My Rating: Outstanding adventure!
The Other Guy’s Bride was an absolute delight and I am so glad that I picked it up. I was intrigued by the Egyptian setting, so I ended up getting it inter-library loaned, since my library didn’t have a copy. It was worth the effort. This also happened to be my first time reading Connie Brockway, and as a huge historical romance fan, I have to wonder why? This was excellent!
Ginesse Braxton is the daughter of very famous parents in the archeological world, and I suppose this world is very small in 1905. Ginesse has always felt out of place and has the unfortunate ability to attract trouble everywhere she goes. On her return to Egypt Ginesse is determined to make her own mark and become know as someone other than a trouble maker or just a member of the large Braxton clan. Ginesse thinks she’s found her ticket in the lost city of Zerzura, which she aims to discover. However, Ginesse has no idea how to get there. Ginesse needs a guide, and she’ll get one by impersonating Miss Mildred Whimpelhall, who will be met in Cario by Jim Owens, hired by Mildred’s fiance as an escort. Of course, Ginesse’s disguise is complicated when she starts to develop feelings for the rough maybe-American.
Jim Owens has been living in North Africa since giving up his claim to his inheritance and having his heart broken by a woman he loved. Since then Jim has been living as a jack-of-all-trades, which sometimes includes being a grave robber: this does not help his reputation. Due to a debt of honour, Jim finds himself the guide of a very impetuous, impulsive and inquisitive young lady and he finds himself completely riveted by her. Because Jim is an honourable man, he has no intention of doing anything about his growing feelings because Mildred (aka Ginesse) is already spoken for. However, dangerous circumstances force them to rely on one another and both are confronted by their feelings for one another.
I loved this Egyptian adventure! As soon as I started reading, I was reminded of the movie, The Mummy, which has to be one of my favourites of all time. Both Jim and Ginesse are very much like the main characters of the movie, Rick and Evie. So if you like movie, this one will definitely appeal. Both Jim and Ginesse were great characters and their interaction were funny and moving. I liked how quickly Jim fell for Ginesse and how he became accustomed to the trouble that constantly followed her:
The pistol shot rang out across the desert floor, and Pomfrey’s soldiers dove for cover, including Neely, their grizzled lieutenant.
On the far side of the camp, Miss Whimpelhall started and looked down at the newly minted hole in the sand beside her and at what remained of the large, yellowish scorpion that had been sitting in it a second earlier. Then she looked at the rock in her hand, the one she’d just lifted from the same place.
“I fear I am once more in your debt, Mr. Owens,” she said, her voice shaking a bit,
“Think nothing of it,” Jim said, calmly replacing his pistol in its shoulder holster and leaning back on his bedroll. He no longer got rattled at having to shoot things, climb things, chase things, or dive into things to snatch her back from the precipices she seemed always to be leaning over. It was all in the day’s work. (p. 115-116)
Jim is probably the only one to feel calm about the mishaps that Ginesse finds herself in and simply accepts it as the way of things. I really liked this acceptance element of the story and just simply showed how nice Jim was as a character. It was refreshing to have just a nice guy as the male lead in a historical. I know we all like the rake character, but there’s something rather sweet about having someone totally ordinary get the girl. Not that Jim was that ordinary (he was a secret Earl, after all), but he was just a nice guy that wanted to do what’s best for the woman he loved, even if he was a little bit of a blockhead about. It just wouldn’t be romancelandia without these complications.
Ginesse was also a lovely character, and her continued troubles were rather amusing. What I really liked about Ginesse was that she was a character with depth. She starts off as a naive and impulsive young woman who doesn’t really think through her actions, but I think by the end she’s learned to be more comfortable in her own skin and it was nice to see this kind of development.
The setting was also totally awesome. I really enjoy stories set in Egypt during this period (see my review for Daughter of the God-King from last week) and I really felt that the setting was well conveyed by Brockway. The Egyptian desert wasn’t just set dressing, it was believable and I enjoyed all the other details about life for the British in Egypt at this time. This detail made The Other Guy’s Bride more than just a historical romance, it was an adventure story and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
Now that I’ve raved about The Other Guy’s Bride I will immediately have to seek out more of Brockway’s novels because clearly I’ve been missing out in my historical romance reading. The to-read pile grows larger every day, but it’s not something I really feel I need to complain about.
Shadow on the Nile: A great mystery set in England and Egypt, although it’s not as heavy on the romance, there are some similar elements.
Resurrection: Also set in Cario; however, it’s set a little later, in the 1940s. The setting is great, but the romance is fairly subdued, but would appeal to those intrigued by Egypt during this time.
Crocodile on the Sandbank: Pure mystery, but we have a great Egyptian setting and an archeological mystery. Amelia Peabody also reminds me somewhat of Ginesse, probably a similar take-charge attitude.
The Map of Lost Memories: I have to admit that I haven’t read this one, but it looks very similar. Close in time period, lady archeologist trying to prove herself, a hint of romance. Looks to be set in Cambodia, but I’m intrigued.
Pink Carnation Series: I’m throwing this series on her because the modern story involving Eloise reminds me of Ginesse, although the actual mystery and spy stories are considerably lighter fare.