Title 53 Letters For My Lover
Author: Leylah Attar
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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 her heart 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, forbidden love that defies it all—an intimate exploration of love, loyalty, passion, betrayal, and the human journey for hope, happiness and redemption.
“Sexy, intense fiction isn’t afraid to step out of the box.” 
Contemporary women’s fiction: Ages 18+

Rating: ★★★ 1/2

“If we base our decisions on all the things we’re afraid of, we would be paralyzed with fear. We’d never have the guts to love, or hope or dream…”

I have heard so much about this book and was really excited to read and review. But honestly, the first time I tried to read it I had a hard time getting into it. I just didn’t feel connected. I put it down and gave it a rest for a couple of days. After a very busy week, I decided to pick it up and finish it.

“My Grandma used to say that people born on the same day are two halves of the same soul.”

53 Letters for My Lover is a unique love story of Shayda Hijazi and Troy Heathgate spanning three decades. Shayda who was originally from Tehran has moved to Canada and worked for a Canadian family, where she meets Troy.

Shayda and Troy could have been the most perfect couple…only if Shayda wasn’t married.

“You want me to choose?”
“It’s not about what I want. Or what anyone else wants. What do you want, Shayda?”

I have to say my favorite aspect of the book is the moment when they sneak off to spend some time together. I loved reading them and I thought it was such a thrilling touch to really see the complicated feelings they had for each other. 
I had a hard time liking Shayda at first, because she really confused me and I got fed up with some of her actions. But as the story went on, she did redeem herself and I was really impressed with how she adapted and grew as their story progressed. Troy, on the other hand was just sooooo swoon worthy and irresistible. His love for Shayda was just unbelievable. 
Aside from my constantly changing opinions of Shayda and Troy, I found myself unable to put down the story the second time around. I felt like the story was pretty unique. I can’t deny that I was completely sucked into the tension of their relationship and found Troy’s cockiness to be sexy when mixed with his kindness that he showed at points. 
My final thought: This is one of those times where I hate myself for not wanting to declare it epic! I feel like maybe I had such high expectations of it that it ended up just being an OKAY read for me. There were just moments I didn’t feel connected with Shayda and I felt lost on the journey and didn’t understand some of the choices that were made. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike it by any means. I really did LIKE it. While I certainly wasn’t blown away by it like everyone else (which makes me want to hang my head in shame), I did enjoy it; the plot, Leylah’s writing and her ability to create a striking love story. The journey was interesting and full of twists that actually did surprise me. At the end of the day, I’m glad I read 53 Letters for my Lover, thought it was a good read and will probably pick up the companion novella, From His Lips.

“A second. That’s all it takes. A single beat of hesitation on my part.
Here I am, ten years later. Troy Heathgate is at my door.
Let me in.
I falter.”

The doorbell rings. Repeatedly. Followed by loud thumping on the door.
“Coming, coming! Now what did you what forget?” I swing the door open.
My heart screeches to a slamming halt. “Troy.” I turn pale. “You…you shouldn’t be here.”
“No?” He storms past me into the house. “Where should I be, Shayda? Waiting by the phone? Staking out your office? Checking my email? Where the fuck, Shayda?” His fist slams into the console table, so ‘fuck’ is an obscure, jarring thud, like some censored song on the radio.
“I changed my mind.”
“You changed your mind. Just like that?” He starts pacing the hallway. “And when were you were planning to tell me exactly? When, Shayda?”
“I made a mistake.” My voice quivers. “I got caught up in the moment. We were alone, we were away. It was…it was all an illusion.”
“An illusion?” He pulls me hard against him. Our bodies collide, knocking the breath out of me. “Is this an illusion?”
His lips assault mine.
“And this?” His hand slides under my dress, claiming my thigh.
“What about this, Shayda?” He pushes my panties aside and slides two fingers inside.
“Tell me, Shayda. Tell me this is all in my head.” He shoves me against the door and deepens his strokes. “Tell me this is nothing.” He rubs his fingers on my neck, leaving the unmistakable trail of my reaction.
“This is you, Shayda.” His finger slips inside my mouth. “Your taste, your smell, your skin, your touch.” He grabs me by the hair and pulls my head back. “Tell me you’re not real, Shayda. Tell me!”
I feel the gathump gathump of his heart. Our breath comes in short, shallow gasps. His eyes darken, black holes pushing sky blue irises to the edges of raw emotion. Hunger. Anger. Love. Pain.

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.

What’s next from Leylah?

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