It’s 1901 and Rose McLeod is in Egypt with her father to acquire some Egyptian relics for their antique business in Baltimore. Rose is kidnapped by a notorious slaver. Her destination is likely to be to someone’s harem as a concubine. Fortunately, although Rose didn’t exactly see it that way at the time, she is rescued by a beautiful woman who says she is the Pharaoh of a hidden kingdom in the Sahara Desert.
Meryneit, the chosen one of Neit, is convinced Rose is a personal gift to her from her Goddess. Rose will not accept this. She is determined she will be a slave to no one. She is a free American woman and this is the way she intends to stay.
As the caravan makes it’s long journey across the Sahara Desert to the Valley of Wind and Dreams, Rose becomes a member of Meryt’s household with her three other companions. Rose is not happy with her situation at all. When Rose discovers that Meryt’s companions are more than ‘just’ companions, she is deeply shocked. Rose begins to think of them as being Meryt’s harem. Rose hopes with all her being that she’s not Meryt’s latest addition. There are a lot of clashes along the way because of the different cultures. Dangers arise, there are betrayals and passions ignite. As Meryt and Rose find themselves becoming more attracted to each other, so they find themselves beholden to their fate as the ancient Egyptian Gods foretold.
This is a wonderful book. Well written and very different from the usual lesbian romances. I have to say, when I first opened the book, I found the Egyptian glossary a bit daunting. No worries though, the use of Egyptian words throughout is self explanatory. I did enjoy reading through it all once I’d finished the book.
It is apparent that Linda North has done extensive research into ancient Egypt. From the scenic descriptions, I was immediately transported to 1901 in Egypt, living the story with the characters.
Although the story is between the two multidimensional main characters, Rose and Meryt, they are backed up by an equally as important set of secondary characters to enhance and progress the story forward at a very nice pace.
Rose and Meryt have a love/hate relationship in the beginning. But as I’ve often found out, there is a fine line between love and hate, both are extremes of emotions. Their relationship clips along at a believable pace for the story.
Along the way, the story tells of ancient Goddesses, beliefs, betrayal and the love between women and past lives seamlessly intertwining with the present. It’s clear from the outset, that Rose is inexperienced in the world of Sapphic love. We see how she slowly comes to terms with the love Meryt has for her companions. The vast difference between Meryt and Rose’s cultures is apparent and a part of the problem Rose has to come to terms with. It’s very interesting to see how Rose handles her feelings.
Although I finished the story in a day, it has stayed with me. I would like to see more of Meryt and Rose. I enjoyed reading about the clash of cultures and how they overcame the inevitable barriers when two worlds collide.
History, geography, a touch of the mystic from ancient times and hot romance, all the makings of an excellent read. More please and very, very soon.