the impact of the story. Amazing!!✨Compelling, thought-provoking, passionate and insightful!✨**ARC provided by NetGalley and Loveswept in return for an honest review.**

  • UltraMeital
    2018-12-26 07:44

    I don't know what took me so long to review this one since it was SUCH a joy to read. The previous book by Serena was a bit of a miss for me but this one made me remember how much I enjoyed everything else I've read by her and of course I'll read anything else she puts out (already marked to read her next one "Hold on Tight") Ana is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic. She arrived at the US with her family when she was a small child with a legitimate visa but unfortunately as her mother got sick and died she failed to file the papers to renew their visa so Ana and her two older siblings became illegitimate. Since Ana was pretty small when she arrived at the US she always saw herself as an American and she wasn't about to jeopardize being deported back so she and her family did what they could to survive. Ana tutors Spanish in School and also have classes for English as a second language.All in all she has work, she has a close family but one thing she can't have is a relationship, love. She tried dating but it didn't work out.. once the guy learnt of her legal situation he disappeared and besides the heartache of being dumped there is always the chance someone would tell on her and her family and they would all get deported. After 20 years of living in the US she feel her luck might be running out as a new regulation in school (where she gets most of her students to tutor) asks her to write down all her personal information including her social security number - the one she doesn't have. Her boss at school offers to "help her out" and makes a very nasty move at her. Struggling to free herself from his grasp she is saved by Ethan who came to the office looking for a Spanish tutor for his teenager son. Even though Ethan is the one who rescued Ana from a very bad situation he feels like he is the one being rescued and he isn't even sure why. Ethan is a known and appreciated doctor, but his life isn't so perfect. The one thing, the one person on his top priority list - his son - doesn't get along with him and as the time goes by he doesn't know how to reach him and the one woman he loved died a few years back from cancer leaving him to deal with raising their son alone.As it seems Ana and Theo get along from right about the first minute they met, and when Ethan finds that out he is very impressed by her. Seeing how good she is with his son but also how confident, creative, funny, interesting and sexy she is makes sure that not so slowly but surely - he falls for her. But she is sending him mixed messages. He feels like she want him as well yet she rejects him and he doesn't understand why. Ana is falling for Ethan but she can't bring herself to tell him the truth and when he finally finds out and even when he has a way to help her their road to happiness is filled with obstacles. Ana and Ethan's love story is simply beautiful. They come from different worlds yet they are perfect for each other. And even though I'm NOT a fan of books with kids Theo is just amazing. I felt he was an "authentic" teenager pulling stunts and having stupid fits of anger, yet he also has a sensitive side Ana helps let loose. There are great scenes of father and son - happy, sad, funny - the relationship just felt so genuine. He wasn't "in the way" of Ana and Ethan's romance it was somehow entwined together. See this quote for an example:Theo grumbled under his breath. "What?""Not very romantic," Theo muttered."You have to trust me. I have more life experience that you do."Theo glared at him. "Doesn't seem to have done you much good so far." I love happy endings but I usually don't need a full disclosure of a HEA. I'm OK with a suggested one. So I was nearing the end and I had this stupid happy smile on my face when the chapter was over, I took a breath and released it, pressing on the kindle to see the marking of the end of the book and hey! there's another chapter! Well, I'm was happy but I am willing to get happier you know? so I got to the end of the chapter and I was surely happier! Pressing for the last time to get to the last page - oh! there's an Epilogue as well! :DWell, I just have to say that even though their romance took it's time and even though her family was making it hard for her to be happy with Ethan I just loved how it all concluded. Happy ending all the way. Ana, Ethan and Theo as well, all deserved it and sure got it!I'm going to end with something really mussy which is SO not my style but I feel like I have to, so here we go -" The older your kids got the more they needed you. Not some parent, any parent, but you, specifically. When they were babies, anyone could hold them, feed them, comfort them. But as they got older, went to school, and fell under other influences, only you could finish the job of shaping them. Only you could give them the guidance they needed. Even if they seemed to reject it. Even if they seemed not to be listening. " I don't think I ever thought about it like that. I guess my psychology background tend to see it the other way around. But when I read it and really thought about it I realized how truthful this sentence is and how much my parents mean to me. Naturally first think I did was recommend this one to my mother and I'm really glad she already started reading it today :) Highly Recommended!

