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Monday, December 5, 2011

The Other Guy’s Bride by Connie Brockway

The Other Guy’s Bride by Connie Brockway
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Full Length (256 pgs)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Aloe

Determined to prove her worth as a budding archeologist, Genisse Braxton vows to solve one of the world's greatest mysteries--to find the location of the lost city of Zerzura. Unfortunately, no man dares take the risk of escorting the resolute young scholar across the open desert. But on her way to Egypt, Genisse engages in a daring deception--she will switch places with Mildred Whimpelhall, who is traveling to meet her fiancé.

Cynical adventurer Jim Owen will do anything to escape the dark secrets of his troubled past. Betrayed by the woman he loved, scorned by proper society, he agrees to carry out a danger-fraught task: escort Mildred Whimpelhall across a lawless desert to her intended. But Jim is about to learn that "Mildred" isn't exactly what she seems . . . and the dangers they face together are eclipsed only by an even greater peril: falling in love, against all reason, with another guy's bride . . .

She’ll do anything to get to the lost city of Zerzura. She’ll even pretend she’s the fiancé of an officer stationed across the desert near the city. So what if she has to travel with a rogue to get there?

This is a smashing adventure that I greatly enjoyed reading. The author’s main male character, Jim Owens, has lost in love and fortune and wants nothing more than to be declared “dead” so he can get on with a new life. He only agrees to transport this potential bride because he owes the officer his life, and he’s paying back that debt. The female main character is a girl who was sent away to boarding school to learn some manners and be more like a lady. In other words, she was too adventuresome to please her parents; boarding school didn’t help. Ginesse seems born to bad luck. She really needs a protector, but you’ll never convince her of that.

The author takes these two headstrong people and throws them into the middle of the desert alone together on a journey that includes bandits, weather challenges, and scorpions. Ginesse almost drowns. The action is non-stop, which makes the story fun. My favorite part is the fact that the two characters are drawn to each other, but neither desires a relationship. The author uses this conflict to spice up the story with disagreements, misunderstandings, and just general stubbornness on the part of her characters. It works well.

The story is set in the late 1890s and the cross-culture mix of Victorian attitudes and the crude desert life make this tale interesting. Travel is by camel, so the author uses the slowness of travel to enhance the tension between her two characters very effectively.

I had not read anything by this author before, but I’ll be looking for her work now. This book impressed me enough it is going in my personal library. It’s a rollicking good tale with outrageous characters and I recommend it to all.