Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Twosome Twosday: 53 Letters for My Lover by Leylah Attar

This is not your typical love story. It’s not so black and white. Lines are crossed. Walls are smashed. Good becomes bad. Bad becomes very, very good.

Shayda Hijazi - the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect daughter. For thirty-three years, she has played by the rules, swallowing secrets, burying dreams and doing whatever it takes to anchor her family. Shayda Hijazi is about to come face to face with the one thing that can rip it all apart, the one thing she has always been denied: love.

Troy Heathgate - untamed, exhilarating, dangerous; a man who does exactly as he pleases. Life bends to his will. Until he comes across the one thing he would give it all up for, but can never have.

Born on the same day in opposite corners of the world, their lives collide. And nothing is ever the same again.

Spanning three decades, 53 Letters for My Lover is a fiercely sensual, emotional ride to the heart of an epic love that defies it all - an intimate exploration of love, loyalty, passion, betrayal, and the human journey for hope, happiness and redemption.


Check out the FREE bonus novella - 
snippets from Troy's POV!

5 - Holy Frickin' Wow - Smooches

"Are you happy, Shayda?"
A second.  That's all it takes.  
A single beat of hesitation on my part.

Wow.  Just wow. 

I mean, really, WOW!!!

For the life of me, I can't understand why every blogger is not talking about this book.  I can't remember having this bad of a book hangover since Mud Vein.  I loved this book SO MUCH!!!  A good book friend of mine recommended it (I had never even heard of it before) so I jumped right in.  And I fell in love ...

Shayda immigrates to Canada from Iran in her early 20's.  She's grown up in a different culture, operating under a different set of familial expectations and obligations.   Pretty soon after arriving in North America, she marries another Iranian immigrant, Hafez.  Entering into the marriage with the best of intentions, Shayda is committed to her union and her new life as Mrs. Hafez Hijazi.  Demons from the past, unfortunately, threaten the very possibility of their marriage succeeding and, as the years go by, Shayda and Hafez's marriage is anything but ...
We were a different kind of broken.  The quiet silent kind that gets swept under the bed or stuffed in the linen closet.  And we had become good, really, really good, at leaving those spaces undisturbed.  - Shayda
The story is told exclusively from Shayda's point of view, alternating between the past and the present.  We follow the decline of her marriage, how she meets Troy Heathgate and their encounters over the years.  Shayda's love for her family, her obligation to her marriage, and her need for love all propel her into an on again/ off again affair with Troy.  Yeah, yeah, I know ... cheating.  So many of us hate cheating in books and I am one of them.  But this story ... *sigh* ... it almost makes it okay. 
I can't remember the last time we had sex.  Months have turned into years, and the years have melded into a hazy point beyond recall.  But tonight I want to burn for him.  I want to drive away thoughts of anyone else but him.  I want it here, where it belongs, where it's good and right and pure.  - Shayda

The story spans roughly thirty years and is truly an epic love story.  One I can assure you you don't want to miss!  
I wait for guilt to set in.  I wait for self-loating to roll in.  I wait for my feet to carry me to the door.  But when his lips graze mine, whisper soft, I know this is what I've been waiting for.  - Shayda
Things are not at all what you expect and as a reader I found myself feeling compassion for someone I never expected to.  There is true beauty in this story (and so much passion it's insane!).  Ms. Attar's writing flows beautifully, her words come to life ... she is an incredible story teller.  53 Letters for My Lover reached right into my chest and squeezed the crap out of my heart.  It is definitely one of my favorites!

BB <3 SC

4.5 Beetroot Butterfly smooches!


Shayda immigrated from Iran to Canada, where her family sort of arranged a marriage for her.  Her marriage suffers a major blow early on and never really recovers.  But, Shayda and her husband make the most of their marriage and play house for their two children.

“We were a different kind of broken.  The quiet, silent kind that gets swept under the bed or stuffed in the linen closet.  And we had become good, really, really good, at leaving those spaces undisturbed.”

As you can tell from the blurb there is infidelity in this book.  But it is OKAY…  Really!  It is... you will just have to trust me.  The affair is the good stuff!  Troy…. Yummmmmm

Troy is a mutual friend and is EVERYWHERE(he is the other guy… stay with me!).  While there is instant attraction between these two, Shayda tries to fight it.  She is true to her marriage for a very long time.  Troy is a huge flirt and quite the ladies man.  Shayda finds herself very drawn to him.

I’ve crossed oceans and countries and continents. That was the easy part. But sitting here before Troy Heathgate now, I’m teetering on a knife’s edge between honor and disgrace.

This affair spans decades.  Shayda gets sucked in and out…  there is a lot of cat and mouse.  A lot of push and pull.  And a whole lot of heat and sexual tension.  Troy is relentless and Shayda desperate for his love. 

How do you deny a living, breathing feeling? How do you hack it and kill it and bury it so that it never surfaces again?

Troy… I want to say so many things but really you just need to read the book.  I thought I had him all figured out and he turned out to be so much more.

“So, what’s it like?  To have it all?”

“Like flying.  Soaring.  Until you come across the one thing you’d give it all up for, and can never have.”

There are some books that get better with time.  And, what I mean by that is I already really, really loved this book when I read it.  But it is one of those stories that I have thought about every day since finishing it.  Troy and Shayda  have infiltrated my heart.  They have a love that is intense and evoked so many emotions… love, hate, desire, betrayal…  anytime they were together the heat jumped off the page.  It was a living breathing thing and I was consumed!

So why 4.5 and not 5 smooches?  The first half of the book was a little hard for me.  There are so many secondary characters and it took a while to be able to place all of them and understand what was happening.  

That being said, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  The writing is flawless.  The feels are SO real. So so real.  Looking back, I can’t believe how much content is in this one book and yet it never feels rushed.  This is not insta-love but a slow building, toe curling romance that will leave you breathless.  

Leylah Attar writes stories about love - shaken, stirred and served with a twist. When she's not writing, she can be found pursuing her other passions: photography, food, family and travel. Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate.

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