Once in Africa, I kissed a king...
"And just like that, in an old red barn at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, I discovered the elusive magic I had only ever glimpsed between the pages of great love stories. It fluttered around me like a newborn butterfly and settled in a corner of my heart. I held my breath, afraid to exhale for fear it would slip out, never to be found again."
When a bomb explodes in a mall in East Africa, its aftershocks send two strangers on a collision course that neither one sees coming.
Jack Warden, a divorced coffee farmer in Tanzania, loses his only daughter. An ocean away, in the English countryside, Rodel Emerson loses her only sibling.
Two ordinary people, bound by a tragic afternoon, set out to achieve the extraordinary, as they make three stops to rescue three children across the vast plains of the Serengeti—children who are worth more dead than alive.
But even if they beat the odds, another challenge looms at the end of the line. Can they survive yet another loss—this time of a love that's bound to slip through their fingers, like the mists that dissipate in the light of the sun?
"Sometimes you come across a rainbow story—one that spans your heart. You might not be able to grasp it or hold on to it, but you can never be sorry for the color and magic it brought."
A blend of romance and women’s fiction, Mists of The Serengeti is inspired by true events and contains emotional triggers, including the death of a child. Not recommended for sensitive readers. Standalone, contemporary fiction.
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“Shit. We’re screwed.”
“Not yet. But we will be when the sun sets and the lions come out. Don’t worry,” he said, when the color drained from my face. “We’ll take turns keeping a look out. I’ll keep watch on the roof while you sleep, and then you can do the same for me. Here.” He tore off a branch from the tree, stripped the leaves, and handed it to me. “Start whittling. A long, sharp point is best.”
I held the stick, speechless, as he ducked into the car to get a knife. It took a moment before I caught on.
There are no lions prowling about here.
Sure enough, when I marched over and swung the door open, there he was, doubled over. Laughing. The sound of it was like ripples in a still pond, after a stone has been thrown into it. It radiated outward, enveloping me, until I couldn’t help but join in.
It was in that state of intoxication, that release from self-consciousness, between peals of laughter, that I realized I was totally, completely in love with Jack Warden. It hit me like a ton of bricks, that you could feel so alive, even though your heart was nowhere in your possession, and you knew that you were going to walk around without it for the rest of your life.
Leylah Attar writes stories about love - shaken, stirred, and served with a twist.Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate. Leylah is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance/women’s fiction.
They say that a person’s true strength comes through in times of calamity. It’s a strange and unfair measure of a man.
I started reading the prologue and immediately felt pulled in. After meeting Jack and Rodel, I was fully invested by the cataclysmic event that eventually brought them together. The bombing that took his daughter, and her sister, left them devastated. Trying to make sense of the senseless and not sure how they will ever recover.
When Ro comes to Nima House in Amosha, Africa, it served a dual purpose. One, to collect her sister's things where she had been volunteering. And two, to step inside her sister's wanderlust shoes. To see the world from her perspective, when for so long she always lived life in a neat and orderly way. There were so many things that I loved about this heroine. She was intelligent, brave, funny, and filled with wonder at the strange and beautiful land in front of her. She begins her journey searching for peace, but eventually finds her way to Jack's coffee plantation and an adventure unlike any she's ever experienced.
Jack is just a hollow shell of a man, deeply mourning the loss of his little girl. He wants no part of this trip she's asking him to take her on. To finish the task her sister had set in motion, delivering persecuted Albino children to the orphanage in Wanza. It was dangerous, and a hero's mission. Something he wasn't deluded enough to believe of himself anymore. Not after failing to save his daughter that horrible day.
“In a thousand lives, I would die a thousand deaths to save her. Over and over and over again.”
The grief that mirrors back at her from his eyes eventually isn't quite as sharp after they have each other to lean on. And in that process of letting go, they find themselves in each fevered, longing glance. The heat these two generated was absolute perfection. The angst was slowly drawn out and delivered a powerful punch that was well worth the wait. The romance that was spun took my breath away. They are the entire package, everything I look for. Jack and Rodel had the kind of quiet, sublime love that will make your heart race and shatter from one moment to the next.
This is what it looks like when you wander somewhere between the sand and stardust, and meet a piece of yourself in someone else.
How could I explain to her the hunger, the craving, the obsession? The small, sharp memories of her, always at the edge of my brain? I couldn’t. So I kissed her. With all the words I couldn’t form.
I was so impressed with the incredible writing. Attar blew me away with her brilliant descriptions of the sights and sounds of Africa. The culture of the native people, the clothing, food, the dusty safari in the Serengeti...she breathed life into the book with each gorgeous detail. The setting was fresh and vibrantly realistic. A kaleidoscope of a million colored words. And I don't think there was a character that I wasn't crazy about. But my favorite secondary character was without a doubt Jack's grandmother Goma. She had me laughing out loud so many times, she was absolutely hilarious!!!
The romance, the setting, the unique and well developed plot, they all tied together in the end to make me prepare for the inevitable book hangover that's coming. I can't believe that I've never read anything by this author before, and I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to discover her. If there's one book that I can convince you to read this year, let it be this one. It's one of those books that I will never forget. These characters have stolen a little piece of my heart and I don't want them to give it back.
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