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The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl

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Set sail for love in this sparkling new adventure in #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander’s Lady Travelers Society series. Harry Armstrong has spent years in Egypt, recovering relics and disregarding rules. Now he’s back in England with a new title and a new purpose: penning his exploits. But his efforts are overshadowed by London’s favorite writer about Set sail for love in this sparkling new adventure in #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander’s Lady Travelers Society series. Harry Armstrong has spent years in Egypt, recovering relics and disregarding rules. Now he’s back in England with a new title and a new purpose: penning his exploits. But his efforts are overshadowed by London’s favorite writer about Egypt—a woman they call The Queen of the Desert, of all things. Worse, her stories—serialized in newspapers and reprinted in books—are complete rubbish. Miss Sidney Honeywell didn’t set out to deceive anyone. It’s not her fault readers assumed her Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt were real! Admitting her inadvertent deception now would destroy her reputation and her livelihood. But when the Earl of Brenton challenges her to travel to Egypt to prove her expertise, accompanied by his dashing, arrogant nephew, what choice does she have but to pack her bags? With the matchmaking founders of the Lady Travelers Society in tow, Harry is determined to expose Sidney’s secret. But the truth might not be as great a revelation as discovering that love can strike even the most stubborn of hearts.


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Set sail for love in this sparkling new adventure in #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander’s Lady Travelers Society series. Harry Armstrong has spent years in Egypt, recovering relics and disregarding rules. Now he’s back in England with a new title and a new purpose: penning his exploits. But his efforts are overshadowed by London’s favorite writer about Set sail for love in this sparkling new adventure in #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander’s Lady Travelers Society series. Harry Armstrong has spent years in Egypt, recovering relics and disregarding rules. Now he’s back in England with a new title and a new purpose: penning his exploits. But his efforts are overshadowed by London’s favorite writer about Egypt—a woman they call The Queen of the Desert, of all things. Worse, her stories—serialized in newspapers and reprinted in books—are complete rubbish. Miss Sidney Honeywell didn’t set out to deceive anyone. It’s not her fault readers assumed her Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt were real! Admitting her inadvertent deception now would destroy her reputation and her livelihood. But when the Earl of Brenton challenges her to travel to Egypt to prove her expertise, accompanied by his dashing, arrogant nephew, what choice does she have but to pack her bags? With the matchmaking founders of the Lady Travelers Society in tow, Harry is determined to expose Sidney’s secret. But the truth might not be as great a revelation as discovering that love can strike even the most stubborn of hearts.

30 review for The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl

  1. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: She had insisted on accompanying Sidney for the sake of propriety although they both knew propriety was the last thing on the older woman’s mind. She simply didn’t want to miss what happened next and no doubt had orders from Poppy and the lady travelers guide to Gwen to report back every detail. The next elderly lady, with graying dark hair, a hat just as ridiculous as the first woman’s and the overbearing manner of a dragon about to belch flames, eyed him with obvious disgust. “Do Favorite Quotes: She had insisted on accompanying Sidney for the sake of propriety although they both knew propriety was the last thing on the older woman’s mind. She simply didn’t want to miss what happened next and no doubt had orders from Poppy and the lady travelers guide to Gwen to report back every detail. The next elderly lady, with graying dark hair, a hat just as ridiculous as the first woman’s and the overbearing manner of a dragon about to belch flames, eyed him with obvious disgust. “Don’t be absurd. The world is simply littered with Charleses, a fair number of them dead. Why, if I was bothered by every dead Charles I encountered, I would spend most of my time being out of sorts.” She cast Sidney an affectionate smile. “I daresay my husband would be honored to lend his name to your imaginary husband.” My Review: I rarely read historical novels as I chafe at the reminders of how poorly women were treated, but I would read them with greater regularity if I could tap into a source as enjoyable, cleverly written, and wittily amusing as this one. I delighted in this entertaining and lively tale. The writing was lush with sumptuous descriptions, lavish details, and snappy humor, as well as engaging storylines and a blossoming romance. I derived great pleasure when the elderly women attempted to delicately provide their younger and inexperienced friend with a crash course in sex education, it was totally smirk-worthy. Not only did these sly and spry and highly adventuresome mature widows take my dream vacation to Egypt, but they were also shrewd enough to finagle someone else into paying for their first-class accommodations – I was chartreuse with envy! For years I have fantasized about a leisurely ocean voyage on the way to cruising down the Nile and touring the pyramids, of course, that would be without the grave robbers, annoying bandits, skin searing sun, infuriating insects, poisonous snakes, and pesky sand. In addition to scoring free travel, this intrepid group was in the thick of solving of a centuries-old mystery, made a fantastic archeological discovery, and one of them spent the night in the royal harem – innocently discussing books with the women. Sigh, I fear the closest I will ever come to the Dark Continent will be slumbering on linens of Egyptian cotton and dreaming of Ra.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ezinwanyi Chinyere

    This audiobook was a grand adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It was like following a female Indiana Jones except the lady was an author not an archeologist. The plot was similar to the prior books in this series. It was more of a historical romantic suspense story because the romance was secondary to the main characters drive to find some historical artifacts. Miss Sidney Honeywall has been writing under the pseudonym Mrs. Gordon, garnering a huge fan following about her adventures in This audiobook was a grand adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It was like following a female Indiana Jones except the lady was an author not an archeologist. The plot was similar to the prior books in this series. It was more of a historical romantic suspense story because the romance was secondary to the main characters drive to find some historical artifacts. Miss Sidney Honeywall has been writing under the pseudonym Mrs. Gordon, garnering a huge fan following about her adventures in Egypt. Not everyone was enamored with the “Tales of a Lady Adventure” particularly the Earl of Brenton who believed the author to be a fraud. The Earl doesn’t believe Mrs. Gordon to be a real expert of Egyptian artifacts and culture. In order to expose the author, the Earl lays down a challenge daring Mrs. Gordon to travel with his nephew Harry Armstrong, To establish the legitimacy of of her numerous articles and her claims of travel, Sidney agrees to allow Harry to join her on her next adventure to Egypt. This one was well written and had likable characters. Sidney and her ladies of her traveling club, Persephone "Poppy", Ophelia "Aunt Effie" and Guinevere "Guin" were a riot. They seemed like they were ditzy and a tad clueless but their actions were purposeful and intended. They had each others backs and were a source of emotional and mental support for Sidney. Harry was a clearly intelligent and came with the intention of giving "Mrs. Gordon" just enough rope to hang herself. Harry intended to expose Sidney as a fraud once he gathered enough evidence. What he wasn't expecting to encounter was a beautiful and intelligent woman who kept him on his toes. I liked their banter and interaction because they were clearly equals. Their mutual admiration and respect laid a great foundation for the love that came later. This author did a great job of not letting the romance overpower the plot and the twist at the end was amusing even though I suspected it. I liked this one a lot. *e-ARC from Netgalley

