CHERYL HOLT does it again with another fast-paced, dramatic tale of seduction, passion, and romance. This time, love blooms on a lazy, decadent trip down the Nile!
Lady Theodosia Postlewaite, known as Theo to her family and friends, has always had the worst luck. On the night her betrothal was to be announced, she was unwittingly caught in a compromising situation. With her engagement ended and her reputation in tatters, her incensed father demands she flee the gossip by accompanying her dour, grumpy aunt on a sightseeing trip to Egypt. Theo reluctantly agrees, and she’s determined to spend the months abroad proving she possesses the highest moral character. Most especially, she vows to never so much as speak to a handsome man ever again.
Soloman Grey has lived in Egypt for the past decade. His own scandal chased him out of London, and he’s built a new life for himself as an adventurer and explorer. Because of the gossip that ruined him, he doesn’t trust anyone, and he constantly vows that he’ll never so much as glance at a pretty woman ever again.
But when Soloman meets Theo, he’s dragged into her world in a dozen ways he never intended. She’s beautiful, funny, and lonely, and he can’t resist. Yet, he’s the bastard son of an earl, so he could never be worthy of her. When her relatives would do anything to keep them apart, dare he risk all to have her for his very own?
Review: Cheryl Holt weaves an incredibly fresh and poignant romance that spans the London ballrooms and Egyptian Pyramids. Lady Theo is refreshing for a regency heroine. Innocent yet startlingly blunt, she is everything that Solomon Grey doesn’t expect from a London Ball room, which makes sense since they meet on the streets of Cario, Egypt.
I was immediately and I do mean IMMEDIATELY drawn to Solomon, then again I’ve always loved the underdog wounded hero who’s been blamed for something that was never his fault in the first place.
The scene is set perfectly and while I’ve never been one to enjoy regency romances that take place outside of London–I found myself completely enthralled with Theo and Solomon’s story.
Both are fleeing scandals at home, there’s a common bond and an immediate chemistry that sizzles the pages. Of course that is short lived once Solomon’s past comes back to roost—they might be in Egypt, but his name is famous world wide.
I can’t even explain how many times I wanted to shake my kindle and beg for Theo to just see past all of that–which early on–she actually does. It’s the hero who claims he’s anything but, and it’s Solomon that the reader ends up being frustrated with.
Along with two other secondary stories, this book brings so many plot points that it would be easy to get lost in it if Miss Holt didn’t have her craft down to an absolute art. I was completely lost in this native land and didn’t want to leave even though I became extremely frustrated with all the moving parts.
So here’s the jist:
Theo was caught in a situation that labeled her basically a woman who no man would marry even though NOTHING happened, and sent away to her cousins/aunt in Cairo. But in this situation Solomon is notorious. Deemed a murder of his baby brother, he’s fleeting the ballroom accusations of the London scene, only to discover that no matter how far away he gets, his past follows him. And upon meeting Theo, rather saving her from herself—again—suddenly it’s not so horrible to have a taste of home, even if that taste is from Theo’s sweet lips.
At first it was hard for me to LIKE them together only because he seemed so intent on scandalizing her and pushing her away which of course just made the heroic moments he had that much sweeter.
Danger, adventure, mischief and romance run wild in this exotic regency romance that has everything we have come to expect from such a talented author like Cheryl Holt! Once I started the book, I didn’t want to put it down! Each page was an adventure, and the characters were shockingly real and relatable, along with the mystery woven around Egypt, and the gossip thick in the London Ballrooms. Once again, Cheryl Holt has woven story that will stay with the reader long after the last page is finished!
They’d reached the dock, and he stopped and plopped down on a nearby bench, pulling her down with him. Then he leaned over her and kissed her, the embrace continuing for a lengthy interval, and she gleefully participated.
It was foolish to encourage him, foolish to involve herself in their flirtation. She was unbearably smitten, and she had a very tender heart. When he finally departed, she’d be crushed.
She wanted to have a conversation about the two of them, wanted to ask if he’d ever envision a more permanent connection, but he was a libertine, and he made no bones about it. He had the very glamorous, Mrs. Valda, in Cairo, and he probably couldn’t wait to return to her. Why would Theo suppose she could entice him?
Still though, he seemed to like her so much, and she refused to accept that he didn’t. Was it possible she could win him for her own? If she didn’t try, how would she ever learn the answer to that question?
“There,” he said as he drew away, “I’m relieved to have gotten that off my chest.”
“What? Kissing me?”
“Yes. I’ve been dying to do it again ever since we sat under that palm tree the other night.”
“You have not.”
“I have too. I’m a man, Theo. It’s all we think about. Kissing and…well…more intimate things besides.”
“You like me more than you’re willing to admit.”
“I might, and since I view you as an incredible nuisance, I have no idea why.”
For a female who’d never had any male attention, it was a dangerous remark. It ignited all sorts of absurd feminine yearning. With her active imagination, she’d have them halfway to the altar before she could turn around.
“What’s your plan for us, Soloman?”
“I don’t have a plan, Theo.”
“When Mr. Price is ready to keep on, you’ll simply sail down the Nile?”
“Wouldn’t you miss me?”
“Oh, I’d miss you desperately.”
She studied him, not observing a single sign of affection. “You liar. You wouldn’t miss me at all. You’re just being polite.”
“I’d miss you a little, but I wouldn’t exactly pine away.”
“Well, that certainly makes me feel special.”
“I believe I’ve told you previously, Theo. I don’t ever form bonds.”
“Yes, and I hate that you’ve exiled yourself like this. I hate that you have such a solitary life.”
“My life isn’t solitary. It’s exciting and fulfilling. How many British men can say they spent their days on the Nile?”
“Precisely. After this experience, if I went back to London, I’d die of boredom the first week.”
“I’m sure you would,” she glumly agreed, and she kicked herself.
Even though she constantly vowed not to grow infatuated, not to spin a future that could never be, she couldn’t help it. She was already picturing them ensconced in a cottage in Surrey and living happily ever after.
But it would never happen.
He would never marry, would never leave Egypt. Circumstances had pushed him out of England, but the new world he’d built for himself was thrilling and satisfying. There was no place in it for a wife or a gaggle of children, and she had to cease her pointless dreaming.
CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author who has published over forty novels.
She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.
Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance”, and she’s also revered as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.
She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans. Visit her website at www.cherylholt.com.