Historical Romances Set In The Middle East And Africa
It’s no secret that despite the large span of time and places that the term “historical” covers, historical romance novels are typically set in a few locations. The most popular tales generally take place in Europe during the Medieval, Victorian and Regency eras, and America, either on the Wild West frontier or in the Southern ballrooms of the Civil War era. However, we’ve recently been spotting books with more exotic locales, from the deserts of the Middle East to the wilds of Africa.
Here’s a list of recent releases that really got our attention, some from popular authors that have long been on our historical romance radar and others from new talents that are just making their mark.
Armchair travelers will delight in this tale that whisks readers to Egypt in the early 1900s. The daughter of two famous Egyptologists, Genisse is determined to find an ancient tomb without help. However, during her adventure, Genisse assumes the identity of one of her traveling companions, Mildred, and is soon caught in a mess of mistaken identity. American cowboy James is set on returning “Mildred” to her fiancée, but can’t help the romantic feelings that take root in his heart. As the pair battles the dangers of the desert, is there any hope for a happily ever after? This story, the long-awaited sequel to 1997’s As You Desire, has RT Senior Reviewer Kathe Robin saying, “It’s Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft, Tomb Raider.”
Burns set her January 2010 tale of desert love in Morocco. Sheikh Shaheen is an English viscount who has left behind the rain of his birthplace for the hot days and cool nights of the desert. When a prophecy says that “a woman of fire will leave her mark”, he puts little stock in the prediction. However, when famous courtesan Allegra is kidnapped, Shaheen mounts a rescue mission and then decides to keep her as his own. Despite Shaheen’s conviction that he will resist Allegra’s wiles, the passion that arcs between these two is as scorching as the sun. Fans of Johanna Lindsey’s tales are sure to find a keeper in this sultry read!
But historical romances are not the only place you can find characters facing challenges in these unusual locales. We have several recommendations for you from across the genres ...
Author Olivia Gates
While there are lots of contemporary sheikhs to savor in series romance, Gates truly brings her desert heroes to life. And it shouldn’t come as much surprise that the skilled writer lives in Egypt! We recommend you get your hands on a copy of her novel To Touch a Sheikh, which was nominated for a Reviewers’ Choice award this year. We also suggest Gates’ newest release, A Secret Birthright. This new story has Sheikh Fareed Aal Zaafer doing his best to secure excellent doctors for his dead brother’s secret son, and falling for the boy’s mother Gwen McNeal. If you are searching for short reads set somewhere far, far away, Gates writes tales that are sure to transport!
This story follows real-life reporter Nelly Bly as she attempts to travel around the world in 75 days during 1889, trying to best the time set by Jules Verne's fictional character in Around the World in 80 Days. Although the trip is real, the mystery — told through Nellie’s journals — is one from the brilliant imagination of the author. But don’t be surprised if you are sucked into the story’s several exotic points of call, from Egypt through stops in Asia and beyond. Nellie interacts with famous figures of the time in this fantastic story that won April 2011’s RT’ Seal of Excellence.
So for the reader who wants to travel off the beaten path, we hope you enjoy this list of unusual stops for your reading list. And if you’ve got a favorite tale to suggest, be sure to leave it in the comments below!