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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2003
"As You Desire" is a warm and touching historical romance set in 1890 in Egypt. The author has done a thorough research of late Victorian egyptology and the life of antique collectors and unscrupulous dealers of the time period. Desdemona Carlyle is an enchanting young lady and an accomplished scholar who lives with her archeologist grandfather in Cairo.She loves her surroundings, the hot sun of the desert, the people of Cairo and she is dedicated to her grandfather's happiness.She is attracted to Harry Braxton but she keeps it deeply hidden because she thinks he is a scoundrel.Harry counts himself Desdemona's friend and in order to keep himself unattached he teases her all the time.He has a reputation of a dealer in Egyptian artefacts who is not afraid of using any method to obtain what he wants. He is also very charming and intelligent and full of mystery. The situation becomes more heated when Harry's cousin Lord Blake Ravenscroft arrives from England. The polite society of Cairo is very impressed by Lord Ravenscroft's gentlemanly behaviour and even Desdemona can't resist his charm.Harry's life turns upside down and he has to make the biggest decision of his life. The storyline is fast-paced and full of exciting adventures and interesting glimpses into the circles of international antique collectors in Victorian Egypt.The author draws our attention into her story and we feel ourselves there among her colourful and wonderfully alive characters.Desdemona and Harry are among my few favourite romance characters. They are a matching pair, both very charming, intelligent and full of warmth.Their love story is heartwarming and beautiful on its own accord. The author's brilliant idea of infusing the love scenes with ancient Egyptian love poetry found my soft spot and I was enchanted by its beauty.
AS YOU DESIRE is a work of a talented author with lots of knowledge and heart. The story is outstanding and unique. I am sure it will delight all historical romance readers.
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on 7 May 2002
An impulse buy that paid off hugely!! I love Harry and his Dizzy - not only does the narrative inspire a poignancy long-lost to chronic romance readers (yes, guilty), it breathes adventure, exoticism and yearning. The interjection of psuedo-Arabic love poetry, the immensely romantic seemingly-unromantic hero and a spectacular setting culminate in my romance 'fix' of the year. I bought it on Saturday, today is Tuesday and I've reread it 4 times now. What more could you 'desire'?
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on 31 December 1998
I really loved this book from the opening scene with the heroine in melodramatic (and slightly drunken) histrionics to the hero who is part bravado and part insecurity. Brockway has written a fast paced and highly entertaining story that is full of laughter but with just a touch of pathos in its dyslexic hero. A definite keeper.
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on 29 April 1997
When we first meet Desdemona Carlisle she's bored, bound, a bit tipsy on fermented milk and awaiting the auctioning block. She's an Englishwoman and has been abducted by an overzealous young Arab. A romantic, Desdemona begins to fantasize about how exciting it might be to bought by a desert Prince. Then opportunist Harry Braxton shows up to save her hide. She can't believe her rotten luck and tells him, "If you bought me I'll kill you!"

Thus begins this truly fun, character driven, adventurous read. We soon find out why Dizzy (as Harry so charmingly calls her) is so disappointed with her savior. He is a scoundrel and an opportunist who broke her heart several years earlier. Unable to avoid each other since he is an archeologist often in need of Diz's translation skills they have forged a platonic friendship.

Dizzy never had a childhood. A child prodigy, her parents forced her to study languages and drug her around the world to show off her talents. When her parents died her Egyptologist Grandfather brought her to Cairo and she has been eking out a life using her language skills. Her fondest dream is living a normal life in England but her and Grandad are broke.

She loves Harry but will never allow him to hurt her again. When Harry's hunky, brooding cousin Lord Ravenscroft shows up in Egypt she realizes he may just be the perfect antidote to Harry. Blake is a boring, sensible, uptight fuddy-duddy! He's everything her head tells her she needs - if she could only convince her heart she'd be all set.

Harry loves Dizzy but he is unwilling to allow her to give up her dreams to make him happy so he pushes her away for her own good. He is hiding a painful secret that makes him feel inadequate and he will not return to England after his dreadful childhood. But when she starts making eyes at his priggish cousin he loses all sense of his faculties.

