Desert Rose by Laura Taylor

Desert Rose by Laura TaylorDesert Rose by Laura Taylor
Series: The Warriors #1
Published by Laura Taylor on May 24th 2013
Pages: 196
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The secret police of a renegade Middle East nation hold two politically sensitive prisoners separate from the others… Marine Corps aviator David Winslow and humanitarian relief worker Emma Hamilton are the sole inmates of a special cellblock. They bond emotionally and sensually, despite being housed in separate cells, as they endure interrogations, torture, and the constant threat of death. When fate unexpectedly liberates them from the prison compound, their dash for freedom includes the seductive culmination of weeks of emotional foreplay. But once they flee the country, David doubts Emma’s certainty that she is in love with him. He fears that she feels only gratitude.

The premise of forging unbreakable bonds in prison tempted me to pick up this book and in many ways, I was disappointed despite Laura Taylor’s very fluid writing. I would have loved to know more about the political background and the circumstances though admittedly, that wasn’t the focus of the novel. Consequently, the lack of context made it harder to empathise with what the imprisoned H/h go through and made what David and Emma shared seem less significant (I also found it hard to buy into the sexual attraction caused by the touching of hands) than it should really be.

Written in the 90s, this series bears the lingering hallmarks of a shrilly (and all-too-accepting) heroine and an alpha-but-emotionally-retarded hero who leaves a relationship in order to ‘protect’ the woman, a trope that makes me want to fling the book against the wall for contributing to perpetuating stereotypical behaviour of men and women in romance novels. The sex scenes read more like those in a historical novel, or maybe that’s simply because I prefer body parts to be labelled as they are without the poetic but euphemistic phrases (like ‘feminine sheath’) and the entire experience described more earthily.