Title: Behind the Curtain
Author: Beth Kery
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 5/2/17
Length: 400 Pages
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…
So – where to start on this one. I’m a huge fan of Beth Kery -i read anything i can get my hands on by her, and so i was really excited to see this new stand alone story. What we have is a sweet romantic saga that spans about 8 years sort of, with the story starting in the present, jumping to the past for it to make sense and then taking us back to the present to see how things play out.
The premise and idea of the story are sound – and knowing the writing style that we get from Ms Kery, that should help keep it moving, but i found that there were points throughout this book that i just skimmed through and pushed ahead since it wasn’t moving for me.
The main characters are lovable for sure – we have Asher who’s the main man, coming back from a job oversees looking to meet with his family before he’s off on another job. He’s got a bit of a tough background since his family is very wealthy, quite established in their business, and expect Asher to fall in line and work for them. He’s got a band of best friends who help keep the tone light, and i kind of got the sense at the beginning that the friends Jimmy and Rudy could have their own installments, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the point of this book. Asher’s been backed into corners by his family and what they expect of him, even to the point where his cousin Eric goes out of his way to be the perfect specimen and rides Asher to no end.
Then we have Laila – our sweet and innocent leading lady – who at the time these 2 met, she was 19 and just starting to find herself in life, all while trying to be exactly what her family wants. When Asher opens her eyes to what she could truly feel and experience in the realm of love, well we know that it’s going to be bad.
So the essence of this story is that we living present day with our characters, watching Asher struggle with what he wants to do with his life while his family hates all of his choices, and it’s on a return trip home to Chicago where he finds that the past has come back to his present. He goes to a music show with his friends where there’s a new sultry singer performing and she’s kept her identity a secret through the use of a veil or curtain during her shows – but asher sees through it.
And to the past we go – watching their romance unfold and watching how it was doomed from the beginning but the romance and emotions are all there.
So this is where i’m lost a bit. What i’m used to seeing from Ms Kery is a story that’s fast moving and really intense and this one was more ‘sweet’ i guess. not what i was expecting. The writing is all there, the characters are all nice and emotional, but it’s not the same level of intensity that i’m used to and i felt a bit let down.
Regardless, when we’re brought back to the present with our characters, things do heat up a bit since they are ‘older and more mature’ and i think that there’s a slight change or turn that happens to make the conclusion come to us fast and hard. There are scenes that are sexy and hot, and helped us finish it off on a higher note.
So with all that, still a fan of Beth Kery clearly, but this book may not make it to the top of my fan list. sorry!!