Gavin DeFoe, Earl of Blackwell is on the run from Napoleon's soldiers in Rosetta Egypt. He needs to find King Menes' tomb before Napoleon. King George, his friend and sovereign has given him the task of finding King Menes' crown and returning it to him in England. It is widely believed that whoever holds the crown will be the ruler of the world. Jake and Sarah accompany him on the quest from Shadow of the Sun, as well as Connor MacLeay. In order to locate the tomb, Gavin hires a local Englishman, Willie Tuggle as guide. What Willie fails to disclose is that it is in fact his daughter, Mackenzie, who guides, and is the leader of the diggers Gavin has hired. Gavin believes all women, with the exception of Sarah, are deceitful and not to be trusted. His reaction to the deception is not kind.
"Mac", Mackenzie Tuggle, is very competent and self-reliant. She is of common birth and has been in charge of her home since her mother's death some twenty years ago. Gavin's belief that women should be in the home and protected does not sit well with her. Mac is a woman who knows what she wants and goes after it. Her men rely on her and she feels the weight of it. The men are in their fifties, and would not be able to find work if she let them go. Her father loves her but is more interested in drinking than leading.
Mac recognizes her attraction to Gavin, yet he fights against it and her. How the relationship is resolved makes for exciting reading. They race against time and Napoleon to locate the tomb.
Once again Ms. Hilz has written an exciting and entertaining book. As I read it, I felt as though I was there. I sat and read the book straight through. It is a wonderful escape from reality, and Mac is the kind of heroine I most enjoy. She's strong, self-confident and a leader. She refuses to back down in the face of Gavin's expectations. As the book progresses, Gavin begins to understand that the tragedy in his past doesn't have to ruin his future.
I highly recommend this book. The blurb on the cover is completely wrong, even to the last name of the hero. So, overlook it when getting the book! I hope Ms. Hilz is going to continue the series with Connor MacLeay's quest.
Nancy Riggins-Hume, May 2004
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