Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published on: January 29, 2017
POV: Dual First person POV
Rating: 5 STARS
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OMG.. I’m dying here. I’m falling head over heels in love with this story. What a powerful, amazing story teller Leylah Attar is. I cannot describe enough how I feel about this book, but I’ll try my best. This story is the kind of story that you would not just enjoy and love but would stay with you long, or maybe as long as your novel reading experience after you finish reading it. I’m seriously feeling it now. It has the power like the other special books that have been with me for years.
I was moved from the very first page till the very last one. The moment I read the first page, I knew, wow, “this is it.” This was I’d been looking for. The very rarely story that reminded me why I loved reading romance novels in the first place. It had hit the core where I could not realize I was reading a book, I was reading a word after word. I could clearly visualize the moments, live it and experience it with them, as if I were in the story, in her mind, living her life, broken, trying really hard to be strong, to see the best in the situation. Very rarely when words really affect me this deeper.
It has all the elements that I love as if Leylah Attar had come to my mind and had written it based on my reading needs. Everything is perfect. I love that it is written from the heroine’s, Rodel, point of view for the most part and from the hero’s, Jack, toward the end. It gave me full perceptive. I could fully completely connect with her and him at a deeper level. Two broken people that had just experienced the greatest loss of their lives, met and started a journey that would change their lives.
“He wasn’t the only one who had lost someone. I had lost my sister. And by some crazy twist of fate, our paths had crossed—two people with fresh, tender grief, thrown into a hopeless situation, trying to save a bunch of kids when we could barely keep our own heads together.”
In that journey, their attraction to each other was undeniable, deeper than both of them had anticipated. It took them by surprise. It was easy to mistaken it with something shallow, but not this one. It was the biggest kind of connection they both had ever experienced.
“Suddenly I was in the presence of a flesh-and-blood man that no book boyfriend could ever live up to. He wore a crown of dried twigs and hay, but he was more royal, more magnificent than all the jeweled kings in all the fairy tales because he walked in real life—mortal, vulnerable, broken, jaded, but still a king—with the heart of a lion, and the soul of an angel. I ached to touch him, to feel his golden energy. My hand moved heedlessly toward him, the sides of our palms touching briefly as he soothed the calf. It was the softest sweep of skin against skin, a little nibble for my hungry heart before I withdrew.”
However, as powerful as it was, guilt and grief came between them, forced them to deny it. And God knew, they fought it with everything they had. In those moments, not a single moment had I thought that they should have done it differently. Nope. Never. I could understand the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching situation they had been in. It broke my heart to pieces yet healed it and made me smile with understanding at the same time. I could see myself in their situation, do and react the same.
“And Africa?” he whispered, staring into the flames. “What do you think of Africa?”
I will always think of you when I think of Africa.
“It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching. It heals you, it destroys you. It’s the place that claimed my sister.” And my heart.
“There is special kind of hell that comes with remembering, in full-blown Technicolor detail, a kiss that never happened. And I had just freed myself from it. I pulled back, my eyes still closed, knowing that I had just stolen an epic moment from life. Someday when I looked back, I would smile in the middle of the street and no one would know why, because it was just for me, so that I could say to myself:
Once in Africa, I kissed a king . . .”
And finally, above everything they had experienced together, they both did what was the best for each other. It showed that when it came to love, no room for selfishness. And when it came from a powerful alpha man like Jack, it hit me hard. I was done. I was beside myself with heart-broken and love with a smile and tears on my face. What a wonderful love story.
The supporting characters, Goma and Bahati, are the best I could ever have hoped for. Goma was the best grandmother you would ever meet. She was a hilarious, tough, loving grandma. Not just that, guys. You wouldn’t want to mess with her. She was a BADASS GRANDMA. Along with her, Bahati was one of the memorable characters I’d ever read. He made me laugh like no other. Never crossed my mind a character that was similar to these two. I think romance readers who have read hundreds or thousands of books would agree with me. How many times have we met similar supporting characters? Major props for Miss Attar. Have I told you that she is a genius?
Aside from the powerful, amazing love story, the story brings an equally powerful life lesson that will stay with me forever, because I know, as a human being, I will encounter loss, grief, heart-broken multi times for the rest of my life, whether I prepare or not. These words below cannot be truer.
“Sometimes the most heroic thing we can do is fight the battle within and just emerge on the other side. Because it’s not just one battle, one time. We do it over and over again, as long as we breathe, as long as we live.”
And this quote below cannot be more perfect for me and I hope it will touch you too.
“Sometimes we need to be jarred out of our own reality. We base so much of ourselves on other people’s perceptions of us. We live for the compliments, the approval, the applause. But what we really need is a grand, spine-chilling encounter with ourselves to believe we’re freaking magical. And that’s the best kind of believing, because no one can unsay it or take it away from you.”