3 out of 4 stars
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The story is about a female Harvard university student Layla Rose Wallace the daughter of Rebecca and Aleck Wallace. Rebecca had past away and Layla was their only Child thus, Aleck took care of her the best way he Knew. Layla was fortunate to be in Harvard and her father was a professor and a nuclear physicist at MIT thus, she had all she needed and wanted. At Harvard Layla falls in love with Zamir, son of a famous Saudi businessman Omar Kamel. Zamir offers to take Layla to meet his parents who were in Dubai. The two are very excited that finally they would fulfill their dreams not knowing the horrifying experience ahead.
It all begins at a slow pace, we find Cyrus called upon by Ministry of Intelligence and Security in Terhan, Iran to rescue an American hiker from the torture in Evin prison. Excitement and thrill unfolds as we read on. Cyrus walked in on Mohamed as he was punching the American prisoner and ordered him to stop. Mohamed could not be trusted to be in-charge of prisoners Cyrus had to always intervine lest he would kill them raising alarm from the UN Human Rights council.
The main characters are Cyrus, a spy of Ministry of intelligence and security, religious man who adhere to all Islam prayer rituals, loyal, protective, intelligent, passionate and a risk taker. Layla, a Harvard student, intelligent, stubborn, sweet, independent, daring and protective. Zamir, a Harvard student, gentleman, respectful, Rich and handsome. Jalal, mean, violent, crafty and strong. Other characters include :Aleck Wallace, stubborn, intelligent and protective. Mohamed, guard in charge of Evin prison, violent, inhumane, risk taker. Omar Kamel, Famous Saudi businessman, gentleman, religious and protective.
The author described each character of the story in great detail. For example ,when Cyrus first walks in on Layla in the bathroom the monologue of Layla gives us a description of Cyrus ."This is not supposed to happen with a stranger ,a man i know nothing about. I think i might die willingly in his arms. Why does superman have to be so hot ? "
The character i loved most was Layla she is strong and daring. At the point where she realises that what she felt for Cyrus was real, Layla never hid it. In fact was bold enough to surrender to Cyrus the second time at a cabin in Varian Village .Knowing what she wanted, Layla was ready to bare the consequences that would arise.
I did not like Mohamed, being a prisons guard, he misused his powers by: raping women, torturing and killing innocent men.He is also a chauvenist, This is evident when he drags Layla to the hallways in order for him to rape without any witnesses. He represents female Chauvenism in Iran according to the story.
Some characters in this story changed especially Cyrus and Zamir .At the begining the story when we first met Zamir he was a guy who was protective and ready to defend Layla and their love .As soon as they were in Dubai he had Layla go through a make over to make her presentable to his parents, this shows that he was not comfortable to let Layla meet his parents in her original nature. Also during meeting of Zamir's parents he never stood up for her when attacked by his mother. After the kidnap Zamir, chickened out he never asked his father to pay ransom for Layla to be freed instead he flew back to Saudi Arabia with his parents. Cyrus was a spy, traitor and killer. All this changed when he first saw Layla for the first time in Evin prison when rescuing her from Mohamed. A humane character crops up, he suddenly has a need to protect Layla thus ordered a release of Layla from Evin prison determined to rescue her from Iran.
How characters felt and behaved is described in great depth. For example :"i don't know what i did to deserve this. If only that,I'd give my life to keep you. I live for the day when your belly is swollen with my child, my son ." The monologue used potrays the feelings of Cyrus .
The story is relateable as we at times find ourselves in similar situations as Cyrus and Layla where we fight our feelings for the sake of dignity. Dying in the inside waiting for the other party to speak first.
The powerful romantic story leads one to flashback on similar experiences or build castles in the air. In my opinion, the author should have added a bit of more poetry to match the romance and romantic scenes in the story. I therefore give it a rating of 3 out of 4 stars.I recommend this book to all lovers of adventure , thrill, action and romance .It is a one of a kind book that one should not miss out on.
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