  3. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    I have been reading and enjoying Victoria Alexander's books for years. However, for some reason, I got way behind on her Lady Traveler's Society books and only read the prequel novella for the series. When I read that this book was returning to Egypt (some of Alexander's early books, including my personal favorite, The Perfect Wife, also take place there), I knew now was the time to dive in. Alexander's writing is smart. There is something about it that snaps and makes you smirk at her critique o I have been reading and enjoying Victoria Alexander's books for years. However, for some reason, I got way behind on her Lady Traveler's Society books and only read the prequel novella for the series. When I read that this book was returning to Egypt (some of Alexander's early books, including my personal favorite, The Perfect Wife, also take place there), I knew now was the time to dive in. Alexander's writing is smart. There is something about it that snaps and makes you smirk at her critique of the absurd. It's a unique voice that I don't want to read all the time, but when I'm in the mood for a subtle comedy with a well-rounded cast, she always delivers. While The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl is marketed as a romance, the steam and tension level here is almost non-existent (though there is a sex scene, it is mild). I'd be more inclined to classify this as a historical fiction comedy with a romance element. As is typical of Alexander's novels, the cast was pretty large. The heroine, Miss Sidney Honeywell is traveling to Egypt to prove her critic, Harry Armstrong (the secret Earl of Breton) that she has been there before (which she has not). Sidney is accompanied by three elderly women and another reporter. Additionally, throughout the story, the cast encounters new faces and faces from Harry's past journeys to Egypt. While I always have trouble in the first chapter remembering all the names, after that, it becomes easy and despite the large cast, I had no trouble following scenes or the dialogue. Both Harry and Sidney are lying to each other from the beginning. Harry doesn't admit he is her true critic (or the true earl) and pretends he is the nephew. Sidney pretends she is a widow and someone who has been to Egypt before (she is an expert on Egyptian culture). While I'm not a fan of lying leads, Harry and Sidney are their true selves with each other from the get-go and the lies felt pretty trivial to me. The core conflict is more about defining what it means to live fully, write about what you love, and be true to yourself. Wrap those themes up in fun, windy dialogue, a few mishaps, and Harry's humorous ability to often put his foot in his mouth and sound like a pompous idiot, and you have a good story. The only true weak points of the story was a few middle chapters and the lack of romantic chemistry. I found the beginning of the story to be fun because of the bickering between the leads, Alexander's beautifully written descriptions of what it means to be an author, and the upcoming sense of adventure as the large cast arrives in Egypt. However, in the middle as the bickering fades and Sidney "takes off on her own" for a few misadventures, I found myself skimming. I think the point of these chapters was to describe Egypt and Sidney finding herself, but instead, I thought the story was overly wordy, I didn't understand how the bickering had evolved into love (you are told, not shown), and I thought Sidney was behaving rather stupidly in a foreign country. Fortunately, once Sidney and Harry start working together to solve a mystery of a stolen relic and the location of a long-lost cache of goods, I was in. The spirit of the adventure, while there was no real tension or fear of danger, was fun and Harry and Sidney worked well together. I enjoyed seeing how the story came full circle. In a nutshell, I give this story 4 stars. It is intelligently written and gets extra points for the fun change in location and well-rounded supporting cast. Just be warned that it drags a bit in the middle and I found the romance to be a bit under-developed, particularly becuase there is so much else going on. This didn't really bother me because it is clear from the beginning it is going to be more of a quirky comedy rather than a high-emotion romance, but if you're going into it for the central romance or the steam, know that this isn't the story's strong point. Still, I found this to be a fun read and one I'd recommend. Thanks to the author for a chance to read and provide an honest review. All opinions are my own!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mariana

    Least favorite in the series thus far. Maybe I prefer listening to this series? Of course, the entire story is centered around deception which persists until the very end. That is not my favorite. Plus, I did not like Harry. He is an immature 38 year old child who still gets too drunk and causes expensive damage and thinks of women only as objects to be used and discarded right up until the start of the story. I like forgiveness and redemption. However, no one in the story seems to think there i Least favorite in the series thus far. Maybe I prefer listening to this series? Of course, the entire story is centered around deception which persists until the very end. That is not my favorite. Plus, I did not like Harry. He is an immature 38 year old child who still gets too drunk and causes expensive damage and thinks of women only as objects to be used and discarded right up until the start of the story. I like forgiveness and redemption. However, no one in the story seems to think there is anything wrong with Harry's character or past. This is just who he is. Not my type of hero. "Mrs. Gordon" was not much better. I understand she was simply weak-willed and pushed into the deception, but she never could get the spine to tell the truth until it was completely obvious to everyone else she was lying. The three "old ladies" were amusing. Without them, the story would have been less enjoyable.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Blodeuedd Finland

    Off we go on an adventure to Egypt! And since we did spend most of the time in Egypt I was glad for it, (no long sea journey ;) Sydney writes short stories for a paper, a heroine called Millicent who lives the life of an adventurer in Egypt. Just, it seems everyone thinks she is real! And while Sydney loves Egypt she has never been there. Harry spent almost 20 years in Egypt and he is trying to write a novel, with facts! Not silly adventures that does not show reality. And so he sets of a sparring Off we go on an adventure to Egypt! And since we did spend most of the time in Egypt I was glad for it, (no long sea journey ;) Sydney writes short stories for a paper, a heroine called Millicent who lives the life of an adventurer in Egypt. Just, it seems everyone thinks she is real! And while Sydney loves Egypt she has never been there. Harry spent almost 20 years in Egypt and he is trying to write a novel, with facts! Not silly adventures that does not show reality. And so he sets of a sparring match with The Queen of the Desert. To show what a phony she is. Off to Egypt she goes to prove him wrong (well even if he is right ;) and he goes with to keep check. Along with a reporter, and a few aunts. Nothing beats a trio of sweet and opinionated old ladies! Obviously Sydney the liar and Harry who pretends to be his own nephew will fall in love. Obviously they have both lied to each other. And along the way they then find love and have an adventure or two. I enjoyed them trying to prove each other wrong. Nice banter, and awesome trio of aunts. Fun book. Narrator Marian Hussey She has a nice voice and does different characters well. She brought in smiles and humour.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Monique

    Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow! Have you ever read a book that you cannot wait to tell everyone about how amazing it is? THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO DECEPTION WITH AN UNLIKELY EARL is one of those. Miss Sidney Honeywell is the authoress of the Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt under the name of Mrs. Gordon. Everyone raves about her articles and her book, but Sidney is not a widow and has never set foot in Egypt. “Mrs. Gordon” and the Earl of Brenton have been publicly feuding in the newspaper which pub Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow! Have you ever read a book that you cannot wait to tell everyone about how amazing it is? THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO DECEPTION WITH AN UNLIKELY EARL is one of those. Miss Sidney Honeywell is the authoress of the Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt under the name of Mrs. Gordon. Everyone raves about her articles and her book, but Sidney is not a widow and has never set foot in Egypt. “Mrs. Gordon” and the Earl of Brenton have been publicly feuding in the newspaper which publishes Sidney’s articles, but things take a turn for the worst when the Earl dares her to travel to Egypt along with his nephew, Harry Armstrong, and a journalist to show her throng of admirers everything she knows. THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO DECEPTION WITH AN UNLIKELY EARL (what a mouthful!) had me smiling at page one, I was completely under Victoria Alexander’s spell, and it only got better from there. And I’m not sure if I have ever said that, but it could have been 200 pages longer, and I would not have complained. Not one word is wasted, it’s fast-paced all the way through, the prose is impeccable and always respectful of Victorian usage. The dialogues are probably the best I have read this year, brilliantly written, and so dazzlingly witty that I laughed out loud many times. Harry, Sidney, and the journalist are accompanied by the Lady Travelers – Gwen, Poppy, and Sidney’s Aunt Effie – who are so spectacularly entertaining, that I wish they were in my own life in some way. Ms Alexander’s characters live and breathe, every detail is essential and she creates a vibrant and realistic background and weaves a story so captivating that my mind never wandered for one second. Although this is book three in the series, I found it astonishing that I never felt there were things I was missing, but I will certainly make sure to read the previous instalment in this series, because it is absolutely smashing! Sidney is definitely one of my favourite female characters ever in too many ways to enumerate; I also loved that she is older, she is thirty two, and Harry is thirty eight, and they acted like people their age. Ms. Alexander’s understanding and knowledge of the Victorian era and its people is astounding, and I loved how she made Sidney – and the Lady Travelers – independent women because they knew how to manoeuvre in order to improve their life. The story is captivating, there are unique and very ingenious twists and turns, prickly situations are dealt with the utmost intelligence by the characters; I love an author who respects her reader’s intellect. This is such a happy, wonderful book where I got to experience vicariously the wonders of Egypt through Sidney’s eyes by way of the author’s vibrant and loving descriptions. The romance is utterly exquisite, as Sidney and Harry approach each other with extreme caution at first, but they like each other in spite of the circumstances, and how perfectly lovely it is to watch their love grow; both are such extraordinarily well-crafted characters, engaging and charming, and their few moments of intimacy are sensual, joyous, and loving. Oh, I could go on for ever about THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE TO DECEPTION WITH AN UNLIKELY EARL and how perfectly, utterly, truly enchanting it is! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality I kept expecting Amelia Peabody Emerson to walk through the lobby of Shepheard’s Hotel at any moment. Not that this is her story, but she and her entourage would have fit right into the adventures of Harry Armstrong, Sidney Honeywell and the gaggle of elderly ladies who are alternately chaperoning and matchmaking the couple – when they’re not aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise or two. And there’s no dead body – not quite. Not even the one that Sidney Originally published at Reading Reality I kept expecting Amelia Peabody Emerson to walk through the lobby of Shepheard’s Hotel at any moment. Not that this is her story, but she and her entourage would have fit right into the adventures of Harry Armstrong, Sidney Honeywell and the gaggle of elderly ladies who are alternately chaperoning and matchmaking the couple – when they’re not aiding and abetting a criminal enterprise or two. And there’s no dead body – not quite. Not even the one that Sidney and Harry expect to find. But this is definitely a romp from beginning to end. It’s lighthearted, occasionally light-fingered, and frothy fun. Sidney has been supplementing her meager income by writing. She has fictionalized the Egyptian adventures of her late grandmother in Cadwallender’s magazine, and the series has been a huge success. But Sidney knew she was writing fiction, admittedly fiction with an underpinning of fact as well as a scholar’s knowledge of Egypt and her antiquities. However, her readers seem to believe that her stories are absolutely factual from beginning to end. And the meddling founders of the Lady Travelers Society, not having gotten their members in enough trouble in the previous outings of the series (The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels & Other Gentlemen and The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger) can’t seem to resist getting themselves a bit too involved when the Earl of Brenton takes offense at Sidney’s stories. He claims they are complete bunk, and that Sidney, who writes as Mrs. Gordon, is deceiving her audience unconscionably. What he’s not admitting is that he is incensed that Sidney’s fluff pieces are celebrated while he can’t seem to find a publisher for his earnestly written, utterly factual – and deadly dull – accounts of his own travels in Egypt. So they’re off on a jaunt to Egypt, paid for by the magazine, so that Sidney can prove her expertise, or Harry can prove she’s a fraud and get a guaranteed publishing contract. With the founding “Lady Travelers” along as chaperones and comic relief, managing to finally take the trip that they’ve always dreamed of. Sidney claims to be Mrs. Gordon, Harry claims to be his own nephew, and the reporter sent by the magazine hovers over everything, hoping to get a story that will make his career, one way or another. Then Harry’s somewhat disreputable past catches up with Sidney’s new-found spirit of adventure, and they find themselves in the midst of a classic farce of a treasure hunt. With so much fun to be had, sun, sand, adventure and the trip of a lifetime, how could they not fall in love? With Egypt, and especially with each other? Escape Rating B+: This is absolutely wonderful, marvelously tasty, complete and utter fluff. It’s delicious. It would also make a great Shakespearean comedy. Sidney is deceiving Harry. Harry is deceiving Sidney. The reporter is deceiving everyone. Except that everyone seems to know that everyone is deceiving everyone else and no one is willing to admit it. And that just adds to the sense of fun and adventure. It’s also a lot of fun the way that Sidney’s real-life adventures in Egypt seem so much like her fictional adventures. Her friends think she’s been kidnapped by white slavers, when the truth is that an Egyptian princess is a fan of her work, so she gets to spend a night in the harem with the princess and her family. She steals a priceless Egyptian antiquity from a nefarious smuggler, only to discover that it’s the key to a much greater treasure and a much bigger adventure. She begins by revisiting the scenes of her grandmother’s greatest adventures – only to have a great adventure of her own. And to clear up her grandmother’s unfinished business. Her contest with Harry brings out Sidney’s inner adventurer at every turn, and allows her to become the woman she was meant to be. Not because he sweeps her off her feet – although he eventually does – but because he treats her as an equal combatant in their rivalry. That she also helps him solve the mystery that has been dogging him for two long and lonely years makes them earn their happy ever after – while providing just desserts for the true villain of the piece. This series is simply loads of fun, and every trip with the Lady Travelers Society is always a lovely adventure. I’m looking forward to their next adventure in The Lady Travelers Guide to Happily Ever After when it comes out in June. It’s sure to be another marvelous lark!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sissy's Romance Book Review

