If one inspects Natasha Mostert's website, one can grasp that with her education and background in language & music that she is trying to evoke a mood more than tell a formulaic romance in Windwalker. She is writing a bit more intelligently & with a lot more research than the average romance writer. In fact, this novel is actually a modern retake of a brooding gothic romance & it is likely the error of US distributors to dub it a romance. The UK book cover seen on Mostert's website is much more evocative of the book than the US cover (sand dune, wolf, pensive woman). Windwalker uses the environment as a character in the book via description like the carribean in Wide Sargasso Sea or the moors in Wuthering Heights. The love story is doomed, well at least in their present lives, but this book offers a lot to a reader willing to explore the african desert & some of the history behind what a soul mate is. If you like Bronte, The English Patient or tragic love stories, then I recommend this book to you. If you prefer a quick romance that doesn't require you to think, then you will be frustrated with this book. I agree that Mostert needed just a little more lingering with a few plot lines to smooth this effort a bit (although I am a skimmer & I might have missed a bit). All in all, I was impressed enough to write a review & this book has the scaffolding to make an excellent movie that could be as picturesque as Titanic, The English Patient or The Sheltering Sky.