  • Dana
    2019-01-04 00:45

    This is a Net Galley unedited proof.Ana Travares moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic when she was 7. She came with her mother, older brother and sister. Her father would join them once they were settled. That was the plan, anyway. When her father decided to stay in the DR, Ana's mother fretted over what to do- stay in the US, or go back home. But lack of funds kept them in the US, and when Mrs. Travares got sick and ultimately died of cancer, Ana and her brother and sister were now stuck in a country with Visas that were slowly expiring. Cut to years later when Ana is now an adult, and a spanish tutor and ESL instructor. New this year to the school district where Ana tutors is a new form she has to fill out, mainly with the basics, name, address... but there is a new addition- Social Security number. Ana doesn't want anyone to know that she is now in the country illegally, and if someone does find out, she will be deported back to a country that she has few memories of and no family. She and her siblings have worked cash only jobs in order to stay under the radar, but with this new form, Ana is in danger of getting caught. If she doesn't fill out the form, her name will be taken off the recommended tutor list and she will make no money. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Ana is trying to figure out a way to take the form home and figure out something about the social security number when the principal comes on to her, and is unwilling to take no for an answer.Dr. Ethan Hansen is a widower with a teenage son who barely speaks to him. Theo, also decided to drop spanish class when he was in danger of failing, and forged his father's signature, so when the spanish teacher accosts Ethan at school one day, he is blindsided that his son would be so sneaky. Ethan heads straight to the principal's office to sort this out when he hears Ana practically screaming for help. Being the hero that he is, Ethan rushes in and saves Ana. Leaving the school together, Ethan and Ana talk and he finds out that she is a spanish tutor and asks her to tutor his son. Both of them are mutually attracted to one another, and the tutoring sessions, are ideal for Ethan to pursue his interest in Ana. Ana, having been burned before by another man who fled when he found out her immigration status, is reluctant to get into a relationship with another man, only to have him run for the hills when he finds out her status. But, their attraction cannot be denied, so they fall into a relationship. When their romance gets hotter, and Ethan finds out that Ana is illegal, he proposes that they get married so she can stay. Ana, hesitant at first, warms to the idea. When Ricky, Ana's older brother threatens Theo, Ethan's son with bodily harm if he continues his relationship with Ana, he breaks up with her, but regrets it instantly. He realizes that he wanted to marry Ana not just to get her permanently into this country, but because he is falling in love with her, but he needs to man up and face down Ana's brother if he ever wants to reconnect with her again.I really enjoyed this story and how the author made it understandable to the reader exactly what illegal immigrants go through to stay in this country. Like Ana, some came here legally and through some unforeseen circumstance their status changed and the people either forgot to get their green cards renewed or assumed they had never expired in the first place, or were unsure how to go about renewing their status without being deported or detained. Ana and her family worked hard at cash paying jobs, some of them having more than one job to stay in this country, and the author did a great job of showing how we as Americans take for granted where we come from. If Ana was deported, she'd be going back to a country she didn't remember or know at all, with no family and no money. She'd have to start from scratch all over again, without a safety net, and to her, that was terrifying. I also liked the juxtaposition of Ethan- he was this pediatrician with a G-d- complex that was given to him by the mommies in his practice. He never saw himself as a hero until Ana came into his life, and then he began to despise his moniker because he was just doing his job- saving lives. Ana even pointed it out to Ethan-no one had been willing to stick their neck out for her before, why was he so different, and he replied that he was doing what anyone would do- in terms of trying to keep Ana in the country, and she replied that he'd be surprised at how many people wouldn't help. It's a sobering thought of just how true that is.

