The Scorpion & the Seducer
Leisure, May 2008, $6.99
In London, the Ton has always treated half-Egyptian Jasmine Tristan as a pariah disparaging her as the “Brown Scorpion”. Perhaps the only exception besides her adopted father is the Earl Thomas Wallenford, who not only admires her élan, but believes he is in love with her. Although she reciprocates his feelings, she knows they cannot make a match; when he was twelve, his late father made it clear she was a loser two times as a heathen and as an illegit; affirmed by Thomas’ mother.
When his older twin Nigel the “perfect one” dies, Thomas becomes the duke and must ignore his heart for the sake of his title. Still he and Jasmine make a trek to Egypt where she hopes to learn who her natural parents are and he spent time with family there when Nigel was ill back when they were preadolescents. As they admit their love in the desert, the person who killed the twin plans to murder Thomas too.
The latest desert historical romance is a superb tale that brings to life Egypt in the late 1890s. The lead couple is a strong pairing as both knows his mother thinks Jasmine is beneath her socially yet love blossoms between them. The murder mystery is well done, but serves as a minor subplot as Bonnie Vanak provides another strong Victorian Egyptian romance filled with a vivid background.