Monday, November 28, 2011

The Other Guy's Bride by Connie Brockway

I loved Connie Brockway's As You Desire when it came out in 1997. Since then, I've read it and re-read it umpteen times. Brilliant, strong Dizzy (Desdemona) and lovable, strong Harry make such a memorable pair—neither is dominant, both are loyal, compatible, and complement each other very well. It's always been a satisfying comfort read for me.

So for those of you reading my blog, if you loved AS YOU DESIRE, The Other Guy's Bride is in the same league. It's written in Connie Brockway's signature style with wit, poignancy, and sexiness; characters with depth and nuance; a story that's entertaining and yet brings a lump to your throat; and above all, writing at it's lyrical finest.

If you haven't read AS YOU DESIRE, don't worry. This book stands alone, so you can read this one first, and then AUD.

In THE OTHER GUY'S BRIDE, Ginesse Braxton, Harry's daughter, is attempting to follow in her parents' illustrous wake with training in archeology. Her dedicated research has led her to a possible location for the fabled city of Zerzura in the middle of the desert far from the Nile. Such a find would not only be the archaeological find of the century, but it would make her career. In addition, she hopes that this will reform everyone's image of her as a screw-up and magnet for trouble.

Along her trip down to Egypt from England, Ginesse meets one Mildred Whimpelhall, fiancée to Colonel Lord Pomfrey stationed at Fort Gordon in the Sahara desert. Mildred gets very seasick and abandons the ship part-way through the trip in preference to taking the rail down to Africa. In a moment of epiphany, Ginesse assumes Mildred's name to get herself to Fort Gordon, which is very close to where Zerzura purportedly is.

Jim Owen, drifter, hired gun, and sometimes illegal dealer in antiquities, is tasked by Colonel Lord Pomfrey to escort his Mildred to Fort Gordon. Jim is indebted to Pomfrey for his life and is eager to discharge his debt despite the nuisance of shepherding a delicately raised female across the treacherous desert past fierce warring tribes.

Jim Owen may have a disreputable reputation, but he still retains a core of honor that forbids any romantic entanglements with another man's affianced bride. Despite this, he's helpless against falling in love with Ginesse "Mildred." He suffers agonies of shame over this. Ginesse, blithely unaware of his emotional involvement, is busy trying to keep herself distanced from him to maintain Mildred's image of being happily affianced.

THE OTHER GUY'S BRIDE proceeds to take this mismatched pair and transports them across the desert and into each other's hearts via a series of debacles, laugh-out-loud mishaps, tender exchanges, and heart-stopping adventures, not to mention highly sensual moments.

I am a huge fan of Connie Brockway's books and have her entire booklist. I have read them again and again over the years, and THE OTHER GUY'S BRIDE is definitely going to be another book that I'll come back to repeatedly.

The eBook was released on November 22, and for a few days, it's free for Amazon Prime members. The print version of the book will be released on December 22.