Mr. Impossible Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in Egypt in 1821, Chase's romp of a romance possesses a fine sense of time and place. Solving the mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics has been Daphne Pembroke's lifelong passion, one she has kept secret from everyone except her brother, Miles, who fronts as the hieroglyphics expert of the family. (Daphne's disapproving late husband believed that "intellectual endeavors put too great a strain on the inferior female brain.") When robbers steal a papyrus from her Cairo home that may lead to a vast fortune and kidnap Miles as well, Daphne knows the crooks have taken her brother so he can decipher the hieroglyphics. To find Miles before his captors realize he's clueless, she needs muscle in the form of hunky Rupert Carsington (a secondary character from Miss Wonderful, the previous book in the series), whom she springs from a local jail. Tracking the kidnappers takes Daphne, Rupert and their entourage down the Nile, where they face sandstorms, snakes and other perils. Comic relief comes in the form of a mongoose named Marigold. Though the book offers a fascinating glimpse into the workings of ancient Egypt, Rupert and Daphne's relationship, and the trials and errors thereof, remain the heart of the story.
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Egypt in 1821 is not a safe place for foreigners. So when her brother, Miles, disappears, Daphne Pembroke immediately goes to the British Consulate for help. What Daphne gets is Rupert Carsington. At first Daphne is quite vexed with the idea of being saddled with this cheerful blockhead, but she soon realizes that since she is clever, all she really needs is a big, strong man who will follow orders. As Daphne and Rupert set out in search of Miles, and a missing papyrus that may hold the key to a pharaoh's long-lost tomb, Daphne begins to suspect that she may have underestimated not only Rupert's intelligence but also her own susceptibility to his devilish charms. A bookish, sharp-tongued heroine with a passion for hieroglyphics discovers an all-together different kind of passion in this supremely satisfying and thoroughly romantic tale. Chase's subtly nuanced characters and deftly plotted story come together brilliantly, and her polished writing is imbued with a wicked wit. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
I loved Daphne and Rupert. Both were able to see past the outward personna each presented to society to the hidden depths beneath. She was outwardly a bluestocking, but he was open to and appreciated her intelligence and passionate soul. He was outwardly a big lummox, but she was able to see and appreciate his sense of justice and untrumpeted wisdom. The chemistry between them was wonderful. (Rupert is brother to Alistair who was the hero in Ms Wonderful).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First star - The hero has a healthy ego. He's not brooding, wounded, possessive or insecure. Instead, he is lusty (read this as constantly horny as hell) brave, has a keen sense of compassion and honesty, a wonderful sense of humor and the only fear he shows is for others. His respect, admiration and attraction for the heroine was a pleasure to read, and a wonderful twist. (Subtract this star if you need an alpha male who can only find his salvation through the love of a good woman).
Second star - The heroine is intelligent, steadfast, and vulnerable. Like most young women of her era, she was taught that normal sexual desires were wrong, intelligence in females was unnatural, and passion toward virtually anything considered a masculine endeavor was unattractive. Despite her background, she grows with the challenges she faces, overcomes her vulnerability, and she becomes who she was meant to be. (Subtract this star if you want a heroine who seems to be out of character for her generation, or turns into a blithering idiot once she falls in love)
Third star - Storyline. Yup, this novel has an actual plot, a beginning, a middle and an end. All the threads are neatly woven, you are not left hanging with a need to read the next installment. While other stories are available to read within the family of the hero (Lord Perfect, Miss Wonderful), this book is a stand-a-lone. (Subtract this star if you enjoy waiting months or years to find out how a story ends)
Fourth star - The romance is wonderful. The sex is as it should be. Fun, sensual, enthralling and it does not dominate the story. It is never unsettling, it never feels wrong. Descriptions of a kiss are just as vivid as the actual act, and written with such incredible -nice- passion, that it tingles the heart, not just the libido. Although the scenes were actually hot, there was an innocence to them that is normally missing in romance novels. You can honestly like these people, and want them to have the joy they physically find in each other. (Subtract this star if you are only reading this genre for sexual content, or prefer bodice ripping and pseudo rape to genuine romance)
Fifth star - Overall satisfaction. The story contains true adventure, really nasty villains, quick wit, heroic actions by both hero and heroine, character growth without the people behaving outside their own personalities, beautifully written landscapes, good secondary characters, true love, a good finish. This is a book you would enjoy reading a second and third time, a book you would happily recommend to a friend, and a book you would not feel embarrassed about if read by your husband or significant other. (Subtract this star if you believe romance novels are not -real- literature, and you believe The Da Vinci Code is. Yes, I will admit that I too would prefer a book cover that does not scream Romance Novel to fellow passengers on a plane, but genre snobbishness was beaten into me as a child, and I'm trying to overcome it. Besides, I really didn't like the Da Vinci Code.)
