He had been a warrior and a king. He'd had many wives and children. He'd been revered as a god and had more wealth than most men could ever imagine but he had gone to his tomb without the one thing he desired most....his soul mate, the "beautiful one" who had haunted his dreams, dreams never to be realized. The great pharaoh had been betrayed by one of his own.
On his deathbed the man now known as Adrian King had performed a special ritual thus insuring his return to life. He had awakened and is once more a man to be reckoned with in a new desert kingdom as owner of the Royal Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas. But eternal life had its price, even for a pharaoh.
Egyptologist Christine Day has had "waking dreams" of ancient Egypt since her childhood. She believes this to be some form of genetic memory. Her grandfather had spent his life searching without success for the tomb of the great king and warrior Merneptah Seti. As he'd approached the end of his life Christine had promised that she would someday find his king for him.
Asked to share her knowledge at an international conference in Las Vegas, Christine finds herself exploring the Royal Palace. She is highly impressed with Adrian's collection of Egyptian antiquities even though many are reproductions. While wandering through King's domain Christine has another one of her "waking dreams" this time of herself and a mystery lover. Her dream is disturbed by none other than the enigmatic casino owner Adrian King, who inexplicably resembles her dream lover to a tee.
Adrian has been drawn to the woman's perfume, a secret recipe he'd created for the soul mate he'd met only in his dreams before his untimely death. He is puzzled as he is unable to read her emotions as he can with other humans until she smiles and he recognizes her as his "beautiful one." How ironic that he should find her now when he cannot have her. Adrian has already felt the urges that edge him ever closer to becoming what he most dreads, an Eater of Blood and a Breaker of Bones a.k.a. a vampire. Others have arisen as well, his trusted friend General Rahotep, Maya the instrument of his betrayal, and Seth the betrayer himself. He must keep his beloved safe even if it means sending her away. Fortunately Christine Day has always been a great believer in fate.
Though the vampire genre is currently in vogue, this tale was a true original. The world building is phenomenal. The vampires are woven into the intricate plot rather than the other way around. Christine is not the traditional alpha heroine either. She is strong, intelligent, and devoted but doesn't go around kicking vampire butt and instead relies on faith and love to rule the day. This story held the reader in its thrall from the first page straight through to the very last. Tears will flow as the mighty warrior is forced to choose between his rightful destiny, to lie in the arms of his beloved, or to sacrifice all to save the soul of his twisted betrayer. Ms. Guest has proven herself to be a gifted storyteller. I look forward to the next installment. I highly recommend this read.
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