  • Victoria
    2019-01-13 05:05

    I enjoyed reading Yours to Keep. Although this was a romance novel, it was centered around a very real life and many times controversial issue: immigration. The main character, Serena came to the United States legally as a young child, from the Dominican Republic. Due to circumstances beyond her control her eligibility to be in the US expires. Her and her family continue to live and work in the US as illegal immigrants. Years later, Serena meets Ethan when he hires her to tutor his somewhat rebellious son, Theo, in Spanish. Serena does not tell Ethan about her illegal status. She has been taught from a very early age to keep her status a secret. She has become a professional at being elusive, providing only information she has to.The author does a wonderful job of letting the reader get to know the characters before any romantic relationship begins. She allows the chemistry between Ethan and Serena to develop naturally. Because of that, when the steamy parts did come, I felt more invested in both characters as a couple.…he slid into her with one sure, deep thrust, and, as she’d imagined, she offered him no resistance, only slick welcome. “Ohhh,” he said, drawing back and thrusting into her again and again—long, deep thrusts with a rocking, rubbing motion at the end that drew an answering rhythm out of her. “Yeah,” he said. “Like that.”She whimpered and lifted her hips to meet him again and again, the tension and heat rising in her until it was almost unbearable. “Don’t stop,” she whispered. “I-- can’t-- stop,” he whispered back. I enjoyed Theo’s involvement in the story line. It was refreshing to read about Ethan’s struggles as he tries to deal with Theo as well as his frustration in trying to juggle being a single dad. And while Ethan’s brother plays only a minor role, I thought he was funny and appreciated him keeping things “real”.I ended up a little confused as to Serena’s exact ethnicity. She originally is from the Dominican Republic and she refers to herself as Latino. She then says that her father was white and her mother was black. To me that is a bit confusing but in the end it doesn’t really matter. The differences between Serena and Ethan are many and while Ethan doesn’t see their differences as a problem initially, being in an inter-racial relationship does provide some challenges. The issue of Serena’s illegal status is a major issue that has to be dealt with and provides most of the drama in the second half of the book.While this was a romance, the book did open my eyes to some of the struggles illegal immigrants face day to day. Simple things like getting a job, a driver’s licenses, or opening up a bank account are impossible unless immigrants use fake documentation. It can also be difficult or dangerous to report crimes and that can lead to new sets of dangers as Serena saw early on in the book. Those are things I’ve never really thought about before. While I’m sure the author didn’t set out to bring awareness to readers about immigration, I appreciated the backstory she provided and it’s something I’ll be thinking about in “real life”.Overall, I really enjoyed this book. At times I thought it may have dragged a little but I enjoyed getting to know all the characters and appreciated the time the author took developing each of them. A 3.5 STAR READ. Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  • Ivy Deluca
    2019-01-12 01:40

    Reading is my passion, my pleasure. I adore discovering new-to-me writers whose imagination creates a new and interesting premise and better yet, handle it in a deft manner. This may be my first Serena Bell book, but it sure won’t be my last. The PremiseAna Travares can never let her guard down, even as she tutors children in Spanish in a well-to-do neighborhood. As an illegal immigrant, she has been living in the shadows since she was a child. If she’s caught, the price will be the loss of all she knows, her family and the return to a country she barely remembers. When she is propositioned by a skeevy school employee in exchange for his assistance with a criminal record check, Dr. Ethan Hansen, overhears her cry for help and opens a door, to Ana and a love he didn’t even know he was looking for. Ethan is a man who has been trudging through life ever since the death of his wife and raising his teenage son Theo on his own. He needs a Spanish tutor for Theo and, drawn to Ana, decides to hire her to come to his house two days a week. As they get to know each other, they realize that there’s something between them, but can they overcome their cultural differences and make a life together?The GoodFirst and foremost, I loved that this wasn’t treated in a typical Cinderella manner - rich, hot doctor sweeps and saves the poor immigrant girl. Ana is a strong heroine who works to save herself, whose fears are genuine and her concerns as to how she could make a relationship with Ethan work felt true, instead of some manufactured angst. Even as a solution to Ana’s status is proposed (a marriage to stay in the country), the story takes enough twists and turns that keep the ultimate outcome is hardly assured. I really felt that Ethan and Ana worked for their relationship, and it was all the sweeter for it.As a Latina (I’m Puerto Rican), I may not have had status issues, but the cultural differences between Ana and Ethan are something that I can definitely relate to, and that is something that is not typically dealt with in contemporary romances. I loved that, while the problems they had were daunting, I never rolled my eyes and said “that could never happen.” Ms. Bell struck a nice balance through most of the story between the reality of their situation without losing the romantic feeling of their HEA.The Not as Good as I’d LikeSince it’s a truncated timeline, the story took off at warp speed, and I would have liked more of a slow build between Ana and Ethan, more of the anticipation. The story could be tighter at the beginning, and there are a (very) few moments where I felt bogged down in the details instead of focusing on the characters.The Bottom LineYours to Keep is a very good effort by Ms. Bell that I definitely recommend to those looking for a unique premise and refreshingly real characters. I look forward to reading more from this author.**ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**P.S. This is the first ARC I’ve ever reviewed. I didn’t know what to expect but I’m thrilled that it’s a good one.

