Book Reviews

Nightingale by Andrea Bramhall at Bold Strokes Books

Genre Lesbian / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by jj on 17-May-2014

Book Blurb

When Charlie Porter meets Hazaar Alim her first year of university, she's instantly smitten. Hazaar has it all: beauty, talent, and brains. What she doesn't realize is that Hazaar's future has already been decided, and Charlie has no place in it.

Hazaar desperately wants to break with her traditions and stay with Charlie, but when forced to choose, she chooses her family over love. When she realizes the choice she made is the worst one possible, it's too late.

Years later, while working in Pakistan as a diplomat and negotiator, Charlie receives a phone call from a woman who says her British sister-in-law is to be killed for the family's honor and asks if someone can save her.

Charlie and Hazaar are on a collision course with destiny. If they make it out alive, can they believe in their love once again?


Book Review

This is an incredible love story. Additionally, it is a top-notch thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. The cornerstone and driving force revolves around two amazing women whose love burst on the scene while they were both at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Great Britain. The story bounces back and forth between a current date and time titled Pakistan Today and a previous date and time titled The North of England, then. I liked that shifting back and forth from today to the past, because for me it was handled very well, with little confusion, and delightful balance and continuity. This is a winner!


Charlotte Porter, aka Charlie, has returned to finish her schooling after recovering from the traumatic death of a very close friend. She is a voice major with an apparently angelic and marvelously expressive talent although it is not given much airtime. Moreover, she has an extraordinary family that is very supportive and pleased she has hooked up with Hazaar. Well, Hazaar kind of stalks Charlie after she accompanies her during her voice audition on the piano. Charlie is one half of the amazing love story, but additionally she blossomed into an extremely talented and successful British embassy task force negotiator re-uniting British nationals who have been forcibly relocated to Pakistan with their British families. When Charlie is this bit of a rogue negotiator, the thriller part of this book unfolds. Charlie is rather a multi-talented woman. I loved her!


Hazaar Alim was born in Stockport, Great Britain. She is the youngest daughter of four with one brother of a devout Muslim family. Within the 'then' part of the book, she has cleverly avoided being married off, since she brings honor and prestige to her family via her extraordinary musical talents and her continuing education right through a doctorate program. She is necessarily within the closet from a sexual orientation standpoint, but definitely is out as she ingeniously and with determination pursues Charlie. Clearly, she is the other half of this magnificent love story. Hazaar has put together a well thought out path to her liberation. However, as Robert Burns originally so aptly stated and I borrow from him “The best laid plans of mice and men [daughters and lovers] often go astray.” Hazaar is an eye-opener!    


Charlie learns that Hazaar's name means nightingale in Arabic and it was a song titled Nightingale that eased Charlie's way into the Royal Northern College of Music. That is just the first of many touching and beautiful connections Charlie and Hazaar have. This multi-tiered story with a hot and sexy love story, an extremely exciting intense military-like task force operation marvelously intertwined with a host of outstanding supporting characters makes this book a wonderfully balanced and supremely entertaining read. I easily give this my highest recommendation. Truly, not to be missed!






DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Bold Strokes Books for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 312 pages/105693 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-May-2014
Price $9.99 ebook, $16.95 paperback, $19.99 bundle
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