Tired of dark, deeply emotional romances? If you’re in the mood for a change of pace with a light, fun romance that has more than a few slightly fantastic elements, this book fits the bill nicely.
It is London, 1848. Julia Hanson is an articulate and intelligent woman who just happens to have an unfashionable interest in Egyptology. She has been corresponding with a famous Egyptologist for some time and has pinned her hopes on convincing him to marry her in order to fulfill her dream of traveling and studying in Egypt.
Dr. Simon Archer believes he has been corresponding with a wise, yet ancient lady. From her correspondence, he finds Julia smart and interesting, with a talent for languages that surpasses his own gift. Still, his perception of her is one of a safe, sweet, little old lady.
Julia and Simon’s first meeting is comical, to say the least. Simon is completely surprised and appalled that Julia is an attractive, young woman, and when she suggests that they travel to Egypt together, he goes off the deep end. Simon has a family full of sisters and believes that women are flighty, frivolous, and well, less intelligent than men. Simon refuses to allow Julia to get an early glimpse of his museum exhibit, which includes the sarcophagus of the princess An-ket.
When Julia sneaks in for a peek and accidentally releases the spirit of An-ket, the story gets really interesting. Julia, being an extremely honest person, tells Simon of the occurrence, which leads Simon to believe that she is a crazy person, and he does not want to be attracted to a crazy person.
Their developing relationship is filled with humor. Poor Simon has even biggers problems when Julia teams up with his mother and sisters. And what about this ludicrous idea of Julia’s that An-ket’s spirit is wandering around giving her advice?
There is a nice secondary romance involving Simon’s sister Lucy, which needs a little push from An-ket to head in the right direction. An-ket is such a fascinating character that she comes close to overwhelming the other characters. The glimpses of Egyptian life and mythology added an extra depth to the story.
There was one bothersome subplot involving a Dr. Mystery, which was superfluous in many ways, and the aftermath and resolution of An-ket’s appearance was somewhat disappointing. However, I had a great time with this story and found it a diverting way to while away a few hours.