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The Other Guy's Bride    by Connie Brockway order for
Other Guy's Bride
by Connie Brockway
Order:  USA  Can
Montlake, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

All Ginesse Braxton has ever wanted is to be an archaeologist in her own right, like her father and grandfather before her. Unfortunately, everyone in her family would rather see her safe and doing what women her age should be doing, marrying well and raising a family - particularly since calamity is her middle name. Always too curious for her own good, she's caused disaster wherever she's gone.

Her unfair banishment to England from Egypt, currently the centre of all the archaeological action, leaves her more determined than ever to make a name for herself - especially after unwittingly stumbling upon the location of what she believes is the fabled lost city of Zerzura. But how to prove it without her family's incessant interference?

Enter Mildred Whimpelhall, on her way to Egypt to marry her fiancé, Colonel Lord Pomfrey. When the Very Proper English Miss is beset by a horrible bout of seasickness during their Mediterranean crossing, Mildred decides that postponing her rendezvous is her only recourse. Ginesse on the other hand, decides that impersonating her new friend is the perfect way to get back onto Egyptian soil.

Jim Owen has spent the past decade traveling the world and distancing himself from the dark secrets of his past. Determined to repay his debt to the Colonel, Jim agrees to escort Pomfrey's fiancée to his Sahara outpost. From the moment he and Mildred meet however, Jim can't quite understand what this wildly stubborn, accident-prone and annoyingly attractive creature sees in the proper, staid and totally unimaginative Colonel Lord Pomfrey. Even so, Jim is determined to repay the debt,despite his growing attraction to Mildred because the one thing he will never allow himself to do again is let a woman ruin his life.

Brockway presents a smorgasbord of well-used ideas in The Other Guy's Bride: switched or questionable identities, the adventure seeking loner with a deep dark secret, grave robbers, monstrous sandstorms, amusing sidekicks and a host of other popular plot devices. She blends them all and creates a character rich, provocatively romantic and adventure-filled story that harkens back to the historical romances of the 80's and early 90's - romances that Brockway was already a sure hand at writing even then. My only quibble - despite the more modern 1897 setting the title just doesn't work for the time period.

Don't miss this one - particularly if you're a fan of Brockway and her earlier romances and especially if you've always wanted to know what happened after Harry Braxton and Desdemona Carlyle (Ginesse's parents) rode off into the desert sunset in Brockway's 1997 fan favourite, As You Desire.

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