Yes, I dropped off the face of the earth. Yes, I’m crawling back with an overdue book recommendation to make up for it. Did you know you needed an archaeological romance-mystery on your shelf? Well, now you do.
Firstly, can we all take a moment to revel in the color scheme, composition, and blend of symbolism and action in this cover. !!! Such pretty!`
The couple’s intimate pose, however, is misleading. It implies an acknowledged relationship that remains internally stable over the course of the book, though assailed by various external forces… when nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve made myself a reputation as a picky romance reader. To some people, it may even appear I don’t like romance. After all, I’m Verity A. Buchanan, famous (in very small circles) for her familial/platonic relationships! In reality, I love romance. I love squealing at the cute moments and screaming at the oblivious characters to KISS ALREADY!!1!!11! I love me a good romance. It just has to be… good, you know?
And Cate M. Turner delivers.
Balanced, dynamic personalities (for BOTH parties)? Check.
Attraction that moves at a believable rate without bypassing obvious obstacles like so much pixie dust? Check.
Characters have a life outside one another? Check.
Character growth is necessary before the relationship can fully blossom? (Why else is Pride and Prejudice such a classic?) Check.
Bonus points for NOT being a teen romance. It’s refreshing to read about mature adults well into their twenties for a change (although the definition of mature may be called into question here…. didn’t I say there was character growth?)
I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t mention the book’s other qualities. It’s hardly a one-sided romance novel. As a matter of fact, Turner from the first page swings us into a world of adventure. Pyramids. Desert chases. Hidden tombs. As I left my computer in preparation to go to work, I found myself wailing, “But I don’t want to stop reading!”
Leila Sterling, the main character, reads very well. She has an engaging, fluid voice; occasionally a turn of phrase stuck out to me as clunky or trite, but that was the exception rather than the norm. I loved following her and getting to know people through her (sometimes prejudiced) eyes. The Stolen Papyrus actually has a wide cast of characters, perhaps wider than many authors would try to take on at a time, yet the introductions were seamless and I never felt lost or clueless as to anyone’s identity. Each person is unique, well-defined, and a delight to read. I particularly grew fond of Xander, Leila’s nemesis/love interest, who reminded me on occasion of one of my own stubborn (dare I say pig-headed) characters.
The well-researched, seamlessly incorporated archaeology details make this not only an entertaining read, but a fascinatingly educational one. Some of my favorite parts were the tomb excavations and experiencing with Leila, Xander, and Soliman the exultant thrill of discovery. Touching things that have lain untouched for thousands of years. Connecting with the pages and people of history.
In final summary, The Stolen Papyrus is a gripping, vivid, page-turning read, well worth your money. I got my digital copy free, but I’m buying a physical as soon as possible, and look forward to the coming sequels. A very clean read language-wise, several non-graphic kisses. Recommended for ages 12+ due to intense scenes.
Today is release day for this amazing book! Show Cate M. Turner some love and order paperback or Kindle version from Amazon!
Read this review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2898484154