    The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl by Victoria Alexander is book Three in The Lady Travelers Society Series. This is the story of Sidney Honeywell and Harry Armstrong. I haven't yet read the previous books, so for me this was a standalone book. Harry is returning from his adventures from Egypt thinking to document them. But he also has a new title the Earl of Brenton. When he decides to show Sidney as a fake for her articles 'Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt' he does The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl by Victoria Alexander is book Three in The Lady Travelers Society Series. This is the story of Sidney Honeywell and Harry Armstrong. I haven't yet read the previous books, so for me this was a standalone book. Harry is returning from his adventures from Egypt thinking to document them. But he also has a new title the Earl of Brenton. When he decides to show Sidney as a fake for her articles 'Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt' he does so by pretending he is the nephew of the Earl of Brenton. Sidney is in deep with her writing and is know as The Queen of the Desert when she is challenged by the Earl of Brenton to go Harry to prove herself she knows she is getting in deeper. With her deceptions and Harry's things start off rocky but they start to work together to solve a mystery. Enjoyed their story...loved the secondary characters.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shawna Wood (A Girl and Her Books)

    I'll start of this reviewing saying I'm a total mood reader and I was not really in the mood for this book. I had to read it as part of a review tour and didn't have the ability to set the book aside. The story did have its moments and there were a few times where I would laugh out loud at some of the craziness. I liken this book to a comical farce and was quite a fun and charming read. The characters often found themselves in crazy or zany circumstances and it was sometimes fun to watch them try I'll start of this reviewing saying I'm a total mood reader and I was not really in the mood for this book. I had to read it as part of a review tour and didn't have the ability to set the book aside. The story did have its moments and there were a few times where I would laugh out loud at some of the craziness. I liken this book to a comical farce and was quite a fun and charming read. The characters often found themselves in crazy or zany circumstances and it was sometimes fun to watch them try to escape. However, I was never ever able to fully connect to these characters and find myself skimming to the end. ********Received an ARC from the publisher via netgalley**********

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mara Pemberton

    I love this series. The main characters that are great and well written. But my favorite characters are the 3 older ladies who started THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE Travelers club, having never set a foot out of England are the best part of the books and a hoot. I thank Ms. Alexander in writing this series. She's come with a wonderful lighthearted series just right for getting one's perspective back after reading several serious books over a holiday. I love this series. The main characters that are great and well written. But my favorite characters are the 3 older ladies who started THE LADY TRAVELERS GUIDE Travelers club, having never set a foot out of England are the best part of the books and a hoot. I thank Ms. Alexander in writing this series. She's come with a wonderful lighthearted series just right for getting one's perspective back after reading several serious books over a holiday.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn

    I loved Sidney and Harry and I especially loved the setting of Egypt. It was very interesting to learn the history of Egypt and how tourism invaded in the Victorian era. A fun listen (I had the Audible version) although the romance is a very slow burn. One thing is Mr. Nazal, one of the Egyptians in the book sounded like Dracula. I’m not sure actually what an Egyptian accent sounds like but it always sounded funny to me when he was speaking but I can’t really complain as I don’t know what the na I loved Sidney and Harry and I especially loved the setting of Egypt. It was very interesting to learn the history of Egypt and how tourism invaded in the Victorian era. A fun listen (I had the Audible version) although the romance is a very slow burn. One thing is Mr. Nazal, one of the Egyptians in the book sounded like Dracula. I’m not sure actually what an Egyptian accent sounds like but it always sounded funny to me when he was speaking but I can’t really complain as I don’t know what the narrator was told to do.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Victorian Vickie

    When you put eccentric old ladies, a grumpy earl and a spunky young lady together on a trip to Egypt , it leads to an exciting adventure. The best parts, in my opinion are the three little old ladies who stick their nose into everything. Sydney and the ladies are trying to prove to the Earl that she is a well seasoned traveler to Egypt even though she has never been. It is an exciting adventure.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sharlene

    This series has truly unique plots and characters. The "Lady Travelers" finally got to go on an adventure in this book, which was an enemies to lovers story with a few plot twists, a few deceptions and some sneaky ladies. Harry and Sidney started out at cross purposes, but they slowly began to respect each other and had an undeniable attraction. Lots of humor in this book and series, mostly on the part of the Lady Travelers founders. This series has truly unique plots and characters. The "Lady Travelers" finally got to go on an adventure in this book, which was an enemies to lovers story with a few plot twists, a few deceptions and some sneaky ladies. Harry and Sidney started out at cross purposes, but they slowly began to respect each other and had an undeniable attraction. Lots of humor in this book and series, mostly on the part of the Lady Travelers founders.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Emro

