Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding


Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding

Love and passion in sultry exotic Kenya

Synopsis: Burning Embers is a contemporary historical romance novel set in 1970s Kenya. It tells the story of the developing love and passion between Coral, a naive, young English girl returning to the place of her birth, and Rafe, the handsome but tortured womanizer to whom Coral is inextricably drawn. It's a story of long, hot African days and sultry nights; of slumbering beasts and awakening desires; of intrigue and darkness; of journeys beginning and ending; of growing up and letting go; of falling in love, and following your heart.

My two cents

You may have noticed that I'm not a huge straight romance reader. But this one definitely caught my eye for two reasons: it's set in Kenya (how may books do you know that are set in Kenya?) and it belongs to the genre "historical romance" which is something that I never even conceived of being a genre!

So I was sort of expecting this to be a fluffy run-of-the-mill romance. Boy, was I wrong.

It's a love story of Coral, a girl-woman, and Rafe, handsome yet tortured womanizer. Their initial attraction seems innocent enough but as Coral learns of Rafe's rather sordid link to her own family, it seems their love story is doomed. The chase becomes unapologetically highly emotional and sexual as the true picture of Rafe surfaces and Coral comes into her own.
I wasn't wrong about the setting being a big draw -- in fact the beautiful descriptions of Kenya's natural beauty and wildlife, the details of the locals' lives, and the rich cultural references are enough to want one to travel.

This is a smartly written and well-characterized romance novel. The romance side of the storyline is tight though a tad formulaic and cliche-ish for my taste. But the historical and cultural details of the storyline really appealed to me -- this is set in in colonial 1970s Kenya and we become privy to an era of master-servant relations, of tribal uprisings, and of governments in the making.

The characters are a bit stereotypical for me: Coral is, of course, a bombshell but is totally oblivious, though I found Rafe's character as an old tortured soul extremely intriguing.

And that cover just doesn't appeal to me either. (Please don't get me started on the bad Photoshop job).

I am probably the worst person to start gushing about a romance novel, but in the case of this one, I turn blind eye to these and say: this is a romance novel a cut above the rest.

(Note: There are a few quite graphic sex scenes, there aren't many but they are meant to titillate and I wouldn't recommend for young teens.)

Verdict: A smartly written and well-characterized romance novel -- set in exotic 1970s Kenya -- that is a cut above the rest. Highly recommended for romance lovers who want something a little different!


Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall