Reviews by Romancing the Book
Anne Pierson was a top-notch Washington journalist until a liaison with the wrong man implicated her in scandal. Years later, she’s hiding out in backwoods Turkey, working as a translator near the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu, determined to keep her past a secret and avoiding personal relationships. But her quiet little world is turned upside down when she meets American archaeologist Renaud Townsend.
Renaud knows little about this foreign country or the project he’s been sent to manage after the former boss disappeared. Anne’s refusal to be his translator troubles him, but instinct tells him he can rely on her. Or is that only desire speaking? A lusty love affair for the duration of the summer dig would definitely help him adjust.
When Anne’s reputation links her to stolen artifacts and murder at the site, their budding romance comes skidding to a halt. To clear her name, she must sacrifice her safety and reach out to trust Renaud. But is there enough time to give love a second chance?
It took me a little while to get into the book since The Turkish Affair initially gave a lot of background information of the characters, the dig in Turkey and the artifacts that were going missing. I had to sort through the characters and their relationships and it seemed like there was a previous book that I had missed. The author’s page does not show this book is a part of a series but it seems like it could be since the ending was abrupt and left some loose ends.
Once I got past that and got into the story it seemed to flow better. The descriptions of the artifacts, the land, the homes and businesses, the caves and cottages, the dig site and the scenery was vivid and made me feel that I was there. I could feel the oppressive heat and the dirt and visualize some of the artifacts already found. The characters are multi-faceted and what you see is not what you usually get. There are power struggles, some out in the open and some hidden. There were a lot of twists and turns to the story and I couldn’t figure out the bad guys from the good ones on the dig and neither could Anne and Renaud. Anne had been in Turkey many years, after running away from her life in America, and has been working as a translator to a tour guide and to others as needed. She lives with a local family, one of whom is the tour guide, and comes and goes as she sees fit. Enter Renaud, the new site director of the archaeological dig after the old director, Mike, mysteriously leaves to go home or does he? There is some mystery surrounding his disappearance and the local police are no help. There is a lot of darkness and evil forces at work concerning the thefts and the police and some of the locals and no one seems to like anyone sniffing around. There are setups that luckily don’t go as planned but others that do.
The chemistry between Anne and Renaud is almost immediate although both try to fight their attraction. He often has doubts about her whereabouts and comments she makes but Anne’s nothing if not feisty. She fights him tooth and nail each time he doesn’t believe her and can’t understand why some at the dig don’t like her. Renaud becomes protective of her knowing how things are done in countries like Turkey and especially towards foreigners and women. As their attraction grows I couldn’t help but hope for them to be a couple and work to solve the mystery together.
There are family, friends, co-workers, animosity, anger, fear, tears, hurt, disbelief, foreign words and customs, romance, loving and love along with laughter and some happiness. There is a hint of a happily-ever-after but with more story to tell. Culiner is a new to me author. I may give another one or two books of hers a read to see if she approaches those stories differently.
“Anne? Look.” Deftly, Renaud caught her shoulders and turned her until they both faced the dark mountains in hte east. “I’ve ordered something special. Just for you.”
And at that very moment, the gleaming arch of new sun slipped up into a violet and crimson sky. She sighed, caught up by the sheer beauty of it and this perfect moment. If only it could last forever. If only nothing else existed, either after or before
Review by Jo Anne at Romancing the Book
The Turkish Affair
Great Romance and Engaging Stories!