    4.5 stars rounded up. Sidney Gordon Honeywell is the author of the wildly successful series "Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt", a fictional depiction of her grandmother's adventures. Sidney never claimed the stories were true or that she was the heroine - but somehow that is what everyone believes and her publisher believed it was best to continue the ruse. But now the Earl of Brenton has been sending letters to the Times denouncing her as a fraud. More unfortunately, Effie, Poppy & Gwen have 4.5 stars rounded up. Sidney Gordon Honeywell is the author of the wildly successful series "Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt", a fictional depiction of her grandmother's adventures. Sidney never claimed the stories were true or that she was the heroine - but somehow that is what everyone believes and her publisher believed it was best to continue the ruse. But now the Earl of Brenton has been sending letters to the Times denouncing her as a fraud. More unfortunately, Effie, Poppy & Gwen have been replying to the letters - as Sidney. The Earl has issued a challenge, go with his nephew to Egypt and prove she is who she claims to be. Harold "Harry" Armstrong is the new and unexpected Earl of Brenton, but before that, he was an avid adventurer in Egypt - He doesn't like Sidney's stories - they are not accurate and are too flowery - he might be a little miffed that he has written a book that has been repeatedly rejected, but mostly he feels guilty, when he was last in Egypt, his friend and cohort Walter died and he is angry that Sidney is getting undeserved attention and Walter was forgotten. He issued the challenge, if he wins, she will be exposed and ruined, if he wins Cadwallenders' Daily Messenger (Sidney's publisher) will publish his book. Sidney is upset and the ladies try to calm her - they will go with her to Egypt, as chaperones and Mr. Cadwellender has agreed to finance the trip and send a reporter with them to document the journey- it is a dream come true for Sidney to go to Egypt, but how will she keep up the deception? The ladies promise to "help". Harry already regrets his challenge but it is too late to back out and save face. He poses as Harry Armstrong, the nephew of the Earl and awaits the arrive of "Mrs. Gordon" who he is sure is an older woman - the ladies are introduced along with Daniel Corbin, the reporter and Harry is drawn to Sidney. He is sure she is a fraud, but she is a lovely, intelligent fraud. He tries to get to know her better and has competition from Corbin and interference from the ladies. But finally he gets her alone, he likes her and thinks that she might be the "one". But now he has to find a way out of the hole he dug without ruining her or humiliating himself. Sidney likes Harry as well, but she has to be on her guard, he has the power to destroy her, so while she is attracted to him, she tries to keep him at arm's length - how is she going to be able to keep this up? They arrive in Cairo and Harry is certain that she is a fraud, but he no longer wants to expose her - well at least not to the public. He is not quite sure what he wants from her, until someone from his past askes for a favor and Sidney helps him - then he knows, she is the one and only woman for him. Before he can tell her, she is swept away by her own adventure. When she returns, she makes a discovery and needs Harry's help, which is his not overly happy about, but agrees to. Their adventure will bring them more than one shocking discovery, betrayal and startling revelations, but will it bring them together or push them apart? This was an absolutely delightful read, it is well written (I cannot even imagine the research that went into this book!), fast paced, amusing and light without being fluffy, Harry and Sidney are both likeable leads, Poppy, Gwen & Effie are fantastic secondary characters, the story has warm love scenes, a bit of intrigue, a bit of deception, lost treasure and finally a sweet and satisfying HEA ending. This is the third book in the series, but it can definitely be read as a stand alone title with no problem whatsoever! *I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elodie’s Reading Corner

    I was not sure when I began to read this book if I would like it, at first, with the Lady Travelers group as chaperone to Miss Sidney Honeywell and all the secrets from both parties, I wondered if it would not be too much, too many mysteries and too many protagonists but I was very wrong. Each one of the different characters surrounding the main couple added to the story, from the trio of ladies to the reporter and even the locals encountered. I loved Sidney and Harry, they were both genuine in th I was not sure when I began to read this book if I would like it, at first, with the Lady Travelers group as chaperone to Miss Sidney Honeywell and all the secrets from both parties, I wondered if it would not be too much, too many mysteries and too many protagonists but I was very wrong. Each one of the different characters surrounding the main couple added to the story, from the trio of ladies to the reporter and even the locals encountered. I loved Sidney and Harry, they were both genuine in their actions, even if there were deceptions in it, it was not voluntary and cherry on top, they were not people in their twenties, but really over their thirties and closer to forty for Harry. Sidney by trying to embellish daily life a bit, created a fictional character who at one time escaped from her hands and became all too real for her readers. Why she found herself in this situation, having to prove she is worth her writing. Harry spent a great deal of his time in Egypt, why when his work is denied publishing because of a Mrs Gordon’s romantic adventures stories, he went in crazy mode, wanting to confront this Mrs Gordon as a fraud. Then he meets finally Mrs Gordon, she is not what he expected, and the closer he gets to her, the more he falls for her. I do loved their bickering and banters, they were fun characters, attracted to another but trying also to prove it wrong. It was so entertaining to see them dealing with their growing feelings and their wager, with also the three ladies interfering and meddling. The ladies crash course lesson in sex was hilarious. « “I love you, Sidney Honeywell. Do not leave me at the mercy of those old ladies. Do me the very great honor of spending the rest of your life driving me mad. Be my obligation and my wife.” “I love you too, Harry Armstrong. Aside from that—” she grinned “—I’d prefer not to be at the mercy of those old ladies either and I would be if I said no. They would say I was a fool and they’d be right. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do for the rest of my life than drive you mad.” » So if you are looking for a crazy journey with annoying and matchmaking old ladies, a woman who is for the adventure of her life, the man who will see beyond the mask and accept her, this is your next stop.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    4.5 stars. The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl by Victoria Alexander is a delightfully engaging historical romance. This newest addition to the Lady Travelers Society series can be read as a standalone but I also HIGHLY recommend the previous two installments as well. Writing under the pen name Mrs. Gordon, Miss Sidney Honeywell is the author of a much loved series  about adventures set  in Egypt. She uses her grandmother's journals about her travels and searches for Egypti 4.5 stars. The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl by Victoria Alexander is a delightfully engaging historical romance. This newest addition to the Lady Travelers Society series can be read as a standalone but I also HIGHLY recommend the previous two installments as well. Writing under the pen name Mrs. Gordon, Miss Sidney Honeywell is the author of a much loved series  about adventures set  in Egypt. She uses her grandmother's journals about her travels and searches for Egyptian artifacts and Sidney's readers erroneously believe her stories are based on her own experiences. Sidney is in danger of being exposed by the Earl of Brenton whose letters to the newspaper accuse her of a being a fraud. The newspaper insists Sidney and the Earl's nephew, Harry Armstrong, journey together to Egypt to prove she is, in fact, an expert on the country and its artifacts. Joining them on their trip are Sidney's elderly friends, Lady Gwen Blodgett,  Mrs. Poppy Fitzhew-Wellmore and Mrs. Effie Higginbotham and newspaper reporter, Daniel Corbin.  Will Sidney save her career? Will Harry's secrets (both past and present) be revealed? Sidney has much more gumption than she believes and she refuses to allow Harry to uncover the truth that could destroy her career. She is surprisingly headstrong as she stands up to him on numerous occasions. Although Poppy, Gwen and Effie are rather mischievous, Sidney is quite protective of them when they devise and carry out schemes that are well-intentioned but not always wise. She enjoys verbally sparring and matching wits with Harry. Harry's reasons for challenging Sidney's authenticity do not exactly paint him in the best light. He is somewhat jealous of her success since he has been unable to garner interest in his writings on his Egyptian adventures.  He and his good friend Ben Deare quickly deduce some intriguing information about Sidney's stories that is rather puzzling. Harry has also not been completely honest with Sidney and some of his omissions are quickly uncovered upon their arrival in Egypt. As Harry gets to know Sidney better, he begins to have regrets about his attempt to discredit her. Their relationship does not take long to go from antagonistic to an uneasy friendship. Their awareness of each other gives way to a mutual attraction that simmers under the surface until they join forces and work together. Harry respects Sidney and he is quite impressed with her unexpected discovery, but he is still quite protective of her. Sidney refuses to allow Harry to coddle her and they work well together as a team. Will revelations about a secret Harry is hiding derail their burgeoning romance? The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl is a captivating romance with a cast of charming characters and an engrossing storyline. Sidney and Harry are endearing characters who learn unexpected things about themselves once their journey is underway. Poppy, Effie and Gwen are fun characters who add plenty of humor to unfolding story.  Victoria Alexander brings the setting vividly to life through her descriptive prose and meticulous research.  An absolutely marvelous addition to the Lady Travelers Society series that old and new fans are sure to love.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I received an ARC through Netgalley. Miss Sidney Honeywell, aka Mrs. Gordon and Queen of the Desert, has gained quite a fan base with her tales of Egypt. Problem is, she’s never actually been there; her stories are based on the journals of her grandmother, Althea Gordon, and years of research. One person who isn’t a fan of Sidney’s stories is Harry Armstrong, newly appointed Earl of Brenton and aspiring writer. He has spent many years in Egypt and believes that Sidney has never even set foot in th I received an ARC through Netgalley. Miss Sidney Honeywell, aka Mrs. Gordon and Queen of the Desert, has gained quite a fan base with her tales of Egypt. Problem is, she’s never actually been there; her stories are based on the journals of her grandmother, Althea Gordon, and years of research. One person who isn’t a fan of Sidney’s stories is Harry Armstrong, newly appointed Earl of Brenton and aspiring writer. He has spent many years in Egypt and believes that Sidney has never even set foot in the country. People need facts, not fanciful descriptions. Therefore, he challenges her to travel to Egypt to prove her expertise and in the process expose her for the fraud he knows her to be. The newspaper that Sidney works for takes Harry up on his challenge by sending her and a news reporter to document the trip. The founding members of The Lady Traveler’s Society, Gwen, Effie, and Poppy, also manage to talk their way onto the journey. After all, Sidney is not the widow everyone assumes and she’ll need help with the ruse. Plus, they want to experience a grand adventure themselves. Harry is in for the quite the surprise when he meets Sidney. He still thinks she’s a fraud, but the more he gets to know her and her elderly traveling companions, does he really want to expose her? If he’s right, which he knows he is, his book gets published and Sidney’s livelihood and reputation are destroyed. Then there’s the fact that he’s keeping secrets of his own. As the journey progresses so does the growing attraction between Harry and Sidney. Can they overcome their respective deception to make a relationship work? This is a wonderful addition to the series and can be read as a standalone. I’m glad Gwen, Effie, and Poppy play a more prominent role in this book as they are quite entertaining. I enjoyed the verbal sparring between Harry and Sidney as well as seeing their relationship develop. Egypt is a refreshing setting for a historical romance novel and the descriptions of the sights make me wish to see the country for myself.

