LOVE ON THE NILE
By Ellie Gray
15th June 2016
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Natasha embarks upon the holiday of a lifetime with her brother, looking forward to exploring the ancient sites Egypt has to offer. What she hasn’t bargained for is spending her holiday cruising along the Nile with Kyle Richardson, a handsome but moody archaeologist. Despite taking an instant dislike to Kyle, Natasha finds herself increasingly drawn to the man, particularly as his interactions with her brother reveal a gentler, more caring side to his character.
Having lost everyone he has ever loved, Kyle is a loner, believing himself to be cursed. He now spends his life moving around Egypt, ensuring he never lingers anywhere long enough to form meaningful attachments. Despite his better judgement, he finds himself drawn to this feisty young woman, but is afraid of the deeper feelings she stirs in him.
Can his feelings for Natasha convince him that it’s worth taking a risk on love?
“Natasha, darling!” The rather stout woman levered herself from the chair and swiftly crossed the room to throw her arms around her niece.
Breathing in the familiar perfume and leaning into the protective embrace of her aunt, Natasha’s irritation dissipated as quickly as it had appeared, and she closed her eyes against the sudden and unexpected tears of relief at having finally arrived at their destination. “Oh, Aunt Lucy, it’s so good to see you.” Her voice was muffled against Lucy’s shoulder and she took a deep breath before stepping back and smiling. “It’s been so long. I can’t believe we’re actually here at last.”
“It’s wonderful to see you, Natasha. I’ve missed you both so much.” Lucy lifted a hand to cup her niece’s face before turning to Nicky, hands on her ample hips as she scrutinised him critically.
“Oh, you always were like two peas in a pod. And, Nicky, you have grown into a very handsome young man. You have no idea how happy I am that you came.”
“Hello, Aunty Lucy, how are you?” Nicky briefly returned his aunt’s embrace before securing the baseball cap a little tighter on his head and asking the question foremost in his mind. “Can I have something to eat?”
Lucy shook her head with a smile and glanced at the man, who had so far remained silent throughout. “Kyle, this is my nephew Nicky, and my niece Natasha. I’m pleased to see that at least one thing never changes, and that is Nicky’s appetite.”
She caught Nicky’s arm and led him off to the far side of the room. “Come on, I’ve got some of your favourite biscuits over here in this cupboard.”
Natasha could see Kyle watching her younger brother, his eyes narrowed, and she felt the familiar churning in the pit of her stomach, trying to anticipate at what point he would realise Nicky had learning difficulties. Automatically, she tried to deflect that scrutiny, moving further into the room and feeling a sense of relief as Kyle’s gaze immediately swung towards her.
“Natasha Morgan,” she introduced herself, and held out her hand.
“So I gather.” His face was unsmiling and Natasha was uncomfortably aware of her earlier, rather waspish response to what was probably quite a reasonable conversation he had been having with her aunt. He pushed himself out of the chair to tower above her, his hair shining blue-black in the pale moonlight which streamed through the open window. Tall as she was, Natasha had to tilt her head back to meet his startlingly blue eyes. He was younger than she had initially thought, probably in his mid-thirties — just a few years older than herself.
There was a pause before he replied. “Kyle Richardson.”
He took her hand briefly, offering a firm cool handshake, before returning to his chair, long legs stretched out before him and crossed at the ankles.
“I’m sorry you overheard our conversation; I had no idea you were there.”
His voice was deep and husky, and his gaze once again followed her movements as she sank into the seat Lucy had recently vacated.
She nodded and spread her hands expressively, shrugging her slim shoulders. “I’m sorry if I sounded… irritated. It’s been a really long day and I hadn’t expected Aunt Lucy to arrange a personal guide for us. Please, it’s not a problem, we don’t want… we don’t need a guide, and I’m sure you have better things to do with your time.”
Kyle’s mouth twitched as if in amusement at the inadvertent slip of the tongue, but whatever he was about to say was lost as Lucy and Nicky returned, the latter clutching a packet of chocolate-covered biscuits.
“Oh, you’ve introduced yourselves. Excellent.” Lucy beamed at them, clapping her hands together. “I’m sure we’re all going to have a wonderful time together.”
“I was just explaining that Nicky and I are quite happy to find our own way around Egypt,” Natasha cut in quickly. “There is no need for Mr. Richardson to trouble himself.”
“Nonsense,” cried Lucy, fixing Kyle with a rather piercing gaze. “I’m not letting you wriggle out of this one, Kyle. You owe me rather a lot of favours and I am now calling one of them in. Heavens, man, I haven’t seen you in close to two years, and I happen to know for a fact that you haven’t taken a break for longer than that. It’s high time you did.”
Natasha observed this outburst with some surprise, having hardly ever heard her aunt speak so sharply. She risked a glance towards Kyle and saw that he was still reclined in his chair, arms folded over his chest, and a somewhat amused gleam in his blue eyes. He remained silent, obviously expecting Lucy to continue her reprimand.
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This is my second outing with Ellie Gray, having previously read Beauty and the Recluse. This time we are cruising down the Nile with Natasha, her younger brother Nicky and Aunt Lucy, an archaeologist who lives in Egypt. Having a keen interest in Egyptology Natasha has been saving for this trip of a lifetime and following the ending of her current relationship with boyfriend Paul, makes the journey to Cairo. On arrival she discovers her aunt in her hotel suite chatting to a handsome dark stranger. She is currently trying to persuade him to become a personal guide for their trip. Kyle Richardson doesn’t want this job and his comments upset Natasha. However as he owes her aunt a favour he agrees to take all three of them along the river in his boat – a traditional Egyptian dahabeeyah -to visit various sites.
After an unfortunate start, Kyle and Natasha’s attraction to each other grows during the journey but isn’t helped when Gemma, one of Kyle’s previous girlfriends, turns up unexpectedly. However, by the time the cruise has come to an end, it’s clear Natasha and Kyle are in love. They really want to be together but feel there are too many obstacles. Sadly they part, Kyle remaining in Egypt and Natasha returning to the UK. it
The book is well written, with convincing detail around the various ancient Egyptian sites visited. The cruise sounded wonderful and Natasha and Kyle’s love story develops as the journey progresses. I have to admit I did not enjoy this as much as Beauty and the Recluse which I thought was an absolute gem. However I do like Ellie’s writing style which quickly immerses you in the story and gets you involved with its characters.
A gentle light-hearted read just right for the summer holidays.
I would like to thank Brook Cottage Books for a complimentary copy of Love on the Nile in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT ELLIE GRAY
Ellie is a contemporary romance author and lives in the beautiful East Riding of Yorkshire with her partner, David, and two children, Joe and Abbie.
Love on the Nile will be her second novel published with the lovely Tirgearr Publishing – her debut novel, Beauty and the Recluse was released in February 2016.
A proud member of the Romantic Novelist Association, Ellie currently works full-time in public services and is studying for an MSc in Public Management, although she hopes one day to be able to write full time.
A few random pieces of information about Ellie:
• Favourite TV shows – The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Nashville, Dr. Who, The Great British Bake-off!
• Favourite Music – I’m an 80’s girl!, country, sixties, Elvis, classical (when I’m writing)
• Favourite Food – Indian, tapas, crisps, cheese
• Favourite Drink – black coffee – copious amounts when I’m writing, Sauvignon blanc when I’m not.
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