1/31/17

REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: MISTS OF THE SERENGETI BY LEYLAH ATTAR!

Title: Mist of the Serengeti
Series: Stand-alone Novel
Author: Leylah Attar
Release Date: Jan 29, 2016!
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SYNOPSIS:
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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 Mists of the Serengeti is a thought provoking, life affirming drama bookended by a prologue and an epilogue that will completely steal your breath away. I dare you to read the prologue of this book and not be immediately ensnared. There is no way you can read that prologue and not feel compelled to see where Leylah Attar is taking these characters, where she's taking her readers. This story begins with a tragedy, an atrocity so vile and heartbreaking I couldn't breathe. It ends with an epilogue so intense, so satisfying of every curiosity, yet completely jaw dropping. I didn't know whether to smile or cry, to feel devastated or feel gratified. It's truly magnificent what Leylah Attar does here in these pages. This is a book that will change the way you look at the world, at humanity, at the connections we make everyday that seem so irrelevant but might just be the most important moments of our lives.

Mists of the Serengeti is a story that connects two people through tragedy, connects countries and cultures by chance. An English teacher and an African coffee farmer are united by one single moment, a tragedy that sets a series of events in motion that will change the lives of everyone in its wake. It's a unique reminder that we are all connected. Is it fate that brings Rodel and Jack together? Is it sheer coincidence that two broken people can find each other and heal each other after such devastation? Or is our vast world simply smaller than we think? We are all connected. Attar brilliantly and masterfully illustrates this foreign place with its foreign practices and colors and language and makes it feel so... close, so relatable. We are all connected by pain and love and hope. We all seek joy and friendship and we all suffer the same way when we are robbed of what we cherish most. This story will stay with you. This story will change the way you see the world. This story will broaden your horizons, it'll give you hope and it'll change the way you view your fellow nan. It'll sweep you away. It'll demand you fall in love, in love with love, in love with words, in love with possibilities, in love with these characters, in love with life.

Mists of the Serengeti is a boldly enchanting  story full of heart and adventure. It's as utterly captivating in its romanticism as it is in its calamity. This story broke my heart and filled it up. It's devastating and rich and the writing is as stellar as as the storytelling is masterful. There's so much more to be taken from this novel than romance. Yes, it is absolutely an epic romance that'll warm your heart and give you hope. It'll bring you to tears for these characters who so deserve good things after having endured so much loss. It'll overwhelm you with joy, it'll surprise you with just how steamy it gets, it'll kick you in the gut with the tumultuous emotions Attar creates with her words. But this is also a book that feeds your soul. It makes you feel as if you've traveled to this great land, been exposed to a culture you'd likely never otherwise know. Leylah Attar acts as our travel guide in many ways, using Jack and Rodel as a means to illustrate this place, the smells and tastes and practices of Africa in vivid detail. I love a story that makes me feel like I've grown and learned and this is one of those books.

Leylah Attar is to the book world what gourmet Belgian chocolates are to the grocery store. She's not an author with an endless stock on the shelf you can find while browsing the market, toss in your cart and gorge yourself on the whole ride home. She's the rare treat you get for Christmas, that you nibble and savor and enjoy for the rare find it is because you know you won't taste anything quite as delicious for a good long while. She is the essence of stellar writing and epic storytelling. Her sentences are as lush as her characters are magnetic. In this particular story, Attar doesn't just whisk us off to foreign lands, she steals our hearts and our minds with such an unforgettable story, I've not yet returned from the whirlwind I was taken on and I'm certain I don't want to.

Jessica's Rating:
“I’ve missed you.” She traced the lines of my face, her hair falling like a curtain around me. “You’re like the broken chapter of my favorite story.”

Something fierce trembled inside of me as I tucked one side of her hair behind her ear. 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. My arms locked around her and she melted into me like a sigh.

It was soft, butter-smooth love. Heat rising under our skin. Clothes undone. A string of kisses on her breast. Her legs sliding against mine. The rapture of re-learning her curves. The indescribable fullness of holding her, of watching her body respond to the sensations I was making her feel.

I was hungry for her and hungry to pleasure her. With my hands and my lips and my tongue. I loved the way she came—body arched, mouth open, warm flesh quivering under my touch. Each time she reached her peak, I burned a little more, until the desire to possess raged through my blood like an inferno. There was a brief tear of a foil wrapper, and then I sank into her—deeply, completely.

God. The feel of her body opening up to me, molding around me like a warm, wet glove. Her tongue in my mouth. The way her hands clutched me. The way her leg wrapped around my hip. I bit her shoulder as the animal in me rose. And then it was all primal passion, nothing but the sound of her soft moans. My release should have been quick, but I held on, not wanting it to end. Being inside of her was like a drug. Being inside of her was pure euphoria. I captured the gasp that escaped her as her body stiffened. She was coming again.

“Yes,” I growled as she writhed under me. “Fuck, yes.” And then I gave in to the explosion of fiery sensations that overtook me, rocking me to the core.

In the aftermath, she slipped her leg between mine and put her head on my chest. I could feel her eyelashes against my skin every time she blinked. It was the tiniest flutter—the softest sensation—but it soothed the hot, brimming ache her absence had left. A wave of completeness washed over me as slowly, gradually, she closed her eyes and fell asleep in my arms.


Leylah Attar writes stories about love - shaken, stirred and served with a twist. When she's not writing, she can be found pursuing her other passions: photography, food, family and travel. Sometimes she disappears into the black hole of the internet, but can usually be enticed out with chocolate.


Leylah Attar's Release Day Giveaway

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