Berkley, May 2004, 5.99, 311 pp.
In 1820 London, Lady Judith Cavendish is busy cataloging the latest additions to her father's Egypt collection when she hears the droning buzz of a bee. As she looks amongst the artifacts, the noise gets louder as if a hive had been included until she finds the source. Snoring amidst the priceless ruins is adventurer Morgan Beauchamp who not only delivered the goods, but insists he must help the scholarly Judith catalogue the find.
As they work together, joyfully on his part and reluctantly on hers, they begin to fall in love. Judith realizes there is more to the veneer of not caring to her partner and Morgan sees the passion just beneath the spectacles she wears. However, items become missing and weird stuff begins to happen. The staff mumbles about a curse and Judith begins to wonder if she can trust the rogue who has stolen her heart also knowing her father will reject anything less than an Earl for his beloved daughter.
This engaging regency romance stars a Hans Solo like character with a scholarly Egyptologist making for what may seem a terrible pairing of opposites that soon turns into a delightful suspense tale as if the Mummy was set in 1820. The story line is fast-paced and action-paced, but enables the audience to gain a deep understanding of the motives and desires of the charming lead duo. Though villains come and go so fast they never are purposely developed beyond that of a pre Roger Rabbit cartoon figure, fans will enjoy this fine high octane tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner