Since I needed to return the book, I kept feeling pulled to read it. I'd never heard of the author, Catherine Palmer, but saw she was a Christy Award winner. Finally, I entered the story world, and stayed until the last thrilling scene.
"A Kiss of Adventure" is set in Mali, Africa. Matilda "Tillie" Thornton is a missionary kid, whose mother died when she and her siblings were young. Hannah, a devout African Christian, raises the youngsters, covering them in the Word of God. Now grown, Tillie, dreams of assisting the African people through agricultural research. A solid relationship with the Lord, a steady beau, and a job doing what she loves fail to quell the restlessness in her heart.
A young boy approaches her and casts a necklace with an amulet around her neck. From that moment, her life becomes a series of hair-raising adventures. A nomadic tribe is convinced she holds the key to a treasure and chases her throughout the countryside. A stranger in a Land Rover (Graeme McLeod) rescues her from them, and they work together, unraveling the mystery of the amulet.
The author conveys the setting, tension, and story with such skill you can feel hands wrapping around your waist and casting you on a camel. The hot sun and gritty sand make your skin itch and burn. You're not watching Tillie. You are Tillie.
If I gave out stars, this one wouldn't have 5. It would have as many stars as a desert sky. The inspirational messages, the course of true love, and the conflict with evil kept this suspense lover on edge to the BIG ending.
This book is an oldie, but goodie. I'll be on the lookout for more of Catherine Palmer's books. It shouldn't be hard to find them. She's written over 40 novels, and I'm thrilled our paths crossed.