With her bronze-gold hair and quicksilver grace, the sloe-eyed beauty was every man's desire and one man's sole passion. But the secret that had made Harry an exile also made it impossible for him to offer Desdemona more that friendship. Until his aristocratic cousin laid siege to Desdemona's heart and Harry, damning the consequences, vowed to do anything, give anything, to claim her for him own...
Connie Brockway's As You Desire has one of the hottest romantic story elements: a damaged hero. Set in Victorian Egypt in 1890, Harry Braxton is making a rather good living as an artifact dealer, despite a lifelong battle with dyslexia which makes reading impossible for him. The fact that the artifacts are obtained through semi-legal means only makes him more distasteful to Desdemona Carlisle. Dizzy, as Harry calls her, is the granddaughter of the Head of Antiquity Acquisition for the British Museum. Dizzy wants her grandfather to return to England so that he can be given his due accord as a scholar. Her grandfather wants Dizzy to return to England so that she can lead a normal life. But the fact is, neither has any desire to leave Egypt!
To complicate matters, Harry's cousin Blake is coming to visit. He views Harry as damaged goods because of his dyslexia. Dizzy views Blake as marriage material.
It takes Dizzy almost the whole of the story to realize that her crush on Harry has deepened into love. Always there to catch her when she falls, Harry makes no secret of his feelings. But it takes near tragedy to engender real communication between the two.
This is a sweet romance. There is no lovemaking outside the bonds of marriage, and we don't see very far into the bedroom. However, the story is so fast paced and fascinating that even people who enjoy their romances on the spicy side will enjoy this story.
Reviewed by Jodi Israel.