I don't want to give too much away of this irresistible story so I'll just say that these two have my vote for most lovable couple of the year! They compliment each other perfectly in every way. Harry is a wonderfully original wounded hero. He's a man man enough to admit his love (there's no annoying denial of feelings going on with this guy thank goodness!!), shed a few tears, and face down a madman for the woman he loves, he's also as sexy as they get. Dizz is intelligent, strong, funny, she reads erotic scrolls when no one is looking! She's a romantic and a heroine the reader can easily relate to. These two people are so real they leap off the page and the hot desert sun is the perfect back drop for the super steamy tension they create.
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on 9 January 1998
If you love an Indiana Jones-type hero, an intelligent dreamer of a heroine, and a story set in exotic Cairo, this book is for you. 'As You Desire" is indeed a good, funny romp. Harry Braxton and Desdemona Carlisle were in love with each other, but there were several hitches. One, Desdemona oh-so wanted to move to England so that her grandfather could receive a tenure at the Royal Museum. Two, Harry refused to return to England; he was dyslexic and in England he would be treated with pity. So there you go. In came Harry's cousin Blake, who was everything Desdmona wanted in a hero. Only thing was, Harry's always distracting her attempts to fall for Blake. It was a hilarious rollercoaster ride to go through this book, as Harry tries so hard to change Desdemona's mind, and Desdemona trying to forget Harry but failing. These two are reminiscent of Bogard and Bergman; two persons who were friends before lovers. And it is us readers who reap the fun as we watch them fall truly, madly, dizzly in love.
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on 4 December 2013
Just could not get into this book at all, did not finish it in the end. It has good reviews so dont really know what happened but just not for me. The Dizzy nickname for the heroine irritated me and although I thought it started reasonably well for me it just did not go anywhere. Boring I am afraid.
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on 20 May 1998
This was a wonderful book with two lead characters that you can't help but love. The book is about Victorian England in Egypt and about two people who have been in love for years but have never been able to deal with that love. The plot is not only original because the couple is already in love when the book begins, but becuase of the unusual plot material Brockway decides to deal with. Since reading this book, I have made a point to purchase all of her other books.
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on 13 October 1998
I have never read this author before, but I will now. It has been a long time since I enjoyed a romance novel, they were all starting to be the same. I was tired of reading the same thing I read 7 years ago. I found this book to be thrilling, wonderful and funny. If you like to be entertained, instead of bored to tears by the usual, buy this book.
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on 10 September 2003
As You Desire is a lovely book. Connie Brockway's evocative writing captures the reader's attention and her mix of humour, sensuality and intrigue keeps you riveted page after page. There is more than a little of the poet in Ms. Brockway I feel.
The characters of Dizzy and Harry are delightful and one feels immediate empathy with them both, wishing for their love affair to take flight! Although I wasn't expecting to enjoy the Egyptian setting for the book, Ms. Brockway works her magic on the reader's imagination so that the desert and the primitive township sound nothing short of appealling.
Another aspect I enjoyed, is that the writing is not too 'Americanised', one can believe that the characters are English and not prone to speaking in 'American-anglaise', which is so irrating for us Brits! They don't refer to streets as 'blocks' or use the term 'gotten' which I'm certain English Victorians would never have done!
I'm not sure if I loved this book more or as much as 'My Dearest Enemy' and would heartily recommend them both if you enjoy the prospect of reading about two enchanting personalities bringing their love to life. I did!
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on 3 April 1997
Harry Braxton and Desdemona Carlisle battle their way into love in 1890s Egypt, surrounded by interfering relatives, unscrupulous merchants, and a loyal servant or two. Will Harry break from his painful past and learn to trust? Will Dizzy give up her romantic dreams and find the treasure that's right before her eyes? As You Desire offers readers a spunky heroine, an unusual hero, and a quirky love story guaranteed to leave you smiling.
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