  18. 5 out of 5

    LilyElement

    The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl is book 3 in The Lady Travelers Society series. This was my first book by Victoria Alexander and I had such a good time with it. I need to check out the other books in this series soon since I had such a good time with this one. I can't say I've read many Historical Romance books with the setting outside of London, much less being in Egypt. It was rather refreshing and I wound up loving all the characters, the chaperones were a hoot. Sid The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl is book 3 in The Lady Travelers Society series. This was my first book by Victoria Alexander and I had such a good time with it. I need to check out the other books in this series soon since I had such a good time with this one. I can't say I've read many Historical Romance books with the setting outside of London, much less being in Egypt. It was rather refreshing and I wound up loving all the characters, the chaperones were a hoot. Sidney Honeywell has been writing her Tales of a Lady Adventurer in Egypt for years now and it seems that the Earl of Brenton wants her to admit it's all false. Sidney never meant for her readers to assume she was telling true stories, they all just assumed it was. Sidney has been using her grandmother's notes from Egypt from several decades back as inspiration in her writing. At this point though she can't admit it's all fiction so when she's told to travel to Egypt with the Earl of Brenton's nephew, Harry Armstrong to prove she's been there she jumps at the chance. Her and her "chaperones" (several older ladies she's close to) go to Egypt with Harry and a reporter tagging along to write what happens. Each excursion seems to have some issues but Harry and Sidney wind up growing closer even though both is lying to the other. I was wondering what would happen when the truth was revealed. The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception was an adventure you don't want to miss out on. This was such an engaging read that had my wanderlust kicking in gear. While the plot was based on deception on both sides, I had hopes each would come clean to one another. Harry's character took a bit to grow on me but by the end I was loving him. If you like a good dash of adventure in your Historical Romance you'll love this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    This was a fun book that mostly took place in Egypt. It is the third full-length novel in the series, associated with the Lady’s Travelers Society and set in the late Victorian period. Throughout the series, one of the constants has been the three widows and founders of the Lady’s Traveller’s Society. They are either aunts or surrogate aunts, with a mischievous bend, to the hero or heroine and have been fun, entertaining characters in the series. In the previous books, they show up before and aft This was a fun book that mostly took place in Egypt. It is the third full-length novel in the series, associated with the Lady’s Travelers Society and set in the late Victorian period. Throughout the series, one of the constants has been the three widows and founders of the Lady’s Traveller’s Society. They are either aunts or surrogate aunts, with a mischievous bend, to the hero or heroine and have been fun, entertaining characters in the series. In the previous books, they show up before and after the traveling occurs, but in this one, the aunts travel along. That was a welcome change, in my opinion, because these books are worth reading for these three alone. The romance followed a similar track as the previous books, with a suspicion or challenge being the cause behind the hero and heroine traveling together. Sydney is a successful author, whose tales have a fictional lady exploring Egypt and are loosely based on her grandmother’s journals. She doesn’t claim that they are true tales, but somehow that’s what the general public and her endearing fans believe. Henry is an adventurer who had spent most of his adult life in Egypt exploring. When he unexpectedly comes into a title and decides to settle back in England, he tries to write and sell tales of his time only to be told that Egyptian adventures are covered by Sydney’s stories. He begins to read her stories and questions their authenticity. Incensed, he publicly calls Sydney a fraud in the newspaper. Sparring (with the helping hand of the mischievous trio) ensues, and an Egypt-bound challenge is issued and accepted. What unfolds is a fun enemy-to-lovers tale, with an exotic Egyptian setting. Alexander does a good job on with the setting, showing her research for this tale. The dialogue is witty and the characters are diverting. The villain was rather lame and stupid, but I did like his punishment. Some of the ladies antics were a bit much, but it all comes out OK. Alls well that ends well, I guess. It may not be the most emotionally deep read, but it is entertaining. I would recommend to HR readers that want stories in a different setting and enjoy stories where the leads are over 30. *I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Irresistible Egyptian hi jinks! With a throwaway hint to Sherlock Holmes, Miss Sidney Honeywell and Harry Armstrong (who unknown to Sidney is her protagonist, the Earl of Brenton) begin their challenge. “Then the game is afoot, Mrs. Gordon." What game is that? To prove that Sidney is author Mrs Gordon, a well travelled Egyptologist from her side of the fence, and from Harry's, to prove that Mrs Gordon has never at foot in Egypt, let alone done the amazing things her writings proclaim. When Sidney sa Irresistible Egyptian hi jinks! With a throwaway hint to Sherlock Holmes, Miss Sidney Honeywell and Harry Armstrong (who unknown to Sidney is her protagonist, the Earl of Brenton) begin their challenge. “Then the game is afoot, Mrs. Gordon." What game is that? To prove that Sidney is author Mrs Gordon, a well travelled Egyptologist from her side of the fence, and from Harry's, to prove that Mrs Gordon has never at foot in Egypt, let alone done the amazing things her writings proclaim. When Sidney says yes to the gauntlet thrown down by the Earl (aka Harry) she little knows just what she's let herself in for. But she has the three elderly' delightfully wicked and savvy ladies, founders of the Lady Travelers group to help her. Any complications they surely would be able to handle. But handling Mr Armstrong turned out to be more than Sidney bargained for. As for Harry, the widowed Mrs Gordon was more than he ever thought. A mix between knowledgeable a Egyptologist and a walking tourist guide, who appears an ennui abroad, who was this woman he found irresistible? Another delightful and often humorous interlude with the Lady Travelers Guide cohorts! A NetGalley ARC

