However Long the Night by David Pereda
Publisher: Eternal Press
genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poppy
Cuban-born, award-winning Miami Architect and successful real estate developer Cid Milan suddenly faces a dilemma when his dying father reveals to him a shocking twenty-five year old family secret. Cid realizes there is only one thing he can do to unravel the mystery of his own past and right the wrongs committed. He must return to the land he abandoned. In his quest, Cid rediscovers himself and his roots as he searches frantically throughout Cuba for his teenage flame, Sandra, and the secret she kept from him all these years. In the process, Cid learns an invaluable lesson about love, forgiveness and redemption which changes his life forever.
However Long the Night was a gritty, incredibly realistic portayal of life for Cid Milan, a Cuban who came to America more than twenty years prior to the story's real beginning. Cid wasn't always the most heroic of heroes, at least not at the start. I admit I struggled to like him for the first several chapters. He's arrogant, selfish and I wasn't overly impressed with his moral compass (especially about what caused an estrangement between him and his brother, Manny). Still, as time and pages passed, it became clear that Cid was molded by his past and that underneath the outer layer was a man with a good heart and a sense of right and wrong. I may not have always agreed with his behavior or choices, but I understood the reason why he acted the way he did.
This story is layered with conflict over conflict, from the discovery of a family secret and Cid's decision to return to Cuba and the things he learns there, to the internal machinations of people looking to betray Cid within Cid's own company. There's so much going on sometimes, it leaves the reader breathless.
I thorougly enjoyed reading about Cuba. For most of us here in America, Cuba is a land of mystery. We know little about it, and Mr. Pereda certainly embued his story with loads of information about the country: its sights, sounds and people -- the good and the bad.
I think the story really gained traction once it entered Cuba. More questions were posed, intrigues about Cid's father's past there and the hunt for Sandra, the love of Cid's young life and mother of the son he never knew. The author writes with flavor and sensual detail. Occasionally, it slowed the story, but the reader is never truly bored. Perhaps it's only because we have so many questions and worries that we get frustrated when things don't move forward quickly enough to satisfy the need to discover just what's going to happen.
Overall, though, I recommend However Long the Night, not as a romance as it's billed by the publisher, though there are romantic elements, but as a fascinating suspense with a Cuban flavor and a completely satisfying ending.