Author: Serena Bell
Publisher: Loveswept (Contemporary romance)
Review by: Onnica
Basic story: Ana Travares has spend the majority of her life trying to fly under the radar. Having come to the US as a child on a visa, the sudden death of her mother left her, her brother and sister alone and with illegal immigrant status. She makes her living as a Spanish tutor and teaches ESL at the local school. The changes in the law are making it more and more difficult for her to make a living as she has no social security, no bank account, no identity.
Her brother Ricky, who’s more like a father, warns her to trust no-one. Advice she follows until she meets her new student Theo and his father Ethan Hansen. She feels an immediate kinship with Theo, who lost his mother around the same age she did. Ethan makes an impact on her too. He seems to see into the deepest parts of her. The parts she has to keep hidden to ensure her survival and that of her family.
For years Ethan has been raising his son alone, with no time for anything other than work. The day he meets Ana changes all of that. He’s desperate to get to know her better, but he doesn’t want to jeopardise the connection his son has with her. She’s the only thing that makes Theo smile lately. The more time she spends with them, the more Ethan falls – and the feeling is mutual. Ana knows she has to tell him the truth before they fall too far, but the truth is grim. What if she can’t be his to keep?
Why you should read this: You know how even as much as you may love romance, you can get a little tired of re-reading essentially the same story over and over? Well this book was a welcome surprise. It deals with a storyline I haven’t come across very often with well-rounded characters who weren’t social stereotypes. The tension between Ana and Ethan was off the charts hot and I liked that Ethan was a bit older than your average hero. I had a lot of sympathy for the characters and it dealt with some emotional matters, yet it was balanced with banter and humour.
What you might hate: The premise is a little heavier than perhaps other Loveswept novels but I think it’s dealt with well – you won’t feel depressed by the subject matter, it’s a well-told story with a very satisfying ending.
Rating: I give Yours to Keep a solid 4/5 – it was original, emotional and heartwarming.