  21. 5 out of 5

    viktoria

    This had a delightful screwball romantic comedy kind of vibe, which was not what I expected going in, but it worked! It was not unlike a tasty piece of fluffy pie. Pros: The tone was light and seriously funny, the dialogue, the meddlesome "old ladies," the banter, neither the hero nor the heroine were very angsty* or full of themselves. * Don't get me wrong, I love angst and turmoil a stupid amount, but I loved that Alexander framed this in such an amusing, teasing story where both characters are This had a delightful screwball romantic comedy kind of vibe, which was not what I expected going in, but it worked! It was not unlike a tasty piece of fluffy pie. Pros: The tone was light and seriously funny, the dialogue, the meddlesome "old ladies," the banter, neither the hero nor the heroine were very angsty* or full of themselves. * Don't get me wrong, I love angst and turmoil a stupid amount, but I loved that Alexander framed this in such an amusing, teasing story where both characters are good-natured. (view spoiler)[Also, may I just say that I love it when characters are quick to admit (at least to themselves or someone else) that they messed up or were wrong and try to fix it, even if they don't do the best job? (hide spoiler)] Cons: Yes, it was a bit silly at times, but again: screwball comedy and lighthearted. tl;dr: Super cute and funny.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Milena

    The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl was an OK read for me. I liked the hero and heroine's verbal sparring, I loved the meddlesome old ladies of the Lady Travelers Society, and there were quite a few funny moments that made me laugh, but, overall, I found the book to be too long and quite boring at times. I would have enjoyed it more if it was around a hundred pages shorter and more fast-paced. The Lady Travelers Guide to Deception with an Unlikely Earl was an OK read for me. I liked the hero and heroine's verbal sparring, I loved the meddlesome old ladies of the Lady Travelers Society, and there were quite a few funny moments that made me laugh, but, overall, I found the book to be too long and quite boring at times. I would have enjoyed it more if it was around a hundred pages shorter and more fast-paced.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tabetha Waite

    I have long been a fan of Victoria Alexander’s writing. Several of her books are on my “keeper” shelf, and while I enjoy reading stories about Egypt, there is something magical about the pyramids and the endless waves of sand, it was the characters that didn’t appeal to me. I found a lack of chemistry between Sidney and Harry and while the older ladies were delightful and witty, I had a hard time keeping them straight.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn

    This book took me longer than usual as I read it at bowling, but today I brought it home and finished it. I loved all the characters and enjoyed the descriptions of Egypt. It is 1892 and our 3 founders of the Lady Travelers club, Poppy, Effie and Gwen convince their protege Sydney, a writer of books about Egypt, to take a challenge from an Earl to prove she is actually been to Egypt. Harry, the Earl's nephew is the challenger and they all set off for Egypt, along with a reporter. This is a fun s This book took me longer than usual as I read it at bowling, but today I brought it home and finished it. I loved all the characters and enjoyed the descriptions of Egypt. It is 1892 and our 3 founders of the Lady Travelers club, Poppy, Effie and Gwen convince their protege Sydney, a writer of books about Egypt, to take a challenge from an Earl to prove she is actually been to Egypt. Harry, the Earl's nephew is the challenger and they all set off for Egypt, along with a reporter. This is a fun story with snappy banter and lots of information about Egypt. Sydney and Harry are both covering up their real lives. This is book 3, now on to book.4.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Adams

    I’ve so loved this series. It continues to be clever , funny , and very sweet.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Deniz

    3.5 Stars Very cute and thoroughly entertaining.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tahyun

    This story was somehow an exciting slow burn. It took its time but I was still flipping pages (figuratively; it was a digital copy) as fast as I possibly could! Oh, la, do I love historical romances set abroad! Don't get me wrong, ballrooms and Hyde Park are wonderful - but it's nice to get out and about every now and again. The author truly paints the scenes in the most marvelous ways. I have never been to Egypt (and certainly not Egypt of the 19th century), but I got all the sensory and figurat This story was somehow an exciting slow burn. It took its time but I was still flipping pages (figuratively; it was a digital copy) as fast as I possibly could! Oh, la, do I love historical romances set abroad! Don't get me wrong, ballrooms and Hyde Park are wonderful - but it's nice to get out and about every now and again. The author truly paints the scenes in the most marvelous ways. I have never been to Egypt (and certainly not Egypt of the 19th century), but I got all the sensory and figurative information I needed to feel as though I was right there with them. I loved the two protagonists (even when I didn't like them), and all the secondary and even tertiary characters were so vibrant and interesting. I'm a sucker for stories about writers and this one has not one, not two, but fully three! It was fun to watch the characters play off each other, with their differing styles, professional motivations, and personalities. All in all, a fun read of love, adventure, and many, many stories! This review is based on an advance copy provided by the publisher, through NetGalley.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Niki (mustreadalltheromance)

