Reviewed by Francine Howarth
It’s Algeria 1845 and Harriet Montague has a dilemma. Although her father is a dedicated archaeologist and highly intelligent man, he nonetheless tends to place quests for historical truths and that of discovery before any thought to his safety: even when venturing to far distant lands. Inevitably having placed his trust in others to watch his back and without question, has led to his capture by Tuareg tribesmen thus posing a nightmare for his daughter. Forced to engage the services of a guide in order to follow her father’s trail in the hope of securing his release, she quite naturally looks to her fiancé for support and companionship for the arduous journey ahead. Unbeknown to Harriet, Archie is not all that he seems any more than that of Lucas Saintclair, guide extraordinaire.
The very fact that Harriet is no shrinking violet in the face of adversity warns Lucas of trouble ahead.. Nevertheless he still doubts her ability to survive more than a few kilometres across rough terrain and, that his chance will arise to send her back whence she came with a suitable escort. She proves him wrong, and by horse or by camel or whatever, he’s soon tempted to present her with a mule for her persistence in annoying him at every turn. To Harriet’s chagrin Lucas seems more akin to the native properties of the Barbary Coast than that of a gentleman, and further qualities are markedly different than those of her fiancé Archie. Lucas stirs feelings to which she dare not succumb, no matter how tempting his attentions upon her. Thus Harriet and Lucas are on course for a sensual collision that will change her life forever. Throughout shared adventure, heartache and the solving of a complicated mystery Harriet’s life then suddenly changes for the worst. Nothing was quite as it seemed, and putting her trust in others has dealt her a deadly hand and a devastating twist of fate.
Back in England and soon to be married against her wishes and no feasible way out, a growl from the bushes denotes a lion of a hunter can be as real as though he had never left her side, albeit imagination and love for a lost one has brought the past to momentary life. Or has it?