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Yours to Keep

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.



posted by Anonymous on February 8, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A sweet, touching romance¿ Ana Travares is an illegal immigrant

A sweet, touching romance…

Ana Travares is an illegal immigrant. She tutors high school students and adults in Spanish. Her visa expired when she was a young child and never renewed as her mother was too ill to do so and then died leaving her 16 year old son to raise t...
A sweet, touching romance…

Ana Travares is an illegal immigrant. She tutors high school students and adults in Spanish. Her visa expired when she was a young child and never renewed as her mother was too ill to do so and then died leaving her 16 year old son to raise two younger sisters. They have lived under the radar ever since, to avoid deportation to the Dominican Republic. Ana came here young enough to now be assimilated to her new country. She has no memories of life in her country of birth. She once trusted a man with her secret, a man she was involved with, who ran away after learning her status and so trust does not come easy. There is something about Ethan that draws her and gets her to take a chance. But being what she is can she fit into his world?

Ethan Hansen is a pediatrician with a teenage son. He lost his wife years ago. His son Theo is at the rebellious stage and Ethan is having difficulties getting through to him until he hires a Spanish tutor, a woman he rescued, who brought out his protective instincts on the day they met. Ana breaks through Theo’s shell and also brings life back to Ethan. The more he learns about her the more he wants her but when the truth is learned will he stay the course? 

This is a sweet touching romance of two people from diverse backgrounds falling in love and the issues they face. The author did well describing the problems that illegal immigrants face on a daily basis. There was though an overabundance of stereotyping that detracted from the story for this reader. I also wondered why as adults they never tried to see if they could legally change their status as they did not, and there was no intent to, enter the country illegally. I liked the banter between the hero and heroine; there was definite chemistry between them and each had a strong sense of family. Both were strong and independent characters.

ARC provided by the publisher.

3.5 stars

posted by ZR1000 on November 18, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2014

    Great book

    Well written and great character development. The topic of immigration was well thought out. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Great book

    Loved the characters, especially Ethan! I am such a hopeless romantic. Looking forward to rasding another one of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014


    Very good book. Cheap buy. Definitely worth it!!!

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  • Posted November 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    True Contemporary Romance!

    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.

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  • Posted November 12, 2013

    I love love love this book. I always like coming across new auth

    I love love love this book. I always like coming across new authors to add to my most loved list and Serena Bell is my new addition.

    In this book the author writes a wonderful love story that deals with realistic everyday issues. Perhaps not issues in everyone's lives but for those affected by immigration issues and biracial loves, they can face overwhelming obstacles that most of never give thought to.

    The story of Ethan (upper middle class doctor) and Ana (undocumented immigrant)is heartwarming and thought provoking. It is also a read everyone should enjoy. Well done Ms. Bell

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  • Posted November 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Serena Bell does a good job describing the issues in the novel a

    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*

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  • Posted November 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    My rating: 4.5 of 5 ¿¿ For twenty years, Ana Travares an

    My 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. Serena 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.**

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

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