Historical Romance Review: Desert Slave by Miranda North

book review historical romance
Desert Slave by Miranda North
Rating: three-half-stars
Published: 1989
Illustrator: TBD
Imprint or Line: Zebra Heartfire
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Harem Romance
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon

Historical Romance Review: Desert Slave by Miranda North


The Book and Characters

This review is of Desert Slave, a standalone historical romance 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.

The Plot

Part I

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.

Part II

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, a knifing, and shooting all take place in the book. The violence is not graphic.

Bottom Line on Desert Slave

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, Miranda North got the first part right.

Locations: England. Africa.

Tropes: Africa. Historical romance. Zebra Heartfire.

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 3.5


Proud Juliette Hawkins was terrified when Barbary brigands overran her Mediterranean-bound ship. For safekeeping, they handed her over to Deric Raleigh, an Englishman turned desert trader, and the redhead’s terror turned to fury. How dare this arrogant mercenary — her own countryman — continue to hold her captive! But as they traveled deeper into the Sahara, the independent beauty came to rely on Deric’s expertise more and more. Soon admiration became desire … and Juliette yearned to love the very man she as supposed to hate!

Caravan leader Deric Raleigh never wanted to get mixed up in holding Juliette Hawkins prisoner. But in order to gain his best friend’s freedom, he had to bow to the pirates’ demands. The cynical nomad had no use for a gently bred innocent in the hard, adventurous life he had chosen. But as they traversed the dunes beneath the starlit sky, Deric couldn’t help wanting to bed his alluring hostage, teach her how to please a man, and make her his…


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