Lady Sarah Pendergrass was ignored and pushed aside her entire life by her father. She lives in her own home though unmarried, because her father never asked her to return home after boarding school. Roger Pendergrass is a famous Egyptian archeologist, and has the treasures to prove it. Roger mentored Jacob (Jake) Mitchell and taught him everything he knows. Now they have had a falling out, and Roger summons Sarah to break a curse.
He is dying because he raided the tomb of a previously unknown queen. He believes the only way to break the curse is to return her mummy and all her possessions to her tomb. But he’s too sick to do it himself, and Jake refused. Sarah hopes that if she completes the task, Roger will finally love her. She hates Jake for stealing her father from her.
Jake is a man on a mission. He is a commoner brought into the home of Roger Pendergrass and treated as a son. Jake was the archeologist who actually found the relics, but this other man claimed he had found them and Jake tried to steal them. Because Jake is not of the nobility, his reputation is destroyed. Jake wants to bring the mummy and relics to the British Museum in order to regain his honor and reputation.
Sarah has never been out of England, and has no concept of what she’s going to experience. Jake learns that Roger has taken all the artifacts, as well as the mummy back to Egypt. He travels on the same boat as Sarah all the time believing he’s chasing Roger. Sarah conceals her identity at her father’s request, and to her horror finds herself strongly attracted to Jake.
Tammy Hilz has written an engrossing book, with good characterization. Sarah has moments of sheer stupidity due to her lack of knowledge of Egypt, while Jake reluctantly rescues her from her folly. The difficulties they encounter strengthen their relationship. Sarah gets points for determination and grit. Jake is a perfect foil for her. When they stop fighting each other and begin to work together, their attraction blooms.
I read this enjoyable book in only a few hours. I couldn’t put it down. Several of the secondary characters beg for their own story. Gavin and Connor are Strong Men who need the love of a Good Woman. I hope they find it.
Nancy Riggins-Hume, September 2003