“Maybe unusual circumstances show us what we’re truly made of,” he said.
Published: March 1, 2005
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Pages: 320 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Carsington Brothers #2
He took her into the darkness, and that, it seemed, was where she was meant to be.
Rupert Carsington, fourth son of the Earl of Hargate, is his aristocratic family’s favorite disaster. He is irresistibly handsome, shockingly masculine, and irretrievably reckless, and wherever he goes, trouble follows. Still, Rupert’s never met an entanglement–emotional or other–he couldn’t escape. Until now.
Now he’s in Egypt, stranded in the depths of Cairo’s most infamous prison, and his only way out is accepting a beautiful widow’s dangerous proposal. Scholar Daphne Pembroke wants him to rescue her brother, who’s been kidnapped by a rival seeking a fabled treasure. Their partnership is strictly business: She’ll provide the brains, he, the brawn. Simple enough in theory.
Blame it on the sun or the blazing desert heat, but as tensions flare and inhibitions melt, the most disciplined of women and the most reckless of men are about to clash in the most impossibly irresistible way.
If you’ve been following me for a while, or you know me in real life, you’ll know that there is nothing- and I mean nothing, I love more than Rick O’Connell. Yes, the ever handsome, supremely rugged, gun slinging American hottie (pic for proof) from the 1999 masterpiece The Mummy, which is the best movie ever made (not up for debate).
After having seen both the first and second movie (both are equally fantastic) a thousand times, I decided to look for the same elements within romance novels; my favorite and most broad genre. After Googling, asking around, and reading endless lists and summaries on Goodreads, I stumbled across Loretta Chase’s 2005 novel Mr. Impossible. As soon as I started it, I knew it was exactly what I had been looking for!
Mr. Impossible is part historical romance, part thrilling archaeological adventure that moves through Egypt at a near breakneck pace. It’s exciting, exhilarating, witty, and sexy as all hell. I haven’t seen a lot of buzz about this one on Bookstagram or Goodreads, but this novel is one of the best I’ve read in a long time!
This was my first Loretta Chase novel and I was blown away by the way she weaves history and witty banter together seamlessly. It was almost like I was reading a modern rom-com, that was the level of sexual tension and banter that floated through this novel. It was so much fun, even if it was more slow burn than I’m used to. I typically don’t read slow burn romances but this novel was well passing the 50% mark and there was no physical sexual encounter aside from maybe a kiss, but I wasn’t mad about it. I think for me, it was more about getting to see Rupert and Daphne interact and solve the mystery together, that’s where all the romance sparked.
It was almost a typical trope in the terms of a carefree, wise cracking playboy and a widowed scholar who was a sticker for society’s rules and decorum. I loved how smart Daphne was and the inclusion of multiple langues being spoken throughout the book was such an interesting and fun touch. While I love archaeology in a story, especially in a historical romance, I thought that having Daphne be a language scholar as opposed to the typical historian or archaeologist was so different and unique. It was so much fun to see their playfulness throughout the novel; all the jokes about Daphne being the brain and Rupert being the big dumb ox was hilarious, and the way he played into that playboy role reminded me so much of Rhysand in A Court of Mist and Fury, with the added fun that Rupert is not, in fact, as dumb as they think.
Not to mention the fact that the romance and working with Rupert helps Daphne gain a newfound confidence in her ability to be both a scholar and a woman, something her husband had really torn down in her. I think when she begins in the novel she only sees herself as the scholar, she doesn’t see herself as the woman she is. The crushing confines of her family and society have drilled into her that she couldn’t be smart and be a woman, so in order to be smart she had to shed her femininity. In the end she reconciles both within her, and I loved that element of the book.
So yes, there’s a good deal of romance and wit and banter but there’s also all these other elements that really made this book the treasure that it was. There was the kidnapping, the nefarious nobleman, the hero mongoose, and all the traveling and friends and action in between. There was something always going on and I never once felt bored. In short, this book was a fun, sexy romp around Egypt which reminded me of my favorite elements of my favorite film, and I loved it.
I cannot recommend this one enough! If you like historical romances, like The Mummy, or just like HR with a scholarly twist (one of my favorite elements) this is one for you!
The Carsington Brothers Series