  • NomdePlumePress
    2019-01-18 01:37

    [This review was part of a bigger one, which you can find here.]Such a nice surprise to suddenly be surrounded by books that reflect my life. So many of my friends and family members are in couples with very different cultural or ethnic backgrounds. So much of my dating history is the same. Maybe it’s because I live in a city, but I prefer to believe it’s because love is the thing that matters the most.Ana is a Spanish tutor with a terrible secret: she’s undocumented. She’s been in the States for twenty years and hasn’t fallen under suspicion yet, but a slimy school staffer threatens to change that. Amazingly, heroically, she’s saved from their encounter by Ethan, a widowed pediatrician with an increasingly withdrawn teenage son, Theo. And Theo is in need of a Spanish tutor. Ethan’s in need of a wake-up call, and he can’t help but fall hard for Ana.There are all the complications you would expect in such a scenario: Should Ana tell Ethan her secret? Can she trust him with it? What will her overprotective brother do when he finds out she’s taken up with a yanqui? Why shouldn’t she grasp on to what little happiness she’s offered in an otherwise precarious life? So yes, the story does go into predictable territory, and does play out pretty much as you would expect, but it’s so lovely and thoughtful and sensual as it does so that it’s not even an issue. I felt so much the hopeless, all-consuming longing that both felt for each other. Ugh, the description of Ana being woken from half-sleep by Ethan’s drowsy want, and how she lost herself to him in that moment, was so incredibly spot-on it was shocking and, in context, heartbreaking.Ethan’s reflections on the complex motivations behind the behaviour of the moms who flirted with him were equally familiar to me: how the sudden change in identity and physicality, the sheer boredom of trading productive work for repetitive play, can unmoor many women and cause them to grapple for attention and novelty in desperate and inappropriate ways. I love it so much when a story reaches out to you unexpectedly like that, when it perfectly recreates a favourite sensation, precisely annunciates your most private emotions. And I appreciated the thoughtful treatment of the immigration issue — how damaging and ridiculously unfair deportation can be when so often the circumstances are much more complicated than we’ve been led to expect. I loved this story for addressing so precisely and beautifully the many issues it brought up while at the same time capturing the delirious, consuming sensation of lust and love together.LilaReviewed from ARC.

