Romantic Stories of Love At First Sight
The Eagle in the Sky - Wilbur Smith
A fabulous book listed as an action adventure but which also sits firmly in the category of romantic suspense novels.
A Story of Africa
It never used to be my inclination to pick up and read a book of the romance genre and when I did it was usually because I had made a mistake and hadn't taken in exactly what the story was about. Or perhaps on some occasions it was because the author (or publisher) had somehow cunningly concealed what the exact nature of the book was.
The problem I have now is that, having got this far in the dialogue, I have to admit to having a guilty secret. I have enjoyed way too many romantic novels for comfort. In other words, what I have gradually discovered over time is that I am an old romantic at heart. That wasn't so bad was it, yes I like a bit of romance and because I do that doesn't make me any less of a man, so rest easy all of you guys out there in self denial, you are not alone.
Now I have to admit to another secret, I seem to have a bit of a passion for reading books about or originating from Africa. I have considered this for a while and come to the conclusion that Wilbur Smith is to blame. He has been writing and publishing books since the 1960's and, although I can't say this for certain, all the books he has written have had a relationship with Africa. I can't say that with absolute certainty because I have not read every single book he has written, although I have read a fair proportion. So what I had better say is that every book of Wilbur Smith's that I have read has either been based in Africa or the main characters have originated from there.
For the sake of trivia, I can tell you that at the time of writing he has published 33 best sellers, the first of which was 'When the Lion Feeds' in 1964 and the most recent was 'Those in Peril' released in 2011. My favourite Wilbur Smith was Eagle in the Sky published in 1974, the year I left school and yes I am that old.
You are probably beginning to understand why I am blaming Wilbur Smith for my secret addiction to novels about Africa and Romance. Basically he has been around and publishing books since I was a young child up until, lets call it my more mature status of today. The Eagle in the Sky would probably come under the primary category of 'action adventure' but don't be fooled, it is a romantic suspense story and about as good as they come.
It concerns a man called David Morgan, a South African, who turns his back on the boardroom and a career in business to become a highly skilled fighter jet pilot. He meets and is immediately drawn to a beautiful Israeli writer and university lecturer, Debra, and feels compelled to follow her to Israel with the objective of wooing her (is that still a word) and making her his lifetime partner. But before he can blink he is embroiled in the Israeli struggle for survival in addition to his personal battle to make Debra feel the same way about him as he does about her.
That's probably all you need to know to recognise that this story has African connections and is definitely a romantic story. If you haven't read it, I can certainly recommend it.
Wilbur Smith - Assegai
Love at First Sight
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The Zanzibar Affair
The Zanzibar Affair - A Story of Africa
Available in Kindle or as a paperback
The New Kid on the Block
The second of my authors of romantic novels with an African theme is a new writer called Samantha Ford and her first book is titled The Zanzibar Affair. Like Wilbur Smith, Samantha does not restrict her story to Safari Africa, the main underlying theme, she also takes excursions to New York around the time of the Twin Towers terrorist attacks, London as a centre of business and France for a bit of culture and passion.
The love at first sight aspect of this story is more of the star crossed variety, they meet and experience the instant attraction that comes with love at first sight, but their lives are complex and they go their separate ways. Their paths cross on numerous occasions but they never seem to make that important connection that will bring them together.
Kate Hope is the central character, a charismatic woman who builds her life around the African safari business. She meets and falls in love with Adam Hamilton, embarking on a long term relationship on both a personal and business basis. But Adam has a secret and despite the high society lifestyle he and Kate have developed together, he dumps her leaving her completely devastated and alone. She has to keep herself together for the sake of her child from a previous relationship and has to battle to survive. When her daughter is old enough to leave home to pursue her own career, Kate is left feeling isolated and unwanted. She mysteriously disappears and then a body is found in Kenya. Tom Fletcher, a security expert, travels to Africa to try and unravel the mystery of the disappearance of the woman he has secretly loved for 18 years.
I have to say, it's gripping stuff and when I read it I could draw comparisons with the style and writing of Wilbur Smith, even though of course Samantha is a female author. There are many twists and turns, a little bit of sliding doors going on, the parallel lives aspect rather than the comedy aspect, and a climax at the end where the mystery finally unfolds with more than one or two surprises. Again another cracking good read for anyone that enjoys a romantic suspense or a high society love story.
The Zanzibar Affair Video Trailer
Samantha Ford - Romantic Novelist
A Bit About the Author
Samantha Ford has lived in various places around the world but now spends her time living and working in Africa for the Safari industry. Her novel is clearly influenced by the environment she lives in and her past travels. She is a keen observer of high society and the comings and goings of the rich and famous. If she pens a few more books like The Zanzibar Affair, there is every chance she may have to join their ranks.
The main benefit I can see, if she does, is that she will have more free time to devote to writing African themed romance novels. Which I think we have established would be fine by me.
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