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Book Title: El halcón y la paloma|
The size of the: 578 KB
Edition: La factoría de ideas - Puzzle
Date of issue: 2007
ISBN 13: 9788496689404
The author of the book: Bonnie Vanak
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books El halcón y la paloma:Well, this one was pretty bad. I'm giving it two stars because it was so bad that it was actually entertaining, and it only cost me a dime at the library book sale. The novel is a historical--and I use that word in the loosest possible sense--romance, in which our heroine, Elizabeth Summers, freshly graduated from Vassar and eager to prove she is the equal to any man in her chosen field of archaeology, joins her uncle at a dig in the Egyptian desert. When she arrives, wearing a lacy white dress while riding a donkey, she finds the archaeologists being harassed by a tribe of desert warriors, led by their sultry sheik, Jabari, and boy does she tell him off big time! How dare he bother them while they are busy excavating and preserving national treasures? The nerve of some people, right?? So Jabari rides off, hoping that his warning will sink in, and finds himself thinking about the feisty, large-breasted blonde who yelled at him. Every time he remembers her, his loins ache or swell or throb or something like that...I can't remember the exact words, but you get the idea. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is ready to prove herself as a budding archaeologist, but damn, that warrior she yelled at was hot.... She's so innocent she doesn't even know the first thing about sex, but her ladybits are strangely a-tingle when she thinks of him.
Now maybe you are wondering why Jabari bothers with these archaeologists at all. Is it because the author watched the 1999 movie The Mummy and thought the mysterious warrior dude sworn to protect the city was way hotter than Brendan Frazier? If so, I'm not judging, because I felt the same way, but that whole scene was suspiciously similar to that movie, IMHO. Anyhoo, Jabari's tribe is sworn to protect a sacred artifact that is buried in the desert, the Amhla, because of some legend that an ancient princess left it there and will return in the form of a beauty with golden hair and an affinity to doves. As it so happens, Elizabeth is specifically looking for that artifact, because she knows that the writing on it will provide an herbal cure for her aged Nana's incurable rheumatism (or whatever Nana was suffering from...I can't exactly remember).
Heroines in these sorts of novels are frequently accused of being too stupid to live, but in Elizabeth's case, it's almost literally true. Since no one on the dig will take her seriously, despite her degree from Vassar, she decides to wear a man's robe and start digging on her own, cause that will show them she's capable! I don't know how they did archaeology in the olden days, so maybe grabbing a shovel and applying it at random was a valid method back then...but why did she think that manual labor was a better use of her talents than cataloging their finds, the task she'd been given? Back then, the archaeologists hired locals to do the hard digging (in these more enlightened times, they use students for the grunt work), so what is she even trying to prove? Especially in the hottest part of the day, wearing a CORSET, and when she passes out with heat exhaustion, she tries to wave away the water and salt tablet that is offered to her (by Jabari in disguise, no less) because of her stubbornness. That's definitely a strike for women's lib! Or, no...she's just too stupid to live.
BEYOND THIS POINT, THERE BE SPOILERS.
So, digging around on her own at night, Elizabeth finds the sacred artifact, and Jabari is sworn to kill anyone who does so. But he really doesn't want to, since she's a woman, and she sets his loins aflame. So instead he kidnaps her and takes her to his "harem." I put the word in quotes because Jabari is a very sensitive and considerate sheik, and despite his many reminiscences about all the sloe-eyed beauties he has pleasured himself with, his harem consists of only two women that he rescued from the abusive sheik of a rival tribe. And he only has relations with one of them. Granted, I was happy to read that Jabari doesn't force himself on women--I'm not a fan of the rapey hero--but I still found his "harem" to be a bit lackluster and his treatment of Elizabeth anachronistically enlightened.
As for Elizabeth, she wavers between her overpowering attraction to Jabari and her desire, as a Vassar gal, to stick up for women's rights. Because he's sooooo hot, and she wants to find out more about that fearsome but enticing bulge in his loincloth, but she doesn't want her rights to be trampled upon by any man! Or as the characters themselves put it:
"'Do not resist, my little desert rose. Surrender to me. I promise I will be gentle,' he said in a husky whisper and continued sending a fiery blaze down her neck.
Through the sheer fabric, she felt his hands slide over her body with assured, expert strokes. Jabari pulled her closer, the firm pressure of his body pressed against her. Elizabeth felt the male hardness between his legs. Shocked by the intimacy, and knowing what it would result in, she struggled in his arms.
'Votes for women,' she cried out, pummeling him with her fists."
You know, if I ever had the misfortune to be kidnapped by a sexy sheik, I'm sure that my civic rights would be foremost on my mind as well. Or not!
After this point, I found the rest of the book a bit anticlimactic. These two are madly in love after a couple weeks' acquaintance, and she decides that being a desert sheik's wife and women's lib are completely compatible, whilst he realizes that women are obviously equal to men, and so HEA and all that. Nobody needs a buzzkill realist like me to come along and point out how silly it is, so I won't.
Except! I just can't help mentioning how awful the "historical" aspect of this novel is. As it happens, I have a history degree, and have studied the modern Middle East and North Africa in some detail, am semi-fluent in Arabic, and have actually lived in North Africa for two years (in all fairness, though, that was in Morocco, not Egypt). And absolutely nothing in this book rings true. The author side steps this issue by pointing out how her fictional tribe are not typical bedouins, how they have their own unique beliefs and traditions. OK, fair enough. But let's get back to the Vassar thing, which our heroine keeps harping on:
"She bent her head, unable to keep her lower lip from trembling. After a formal education at Vassar, the hard work, the fight to prove herself as an equal to the male students, and now Nahid crushed her hopes like bugs under his heels?"
Fact check: Vassar was founded in 1861. It became coed in 1969. This book takes place in 1862. Historical fail.
Overall: I enjoyed writing this review more than reading the book, but it was only a dime, so money well spent! Less nit-picky readers than myself might enjoy it more.
Read for the Unapologetic Romance Readers 2017 challenge: Sheik/harem category.
Read information about the authorBonnie Vanak fell in love with romance novels during childhood. While cleaning a hall closet, she discovered her mother’s cache of paperbacks and started reading. Thus began a passion for romance and a lifelong dislike for housework.
After years of newspaper reporting, Bonnie became a writer for a major international charity. She travels to destitute countries such as Haiti to write about famine, disease and other issues affecting the poor. When the emotional strains of her job demanded a diversion, she turned to her childhood dream of writing romance novels.
She lives in Florida with her husband Frank and two dogs, where she happily writes books amid an ever-growing collection of dust bunnies.
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