    This is the story of spinster Sidney, an untraveled author of stories on Egypt and Harry, a very well-traveled expert on Egypt who calls Sidney out as a fraud. This leads to the both of them traveling to Egypt with three charming older ladies and one nosy reporter in tow. This book was quite different from what I was expecting and from what I've been reading lately, but I really enjoyed it. Parts of it moved a bit slowly, but thanks to the banter from the three Lady Travelers, Effie, Poppy, and G This is the story of spinster Sidney, an untraveled author of stories on Egypt and Harry, a very well-traveled expert on Egypt who calls Sidney out as a fraud. This leads to the both of them traveling to Egypt with three charming older ladies and one nosy reporter in tow. This book was quite different from what I was expecting and from what I've been reading lately, but I really enjoyed it. Parts of it moved a bit slowly, but thanks to the banter from the three Lady Travelers, Effie, Poppy, and Gwen, I didn't mind. This was a bit of a slow burn, but that made it plausible for me. There's just a bit of intrigue to keep things interesting and a bit of steam too. Our hero and heroine were a bit older than the norm and had to overcome the fact that they'd been lying to each other from the start of their acquaintance; it made for entertaining reading and I would recommend it. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog link: https://mustreadalltheromance.blogspo...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Another fun journey with the Lady Travelers Society, and like the previous book, our intrepid travelers are not quite what they seem. Sidney has been writing her adventure stories about Egypt for some time, using her grandmother's journals for inspiration. They are wildly popular, and she discovered too late that people believe that they are her adventures. To confess the truth would destroy her reputation and her only source of income. When the Earl of Brenton accuses her of writing rubbish and Another fun journey with the Lady Travelers Society, and like the previous book, our intrepid travelers are not quite what they seem. Sidney has been writing her adventure stories about Egypt for some time, using her grandmother's journals for inspiration. They are wildly popular, and she discovered too late that people believe that they are her adventures. To confess the truth would destroy her reputation and her only source of income. When the Earl of Brenton accuses her of writing rubbish and maligns her knowledge, she accepts his challenge to prove it with a trip to Egypt, accompanied by his nephew. Harry Armstrong, the "nephew" in question, is actually the earl himself. After twenty years in Egypt, making like Indiana Jones, he returned to take up his new responsibilities as earl. Part of his plan is to write about his time in Egypt, but no one is interested in his writing when they can read "Mrs. Gordon's." He's confident he can gather enough evidence to prove her a fraud. I felt a bit badly for Sidney at the beginning. Her deceptions were not her choice but forced on her by her publisher and the times. Also, the public war of words with the earl wasn't hers, but the well-meaning interference of her Aunt Effie and her friends, Poppy and Gwen. Sidney was furious when she found out about it, but she also wasn't about to roll over and play dead. Though it took a little prodding from the old ladies, she was determined to prove him wrong. Harry did not make a good first impression. It was clear that his motivating factor was jealousy that Sidney's writings were popular and his were rejected time and again for being dull and dry. He redeemed himself slightly with his worry that he was potentially ruining an old lady supplementing her pension, but his refusal to back down didn't help his case. The journey is sponsored by Sidney's publisher, who has a lot riding on the outcome. If she is proved a fraud, it won't look good for him. He will also be stuck publishing Harry's book, which isn't nearly as good as Sidney's. There's an amusing scene where Effie manages to get the publisher to include the three ladies in the trip as Sidney's chaperones. Mr. Cadwallender also sends along a reporter as an impartial witness and to write about whatever the results are. From the moment the journey began, the sparks flew between Harry and Sidney. He makes it clear that he doesn't believe she has ever been to Egypt, based mainly on her "rosy" depiction of the places and events. For him, if you don't include the bad, you don't know what you're talking about - which explains his dreadful writing. Of course, he's right, she has never set foot in the country, but she has studied extensively and has her grandmother's journals. And she never intended people to believe they were completely factual. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Sidney confound Harry with her knowledge and confuse him with her unbridled enthusiasm. It was fun to see him attempt to trip her up, and her stay just on the right side of giving herself away. In this she was helped along by the three ladies. I liked the development of the relationship between Harry and Sidney. It didn't take long for him to become thoroughly intrigued by her contradictions and drawn into her enthusiasm. It begins to bring back the memories of his early days when life was more adventurous and considerably more fun. One of my favorite things is that Harry and Sidney are equal in intelligence and quickly develop respect for each other's abilities. Harry also becomes unexpectedly protective of Sidney, adding a bit of stress to his daily life. Sidney is wholly independent and tends to go off on her own, unconscious of the dangers. The harem scene was especially fun. The feelings between Harry and Sidney have a better chance to grow when they put their animosity aside to investigate an intriguing antiquity. Harry's somewhat disreputable past comes back to bite him when he is "encouraged" to retrieve an ancient medallion from an unscrupulous American. I laughed out loud at the way Sidney inserted herself in the process and then took it over. Their teamwork is impressive, with each bringing something vital to the table. The resolution of the mystery was exciting with a couple of unexpected twists. One added an extra layer of danger, and the other a solution to a mystery and a problem. There were a couple of minor obstacles to overcome before they could get their happy ending - not the least of which was finally admitting the truth to each other. There was a nice little O. Henry twist to that event. The epilogue was lovely. Once again, Poppy, Effie, and Gwen are vital parts of the story. They frequently give the impression of being ditzy, but they are very cunning when they want to be. I loved seeing them try to show Sidney the importance of knowing the details of her fictional past, especially when those details can trip her up. There's also a hilarious scene as they attempt sex education so that the "widow" won't be taken unawares. Harry's problems with "the old ladies" were myriad as they frequently got on his nerves, but also entertained him. The morning after scene in Sidney's room was hysterical. One of the things I loved best was that the founders of the Lady Travelers Society finally got to do some traveling of their own and that they embraced it with such fervor.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This book should be exactly my kind of thing, but the conflict is all simple, surface stuff. It also focuses more on plot and research dumps than on characters.

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