From Cairo with Love

Nancy Campbell

Valentine Baker grew up with all brothers. She finds solace in letters from her female cousin in Italy, and the two have the camaraderie of sisters. When her cousin's mother-in-law is in need of a companion to Cairo, Valentine is happy to accompany her. Mr. Maxwell is a renowned fighter, assigned to watch over the women. When the ship to Cairo encounters a storm most of the passengers get sick, and Valentine tends to Mr. Maxwell. To entertain the other travelers, they stage a sham wedding, but they are in for a big surprise when the captain informs them that the wedding was not so fake after all.

"From Cairo with Love" is a sweet romance with exotic settings. Reading this book is like taking a trip without leaving the comfort of one’s own home! Valentine and Mr. Maxwell are both resigned to being single for the rest of their lives. Their pretend-wedding-turned-real makes for an unexpected romance, with characters both  distinctive and enjoyable. The Contessa is a fun supporting character and helps move the story along when the two main characters cannot figure out things for themselves. Author Nancy Campbell Allen's prose enhances the reader's experience, although the narrative needs to be expanded as it is a bit too short. The novella is a quick, easy read that is entertaining and will leave the reader feeling enriched.

Jessica Samuelsen