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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