Series: Off Limits #1
Published by Entangled Crush on January 16th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Source: NetGalley, Blog Tour
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing)
Myra goes to Haiti with one goal: take the photograph that will win a scholarship and prove to her uber-traditional family that she has what it takes to be a photographer instead of a doctor. Her camera has always been her shield against getting too close to anyone, but she didn’t expect the hot teen translator who has an ability to see past her walls.
Elias needs his job as a translator to provide for his siblings. He can’t afford to break the rule forbidding him from socializing with a client. Except this girl Myra insists on going outside the city to capture the perfect picture, and he steps in as her guide in order to keep her safe.
The deeper they travel into the country, the harder they fall for each other. Now they’re both taking risks that could cost each other their dreams.
If they get too close—it could ruin both their lives.
Disclaimer: Caution! Reading this book will open your heart and inspire you to take risks. Only those searching for true love should proceed.
This unique contemporary romance shines the spotlight on cultural differences and the ways that we sometimes judge based on expectation rather than reality. Set in Haiti, the book focuses on the country’s beauty rather than its drawbacks.
What Fed My Addiction:
- Haiti! I’ve been to Haiti three times—twice in the process of adopting my son and once when I escorted a baby girl with spina bifida who we had hosted back home to her momma. So, I have a special connection with the country and I could truly relate to Myra’s thoughts and feelings when she arrives in Port au Prince. It can be disconcerting to arrive in a place that’s so different—so bustling and active and a little overwhelming when you first step off the plane (heck, the plane ride itself was a little strange when I flew into Cap Haitien). Myra wants to see the “real” Haiti, not just the parts within the clinic walls—she wants to experience the people and their everyday life. She discovers that while most Haitians are poor, they’re not without joy. They share laughter and love and a feeling of community that we sometimes lack here in America where things are (in comparison) “easy.” Reading this book reminded me of both the beauty and the pain of Haiti and its scenic countryside.
- Elias. It’s easy to connect to likable Elias, who’s incredibly focused on taking care of his family. He knows how important his job is—jobs are not readily available in Haiti, especially skilled jobs that are steady and pay well. Elias is earnest and caring and he finds himself drawn to Myra. She is different than he imagined Americans to be in many ways, but it’s also obvious that she’s naive when it comes to Haiti. He wants to connect to her—to help her—but he doesn’t want to lose his job because of it!
- Diversity. This books features LOTS of diversity. With one Haitian MC and one Pakistani-American MC (who is also Muslim), the cultural differences take center stage, but it’s the things that make us all the same that are truly highlighted!
What Left Me Hungry for More:
- Trouble connecting at first. It took me a little while to connect to Myra fully. I wasn’t sure exactly why this was, but I find that I often have this issue with books told in present tense, so it could have just been that. By the end of the book, I was emotionally connected to the characters more. I also felt like the romance bordered on insta-love (though they never quite claimed to love each other, which was refreshing—still, they were willing to give up a lot for each other after only knowing one another for a week).
- Unrealistic ending. Things get wrapped up in a very unrealistic timeframe (and maybe a tad too easily?), but I did really like the conclusion overall.
This book is an enjoyable read that gives us a glimpse into a culture we don’t often see explored. Overall I give it 3.5/5 stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley and Chapter by Chapter blog tours in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
I’m loving this top ten list! I used to be kind of obsessed with cereal too, but I’ve gotten past it—mostly. Now I’ve passed it down to my kids. And I’m jealous of Trombley and all her cruises …
Stacey Trombley’s Top Ten Addictions
- Cereal. I tend to have flavors of the month, my obsessions changing periodically. Right now I’m on Cheerios (though that one has been like 6 months) and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I eat like three bowls a day. It’s seriously a problem.
- Social Media. (Somehow, I suspect I’m not alone in this one!) Especially once I had my son and became a stay at home mom my phone was my connection to the world and I used it constantly. Facebook is where all my personal family and friends are, my writer life on Twitter. I work part time now but my addiction to social media hasn’t diminished.
- The Fireplace! Now that winter has officially hit here in Ohio, I live next to our gas Fireplace. I LOVE that thing.
- Chai Tea Lattes. My new go-to for writing marathons, and mornings I work. I have every intention of getting some mix so I can make it home too! Mmmm. It’s the only thing I prefer from Starbucks over Panera Bread.
- Pinterest Crafts…. That I never actually do. I have good intentions, I just never follow through with them (Recipes are a different story, though. I’ve made several.)
- Cruises! My mother used to take me on cruises when I was young and I’ve now got my husband hooked too! We generally go on one a year, but we’d go on more if we could afford it!
- Game Of Thrones. I get HBO exactly once per year so I can stay up to date. I have every intention of reading the books… but have decided to wait until they’re all published. I can’t handle six years between books. Also? #TeamDany!
- Oreos. I’ve instructed my husband not to let me buy Oreos at the store. The entire pack mysteriously disappears in one day… and I begin gaining weight… for no reason at all! Weird, huh?
- Pokemon Go! Oh No! My geek is showing! Haha, yes, I was one of those crazies running around catching digital monsters on my phone this summer. Even once most others stopped playing, hubby and I were full go. We’ve only just slowed down because it’s below freezing and unfortunately it’s mostly an outside game.
- Pretty journals! I hardly every actually use said journals (and definitely not for journaling. Usually for random novel planning notes) but I LOOOVE to look at journals and I can’t stop from buying the pretty a few too many times per year.
About the Author:
Stacey Trombley lives in Ohio with her husband and the sweetest Rottweiler you’ll ever meet. She thinks people are fascinating and any chance she has, she’s off doing or learning something new. She went on her first mission trip to Haiti at age twelve and is still dying to go back. Her “places to travel” list is almost as long as her “books to read” list.
Her debut novel Naked released from Entangled Teen in 2015.
Pushing the Boundaries Prize Pack including:
* Signed copy of Naked by Stacey Trombley
* Signed copy of Pushing the Boundaries by Stacey Trombley
* Haitian Art as shown in the photo
I haven’t but my youngest daughter just got back from Cusco, Peru. She was on a humanitarian trip with Ohio State University. Did medical clinics over there. She had trouble with the food and the altitude. The locals were nice except the Lima airport personnel. She speaks Spanish but I would need to go somewhere that English was the main language.
If you go on a mission trip with a group, you don’t need to speak the language (though, of course, it’s always helpful!). Usually there will be a translator and the mission group is run by someone who speaks English while the group stays together. So, don’t rule a trip someday out! 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing. That’s exciting that you’ve been to Haiti before, so you could really appreciate that aspect. I LOVE books with lots of great diversity.
I like the author’s top ten addictions- I’m pretty addicted to Twitter and Instagram most of the time.
When I saw this book available for review, I jumped at it because I was so excited about the Haiti connection!
I love the author’s addictions. Oreos and Game of Thrones? YES! The book sounds pretty interesting, too. I haven’t read many books about Haiti.
Can’t go wrong with those types of addictions, right? 🙂
That’s so amazing that you have traveled there three times! And I personally love reading about a location which I’m familiar with, the story comes even more alive in my head. But I’m sorry you had some problems connecting at first, thankfully you were able to later on….that’s always a relief. Wonderful review, Nicole!
Yes, a setting that you’ve been in can make the story that much more interesting to you!