Last Dance in Kabul
by Ken Czech
Publication Date: August 2, 2018
Paperback & eBook; 306 Pages
Genre: Action & Adventure/Historical/Romance/War & Military
The Ultimate Dance Between Love and War
When his superiors ignore his warnings of an impending Afghan insurrection in 1841, British army captain Reeve Waterton vows never to return to Kabul. But then he rescues strong-willed Sarah Kane from an ambush and his plans for civilian life and self-preservation unravel around him.
At first Reeve dislikes Sarah as much as she loathes him. She’s as impudent and disdainful of authority as he, plus she’s betrothed to his bitterest rival.
It’s only after Reeve’s closest friend is brutally murdered and the Afghan tribes explode in revolt that he and Sarah discover their desperate need for each other. When the retreating British army is caught between the jaws of Afghanistan’s blizzard-wracked mountain passes and hordes of vengeful tribesmen, Sarah and Reeve must rely on their skills, courage, and blossoming love just to survive.
This book depicted a terrible time in Afghanistan where the native people were trying to fight back against the British soldiers and Indian sepoys. Both sides were suffering terrible losses, but the British were losing even more as the tribes that used to fight came together to defeat their common enemy. Sarah and Reeve’s romance found a way to flourish despite these horrific circumstances, as the world seemed to be against them from the start. Sarah was on her way to meet her fiancee, and Reeve was an army captain assumed to have been fired even though he quit.
Let me say that it took me a while to warm up to Reeve. I thought that he was quite arrogant when the book started, and I couldn’t understand what Sarah would eventually see in him to make her want to give up her fiance for him. Then, some things happened, and I was able to find some redeeming qualities in him by the end of the novel. Also, it was easy to see that he really cared about Sarah, so that gave him a point in my book.
Sarah, I also had trouble reconciling with. There was honestly nothing wrong with her fiance, nothing to make her say that she didn’t want him or that he wasn’t faithful. Instead, she just decided to be with Reeve and didn’t consider Lew’s feelings at all. I think that she could have communicated her feelings a bit more to Lew, and that he may have even been willing to figure something out. But even though I couldn’t agree with this part of her character, I still thought that she was a very unique female main character. She never wanted to conform to what the society wanted her to be, a wife happy with an arranged marriage and pretending that everything was alright in her war-torn country. She wanted to fight back and protect her younger sister with every fiber of her being.
The setting of this story was what really drew me in, as I wanted to find out more about this event in history that I knew absolutely nothing about. The only issue I had with this book was that it always painted the natives in a negative light. Even though they were the ones who “won” most of the battles in this book, they were probably provoked by something that the Englishmen were doing in their country. I wish that we had been able to see more of the story from both sides and see what the mindsets of the native people were at the time. There is a little bit of insight when Reeve is hiding with the natives and pretending to be a part of them, collecting information on the whereabouts of Sarah most of the time, but I still believe that this could have been focused on a bit more. Seeing this entirely one-sided thought process was still interesting, as it allowed me to see the true struggles of the British soldiers sent to that country. Even though they were promised lives of luxury, they were forced to fight in horrible conditions and were faced with natives who never wanted them in their country. It was just a horrible situation that the soldiers and their families were in, and there was no way out because travel was simply so slow. I felt just as stuck as the characters were in certain parts of the story where they had to try to protect themselves while surrounded by people who wanted them dead.
The character development was also rather intense. Reeve and Sarah started out being at each other’s throats, but as the situation became direr, they had to learn to work together. I won’t spoil too much, but it was definitely a treat to read about their relationship blossoming.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to learn a little bit more about a lesser-known historical event, and to anyone who is interested in an adult romance novel.
I recieved an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Praise for Last Dance in Kabul
“Reeve Waterton, a dashing rogue, is a true hero who stands among the most valiant officers of British fiction. Sarah Kane is an assertive woman assured of her own mind yet vulnerable in her heart. Together they spark the blaze that energizes Last Dance in Kabul.” —Rex Griffin, historical writer
“You won’t find two more compelling characters than Reeve Waterton and Sarah Kane. I love them. I rooted for them to survive and work things out from the third chapter until the exciting conclusion. Their story was so expertly woven between survival and romance that I found it difficult to pull myself away from it.” —Ray Simmons, for Reader’s Favorite
“Last Dance in Kabul is a war story; a story of life and death; a story of love and hate, and it is a very good read. I was pulled back to 1841 and dropped in the middle of the Afghan insurrection.” –Trudi LoPreto for Reader’s Favorite
“[The] character development is impeccable and the conflict gives the story its powerful depth and emotional intensity. Last Dance in Kabul is a captivating, well-plotted and beautifully paced novel.” —Christian Sia, for Reader’s Favorite
About the Author
Dr. Ken Czech is a retired history professor and an internationally recognized authority on the historical literature of exploration and sport. His passion, however, has turned to writing fiction. He and his wife Mary live in Central Minnesota on an abandoned granite quarry.
Blog Tour Schedule
Sunday, July 15
Interview at Passages to the Past
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Review at Cup of Sensibility
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Review at Books and Glamour
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Review at Broken Teepee
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Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog
Monday, July 23
Review at Bri’s Book Nook
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Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
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Review at A Darn Good Read
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Review at Pursuing Stacie
Friday, July 27
Review at Hopewell’s Public Library of Life
Monday, July 30
Feature at Just One More Chapter
Tuesday, July 31
Review at Hoover Book Reviews
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