>> Monday, October 03, 2005
LIGHT OF DAYA promising romance... if only the author had just cut that silly secret agent stuff! A B-.
Loner Lila Waters had never met a man as fascinating as her new employer. Dashing and charismatic, yet also brooding and distant, Samuel Bashir awakened the hungry, loving woman within her. But too many clues-and the darkness that seemed to surround him-hinted at a mystery that could break her heart.
Years of being on a dangerous secret "mission" were gnawing at Samuel, leaving him empty, except for an aching desire for Lila. But she was a creature of light, of shimmering passions, while he moved among the shadows. He could offer her nothing but pain. Still, her poignant radiance tugged at him, daring him to dream the impossible-that their love could find its place in the sun....
This is a book that really didn't know what it wanted to be. One of its facets is a truly lovely, low-key romance between two fascinating people, two characters who were nothing but original and who had some very nice chemistry together.
I especially enjoyed the hero, Samuel. It's not every day that you see a romance novel hero with a background such as his: French Jewish mother, Muslim father, both living in the Middle East. A history as a scientist, but his doctoral thesis abandoned because he realized it just wasn't what he wanted to do. And the best part of this is all this background had real bearing on the person he was, and it showed. From his interest in working towards world peace, an interest which lead him into a line of work which left him drained, to his interest in the world around him, his whole character really made sense.
Lila was interesting, too, both in her past and personality. She was a bit of a rebel, but one who didn't engage in self-destructive behaviour, simply a person grounded enough to want to live life in her own terms and not allow little things like having her back broken in a motorcycle accident to prevent her from having a full life. She was really perfect for Samuel, and I enjoyed seeing the way she lightened him up and gave him hopes.
On the other hand, and this is what keeps this from getting a higher grade, there's a thread running throughout the whole book about this secret society Samuel belongs to, The Organization, which is half-baked at best and didn't go at all with the tone of the rest of the book.
I've no idea if this is so, but I really got the feeling this must be part of a series or something, because it just doesn't make sense to create something as big as this Organization and then don't develop it at all. At one point, the author tells us Samuel explains The Organization and his role in it to Lila... all off camera. Well, someone forgot to explain all that to us readers, and the story really suffers for it.