  • LPJ
    2019-01-22 01:39

    I loved that Yours To Keep featured a protagonist who was a woman of color. LOVED. Serena Bell gets soooo many props for doing her research and creating a vibrant character shaped by her culture and not at all whitewashed. Ana's existence as a Dominican immigrant is crucial to the plot of the story and Bell didn't shy away from the complex nature of the immigrant experience, the often tense politics of skin color and hair texture within communities of African descent and just tackled it head on. I'm sure there will be actual Dominican immigrants who could find something to pick apart here, but as a black woman I consider Bell's effort for the most part well done, nuanced and sensitive. There are things hinted at, but not overtly stated that I think a writer of color would have focused on more aggressively. For instance, the fact that Ana is lighter with straighter hair than both her older brother and sister is mentioned, and the cultural/social effects of that sketched out, but a POC writer would probably have spent more time on that as a cause of the substantial differences in the siblings' life trajectories as opposed to just the age when they came to America and their proficiency at English. Economic and racial differences are handled intelligently, but without the emotional connection that a writer of color would brought the material. But that's an observation, not necessarily a criticism because Bell far exceeded my expectations for a white writer creating a character of color. I would love to see more white writers bring this level of sensitivity and thoughtfulness to a non-stereotypical, lead character of color. And more, bring it to a story not centered around race or immigration status, but where race and culture are intrinsic to the character and inform their opinions and actions. But I digress.The story itself is also well done. I really felt the intense chemistry between Ethan and Ana. The growth of their relationship and their missteps along the way felt natural. At some point in the final quarter of the book I felt things lost a bit of forward momentum making the final resolution a little anti-climactic, but overall I liked these two together, and I adored Theo, Ethan's teenage son.Yours to Keep is a sweet story of two very likable characters from opposite worlds coming together. I would definitely recommend it!

  • Romance Novels in Color
    2019-01-03 05:04

    This is Ethan, Ana and Theo’s story.Ana is from the Dominican Republic; she moved to the US on a valid visa with her mother and older siblings. Her father was to follow shortly thereafter. Due to tragic and unforeseen circumstances, Ana loses her mother and the children are left to fend for themselves and their valid visa runs out and is not renewed. Ana finds work tutoring Spanish to high school students privately and adults in the mornings and evenings to earn money. She lives with her brother, sister and her three children. They are poor and all live in a two-bedroom apartment, trying their best not to be discovered by the authorities, or else all the adults will be deported back to their country of origin. Ana has lived like this for twenty years.Ethan is a widower raising his son, Theo. Trish, Theo’s mum died when he was around seven years old, and so he clearly misses the love of his mother. Ethan is a pediatrician and works long hours in a busy practice. They live in a nice area with a lovely home and neither Ethan or Theo wants for anything. Their only hardship is that their relationship has broken down because Ethan does not know how to reach out to his son, and his son feels neglected by him.Ethan comes to Ana’s rescue when her superior tries to blackmail her after he becomes aware or surmises the true status (undocumented) of her stay in the US. Ethan and Ana’s journey to love commences when Ethan hears a commotion and goes to investigate. This then leads to Ana tutoring Theo who becomes instrumental in bringing Ethan and Ana together.The story explores the nightmarish situation of what it is like to be an undocumented person in the US; all the fears and hardships that need to be dealt with. I enjoyed the story, it was beautifully told. However, I felt the pace of the story could have been a lot quicker and I felt disappointed that although the couple’s feelings for each other were very strong they were not able to be more honest and open about their feelings and insecurities regarding the relationship and Ana’s true legal status. Regardless of that, the story was very romantic and has a happy ending! Definitely worth a read!-Reviewed by Marcia

  • Jackie (Jackie's Book World)
    2018-12-28 01:02

    *Review can also be found at Jackie's Book World :)*Serena Bell does a good job describing the issues in the novel as well as the characters. I found myself intrigued at what was happening to them and the overall picture. Hiding in the shadows has become part of Ana Travares ever since she was a little girl. After coming to the States with her family, she suffers from a series of events that have changed her life and that of those around her. When she discovers that her visa has expired, her older brother has to take action and protect his family after the sudden death of their mother. Now, twenty years later and she is still living in fear of getting caught and deported. Ana has learned not to trust anyone, and that includes any love interest in her life. But when she meets Ethan Hansen, it becomes very clear that not trusting him will be a hard thing to do. Ethan Hansen, a pediatrician and a widower has had trouble connecting with his teenage son, Theo. After the death of his wife, he was left to take care of his son all on his own. But having a teenage son isn't easy, especially when his son starts rebelling against him. When he finds out that his son is in need of an Spanish tutor, he hires Ana. It didn't take long before his son's tutoring sessions become some more for Ana and Ethan. But what he doesn't know is that she is hiding a secret from him, one that he'll have to decide whether to help her or move on. I really enjoyed reading this book, it was fresh and it gives audiences a new perspective to a subject such as illegal immigration. Serena does a outstanding job by focusing more on the story rather than on the politics of the issue. Although it was part of the story, it didn't overshadow the romance within the book. The characters are very well developed and the story flowed well. Overall, I recommend everyone to give this story a try, you will not regret it. *ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

