Blame it on the Egyptian sun or the desert heat, but as tensions flare between a reckless rogue and beautiful scholar en route to foil a kidnapping, so does love, in the most uninhibited and impossibly delightful ways.
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. Agent, Nancy Yost. (Mar.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.