Burning Embers – Hannah Fielding

This is described as a contemporary historical romance novel set in the 1970s in Africa. It is the first physical book that I have ever received from an author so I am very grateful to Hannah Fielding but of course will be as honest as possible with this review. The first thing that struck me about this book was the quality of it. The thicker pages were a refreshing change from some cheaper made books, and it’s one of those that feels heavier than normal books, if that makes sense?! I just found it a pleasure to read.

I absolutely loved the writing style in this book; it was poetic and beautiful, really building the world and the atmosphere of their surroundings to the point where the reader was almost drawn into the African way of life. The whole book is full of history and background information on the characters as well as the setting and the political situation in Kenya at the time this is set.

I found the characters to be slightly irritating at points, but I find with most romance novels, the characters are a bit over exaggerated to build the tension and the suspense within the story. Although I didn’t really like Rafe, he is the kind of character that you love to hate because he is such a womanizer but obviously has an air of mystery about him. I found Coral a little difficult to understand with some of the decisions that she made, but I feel that it added to her innocence and really emphasised her character’s development throughout the novel. One thing that I loved about all of the characters in this book was the way that they all seemed to be linked in some way, and in some cases, you don’t learn how until right at the very end, when most of the mysteriousness gets tied up nicely.

Now, this is definitely an adult read. Some of the scenes in this are quite graphic and are of a sexual nature that I don’t think younger readers should be reading. Although the last sections of the book did feel a bit forced and cheesy, I think that overall this was a surprisingly good read for me. I am not usually a romance reader, but this one had so much mystery and intelligent research, that I couldn’t help but love it, for the most part.

I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars as I think that although I enjoyed it, the last third of the book really slowed down for me and I don’t think that the sexual elements needed to be quite so prominent in the story. I really would recommend this to anyone who is a regular reader of adult romance novels as this one seems a lot more well written than some of the ones I have heard about.

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