Behind The Curtain by Beth Kery

Available: May 2, 2017 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

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…

Behind The Curtain was a very interesting, poignant romance, with the majority of the book taking place as a flashback.

Asher knows the moment he hears her voice onstage, behind a veil, that the woman singing is the one woman who brought him to his knees years before. Having been out of the US for years, and only newly back on home soil, he’d only wanted to get out and enjoy an evening with his friends. Instead he finds himself instantly reliving his past in the sultry voice of the woman he once loved.

Being a Moroccan American means Laila straddles a line between her family/faith and the American way of life. As a teenager, even her love for Asher couldn’t trump her need to please her family. Now as an adult she’s determined to show Asher that they should fight for the love they once shared.

When I picked this one up I figured it would alternate between the past and the present, but about 75% of the book takes place when Laila is a teenager and Asher is in his early twenties. Because of that, the romance is there but it’s very tentative since Laila is so young and inexperienced. I would call it more sensual than sexual, at least until the last 20% of the book where it fast forwards back to present day. It was very well done overall, even if it took a different road in getting there. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting but it was a beautiful story that spanned years.

I really enjoyed the ethnic thread that Kery has woven into her characters in this book. I thought she portrayed Laila and her family very well, explaining their traditions and familial ties that bind them so close together. Laila was in a tough situation as a teenager, between her family and her budding attraction and love for Asher. Knowing her family would never approve of her dating him caused her to lie and sneak around which inevitably made it worse when everything is revealed.

Although there is no series name at this time, Asher’s two friends play a large part of the book (both in the past and the present) and I’m betting they each end up getting a book of their own.

I give Behind The Curtain by Beth Kery 4 stars!

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