Synopsis: Sheik Efraim Aziz is in Wyoming for the Coalition of Island Nations summit. The sheik had always been a bit leery about the possible deal between his country and the States, but he needs to improve his country’s economy. Not only is he facing racism from the locals, but the head of his defense team has been killed during shootout. Efraim and Callie McGuire –a local and assistant to the Secretary of Foreign Affaires– barely escaped and are now trying to figure out who wants them all dead.
Author: Ann Voss Peterson has always wanted to write, but also knew she needed to earn a living and did so with a variety of jobs. Those different careers made for great “research” for her stories and she was published for the first time in 2000.
Note to Reader: This is the second book of a mini series called Cowboys Royale. The first one was rather good, but I read it a couple months ago and thus do not feel able to do a review at this time.
Plot: The book begins with Efraim out in the badlands searching for his missing friend, which is a little weak. Perhaps this is because I have forgotten a fair bit from the first book, but I felt this could have been explained a bit better. After those first few pages, you really get into the story with gunshots, a search for a killer, family problems, and completely forget about the questionable opening scene.
Unfulfilled Promise: The FBI show up to question Effraim about possible terrorist actions, only to realize it is Effraim’s brother is on the watch list for having “angrily acted out” in the past… and then nothing. The Feds didn’t even go after Effraim after Callie pulled some strings to get the sheik out of interrogation. I do remember from the previous book that some of the law enforcement were corrupt, were these agents also corrupt? Why the brotherly mix up? What was the point of them at all?
Romance: Effraim and Callie’s interest in each other was mentioned having been building over the course of a couple weeks before the book even started, but even so it isn’t until near the end that they admit their love. You watch their budding relationship grow and are rooting for them to get together and overcome the racial differences that their own families feel.
Theme: There is a slight thematic element in regards to race and racism. Effraim and his people dislike Americans in general due to the fear and hatred they are greeted with (not to mention death threats), while Callie’s family dislikes Effraim on principle, particularly the elder brother who did four tours with the military in Afghanistan. This book shows that racism can go both ways, in a self-perpetuating circle, no matter who you are or where you’re from.
Quote: I understand perfectly what’s going on. My family is causing an international incident. That’s what’s going on.
The Verdict: A likeable mystery/suspense novel. I recommend reading them in order, one after the other though.