From Publishers Weekly
When Arden, Lord Winter, travels to Africa in 1838, he agrees to let a young Bedouin boy lead him across the desert in return for which Arden will take the young man to England. But the young man is in fact a young woman, Zenia, whose adventurous mother (recently deceased) insisted she hide her sex for protection. In due course, Arden and Zenia are captured, and Zenia's hoax is uncovered, so to speak. Feeling sure they are about to be executed, the two take advantage of the pleasures available. Shortly thereafter, Zenia, believing Arden dead, makes her escape during a battle and finds her way to his family in England, where she discovers that she is pregnant. With so much happening at first, it's quite a shock to find the tale grinding to a sudden halt. Even when Arden comes home three years later, the plot still lags. There is no joyous reunion, merely constant bickering over the upbringing of the child. Once it is decided that Arden and Zenia marry legally, the arrangements are gone over repeatedly by different characters, leaving the reader to suffer the same tiresome passages again and again. There are no diverting subplots, no reason, in fact, for the reader to torture him or herself by attempting to finish this tedious tale.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Lord Winter, a rebellious young viscount, restlessly searches the world for new adventure while his parents wish he would be searching for a wife. In pursuit of a legendary Arabian horse known as String of Pearls, Winter inadvertently fulfills both dreams. He hires a ragged Bedouin youth to guide him across the desert. The youth is a young woman in disguise with hopes of finally making her way to England where her father (unaware of her existence) lives. The two part during a desert battle, shortly after the disguise is uncovered. Winter is presumed dead and Zenia, carrying his child, is mistaken for his wife and encouraged by Winter's parents to keep up the pretense. Winter arrives home three years later to find his beloved waif transformed into a cool, proper English miss, and their reunion is as stormy as their first meeting. Kinsale handles her tempestuous characters well in her latest historical romance. Denise Perry Donavin