  • Jaime Arkin
    2019-01-09 04:42

    3.5 starsAna Travares has spent the better part of her life staying in the background, never drawing attention to herself. She can't, because if she does, someone could find out that she's not in the U.S. legally. She came here legally, but circumstances happened and her VISA expired and fear of being sent back to the Dominican Republic has kept her quiet.Ana has made a life for herself though, she works with adult students to teach them English and she also works as a tutor through the nearby High School. When a handsome pediatrician, Ethan Hansen, saves her from the creepy Principal, he asks for a favor. Please tutor his son who desperately needs help. Ethan has been on his own for many years. The death of his first wife left him with a son and a busy pediatrician office. Theo, his son, has gotten the short end of the stick. Whatever time Ethan has after long work days and doing household things, is then spent with Theo... which isn't much and Theo is rebelling. Ana agrees despite the trouble that can only come from the budding relationship between her and Ethan and also Theo. There really was kind of a lot going on in this story... while we're learning about Ana and Ethan there are a few other issues. We get a side story about Ricky, Ana's brother and the struggle that they go through as illegals in the US. We also get a bit of a story about a patient that Ethan is dealing with and of course the story of what is going on with his son. For me, it was almost too much. The story itself was well-written and Ethan is definitely swoony. If you're looking for something with a somewhat unique plot (the end was a bit predictable but the actual characters were somewhat different)with a bit of drama and a lot of sweet and swoon definitely pick up Yours To Keep. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Serena Bell in the future.Thank you to Loveswept and Netgalley for the advance copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

  • Kady
    2018-12-28 08:58

    4 StarsYours to Keep by Serena Bell was so much more than just a romance! It had so many elements. I was so pleasantly surprised. Grace is an illegal immigrant from the DR who teaches English and tutors kids. She lives with her huge family in a tiny apartment and they rely on her. Ethan is a pediatrician and a single dad. His wife died years ago and he's struggling with the challenges of raising a teenage son. When he meets Grace, he literally rescues her when she's getting harassed. And it's like he's awakened from a deep, emotionless sleep. Not only does she get along great with his son, but he likes everything about her. They have instant chemistry and he wants to pursue it further, but she has a secret, and she's been trained since she was 7 years old to trust no one. Plus she's already been rejected by one guy after sharing her secret. Of course this sweet, gorgeous man finally wears her down! But when he finds out she's here illegally, he wants to rescue her again. Will she let him?I was really rooting for these two! The scenes between them were HOT and the secondary characters added depth and emotion - I loved Ethan's brother. And the scenes between Ethan and his son were touching (when he played guitar for his dad - LOOOVED it!). I even loved Grace's family. They were so tight and even though her brother does some questionable things, he does them because he loves her. Overall, this was a very satisfying, sweet read! I'm going to check out some more books by Serena Bell!

  • JG
    2018-12-24 00:52

    Yours To Keep isn't your typical romance. Serena Bell has written something with a common trope, main characters coming from two different classes, and fleshed it out, giving it more dimension and depth. Ana is an illegal immigrant by fate and not by choice. She has been living in the US for twenty years and knows no other life but the one she has. The fear of deportation has always been at the forefront of her existence. The need to hide, to keep low and not form any attachments is her form of survival. But she wants more, she works nearly everyday morning till night to save up for that undefinable future she wants so badly. Ethan is a widowed pediatrician with a teenage son, just gliding thru life since his wife's passing. Raising a child alone is a daunting task that he tries so hard to overcome. When Ana and Ethan meet everything changes for the both of them. They both learn that to truly get what you want, you have to break thru the barriers of your own making. There are so many things going right for this book. Ms. Bell's writing is excellent, the tone, the pacing, the writing style is all unique. The dialogue flows, there is humor, a poignancy to the words giving life to the story. The author has done her research really well into the Dominican Republic culture (which I learned is multi ethnic hence explaining Ana and her family's differing looks). As well as legalities of immigration and medical illnesses and situations. In other words, the details are meticulous but not to the point of overwhelming the reader but instead it gives out that well rounded feel to the characters and to the story. This is definitely a one of a kind, engaging and heartwarming love story most readers would appreciate.*The ARC for this novel was provided by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review*

