A Lady of Distinction
Deborah Simmons
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A Lady of Distinction

Deborah Simmons
Berkley
Paperback
320 pages
May 2004
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Studious and serene Juliet, daughter of the Earl of Cavendish, has long been the self-appointed Egyptian expert and cataloguer of her fatherís exotic acquisitions. The latest shipment of ancient Egyptian artifacts are accompanied by their procurer, the notorious and somewhat uncivilized adventurer Morgan Beauchamp. From their first meeting, Juliet and Morgan strikes sparks off of each other, as Julietís exact and curious nature about the relics wars with Morganís careless attitude. Unspoken and growing sexual tension also hinders their research.

Things take a spooky and drastic turn when odd sounds are heard from the artifacts room, things mysteriously appear and disappear, and servants claim to have been attacked by the mummy residing within an ancient sarcophagus. Is it really the mummy wreaking vengeance on those who have committed the sacrilege of disturbing its eternal rest, or is there quite an earthly reason behind it all? Pontificating suitors, unusual servants, disturbing relatives, murderous attempts and chaotic feelings all combine to add a suspenseful and haunting edge to the growing romance between Juliet and Morgan.

Deborah Simmonsís latest narrative has its basis in the Egyptian craze that once swept England. Simmons has accurately captured a time when Egyptís archeological treasures were just being discovered and its riches looted, some under the guise of research but mostly by private collectors. Julietís father is one such greedy collector and Morgan, the man who supplies him with artifacts. Initially this has the reader as well as Juliet contemptuous of Morgan; however the author ultimately vindicates him. Julietís gradual transformation from a studious quiet young woman to a woman of the world is also believable. Growing passion and a prevailing sense of unearthly menace make this otherwise quaint love story, a wonderfully gripping and suspenseful one.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Rashmi Srinivas, 2004

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