VERY MILD SPOILERS 😉
Reviewed by Blue Falcon
Book and Characters
This review is of Desert Slave, a standalone novel by Miranda North. (Zebra Heartfire, May 1989).
Heroine: Juliette Hawkins, copper red hair, blue eyes. No occupation.
Hero: Deric Raleigh. Dark brown hair, green eyes. Caravan trader.
As the book begins, Juliette Hawkins, 19, the book’s heroine, is excited. Her guardian and uncle, Lionel Hawkins, has accepted a diplomatic assignment in Malta and is taking Juliette with him. On the trip, however, Juliette is kidnapped by Bedouin pirates. She is later given to Deric Raleigh, the hero of the book.
As they travel in the desert, Juliette and Deric become lovers. Soon after, however, Deric becomes distant, so Juliette decides to leave him. Big mistake, as she ends up in trouble that he has to save her from.
Later, they part company. They reunite in Malta when Deric asks Juliette to join him on a dangerous mission.
Juliette and Deric engage in their mission, which is mostly successful.
Deric is shot and wounded. Juliette nurses him back to health. During this time, Juliette and Deric come to their senses and realize they love each other. They get engaged and have their Happily Ever After.
Juliette and Deric are a well-matched couple. Ms. North writes their love as genuine and real.
Riddle me this: What do Desert Slave’s character development, depth, storyline, and what “Juliette” is wearing on the book’s cover have in common?
Answer: There’s not a whole lot to any of them. Like way too many romance novels, Juliette and Deric could have saved themselves a lot of time and pain had they actually TALKED WITH EACH OTHER!
Juliette and Deric share a few love scenes. There is an emphasis on the emotions of the love scene rather than the esoterics of the act.
Assault, battery, knifing and shooting all take place in the book. The violence is not graphic.
A good book is like a building. First, a foundation is laid down. Then, hopefully, the author/builder will put something on the foundation that is attractive/interesting/useful.
In Desert Slave, Ms. North got the first part right. 2.71 stars.
Locations: England. Africa.
Tropes: Africa. Historical romance. Zebra Heartfire.