Mediterranean Sunset

Romance - Suspense
251 Pages
Reviewed on 04/14/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Yvette Canoura is the winner of the 2019 Louisiana Author Project in the adult fiction category for her debut novel, Mediterranean Sunset.
Canoura is an award-winning journalist who began her career as a newspaper writer at age 16 in Puerto Rico. She studied broadcasting at Loyola University in New Orleans and hosted her talk show Voces Hispanas, winner of several Associated Press Awards on two Big Easy radio stations.

Her novel is also available in Spanish: ATARDECER MEDITERRÁNEO.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Mediterranean Sunset by Yvette Canoura takes us on a journey into the Muslim world of a Middle-Eastern country. Fatima was born in Washington D.C. and had spent her entire life there, growing up in the relaxed, wealthy, comfortable, and privileged American culture. Her father was the U.S. Ambassador for the (fictional) Middle-Eastern nation of Antarah. As Fatima prepares to graduate from college, she discovers not only is her mother dying, but that her father has arranged a marriage for her to a young army lieutenant in the country she has never lived in. Distraught, but a loyal Muslim daughter, she agrees to the arranged marriage and heads to Antarah to try to make a life with this handsome but dangerously arrogant and seemingly callous man, who doesn’t quite seem prepared to give up his playboy ways even after marrying her. Determined to make her marriage work, she attempts to fit into a society she has never known. A chance encounter with a doctor whose attractions prove instant and electric will put her in a situation where she and her new paramour will face life-threatening dangers as events of intrigue, deception, revenge, and treachery begin to play out all around her, affecting not only the lovers but the entire nation. Fatima and Dr. Brahim will soon find themselves in a race for their lives.

Mediterranean Sunset is ultimately a love story and author Yvette Canoura did a lovely job of setting the scene for this potentially tragic love story to unfold. I particularly like the premise of a young woman totally schooled in western morals and values, who had never even lived in her Middle-Eastern home, suddenly thrust into the culture shock of becoming a Muslim wife and even more, that of an arranged marriage with a man she had never met. I also appreciated the balance and counterpoint to Fatima’s disastrous relationship with that of her best friend Jamila, who also took the exact same route of an arranged marriage, after growing up in the U.S., and yet was deliriously happy with her marriage and her new baby. This gave the narrative a much-needed grounding in reality and nixed the proposition that arranged marriages are in some way a bad thing, which is not always necessarily the case. This is an easy-flowing read, with sweet and tender love scenes that will appeal to the romantic in us all, yet it is never lacking in action, subterfuge, and clever plot twists that will keep the reader guessing, hoping, and rooting for Fatima and Dr. Brahim right to the end. I’m always a sucker for a good love story and this book is definitely one of those, with the added bonus of exposing the reader to another culture and differing social mores. For that reason, I can highly recommend this read.

Pikasho Deka

Mediterranean Sunset by Yvette Canoura is a romance novel about two star-crossed lovers. Fatima is a second-generation immigrant living in Washington, D.C., whose life turns upside down when her father, Gaffar Abdul Aziz, an ambassador from Antarah, arranges her marriage with a high-ranking military official named Fouad Mustafa. Trapped in a loveless marriage with an adulterous husband, Fatima is left with no choice but to trick her husband into allowing her to join the local hospital as a social worker. At the hospital, she inadvertently starts developing feelings for a doctor named Ibrahim Al-Kateb, and the two begin a dangerous affair. Meanwhile, Fouad continues to conspire alongside his old flame Esmaa and maintains his meteoric rise through the military, but his toxic ambition might lead the country into a civil war.

A tale of forbidden love and revenge, Mediterranean Sunset is an intoxicating brew that you can't get enough of. Heartfelt and seductive in equal measure, Yvette Canoura's absorbing tale pulls you in with a blend of romance and political intrigue and just refuses to let go. The pacing of the narrative suits its plot that is riddled with unexpected twists and turns. Yvette Canoura masterfully portrays the angst and loneliness felt by jilted lovers and keeps the reader thoroughly engaged. The characters felt likable, and their arcs satisfactorily resolved themselves. I found plenty of emotional payoff in the dramatic scenes, and I think they will be readily appreciated by lovers of romance novels. They should definitely check this one out.

Divine Zape

Mediterranean Sunset by Yvette Canoura is a suspenseful romance with nuanced characters and an intriguing plot. Fatima grew up in a rich neighborhood in Washington D.C., the daughter of an ambassador. But she never could have imagined her father forcing her into an arranged marriage to someone at the other end of the globe. Her husband happens to be a military man with bad blood running through his veins. But there is nothing Fatima can do about it — she is resigned to her fate, alone in a foreign country, with no family members or friends. When she meets a handsome man, all of that changes. Can there be any future for them and what about her relentless and domineering husband? Will she resign herself to her fate as “mapped out by Allah,” or pursue true love?

This is a beautiful story that is poignantly told and I enjoyed the way Yvette Canoura writes the characters. The book asks the question: Why on earth should one marry someone one does not love? The irrationality of the situation blows the protagonist’s mind and the reader’s as well. But in this culture, women are supposed to accept their fate as destined by God, no matter how involved the men are in designing that fate, and this theme is skillfully developed. The story is filled with dramatic moments and scenes like the first time Fatima finds herself alone with Fouad on the very day the couple is supposed to consummate their marriage. She feels violated by the sheer manner in which he looks at her. She likens the coldness of the house to the way she feels about the man. The descriptions are terrific and the author has an uncanny ability to make the emotions and thoughts of the characters real, making readers feel as though they sat in the same room or walked the same street with them. The images are vivid, the psychological depth of the conflict explored with unusual finesse, and the drama accentuated by skillfully crafted dialogues. Mediterranean Sunset is an enthralling tale with sophisticated characters and a gripping plot.