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The Professor And The Bird by Roberta Franklin
Professor Angelopoulos is a mature, experienced, and renowned archaeologist. Whilst working in the sweltering heat of the Kanesh desert, Turkey, he meets the true love of his life, Sally. Sally, a young Irish girl, arrives at the archaeological camp after being injured in a motorcycle accident.
Whilst Sally is at the camp, she uncovers one of the most important archaeological find in history, a simple piece of clay with the oldest inscription in an Indo-European language upon it. Together, with the Professor and other camp members they must project this rare item of national heritage from a millionaire collector, and ensure it arrives safely at the Archaeological Museum, where it must be displayed for everyone to see.
Review by Eva Pasco. A Lighthearted Romantic Escape. It’s been a while since I’ve elected to read a novel in the genre of romance. To my delight, Roberta Franklin’s ‘The Professor and the Bird’ offers a welcome escape from reality with the added dimensions of cultural enrichment, history, intrigue, and danger. This is achieved through the setting of an archaeological dig in Turkey’s Anatolian Desert.
Sure, the characters are simply drawn, easily categorized, and lack credibility: Sally – a 27-year-old adventurous Pollyanna; Nikos – a 60-year old, naïve, antiquated professor. The two fall in love right away despite their age difference and without complications. The dialogue between them is unconvincing—but, the details of their lovemaking are incredibly hot without trespassing on porn—one of the hallmarks of an eloquent romance novel.
Sally’s accidental find of a clay fragment dated from BEFORE 2000 BCE becomes the source of cloak-and-dagger and slapstick antics among stupid thieves. The lighthearted romp provides the page-turning charm of this novel.
The author often interjected Greek and Turkish expressions to authenticate the setting of her story. I enjoyed escaping with Sally and Nikos to Istanbul where I visited such wonders as Haig Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Great Bazaar, and the Pera Palace Hotel where Agatha Christie wrote ‘Murder on the Orient Express’.
I’m certainly glad I embarked on this romantic escape which didn’t cost me plane fare. It’s well worth the trip.
Global Library: Romance
Treasures Of The Deep Blue Sea by Roberta Franklin
Nikos, a distinguished professor of archaeology, and Sally, his young assistant, are looking forward to enjoying their vacation together in Crete. They are keenly anticipating swimming together, eating together, and relaxing together – as well as hardly being able to keep their hands off each other. But neither of them could expect the surprising twists which their holiday takes.
While scuba diving, Sally discovers ancient carved figures on the sea bed. Where are they from? Then, after having gone swimming, Sally disappears completely. Who is responsible? Is it Kostas, the young Cretan man who has already made his admiration for Sally very plain? The answer turns out not to be simple and to involve a long-lasting vendetta which brings Sally, Nikos, and the other central figures in this exciting and vividly-coloured story to the very brink of disaster.
Review by Marjorian. “Treasures of the Deep Blue Sea” is up-and-coming romance writer Roberta Franklin’s second novel. The reader is re-united with her charming couple- senior Greek archaeologist Nikos and younger Irish tomboy Sally whom we first met in Roberta’s debut novel “The Professor and the Bird”. Nikos’s occupation allows Roberta to incorporate interesting elements of ancient history into her romances which she does with a light touch, and Sally learns fascinating fragments of history at the same time as the reader.
First and foremost, though Roberta writes about love, sex and romance, and this reader finds it easy to identify with the lovers who always occupy the foreground in her writing. But there are additional thrills and spills in this second novel set on the historic island of Crete where traditional values still hold sway and family honour remains of paramount concern. Feuds can last for generations, and Nikos and Sally get caught up in one such. When Sally is kidnapped by one of the warring families Nikos is beside himself with worry, and finds his urbane and professorial kind of manliness tested to the limit as he deals with the fierce Cretans who display a very different form of machismo.
Roberta skillfully weaves together the different strands of her novel- the deep love between Nikos and Sally, the archaeological excavations which are at the centre of their daily lives, and the danger, the thrills and spills of the vendetta. She writes with humour and her descriptive skills are always evident and allow the reader to luxuriate in the Mediterranean landscape and the feasting that plays such a big part in the traditional family life of the whole region. Her secondary characters are always well drawn be they proud but hidebound Cretan fathers trying to dictate marriage arrangements to their despairing children, or Turkish archaeologists backing Nikos’s field trips.
This book is another engrossing chapter in the Nikos/Sally story and we can only hope that we hear more of them in Roberta’s further work. But I for one feel that whatever and whoever she chooses to write about next we shall have another highly enjoyable read on our hands.
Global Library: Romance
About The Author: Roberta Franklin, who was born in Germany in 1973 and studied History and English Literature in Munich, lives in Piraeus (Greece) and London.
She has worked in various fields – as a journalist, as Social Hostess on a cruise ship, as an insurance agent – and during the past ten years she has been working as a freelance translator and a teacher of foreign languages.
Her true passion has always been writing, and her favourite genre has always been romantic fiction.
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