  • Hilda
    2019-01-11 08:00

    We're all so absorbed in our daily lives that we take certain things for granted. This novel touches on one of those things. Ana Tavares immigrated to the US at the age of two with her family. Her father abandonned them; her mother passed away and her US Visa expired. She's been living as an illegal immigrant for the past 20 years with her siblings. She's been working as a Spanish tutor, supporting her family as best she can. Living in constant fear of being found out and deported back to her homeland of Dominican Republic, Ana takes very little risks in her lives. Chance leads her to Ethan Hansen and his son when she lands a tutoring gig. Ethan is a successful pediatrician and widower. He's been barely living, just going through the motions, disconnecting from the rest of the world. When he bumps into Ana and saves her from a harrowing situation, his life is thrown into a whirlwind. The pair fall into a passionate love affair only to be met with the wee little problem that she may be deported if immigration ever found her...find out what happens to the lovers as they seek a way keep their relationship from being torn apart!Serena Bell finds a great balance between exploring the immigration issue that the Tavares family faces and the intensity of emotions and physical attraction between Ethan and Ana. There's just enough of both to allow the reader to connect to the characters and their stories. The whole immigration issue in this novel is not something that is often spoken about so it really sets this book apart from your typical romance. It also brings it down to earth a bit--adds an element of reality. It's nice to see that two people from different worlds can find a way to be together despite all the obstacles in their way.

  • A. Freya
    2018-12-22 05:39

    Given by the publisher for an honest reviewYours to Keep is such a wonderful sweet story!It's probably one of the sweetest stories I have ever read!!It's a true romance!>>Ana has been through so much..She keeps trying to help her family but also build a life for herself.She tries to become someone better someone bigger..She wants what everyone wants. A Life. Love. A Future. She wants to matter and not to be ignored or be put aside..But we don't always get what we,do we? That's what it feels like to Ana..She keeps trying and working hard,but she doesn't see the light..She doesn't see a happy future,no matter how much she hopes..Until Ethan..>>Ethan is such a beautiful character. He is a single dad,who wants to be a present father.But his son doesn't make it easy..Then again,what teenager does?!..He is a kind man,who has been hurt in the past. I cannot imagine how a man,who lost his wife, keeps going on,while raising his son alone..Incidents like that are so..I can't comprehend the difficulties that person has to overcome..Unimaginable..Regarding love, Ethan is like Ana.He doesn't see it happening to him again.He doesn't believe in it any more. Until he meets Ana,who rises so strong emotions within him.He wants to protect her,to love her,to hold her,to make her want him as much as he wants her..Because he is hers. And he wants her to be his.It' so very beautiful!! I can't help but smile,every time I think about this book..For all of you who love Romance,this is a Must-Read!

  • Susan
    2019-01-08 01:35

    What a pleasant surprise - a contemporary romance novel that tackles the issue of undocumented immigration with an impressive amount of realism (not to mention an impressive amount of passionate sex as well). Serena Bell creates memorable lead and secondary characters, especially Ana and Ethan's family members. I appreciated Ethan from the moment he came to Ana's rescue at their first meeting, but I really fell in love with him as he struggled to be a good father to his recalcitrant teenaged son Theo. And it was impossible not to feel Ana's pain as she tried to make a good life for herself within the restrictions of her status. There are so many things we take for granted - bank accounts, drivers licenses, etc. - that Ana could never hope to achieve as long as she was undocumented. The scene in which she listens to a bunch of middle class women blithely talking about "cutting back" their expenses (as in, not putting in a swimming pool heater) and contrasted that internally to her family eating more dried beans instead of canned ones just broke my heart. Of course it is a fantasy that a handsome, noble pediatrician solves Ana's problem by falling in love with her, but major kudos to Bell for respecting the genre's boundaries while highlighting this issue - and in her debut novel, no less. I'll definitely put her on my "authors to watch" list.

