The Book of the Seven Delights (Jove Historical Romance)

3.44 avg rating
( 187 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780515139723: The Book of the Seven Delights (Jove Historical Romance)
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Librarian Abigail Merchant stumbles upon the journals of an eccentric scholar, leading her on a quest to find the Great Library of Alexandria and recover a priceless artifact with the help of an ex-legionnaire with a checkered past.

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From Publishers Weekly:

From the Viking era to Industrial America, Krahn's novels have explored numerous periods and places, though her recent medieval-era romances (The Marriage Test; The Wife Test) are probably her best known. Her latest offers up another richly drawn locale—the sunburned landscape of 19th-century Morocco—but also a rather stale romance between Abigail Merchant, a naïve, book-smart librarian from Boston, and secretive Apollo Smith, a savvy adventurer with a habit of attracting danger. The two meet en route to Morocco when Apollo nurses a seasick Abigail back to health. Variations on this encounter recur throughout, with Apollo saving Abigail from thieves, depraved legionnaires, scorpions, suspicious nomads and, eventually, her own ignorance as they travel toward Timbuktu in search of the Great Library of Alexandria. Aside from the occasional lustful look, the two primarily exchange wimpy barbs. Though more than a few romances have evolved from less, their relationship is particularly unbelievable since Abigail never outgrows her role as priggish, self-righteous librarian. Bookended by an abrupt, unlikely intro and an extraneous epilogue, this romance is bland fare despite its exotic locale. (July)
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From Booklist:

*Starred Review* American librarian Abigail Merchant intended to dazzle her misogynistic new employers at the British Museum with her skills in rare book and manuscript preservation. Instead, she is stuck in a dark, dreary basement cataloging a seemingly endless array of books sent to the museum for copyright acquisition. Then one day while navigating through the literary flotsam and jetsam, Abigail discovers an overlooked treasure: a collection of books and papers donated by eccentric scholar T. Thaddeus Chilton. Convinced that Chilton found the key to the location of the remains of the Library of Alexandria, Abigail "borrows" Chilton's papers and sets off for Africa. It is only after arriving in Morocco that Abigail comes to the conclusion that in spite of the extensive number of books she has read, she might just need infuriating and way too sexy for his own good ex-legionnaire Apollo Smith and his "unique" skills if she wants to succeed in finding the legendary library. Krahn's latest wonderfully creative historical is itself a treasure: an irresistible blend of impeccably crafted characters, an adventure-rich plot set in North Africa, and wickedly dry humor. John Charles
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