What use are drawing room manners in the middle of the desert?
Falling unconscious in the Egyptian sand at Cleo Valsac’s feet is not part of Lord Quintus Bredon Deverall’s plan. He’s supposed to be whisking this young widow away from her father’s dusty camp and back to England – to her aristocratic grandfather and a respectable husband. Despite Cleo’s strong-willed nature, she can’t help but feel comforted by Quin’s protective presence.
But she has no idea of this wounded stranger’s true identity… or of the passion that will begin to burn between them under the heat of the desert sun!
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An Egyptian Tale
This story set with the back drop of Egypt was fascinating.
It starts with our protagonist being injured and our heroine coming to his rescue. Add to the mix a father too deep in his work to care about anyone or anything and a whole troop of French soldiers in the next town and you know our hero is in trouble.
Quin is a very strong character who seems to lift from the pages. Meeting his strength and rivalling it is Cleo or Augusta as her grandfather would have it.
She is someone who has to work hard in her life to survive. Quin is more displaced and is trying to find a place to fit in, Cleo is completely alien to the world of the west having grown up in various places around the world. She is bright and shows it within the story. They both seem to fit well as characters.
The contrast to the two different environments was well handled and well written. The author’s knowledge of Egypt shinning through.
There is a fair bit of conflict between Quin and Cleo and Cleo with her father and grandfather which added a bit of spice to the story.
I found the ending a little lacking. You don’t get a wedding and you are told that maybe Cleo is with child but that is not confirmed and we don’t find out what she has, we are just left dangling in mid air. I would have liked to read the wedding and Quin’s family’s reaction to the wedding. I would have liked to have met his brothers more or perhaps they could be covered in continuing stories from this one. I was a little annoyed at the quickness of the ending after so much care had been taken over the rest of the story.
Worth a read but you might have to create your own ending.
Mrs Allen always manages to come up with unusual plots and push the boundaries out. Sometimes this works for me, sometimes not.
The first part of this what could be described as an adventure story is set in the Egyptuan desert and involves betrayal and a mystery.
The characters are likable enough but to be honest a bit dull and I found the plot rather slow moving.
Once the characters reach England the book does improves dramatically but it was one of those Louise Allen books which didn't quite live up to expectations even if it was pleasant enough.
Six point five out of ten
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