Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Lion’s Embrace by Marie Laval


Arrogant, selfish and dangerous, Lucas Saintclair is everything Harriet Montague dislikes in a man. He is also the best guide in the whole of the Barbary States, the only man who can rescue her archaeologist father from the gang of Tuareg fighters that has kidnapped him. As Harriet embarks on a perilous journey across Algeria with Saintclair and Archibald Drake, her father’s most trusted friend, she discovers a bewitching but brutal land where nothing is what it seems. Who are these men intent on stealing her father’s ransom? What was her father hoping to find in Tuareg queen Tin Hinan’s tomb? Is Lucas Saintclair really as callous as he claims—or is he a man haunted by a past he cannot forgive? Dangerous passions engulf Harriet’s heart in the heat of the Sahara. Secrets of lost treasures, rebel fighters, and a sinister criminal brotherhood threaten her life and the life of the man she loves.

Does forever lie in the lion’s embrace?

Lucas Saintclair doesn’t like the thought of traveling the desert with a weak, whiny woman.  He has his own agenda for accepting this job and a woman is one more responsibility he doesn’t need, so he does everything he can to make the journey difficult for Harriet Montague.  However, she surprises him.  She does not whine and she is not weak.  She meets every challenge with grace and courage, even killing a would-be rapist who gets past Saintclair’s guards.  He finds himself respecting her, and more.  Harriet notices that Saintclair tends to disappear at odd times during the night—times that coincide with rebel raids against the French who, she realizes are oppressing and abusing the native people who have lived peacefully in the area for thousands of years.  Is he the jaded carouser he appears to be?  Or is he a man who cares deeply for his land and the people who live there?  As the journey continues, she finds herself attracted to him in ways she has never been attracted to a man before.

Ms. Laval weaves a tale of deep characters, historical and archaeological detail set in a land few people have glimpsed, especially now that it is torn apart by war, greed, and the lust for the oil that lies beneath the shifting sands of the desert.  She introduces us to the people who have lived there for thousands of years who would prefer to be left in peace to worship in their own ways, live their lives as they see fit, and tend their own lands.  “Come with me to the Casbah…” where Harriet and Saintclair meet, and embark on this great adventure. 

Length: 424 Pages

Price:  $5.95

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