Author: Connie Brockway
Publication: Montlake Romance (December 22, 2011)
Description: Determined to prove her worth as a budding archeologist, Ginesse Braxton vows to solve one of the world's greatest mysteries--to find the location of the lost city of Zerzura. Unfortunately, no man dares take the risk of escorting the resolute young scholar across the open desert. But on her way to Egypt, Ginesse engages in a daring deception: She will switch places with Mildred Whimpelhall, who is traveling to meet her fiancé.
Cynical adventurer Jim Owen will do anything to escape the dark secrets of his troubled past. Betrayed by the woman he loved and scorned by proper society, he agrees to carry out a danger-fraught task: escort Mildred Whimpelhall across a lawless desert to her intended. But Jim is about to learn that "Mildred" isn't exactly what she seems...and the dangers they face together are eclipsed by an even greater peril: falling in love, against all reason, with another guy's bride.
My Thoughts: What a wonderful historical romance! I loved the character of Ginesse. She is a trouble magnet, outspoken, and a closet penny novelist. She is also the daughter of two famous archaeologists and has six younger brothers. She is just returning to Egypt after spending some years in an English finishing school and attending university. She believes that she has discovered the location of a long-lost, ancient city and hopes finding it will make her feel worthy of her distinguished family. She knows that her family won't let her go off exploring on her own. So she switches places with a woman who is on her way to marry her fiance who just happens to be in command of a British fort right where Ginesse wants to be.
The Colonel has provided an escort for his fiance in the person of Jim Owens who happens to owe him a favor. The Colonel saved Jim's life and left him indebted to him. While Jim is a shady character, he is determined to pay off his debt and escort the Colonel's fiance to him. However, Jim takes one look at Ginesse and is immediately attracted. The attraction only grows as he rescues her from a variety of perilous situations. Ginesse is also attracted to him or, at least, her perceived version of him. She sees him as a cowboy who is rough around the edges but has a core of honor.
Jim is in Egypt to get lost. He is on the run from a home life that never made him happy or satisfied. He wants to be declared dead so that his beloved, younger, half-brother will inherit. But it turns out that his younger brother has other plans. He doesn't want Jim's inheritance and has been looking for him for two years. Also, he is an archaeologist that Ginesse worked for when she made her discovery. She thinks of him as a stuffy male who is trying to steal her discovery. He thinks he is in love with her.
The story is filled with humor, misunderstandings, the failure of the hero and heroine to communicate, and some really hot romance. I got swept away in the story and finished it with a big smile on my face. I recommend this one to anyone who enjoys historical romances.
"You don't ask a man to do something; you tell him," Ginesse said. "Males do not do well with choices. They want direction."I received this one for review. You can buy your copy here. Amazon Prime members can borrow the Kindle version for free too.
"How ever do you come to know so much about gentlemen at so tender an age?" Miss Whimpelhall asked.
"Having six younger brothers has doubtless afforded me some insight into the workings of the male mind. Though honesty compels me to admit I don't find it a very deep or mysterious realm. What do you want me to do?"