A Kiss at Kihali by Ruth Harris
Publication: January 2014, 108 pages
My Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Description: ROMANCE SET IN THE ENCHANTED BEAUTY OF AFRICA
Lanky, dark-haired Renny Kudrow, Director of the Kihali Animal Orphanage in Kenya, is a brilliant scientist, a noted television personality, and an expert in animal communication. But human communication?
Not so much, thinks Starlite Higgins, the talented young vet he has hired over the objection of others. He is prickly, remote, critical, and Starlite, anxious to please and accustomed to success, is unable to win his approval.
When Renny and Starlite set out on a dangerous mission, they rescue a severely injured baby rhino whose mother has been killed by poachers. Upon their return to Kihali, they must work together to save the little orphan, now named Zuri--the word means "beautiful" in Swahili.
The little orphan's courage and determination and the idyllic beauty of Kihali, gradually break down Renny's and Starlite's emotional walls. Little by little, they each confront their own painful, invisible wounds.
But how can Starlite know the secret Renny guards is as shocking as the past she conceals?
A KISS AT KIHALI is an inspirational story of grief, healing, and second chances.
(A KISS AT KIHALI contains no sex or cursing and is appropriate for adult and young adult readers. A KISS AT KIHALI was originally published under the title Zuri.)
My Review: I skimmed through the description when I was asked to read this story and since I was swamped, it's been about 6 weeks since then. I was taken by surprise, since it's not my usual novel, but I found myself really enjoying it.
The first chapter starts out with Zuri's point of view. Zuri is a baby rhino. It made me stop and think--are there really people who study rhinos enough that they know how they're feeling and what they're thinking? I believe there are. The story then switches over to humans, with Zuri still in the picture.
I loved Starlite, the vet. She had great ideas and was trying really hard to overcome a tragedy from her recent past, which came out bit by bit throughout the story. Renny, too, is struggling with things from his past and is trying to move on. I love that he is able to realize he was a little too quick to judge and stepped back to try and fix things.
I'm trying to put my finger on what exactly it is about this story that I enjoyed so much. I loved the compassion and loyalty these vets and animal caregivers showed. They were persistent in trying to find the poachers and in trying to help these injured animals recover. I loved reading about the animals and the ways that they helped each other. And I loved the ending--everything came full circle.
Content: Two swear words, that I remember; very mild romance; some violence, mostly related to animals and animal cruelty, but it wasn't too graphic. Clean!
About the Author: