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A sun-drenched romance set in the exotic and bygone world of Upper Eygpt From the award winning romance novelist, comes a passionate, slow-burning romance that will have you wanting to move to the continent for an old fashioned holiday romance of pure escapism. Luxor, 1946. When young nurse Aida El Masri returns from war-torn London to her family’s estate in Egypt she steels herself against the challenges ahead. Eight years have passed since her father, Ayoub, was framed for a crime he did not commit, and died as a tragic result. Yet Aida has not forgotten, and now she wants revenge against the man she believes betrayed her father – his best friend, Kamel Pharaony. Then Aida is reunited with Kamel’s son, the captivating surgeon Phares, who offers her marriage. In spite of herself, the secret passion Aida harboured for him as a young girl reignites. Still, how can she marry the son of the man who destroyed her father and brought shame on her family? Will coming home bring her love, or only danger and heartache? Set in the exotic and bygone world of Upper Egypt, Song of the Nile follows Aida’s journey of rediscovery – of the homeland she loves, with its white-sailed feluccas on the Nile, old-world charms of Cairo and the ancient secrets of its burning desert sands – and of the man she has never forgotten. A compelling story of passion and intrigue – a novel that lays open the beating heart of Egypt. A sensual tale of romance and nostalgia, Song of the Nile illustrates the pain of loss, the power of love and the strength of heroine determined to put things right.
The latest historical romance from Fielding, author of the Andalucían Nights series and more, finds Aida El Masri, having spent World War II working as a nurse in England, returning home to her native Egypt to take up the long-neglected management of her family’s estate. Almost immediately she finds herself confronted with the expectation that she’ll fulfill an understanding between her late father and their neighbor to marry the neighbor’s son, Phares Pharaony. Though Phares is a successful surgeon, Aida can’t see herself agreeing to marry into the family that she suspects is responsible for the death of her father. She refuses, he gives aggressive chase, and that chase gets upended when Aida is abducted by a Bedouin prince whom she comes to find enticing.

Not just set in the past, Song of the Nile indulges in assumptions and relationship dynamics that many readers will believe should have been left there. After Aida’s initial rejection, Phares continues to turn up in pursuit of her, behaving possessively and frequently grabbing, touching, and kissing her despite her expressed refusal of consent. “You refuse me and yet your body does not,” he eventually tells her, and moments later she embraces him, “inviting his assault.” Aida, meanwhile, inevitably is enticed by the harem-owning Bedouin prince who has kidnapped her, reminding herself that he’s “A barbarian cloaked in a deceptive coat of civilisation.”

The most passionate love story in this romance is with historical Egypt. Fielding’s descriptions of the setting are detailed and lovingly rendered, at times overtaking the plot in importance. Readers will be swept away by enchantment with the desert and the culture of life along the Nile, but that beauty only makes the arrogant brutality of Phares all the more stark and shocking. This is a lovely exploration of a bygone time in a stunning land, but contemporary readers should be aware that the male hero doesn’t take no for an answer.

Takeaway: An old-school romance centered on an alpha male who sweeps an objecting heroine onto his steed.

Great for fans of: Lauren Smith’s Wicked Designs, Maya Banks’s In Bed with a Highlander.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: B+
Marketing copy: A