by Bonnie Vanak

May 2005
ISBN: 0-8439-5529-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

If you arenít a fan of Bonnie Vanakís novels you should be. Her newest novel, The Cobra and the Concubine continues her series of novels that are set in Egypt and focus on the nomadic Khamsin warriors; a group of men who could definitely star in a womanís fantasy.

The Cobra and the Concubine tells the story of Kenneth Tristian, who is heir to the Duke of Caldwell, but was orphaned in Egypt and raised by the Khamsin or Warriors of the Wind, who are charged with protecting Egyptís national treasure from exploitation. Kenneth, who is known as the Cobra in Egypt, feels torn between the life he loves in Egypt and his duty in England. What is more he has fallen in love with a slave girl he rescued in the desert. When Badra turns her back on his love, Kenneth makes a bee line for a new life in England.

Badra, has not had an easy life. Sold in to slavery at an early age, she became to the property of Sheikh Fareeq, hated enemy of the Khamsin. When she is rescued by Kenneth she hopes that her desperate situation has come to an end. However, the abuse she has suffered prevents her from approaching Kenneth with her love until it is too late.

Years later the two are reunited when Badra travels to England to smuggle an Egyptian necklace to an antique dealer in London in order to save her daughter who is being held by the same slaver as had sold her. When Kenneth discovers what has happened, Badraís only hope is that his love for her will override his duty to the Khamsin. Can Kenneth and Badra save her family and protect the Egyptian artifacts that have made their way to England all while rediscovering their love for each other?

The Cobra and the Cocubine is a must read for all historical romance fans. Continuing the tradition set with her previous novels, The Falcon and the Dove and The Tiger and the Tomb, Vanak takes readers for a wild ride in to the world of 19th century Egypt complete with vivid descriptions and characters that are so real the reader feels that they just might step out of the pages of the book. The world Vanak has created centers around the Khamsin warriors and their search for love. Each book presents a new warrior and a lady that is more than well-matched for her warrior. These ladies are not the weak females that are often featured in historical novels, but are strong women with ideals and who are not afraid to stand up for themselves. The Cobra and the Concubine is no different, the reader immediately becomes enchanted with Kenneth and Badra and their predicaments. The love between the two of them is a sweet story that touches the heart and gives the reader that good feeling that comes from reading a well crafted romance. However, those of you who like a little action and drama in their books, donít despair this book has that too- in spades! I highly recommend this book as one wild and enjoyable ride into the world of warriors and secrets.

Reviewed in April 2005 by Jen.

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