April Fools’ Day

It’s the first of April, which means April Fools’ Day. There’s one prank South Africa’s Kruger National Park pulled last year that has been driving me insane ever since, because millions of people around the world fell for it, and it’s still turning up in my social media feeds.

In fact, I saw it all over Facebook on the weekend – and someone had elaborated on the original (fake!) story:

The elephant carrying a lion cub.

This. Did. Not. Happen!

The folks at Kruger posted a story on their Twitter account last year. It was so farfetched, but few seemed to think that – or notice the date:

Elephant_side-view_Kruger april fool's day prank lioness cub kruger national park south africa 2017

Here is the original image (from Wikimedia Commons), which – yes – IS from Kruger National Park, but – NO! – does not include any tired lions needing elephant assistance!

800px-Elephant_side-view_Kruger april fool's day prank lioness cub kruger national park south africa 2017

Through the Storm (From Kenya, With Love #3) by Rula Sinara

Through the Storm (From Kenya, With Love #3) by Rula Sinara

The biggest risk she’ll ever take…

Tessa Henning is no damsel. But she’s definitely in distress. If her husband really is involved in the ivory trade, he’ll come after her when he finds out what she’s uncovered. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Mac Walker. Stubborn, fiercely independent, danger-loving bush pilot Mac Walker–with whom she shares custody of their orphaned nephew. Though Mac’s no knight in shining armour, he can keep her and their nephew safe in the Serengeti while they wait out this storm. But he can’t protect Tessa from the strange weather brewing inside her, stirring up feelings for Mac she wishes she could ignore.

Through the Storm (From Kenya, With Love #3) by Rula Sinara

I liked this one. For me, no matter the subgenre, what makes a good romance are real issues that are tackled by someone who knows that they’re talking about. In this case, those real issues deal with Africa and the illegal ivory trade, and the book was written by someone who really knows her stuff and the places she has set it.

As a bonus, the characters and the dialogue were realistic and relevant.

Harlequin Heartwarming is an interesting line. I know when it was first launched I got a funny impression of it. It seemed to be Christian romance without the preaching, but what it turned out to be is a diverse line of books with interesting stories that often deal with real-world issues. The characters tend to be more realistic.

The difference is that these books have no sex.

It’s fantastic to have books set in more original places, and I’m really glad the publisher was interested in taking this series on. Romance readers need to be booted out of rural Texas occasionally, and learn the rest of us are people too, with lives and relationships and everything!

What kept me reading was the realism of the writing. I believed this story because I felt like I’d been transported to South Africa and to Kenya.

The story did become a teensy bit outlandish at the end, but then this is a book about an international and illegal trade. I was also wondering why at the start the heroine – who is only THIRTY – was described as developing wrinkles and having some grey hairs. She comes from a TERRIBLE genepool, poor woman!

I must say though, it’s deeply frustrating that while Harlequin claims to want diverse settings, they force American English on their South African characters the same way they do for their books set in Australia. With, for example, nappies becoming diapers and petrol becoming gas, I was wondering why everyone raised in South Africa spoke like they were from New York!

However, I am really glad I gave this one a chance. I have to remind myself to keep checking out this line, as it is showing much more promise and a much higher standard of writing than most of the other lines this publisher offers.


Review copy provided by NetGalley.

*I really do not like titles that are a play on ‘From Russia, With Love’. I wish the series has been called something different, but that is irrelevant to the actual book.*