Author Anne Cleeland is offering a book giveaway for her second book in the Regency series titled Daughter of the God-King. The first five people to contact Cleeland through her website—http://annecleeland.com—with their name and address will receive a copy of Daughter of the God-King. Please type DGK Giveaway in the subject box of your email. Names of winners will be posted like this: Melissa C. from CA.
This is one of the most romantic books I’ve read in a while with mystery and adventure.
In Anne Cleeland fashion she creates mysterious characters that will keep you guessing the true identity of the hero and the other characters, whom the hero says cannot be trusted and the sassy heroine who tries to find out the truth about her parents and herself.
Hattie Blackhouse has been left behind by her famous Egyptologist parents at their Cornwall home with a governess who can’t handle her. She grew up with the boy next door, Robbie, and his parents watching over her. She has turned eighteen and decides to take her new governess and friend Bing to Paris to meet up with Robbie at a party of consuls familiar with her parents and convince him to marry her. She changes tactics when she finds Robbie with an unanticipated fiancé and says she is there to visit her parents. Robbie’s fiancé, more à la mode than Hattie, says her parents aren’t in Paris. It seems that all but Hattie know what has happened to her parents.
Monsieur Berry is the man who is watching her and then fetches a haquenee for her and her companion Bing. Berry visits Hattie the next day at her parent’s Paris home questioning her about her parents. She asks him if her parents ever spoke of her. Without directly answering her question he tells her they were fond of her. To spare her embarrassment he says, “Hathor; an unusual name.” She smiles at him with her dimples saying in a voice I can hear so sweetly in my mind, “My friends call me Hattie.” By this point, I feel sympathetic for Hattie because she has no relationship with her parents. She’s angry, but holds in her feelings. I want her to cry, but she isn’t sure if her parents are dead and Berry won’t tell her.
Baron du Pays comes calling and suddenly wants to be Hattie’s friend and show her the world. He is off-putting, but Hattie can’t figure out why. He offers to drive her to Versailles the next day. She politely accepts knowing she and Bing will have escaped to Cairo to find her parents.
Bing, who is a bit nerdy and gawky, is willing to go because her brother Edward Bing worked with Hattie’s parents in Egypt. Edward sent Bing letters telling of his work in Thebes.
A pleasant surprise to find Berry on the ship to Cairo. He tells Hattie to trust no one and not to tell them anything. She asks him questions, but again only he gets his questions answered. Even though she has her moments of impatience for the most part she is polite. I want her to scream and lash out at everyone for not answering her questions. Taking matters into her own hands she answers the questions for herself.
Meanwhile, she knows she is a foolish girl for trusting Berry. She is pleased he is weakening a little bit more with every meeting. She can’t wait for the moment he gives into temptation. Their first kiss is very passionate and they agree not to speak of it again. The second kiss is revealing and sexy. His mysterious identity adds romance to the relationship. At some point he is rescuing her on a horse in the Valley of the Kings. They end up making love in a small get-away boat at a dangerous moment with a bit of humor.
The use of different languages adds another layer of luxury. Berry uses a French accent, but speaks in Egyptian and his own language. There is also a puzzle involving artifacts that Berry, Hattie and Bing try to figure out to find the daughter of the God-King and perhaps a secret chamber that Napoleon is hiding to fund another war.
The romance, adventure and the setting among the tombs reminds me of Indiana Jones and his romantic adventures. Daughter of the God-King would make a beautiful movie with Thebes as the back drop. Hattie in her feminine, yellow dress and matching parasol against the Egyptian desert would make a stunning scene.
This ordinary, sweet, feisty and cheeky, young woman fights through unusual circumstances making her palpable for today’s twenty-first century woman.
- Author Anne Cleeland on Writing Regencies: How Accurate Should You Be? (theregencyinkwell.wordpress.com)