When twenty-two-year-old Olivia is coerced into marriage by the cruel Alistair Sheldon she leaves England for Egypt, his home and the land of her own childhood. Reluctant as she is to go with Alistair, it’s in her new home that she finds happiness in surprising places: she is reunited with her long-estranged sister, Clara, and falls – impossibly and illicitly – in love with her husband’s boarder, Captain Edward Bertram.
Then Clara is abducted from one of the busiest streets in the city. Olivia is told it’s thieves after ransom money, but she’s convinced there’s more to it. As she sets out to discover what’s happened to the sister she’s only just begun to know, she falls deeper into the shadowy underworld of Alexandria, putting her own life, and her chance at a future with Edward, the only man she’s ever loved, at risk. Because, determined as Olivia is to find Clara, there are others who will stop at nothing to conceal what’s become of her.
Beneath the Burning Sky focuses on twenty-one year old Olivia. She has been forced into marriage to Alistair Sheldon and is moved from England to Egypt where she grew up as a child.
Alistair is not the loving husband. The only thing keeping her going is the chance to see her sister whom she’s not seen for years and Edward, who is a Captain in the army and is living with Alistair and Olivia.
When her sister Clara goes missing, Olivia is frantic trying to find out what happened to her. The men are not forthcoming with any details only telling her it is someone after ransom money and Olivia finds herself shut out of the search for Clara.
When this book begins, you are immediately pulled into the plot. Olivia is in a place she has not seen since she was a child and you really do feel her trepidation as she arrives in Egypt. The description of her surroundings is rich and compelling.
I really wanted to keep reading to find out what happens to these women. It’s set in the 1800’s where women in this setting were pretty much treated like property and something that should be content with being controlled.
I was really suspicious of a lot of the people in this book (even the women.) I really wasn’t sure who was working to their own agendas. This added to the mystery of the novel. I wanted to know what had happened to Clara and this was the thing that mainly had me turning the page. Anyone in this novel could be involved.
This book combines a mystery with a romantic thread and it is done well I think.
Olivia wants to defy what she is being told by her husband and friends. She wants to find her sister but she is imprisoned in her life and I found it interesting to see how she coped with this through the novel.
This novel absorbs you into a plot that is paced well. It’s perfect for fans of historical novels or if you like a romance. Fans of Dinah Jeffries I think would love this novel. I know I did. I do love a good mystery.
Thank you to Jenny and Sphere for asking me to be a part of the blog tour for Beneath a Burning Sky. Check out the other stops on the tour.
Jenny Ashcroft lives in Brighton with her husband and two children. Before that, she spent many years living and working in Australia and Asia – a time which gave her an enduring passion for stories set in exotic places. She has a degree in history, and has always been fascinated by the past – in particular the way that extraordinary events can transform the lives of normal people. Beneath a Burning Sky is her debut novel in the UK.
Jenny is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jenny_Ashcroft