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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Where the Lion Dwells by Robbi Perna is a beautiful story of love, loss, and redemption. Joanna Sansone is still mourning her fiancé, Renzo Moretti. She’s finally coming home, hoping to live a quiet, peaceful life after her stint in Iraq as a political adviser. But the government still needs her, now in a different role. At the new English Language school in North Virginia, the son of a tribal sheikh becomes very ill. When the boy’s family decides to enlist the services of Mick Riliuni, Joanna’s life gets shaken again like never before: she is accused unfairly and caught between two men who remind her of everything she detests. The twist is what will catch readers off-guard. Will she find answers to the nagging questions that stir her thoughts? What about her passions? Can her heart open to love again or will she be haunted by the memory of a love stolen by death?
Robbi Perna’s is an exciting voice in women's fiction, a strong voice that will entice the hearts of many readers. I loved the opening of this story, action-packed, and featuring one of the dominant conflicts that will carry on throughout the book. The themes are universal, including love, loss, and grief. I loved the way the author integrates the political reality into this interesting story. The setting is beautiful and it becomes more beautiful with the picturesque descriptions and the clear prose. How can one not see in their mind’s eye the “green fields of crops stretched down to the banks of the Tigris River,” and images like “her tear-drenched eyes blind to the endless rows of marble headstones … scenes of the rubble and refuse that lined the single roadway running between the two arched gates into the Iraqi town of al-Tarmiyah.” Where the Lion Dwells is a great story, entertaining, and featuring compelling characters.