passion rating: warm
As I read Ms. Brockway’s much anticipated The Other Guy’s Bride, I was reminded of one of my favorite featherweight films, the 1999 romantic comedy caper “The Mummy.” The novel, like that delirious movie, stars a strong willed, smart tongued English lass and a sexy, cynical swashbuckler traveling together across early 20th century Egypt, escaping bad guys, outracing sand storms and, of course, falling in love. If you like your romances over the top, filled with danger, passion, and adventure, you will adore The Other Guy’s Bride.
Genisse Braxton hails from a world renowned archaeology-oriented family. Her father, Harry Braxton, is the most successful locator of tombs in Egypt; her mother Desdemona (Dizzy) Braxton is a famous and excessively brilliant linguist. Genisse’s six younger brothers too are making names for themselves in the antiquities world: The eldest of the six is an expert in embalming techniques and 18 year old Francis is a whiz at spotting — and making — forged artifacts. Genisse longs to join, even surpass, her family’s ranks. After studying ancient history at Cambridge (Ms. Brockway acknowledges she took several liberties with history; one is that Cambridge, in the early 20th century, admitted women and had a program in ancient history), Genisse becomes a glorified clerk to handsome Professor Lord Tynesborough, the youngest distinguished professor in the history of the college. One day she stumbles across an ancient bill of lading that convinces her the fabled lost city of Zerzura exists deep in the western Sahara. After doing months of surreptitious research under the watchful eye of Tynesborough, she decides to take hold of her fate. She boards a boat bound for Cairo — the city where her family lives and she grew up — determined to find Zerzura.
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