Yes, I was reminded of The Mummy. I was also reminded of Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters (another favorite novel). All had a brave hero, a spunky and intelligent heroine, Egypt of the past and wonderful adventure. All three are fresh, all three have their own stamp of originality, and all three are HIGHLY recommended.
Rupert, another Carsington brother, is a delightful scoundrel. Nothing upsets him and he faces life with a lighthearted smile. He's able to make her laugh and feel good about herself, and rather than be intimidated by her brain as her husband was, he is fascinated to watch her formidable scholar's brain in action. He's perfect for Daphne.
He's been assigned to the embassy in Cairo. He drives them crazy, so they assign him to help Daphne find her brother, who's been kidnapped. When he says something stupid and discovers that his blunders distract her from worrying about her brother, he continues so that her first impression of him is a sweet natured idiot. Of course she learns otherwise as they go after her brother and a stolen papyrus.
The story takes place in Egypt, a refreshing change from England. It is rich in the history of excavations of the pyramids and attempts to decipher heiroglyphics.
The hero, Rupert Carsington ("Mr. Impossible" himself!), is the Earl of Hargate's fourth son, a reckless hellion who has been sent to Egypt by his father in an attempt to keep him out of trouble. But trouble follows Rupert wherever he goes, not in part because he *thrives* on it! When the attractive and scholarly widow, Daphne Pembroke needs assistance in locating her kidnapped brother, Rupert is the best that the unhelpful British consul general has to offer. Daphne is a linguistic genius, obsessed with deciphering hieroglyphs. Due to prejudice against her gender in the scholarly world, she and her brother, Miles, have long pretended that *he* is the language expert in the family. Since Miles is kidnapped soon giving Daphne a valuable papyrus that reportedly describes the location of a royal tomb, Daphne fears that the villains may be trying to use Miles's purported language skills to locate the pharaoh's treasure.
Rupert and Daphne provide the perfect yin and yang to the story. He is all tall, dark and handsome strength and action and she is the practical brains of the operation. Together they set off up the Nile in pursuit of Miles and the kidnappers. The plot has *lots* of action--with murder attempts, sandstorms, and rival groups of ruthless villains. There is delightful comic relief in the form of nutty servants (particularly the dramatic, pessimistic Leena), a devoted pet mongoose and Rupert's witty, irreverent repartee. But the heart of the story is the irresistible lust and developing love between the reckless but honorable Rupert and brilliant but insecure Daphne.
In summary, this is a delightful historical romance with an unusual setting and very engaging lead characters.
At approximately the same time, news of Mrs. Daphne Pemperton's brother Miles kidnapping had reached her ears, and she soon discovered that the English consulate had no one available to lend her aid, other than the troublesome young Carsington sitting in jail. Daphne was not be deterred and if this was the only help she was going to get, she would storm the depths of the dungeon and bring the brainless but brawny and brave fool out to help her cross the desert in the hopes of rescuing her brother. To her way of thinking, they could form a partnership, she would provide the brains, and the big handsome (she couldn't help but notice) brute Rupert, would provide the brawn! What Daphne didn't expect was that the desert heat would be nothing compared to the heat Rupert instilled in her nether regions.
*** Having recently finished the first novel in the Carsington family saga MISS WONDERFUL, I looked forward to hearing more of the rest of the troublesome sons of the Earl of Hargate and found this to this to be a worthy entry. While I did find the previous novel to contain a bit more humor, this certainly had its moments. Rupert, fashioned with a wry sense of humor, was a perfect complement for Daphne's reticence and scholarly personality as he was able to break through the walls she'd erected around herself. Daphne was a more complex personality having suffered mental abuse by her husband, an older and condescending man, who jealous of her intelligence, belittled her in such a condescending way - really doing a number on her self-esteem in making her think that her passionate nature was something to be ashamed of, rather than to delight in. Rupert who never really took things seriously was a perfect fit - balancing out her practical nature. He was truly enthralled with and amazed by her `huge brain' and totally delighted in her passion. Mr. Impossible proved to be for Daphne, Mr. Perfect in another SPLENDID READ by Ms. Chase!!
--- Marilyn, for [...] ---