  • Melissa
    2019-01-20 02:47

    Ana is from the Dominican Republic and has been in the United States since she was a little girl. She never got her visa renewed and is illegally in the country. She works tutoring others in Spanish or English. They wanted her to fill out the CORI "Criminal Offender Record Information" which she couldn't do. A man helped her to get out of the office and asked her if she tutored for Spanish because his son Theo needed one. Ana got Ethan's address and set a time to start tutoring. Ethan is a pediatrician and while working he can't get Ana off his mind, since his wife died years ago and he hasn't dated much. Ana tries to hide her feelings Ethan because she knows it can't last, if she gets caught she will be deported. Ethan finally talks Ana into going out with him and they can't keep there hand to themselves. Ana's brother threatens Ethan to break things off or he will hurt his son. Ana is heartbroken and doesn't understand. Ana's nephew has a football accident and she calls Ethan. He told her to get him to the hospital, he needed surgery. Ethan saved Ana's nephew life and her brother came clean. Told her what he said to Ethan and Ana goes ballistic. Ana and Ethan have some hurtles to go through but they have there happy ever after.

  • Katie Edmonds
    2018-12-22 01:54

    This book does not appear to have a political agenda but does a great job of highlighting the conflict some immigrants face. It provides a perspective that few are privy to and provides the perfect conflict for an intense romance. The heroine is intentionally portrayed as a victim of circumstance and not someone who made a deliberate choice to break the law. No one should be naive enough to believe that there aren't people out there who fall in this category but it helps to avoid the debate associated with those who fall in murkier waters, though there is still sympathy shown for their circumstances. There are no brutal events laying scars upon the characters, simply sad realities some people are forced to endure. This really does make the foundation for a great story. The chemistry between the characters is palpable and the internal struggles that the hero/heroine battle are heart-wrenching. This is no run of the mill romance as the gravity of reality is never far away. It doesn't have a fairy tale feel to it, though that doesn't detract from the happily ever after conclusion. You can't help but instantly fall in love with the hero and heroine and appreciate the many facets of the supporting characters.

  • Lisa
    2019-01-14 08:51

    Living your life filled with fear sounds like a terrible way to go through your day, but that is how Ana and her family live. Living in America and not being able to enjoy all of the rights and privileges most Americans take for granted must be very hard. Ms Bell is able to draw you into this existence with grace. Neither, Ana nor Ethan is really living a full life. They are each missing connections in their lives. Ethan has withdrawn because his wife died and has lost connection with his son and has no life outside of his medical practice. Ana has her family and her students, but her livelihood is always on the edge of complete collapse. When Ethan steps in to defend Ana from being harassed and propositioned she is shocked that someone has taken stepped in. Ethan and Ana are taken by surprise by their reactions to each other. They are both strong, in control and caring characters. Ms Bell has a wonderful way of creating characters you instantly care for.The story of their love, the struggles of combining two such diverse worlds is realistically and sensitively done. I loved this Knight on a white charger book! I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • Michele
    2019-01-09 04:01

    Great, distinctive contemporary romance about two people from very different worlds who fall in love and their struggles to make it work. I thought that the heroine’s, Ana’s, problems with her legal status in the U.S. made for an interesting and thought provoking storyline. I found it sad to read about the struggles and the fear that Ana and her family lived with. It made me empathize with what many immigrants must go through in reality. I liked the characters of Ethan and Ana very much. I thought there was great chemistry between them. The scenes between them were very hot and sexy! I also really liked Ethan’s son Theo and I loved seeing him and Ethan work at bridging the gap in their relationship. The epilogue and ending for this couple was absolutely perfect and left me highly satisfied and very happy . Yours To Keep was an engaging story with just the right amount of angst and conflict and appealing characters to make for a well-written, sweet and sexy contemporary romance. I highly recommend and am looking forward to reading more from Ms. Bell. An ARC was provided to me through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.