November 4, 2014

Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway // 53 Letters for my Lover by Leylah Attar


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+


Now I must say that this is a very different love story. And usually the element of cheating can be a huge turn off for me, I kept reading and the by the end I was surprisingly okay with how it all wrapped up. And that I will say is a complete first! A book that goes against everything I believe in and truly takes an amazing writer to captivate us and be intrigued and wanting more as we keep reading.

We have Troy Heathgate and Shayda Hijazi, born on the exact day and year and is said to be two halves of a whole; perfect soulmates. We travel through 30 years and taken on their journey of a love that shouldn't happen. With Shayda being married and having two beautiful kids, her deep connection with another man goes against what is right. And Troy will never be happy despite how accomplished he is until he has the woman he loves. Will Shayda go against everything that's right to follow her heart? Will Troy and Shayda ever get their happy ending?

Shayda married a kind and good man. And she cared for him, but the love between the both of them wasn't strong enough. As the years go by, her love deepens for another man. The connection between the two of them, sparks are constantly flying and it's hard for the both of them to ignore the inevitable.

Throughout those 30 years, and the moments they do get each other, will they cross that unforbidden line? Is Shayda willing to turn her world on its' axis for Troy?

As you can tell, there seems to be no winning situation and for a big chunk of this book, I was wondering if I'd get a happy ending. You are all in for a treat. I want to say so much more about this book, but I want everyone to take a chance on this one, even though like me, I was so hesitant to do so. Don't worry, this book didn't change my mind about cheating nor will anything ever do that for me. This book was beautifully written and she gives you this complex love story that you probably haven't read anything like, before. Just take a chance and read it for yourself.



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. “ 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 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.

"He Said/She Said" with Shayda and Troy

Shayda's quotes from 53 Letters For My Lover

Troy's quotes from the companion short story, From His Lips

The first time they meet:


Dusty sneakers, grey sweatpants…and then—the most startling pair of blue eyes. They reminded me of the cut outs I had saved in my wish book, of the places I wanted to visit. Blue like the water that surrounds the islands in the South Pacific. I felt like I had been picked off the pavement and plopped smack dab in the middle of it. I floated there for a while, suspended in its endless horizons as it held me for long, still seconds.


“Here you go.” I knelt beside her. That’s when I first saw her face.

At the time, I was completely clueless about just how significant that moment was, how it would derail both our lives, because at the time I was just an ordinary guy looking at an ordinary girl on a quiet, shaded street. That’s how a lot of things start, don’t they? Our most profound experiences, our greatest adventures. When we’re just looking. Because if we knew that we were really at the beginning of miracles and plagues, and slayings and resurrections, we might retreat. But not knowing, I kept looking. And so did she.

Except she didn’t just look at me, she looked into me. As if she saw a place there that she’d always wanted to go, and it stunned her that it actually existed.

The moment when everything changed:


For a moment, I fought against the disarming tenderness of a stranger, the shame of being caught in a moment of weakness. Then his arms circled my waist, pulling me away from the door, from whatever heartache he had witnessed in my reflection. The fight drained out of me. I turned into the shelter of his embrace, and he, not knowing, not asking, took me in.

Something changed in that instant. For me. For him. Like when the sun and moon align and day turns to night. They finally see each other’s faces and hang, transfixed, even as their eclipse throws everything else into darkness. For those fleeting moments, everything made sense—the pattern behind the random trajectory of life, the infinite order beneath chaos.


For a while, she just stood there, like a deer that knows it’s been caught in the hunter’s cross hairs. Then she bolted.

I seized her before she could escape, pinning her against the glass, my hand over hers, so I could anchor her, keep her from getting swept away.

Hey. It’s okay.

She made a small, choking sound when I pulled her away from the sliding door. My arms went around her and her cheek found my chest. And just like that, something fell into place.

All of my wild, crazy exuberance fit perfectly in the quiet crevices of her dreams. It was as if all my life, I had been running towards this moment, this diamond sharp clarity of being and belonging, this strange, intriguing girl with her rose breath and her broken wings.

The point of no return:


“Three days.” I drop my chin to his chest. “I haven’t thought beyond that.”

“Three days, huh?”

I squeal as he puts one hand under my knees and picks me up.

“We better get going then. You, my dear, have a lot to make up for.” He grins and carries me out of his office.


I had three days to get her to face the truth—that she loved me, that she wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t left a gaping hole in her heart, that the only reason she wouldn’t admit it was because she was scared, because it would destroy everything safe and familiar and predictable in her world.

I didn’t care anymore. She would go through hell, but I’d be there to catch her. All I had to do was crush her defenses, lead a seventy-two hour assault on her senses and walk away with her heart in my hand. She would have no choice but to follow.

Meet the Author

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.

Author Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest

Book Links

53 Letters For My Lover

From His Lips


A signed paperback (open international)

$50 Amazon Gift Card to one winner (open international)