The Cuban Heiress (Paperback)
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In 1934, a luxury cruise becomes a fight for survival as two women’s pasts collide on a round-trip voyage from New York to Havana in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton's page-turning new novel inspired by the true story of the SS Morro Castle.
New York heiress Catherine Dohan seemingly has it all. There’s only one problem. It’s a lie. As soon as the Morro Castle leaves port, Catherine’s past returns with a vengeance and threatens her life. Joining forces with a charismatic jewel thief, Catherine must discover who wants her dead—and why.
Elena Palacio is a dead woman. Or so everyone thinks. After a devastating betrayal left her penniless and on the run, Elena’s journey on the Morro Castle is her last hope. Steeped in secrecy and a burning desire for revenge, her return to Havana is a chance to right the wrong that has been done to her—and her prey is on the ship.
As danger swirls aboard the Morro Castle and their fates intertwine, Elena and Catherine must risk everything to see justice served once and for all.
About the Author
Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family's exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England, where she earned a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London, and a master's degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
“Chanel Cleeton shows just what an exceptional talent she is in her new book, The Cuban Heiress. While I’ve loved every one of Chanel’s books, I absolutely adored this one. Take one heiress with more than a few secrets, throw in a roguish jewel thief and put them aboard a glittering cruise ship sailing from New York to Havana and you have the perfect historical novel. As soon as I’d finished it, I wanted to read it again. Do not miss this book.”
—Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre
"Chanel Cleeton does it again with The Cuban Heiress. Using as backdrop the very real life history of the incendiary New York-Cuba voyage of the luxury cruise ship, the SS Morro Castle, Cleeton explores the explosive encounter between New York heiress Catherine Dohan and the young Cuban lady Elena Palacio. But neither woman is exactly who they pretend to be, and the journey threatens them both, as they risk their lives to pursue justice."
—Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Personal Librarian
"Chanel Cleeton serves us a delicious slice of vengeance as two women risk everything for justice. The backdrop of the SS Morro Castle unfolds a chapter of history that is little known and brings the harrowing journey of that fateful voyage to life. The Cuban Heiress is a fabulous, gripping read!"
—Madeline Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Librarian Spy
“Entertaining, enlightening, and altogether unforgettable.”
—Jennifer Robson, international bestselling author of The Gown and Coronation Year
“Secrets and suspense abound on the luxury cruise of the SS Morro Castle, as two women, both determined to exact justice, hurtle on an unalterable course toward an uncertain future. The Cuban Heiress swept me into the story and held me riveted through the last page.”
—Shelley Freydont Noble, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiffany Girls
"Set at a true life maritime disaster on board a sinking luxury liner, Chanel Cleeton’s The Cuban Heiress is a tense, compelling thriller in which we are never sure who is the hunter and who the hunted."
—Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of Peril in Paris
"I started reading The Cuban Heiress knowing little about the SS Morro Castle. By the end, I felt I had been aboard with a counterfeit heiress, a dead woman walking, a jewel thief, murky secrets, and gleaming revenge—all culminating in an explosive fire and a shipwreck to make history. This novel proves once again that real life is truly the stuff of fiction.”
—Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of Mustique Island and Marilla of Green Gables
"When a decadent pleasure cruise aboard the SS Morro Castle morphs into an unthinkable nightmare, two women must use all their wits to fight for their very lives. Based on a shocking and little-known moment from history, Chanel Cleeton has woven a twisting tale of murder, revenge, and romance that I simply could not stop thinking about!"
—Stephanie Marie Thornton, USA Today bestselling author of Her Lost Words
"A novel of audacious risk and survival that will hold you tight in its grip from first page to last."
—Tessa Arlen, USA Today bestselling author of In Royal Service to the Queen
“Cleeton delivers high impact on the high seas. Atmospherics, intrigue, and history with a dash of romance entwine the lives of two women as they travel on the SS Morro Castle. Cleeton paints the fight for justice and revenge with protagonists searching for the meaning of living with deadly consequences. Cleeton should be an auto-buy, and her talents are exemplified in The Cuban Heiress with its fast plot and prose to savor.”
—Vanessa Riley, critically acclaimed author of Island Queen and Queen of Exiles
“An absorbing page-turner by a master storyteller, The Cuban Heiress is a tale of love, larceny, loss, and revenge. Cleeton delivers a compelling cast of characters and seductively intertwined mysteries that captivate and surprise until the very last page. A superb must-read!”
—Denny S. Bryce, author of Wild Women and the Blues
“Nothing is what it seems in Cleeton's latest gripping historical novel.... Handsome con men, clever thieves, desperate rebels, and our valiant heroines all convene on this elegant but doomed ocean liner. Cleeton includes vivid details about the mysterious final voyage of the Morro Castle and provides further reading about this historic disaster.”
"Utterly enthralling, Chanel Cleeton’s The Cuban Heiress takes readers on a harrowing journey to Havana alongside a pair of gutsy women engaged in the fight of their lives. Brimming with romance, intrigue, and danger, this cleverly written tale twists and turns all the way to the final page. I absolutely couldn’t put this book down!"
—Kristin Beck, author of The Winter Orphans
“I loved The Cuban Heiress. It is a compelling novel of two women facing betrayal, intrigue and murder that captivated me from the start and held me until the emotional end.”
—Georgie Blalock, author of An Indiscreet Princess
Praise for the novels of Chanel Cleeton
“A beautiful novel that's full of forbidden passions, family secrets and a lot of courage and sacrifice.”
“A sweeping love story and tale of courage and familial and patriotic legacy that spans generations.”
“Next Year in Havana reminds us that while love is complicated and occasionally heartbreaking, it's always worth the risk.”
“A thrilling story about love, loss, and what we will do to go home again. Utterly unputdownable.”
“A remarkable writer”
—The Washington Post
“You won't be able to put this one down.”
“With rich historical detail, incisive dialogue and a firebrand heroine, Cleeton paints a vivid portrait of a woman caught in the currents of a turbulent time yet determined to make her own way.”
“An exhilarating read with a fearless heroine.”
“Has sex, drama, suspense…and pairs perfectly with a mojito.”
“This Cuban-set historical novel is just what you need to get that ~extra-summery~ feeling”
“The Ultimate Beach Read”
“Historical fiction fans will love this novel and its perfectly detailed descriptions of a long-gone era. This is another slam-dunk from Cleeton.”
—Library Journal (starred review)