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A Review of

Desiring Cairo

by Louisa Young

 

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Summary

This is Book 2 in the Angeline Gower Trilogy of books, and is the sequel to Baby Love. The central character of all three books, Angeline, is a former belly dancer whose dance career was ended by a disabling accident.

Desiring Cairo explores what happens when people from widely different cultural backgrounds find love, with complications thrown in by the assorted characters from the first book.

Desiring Cairo

 

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Fact Sheet

Title

Desiring Cairo

Author

Louisa Young

ISBN

0-00-655189-0

Publisher

Flamingo

Category

Fictional Crime/Thriller

Rating

StarStarStarStar

Number of Pages

308

Published In

1999

 

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Description

This book is fiction, the sequel to Baby Love. The characters introduced in the first book are back, entangling their lives with one another even further and coping with the consequences of the things they did in the first book.

In Baby Love, a former belly dancer named Angeline becomes entangled with a criminal named Eddie Bates when she enlists the help of a corrupt cop in avoiding a scandal that could threaten her family. In Desiring Cairo, the plot lines left unresolved at the end of Baby Love present all kinds of new complications to Angeline: the fact that her ex-boyfriend Harry is a factor in her life once again, the follow-up to what became of Eddie Bates and Ben Cooper, Angeline's ongoing attempts to cope with what Baby Love revealed about her sister's secret life, and more. To make her life even more interesting, an Egyptian family whom she had spent time with in the past reappears on the scene. As you might guess from the title, Angeline's adventures take her to Egypt as she deals with the annoyances of the past and the opportunities of the present.

Although the plot of Baby Love was built around the premise that its central character was a belly dancer who had attracted the wrong man's attention, Desiring Cairo did not continue this idea, which is probably just as well. In Desiring Cairo, Angeline's history as a former dancer is just background, and plays only a minimal role in the plot. Instead, the central plot of Desiring Cairo explores what happens when people from widely different cultural backgrounds find love, with complications thrown in by the assorted characters from the first book.

Although Desiring Cairo offers quick explanations of what occurred in Baby Love for the benefit of readers who missed the first book, I wouldn't recommend reading Desiring Cairo until after you've finished Baby Love. It would be much more satisfying to get to know the characters and discover the plot in the order the author intended.

If I were looking at the plot alone, I'd probably have given this book only three stars. But because of its glimpses of Egypt and realistic portrayal of Egyptian culture, I gave it four.

 

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Is It Right for You?

 

You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You enjoyed Baby Love and want to see what happens next to the characters.
  • You would enjoy a plot that takes place in Egypt for part of the story and makes some cultural references.
  • You enjoy the genre of crime thrillers.

 

This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You dislike story lines that have predictable elements.
  • You would prefer a book in which the main character's past as a dancer plays an important role in the plot. (In this book, it is peripheral.)

 

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

 

What I Liked:

  • I definitely found this book entertaining.
  • It offers many of the elements of appealing fiction: an exotic locale (Egypt), a sassy style of narrative, a dash of danger, and some passionate romance.
  • I had fun reading it.
  • The book makes many references to Middle Eastern culture which may appeal to readers who enjoy learning about that part of the world. For example, it quotes excerpts from the lyrics of a legendary Egyptian song called "Inte Omri" ("You Are My Life"), and includes an accurate translation into English. It also notes a number of facts about Cairo and Luxor which offer glimpses into Egyptian life. If you're already quite knowledgeable about Egypt, you probably won't learn anything new from these references, but you may enjoy the nod to a famiiar place. If you're in the early stages of learning about Egypt you'll gain a few good tidbits about Egyptian culture from reading this.

 

What I Didn't Like:

  • At times, the references to Oum Kalthoum and Egyptian culture seem gratuitous. They feel as though they were forcibly shoved into the book to offer the "flavor" of Egypt, without blending smoothly into the plot. Still, they weren't as jarring as the references to belly dancing that appeared in Baby Love.

 

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Conclusion

Read Baby Love first. If you enjoy it, then you'll also like Desiring Cairo because it picks right up where Baby Love left off and tells you what happens next to all the characters. In Desiring Cairo, you'll eavesdrop on Angeline's thought processes as she digests what she learned about her sister in the first book, you'll watch her love life take interesting new turns, and you'll find out what happens next to Eddie Bates and Ben Cooper.

If you didn't care for Baby Love, I expect you won't enjoy Desiring Cairo either. It's written in the same style, and explores the further adventures of the same characters.

 

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Related Books

Desiring Cairo is Book 2 in the Angeline Gower trilogy. The others include:

  • Baby Love. Book 1. Angeline protects the child she is raising as a single parent from the child's biological father when he surfaces to demand custody. In the process, Angeline learns about secrets from her past that are still haunting her life today.
  • Tree of Pearls. Book 3. This is the sequel to Desiring Cairo. Angeline finally puts to rest the ghosts of her past and reaches closure on the problems she was having with her love life.

 

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Disclosures

There is nothing to disclose. I have never had any contact with anyone associated with this book.

 

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To Buy It

I bought my copy through the United Kingdom version of Amazon. It was originaly published in the UK, and for a long time was not available through US-based sources. However, I see it's now available in the US as well.


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