From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Leylah Attar, comes a standalone, contemporary love story set against the lush backdrop of the Serengeti, in East Africa. Inspired by true events, Mists of the Serengeti is a compelling, emotionally resonant tale of the unknown ways in which we are all connected.
Title: MIST OF THE SERENGETI
Author: Leylah Attar
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Pitch 73 Publishing
Number of Pages: 400+
Release date: 31st January, 2017
Cover: By Hang Le
Once in Africa, I kissed a king…
“And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newly born butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again.”
When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.
Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.
Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.
But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that’s bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?
“Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought.”
A blend of romance and women’s fiction, Mists of The Serengeti is inspired by true events and contains emotional triggers, including the death of a child. Not recommended for sensitive readers. Standalone, contemporary fiction.
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★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse
What a huge page-turning mistake I made at the crack of dawn! The prologue whet my appetite to such an extent that I knew this book was going to be a difficult one to put down. Much to my dismay, I had to since life’s little things got in the way. Saying that, I couldn’t stop thinking about what I’d read and was itching to dive back into it. Ms Attar’s eloquent and creative writing is nothing less than breath-taking, overwhelming and simply sublime. Her character development is well above par, and the story so absorbing that I feel obliged to warn the new reader to begin this standalone at a reasonable hour. “Why?” Because the journey you’re taken on will most likely cause sleep deprivation. I would also like to mention that if you go in blind, you won’t regret it either. I was very fortunate in being able to read this book before it was published, but I hadn’t read the synopsis which I feel dampens the element of surprise in any book.
“You’re full of surprises, Rodel Emerson.”
“I’m a teacher.” “And you can call me Ro.”
“I’ve never met a Rodel I didn’t like.”
The setting is beyond visual. I was there! Quite honestly, it was like watching a movie in high definition with sound effects included. And much to my delight, in a country I would love to visit. I saw the majestic Kilimanjaro, I smelt the air, and savoured the beauty of nature’s natural surroundings. The flora and fauna wildlife came alive and even though there are pages without any banter which happens to be what I love most in a book, I really couldn’t have cared less since the author’s descriptive writing is as such that she had me completely mesmerised and in awe.
“You missed the annual migration,” “It’s an extraordinary sight.”
“I can’t imagine it getting any better than this.”
Firstly, I had absolutely no idea about the plight of certain youngsters in Tanzania. Aghast by the barbarities, Ms Attar has gone to great lengths to explain why they are in danger making it easier to understand; however, this doesn’t change the fact that their persecution is totally unacceptable.
“You don’t want to know. Trust me. Some things are better left in the dark, where they belong.”
The two protagonists’ personal trials and tribulations are cannily woven into a story of loss, love and liberation. The word ‘loss’ shouldn’t be taken lightly because both of them are wallowing in their own sorrow after a tragic event occurs. Guilt-ridden, Jack Warden has no wish whatsoever to see the light of day regardless of his heroic act. From completely different walks of life, neither he nor Rodel Emerson realise they are going to be out of their depth regarding what is on the cards for them.
“. . . You’re in way over your head. You have no idea what you’re getting into.”
Taking into consideration Rodel’s profession and age, her lack in life’s experiences surprised me a tad, nonetheless, it has little to do with her gutsy and fearless attitude. Carrying on what someone dear to her began, won me over. How she manages to control her loss made me cry. Written in italic, her heartfelt thoughts are replied to in her mind, she takes their advice given and will try her utmost to live up to them. Jack is a much more complicated person. But slowly; and ooh how slowly, will Rodel break down Jack’s standoffishness, put him in his place and make him see it’s not unmanly to suffer as he does. Yep folks, Jack is all man underlined and highlighted, so brace yourselves for some scorching hot panty-dropping scenes!
“Once in Africa, I kissed a king. . .”
How they handle their emotions had me screaming at the top of my voice. I got so damn upset with Jack. It seemed to me their relationship was never going to lift off. While trying to unravel their reasons for holding back became this reader’s challenge and had me urging them on. When push becomes shove and they can’t deny their feelings was when I sighed a breath of relief. Yet nothing is ever cut and dry. Never take what you think will happen for granted because nothing in this heart-wrenching story is what it seems. My heartstrings were pulled to the limit. I adore; and I say this is present tense because these two people who are larger than life, broke me into little pieces. I was put back together in such a manner that not only was I left exhaustingly elated, but also overwhelmed by an epilogue which has made an everlasting impression on me.
“It wouldn’t be fair. And I don’t have what it takes to let you in and then let you go. I can’t handle any more goodbyes, Rodel.”
This is my kind of read and I have no doubt it will be yours. Get ready for the unexpected; be prepared for some very touching moments, for secondary characters who’ll bring smiles to your face, for high-level angst that’ll have you sitting on the edge of your seat. I truly couldn’t find fault in Mists of the Serengeti. The storyline flows at a steady pace and the book’s outstanding banter helped me to connect to each and every one concerned. Such a mysteriously romantic tale of life’s acceptance and struggles inspired by true events deserves no less than SIX STARS! BRAVO!
A couple of my fave quotes:
“. . . remember how you painted my world with your colors. Remember your rainbow halo.”
“I will.” “I’ll remember. For the rest of my life.”
“You’re my rainbow-haloed girl, and you’re freaking magical. Don’t you ever forget that.”
“I’ve missed you.” She traced the lines of my face, her hair falling like a curtain around me. “You’re like the broken chapter of my favorite story.”
Something fierce trembled inside of me as I tucked one side of her hair behind her ear. How could I explain to her the hunger, the craving, the obsession? The small, sharp memories of her, always at the edge of my brain? I couldn’t. So I kissed her. With all the words I couldn’t form. My arms locked around her and she melted into me like a sigh.
It was soft, butter-smooth love. Heat rising under our skin. Clothes undone. A string of kisses on her breast. Her legs sliding against mine. The rapture of re-learning her curves. The indescribable fullness of holding her, of watching her body respond to the sensations I was making her feel.
I was hungry for her and hungry to pleasure her. With my hands and my lips and my tongue. I loved the way she came—body arched, mouth open, warm flesh quivering under my touch. Each time she reached her peak, I burned a little more, until the desire to possess raged through my blood like an inferno. There was a brief tear of a foil wrapper, and then I sank into her—deeply, completely.
God. The feel of her body opening up to me, molding around me like a warm, wet glove. Her tongue in my mouth. The way her hands clutched me. The way her leg wrapped around my hip. I bit her shoulder as the animal in me rose. And then it was all primal passion, nothing but the sound of her soft moans. My release should have been quick, but I held on, not wanting it to end. Being inside of her was like a drug. Being inside of her was pure euphoria. I captured the gasp that escaped her as her body stiffened. She was coming again.
“Yes,” I growled as she writhed under me. “Fuck, yes.” And then I gave in to the explosion of fiery sensations that overtook me, rocking me to the core.
In the aftermath, she slipped her leg between mine and put her head on my chest. I could feel her eyelashes against my skin every time she blinked. It was the tiniest flutter—the softest sensation—but it soothed the hot, brimming ache her absence had left. A wave of completeness washed over me as slowly, gradually, she closed her eyes and fell asleep in my arms.
Leylah Attar writes stories about love – shaken, stirred, and served with a twist. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, son, and all the voices in her head. Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate. Leylah is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, represented by Amy Tannenbaum of the Jane Rotrosen Agency.
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