I really enjoyed Madelynne Ellis' first book for Black Lace, A Gentleman's Wager, and I was a bit disappointed when I found out that instead of another historical setting, this would be based in modern Egypt. If anything though, it's even better than the first book. Ms Ellis excels at interesting characters that you want to know more about, especially the kind of villain that's a really unspeakable cad, but is just too damn cool to dislike. Dareth Sadler is selfish, manipulative, and quite happy to sacrifice anyone and anything to his own ambitions. On the other hand, he's completely honest with himself and just oozes style, so as with Vaughan in the first book, he shines in every scene. The main character, Adie Hamilton blunders through Egypt like Gwendoline with attitude (and a trowel), in a story that works in some strong BDSM elements without the usual clichés of nurses, nannies and dungeons. There are touches of knife play, breath control, even mind control, without making it really in your face and therefore a turn-off to non scene-players. She's trying to impress her rich, handsome and infuriatingly aloof boss, superstar archaeologist Killian Carmichael. However, when Dareth Sadler the sensationalist writer arrives, suddenly she's trying to save Killian's career as well as her own. Then there's Anton the rogue treasure hunter who should have been a silent movie star. Whose side is he on? There's plenty of great, imaginative fantasy sex that's guaranteed to have you breathing heavily and ready to surprise your partner with something new in the bedroom. I really loved the sex magic scenes, which are pitched just right so they're erotic without being silly. As usual with Madelynne Ellis, you also get an intriguing plot that sucks you right in to the character's world, which has a depth and attention to detail that puts a lot of mainstream writers to shame. I felt completely immersed in Cairo and the other locations, and after reading this book I almost feel like I've been there myself, and I've learned more about Egypt and Egyptology reading this than from a dozen documentaries, without ever getting bored. I also loved spotting the sly little jokes/homages to everything from Indiana Jones to Tomb Raider. If you love Egypt, kinky sex, or just a damn good story with a believable heroine and some sexy, mysterious men that will keep you hooked right to the very last page, then buy this book, pour yourself a glass of wine, and take the phone off the hook.
I have had always had a thing for Egyptian tales, Gods and Goddesses etc. But this book put my obsession together with erotica. You couldnt ask for a better combination. I own other Black Lace and this was my favourite, the characters are believable, and the heroine intelligent aswell as sexy. My husband even got intrigued by what i was reading and now i dont always have a minute to read alone.