Author: Hannah Fielding
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Published: April 2012
My Rating: 3/5
Coral Sinclair is a young woman making the journey back to her childhood home, Mpingo, in Kenya following her father’s death. Travelling from England she meets a stranger she can’t help but feel an emotional pull towards, but when she reaches Mpingo she starts hearing rumours about the stranger, Rafe, and how he may have been connected to her father’s death. However, Coral can’t help but become entranced with Rafe, despite all the warnings she receives to not trust him.
Burning Embers is a typical romance. It is set in 1970, as change is starting to happen in Africa, but when there is still a society of rich white people, all with their servants and plantations. Coral is a naive 25 year old who is aware of the changes, but doesn’t seem to be aware of how the changes will affect her life if she were to stay in Kenya which is her plan. Instead, she becomes wound up with Rafe de Monfort, a handsome man with a very complicated and dark past.
To me this book felt a little bland as there is nothing unexpected in the slightest, though it could be argued that’s a trait of the genre. One thing I really liked about Burning Embers was the attention to detail. The author, Hannah Fielding, includes a lot of descriptions which means the reader can envisage this world that most of us would not get to experience otherwise (one reason I love reading). The characters were a little more two dimensional than I would have liked, but nevertheless they do have believable characteristics (if somewhat exaggerated) and have enough back story to be realistic; I don’t think the novel suffered because of it.
One thing I would especially have liked to see would be more of how the political and social climates of the time affected Coral and her ‘yaha’ (nanny) Aluna, but it was only alluded to and not a main part of the story.
The majority of the book is told from Coral’s point of view, though there are the occasional sections in Rafe’s which, for me, made the book a little less interesting as I wanted to discover and learn about him along with the main character. There is plenty of rumours and women, so it is easy to see why Coral is wary of Rafe, though I admit that other than her sexual attraction to him, I couldn’t work out why they were destined for one another, but that’s just my opinion.
In general, this book wasn’t anything special, though it was enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone who loves exotic romances, and those who enjoy trying to work out the truth amidst the lies, rumours and assumptions.
[I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.]