Title: The Tiger and the Tomb
Published in December 2003 by Leisure Books
She was promised to a goatherd, and Lady Katherine, daughter of the Earl of Smithfield, was definitely not pleased. Oh, it wasn't because her husband to be was a goatherd necessarily, but she is a woman who thought her self safe from the marriage mart. Safe, she thought, from the sniggers and those cruel remarks about the scar she carried on her face. It is the result of an innocent and unfortunate encounter with a tiger cub, and has brought her the unwanted pity of her peers. She as dealt with the stares and whispers all of her life, but as she grows older, and men shy away from her marred visage, she has begun to think of herself as ugly. In her eyes, this now viewed as a mixed blessing. On one hand, she need not worry about the men chasing after her for her wealth and beauty. She had only wealth, and no beauty. She has none of the traditional suitors, men looking for a beautiful and wealthy wife to wear on their arm. Her betrothal upon her birth, to the goatherd, as her mother had long planned, is well known among the peers . It is this unwanted marriage which brings her to her mother's homeland of Egypt. Katherine Kalila Smithfield is not only an English rose, but also a daughter of the desert, and the two halves of her soul were often in conflict.
She also had another problem that was not so easy to solve. She has now been thrown into the grasp of and infamous desert lover, a man of such beauty and mystery that he has earned the title of the Warrior of Love. He is a dark, sensual, mysterious, and predatory presence, and yet he is the key to freeing her father. His love of his wife has caused the Earl to run a foul of pair of greedy fortune hunters, men who would kill for the secret held by the proud man that she has robbed. The map leads to a secret and cursed tomb, filled with gold, and willed to the warrior's people by Tutankhamun himself. It is a matter of honor to the man, Ramses, and the secret that he has sworn to take to his grave. Now, with her back to the wall, Lady Katherine must make up her mind. Which is more important to her, the past, or her future. There is one thing that she does know, one way to escape the marriage, and possibly the one way to save her father...seduce the secret oh the tomb from the Warrior of Love.
He is legendary in the hallways of Shepheards, the most luxurious of the Cairo hotels that cater to the foreign intruders. The English flock there, using its convenient location as a starting place to travel the short distance to the Great Pyramids of Giza, and other popular ruins. Relic hunters, tomb robbers, and the greedy of all walks of life abound in the streets of Cairo, but no one can measure up to the stature or the reputation of Nazim Ramses bin Seti Sharif. Among the men of his tribe, he is the Guardian of the Ages, second in command to the mighty Kamsin Sheik. He is known in the hushed circles of Cairo's women as Ramses, Warrior of Love and it is rumored that his time to prowl the boudoirs of the bored English wives is about to end. The tales are true, for he has come to Cairo to for one last time before taking the oath that will bind him to the wretched English milksop that is to be his bride. Already he has met with his future father in law, and much to his chagrin has been told that his wedding will be postponed. His bride is having a hard time adjusting to the rigors of Egypt, which doesn’t bode well for the arranged marriage he isn’t happy about but will honor. His heart is heavy, but duty forbids him joy in the alliance.
Ramses wishes the fiery little maid with the sparkling emerald eyes was to be his. She was a handful, with her luscious curves and ebony hair. She is a thief, yet the attraction is there. She had the audacity to steal the map to the treasure, while stealing a kiss, and for that alone, he would punish her. But Ramses is Khamsin, and it is bred into his bone and blood to protect women, not abuse them. He is determined to protect his little thief from herself, and any other danger that may cross her path. Little does he know that Destiny has plans for him, and as he finds Kalila in danger at the cave near the hidden tomb, he rushes impulsively and headlong to her rescue. One misstep gets him a bullet in the shoulder, and as Ramses fights for his life, his little thief proves that she also has loyalty, and honor. As Kalila nurses him back to health from his wounds, passions flair and he discovers that she hides many secrets, one of which is that she is his betrothed. The question now is can he find a way to break open the sarcophagus that has entombed her heart.
Welcome to 1893 Egypt, when the British plundered the tombs of the Ancient Kings in the name of Archeology, and the greed of the unscrupulous went hand in hand with many historic finds. Once again, Bonnie Vanak has taken us into the past, to the world of the Khamsin Warriors, the proud Guardians of the Ancients. This time she tells us the tale of Jabari’s Second, Ramses, the man whose totem is the tiger, and whose wild beauty and lethal grace can‘t help but be attractive to his destined mate. Lady Katherine Smithfield, on the other hand, has sworn to be wary of dangerous and wildly beautiful creatures, since her cousin’s tiger cub reached through the bars of its cage, scaring the side of her face with a claw. Forced together by destiny, the two must learn the hard lessons of the heart. Both have locked their hearts away, since the prospect of an arranged marriage to a stranger has assured that love will never find them.
The Tiger & the Tomb takes us into the life of the nomadic Khamsin, and this time, The Tiger is guarding a most precious secret. The gold mine given to Rastau for faithful service to Tutankhamun, and rumored to be Tut’s true father, also holds Rastau’s Tomb, where he was buried with highest honors. Katherine and Ramses have to discover where their destinies lie, and the greed of one English thief and an unscrupulous curator of the Cairo museum will test them, and purge them, and purify them in the fires of the desert. The Tiger & the Tomb is another sweeping and spectacular story that takes you from the bazaars of Cairo to the sweeping panorama of the Egyptian Desert, from the cool verandas of Shepheards to the carpeted sands of the Khamsin’s tents. If you enjoyed The Falcon and the Dove, you won’t want to miss The Tiger & the Tomb. It is coming to a bookstore near you December 2nd from Dorchester’s Leisure books. You won’t want to be without this one for your keeper shelf.
Yours in good reading,