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Afraid to Hope (Ancient Passages #2) by Sutton Bishop

Blurb: Archaeologist and INTERPOL contractor Dr. Natasha Jordaan is on a dangerous mission to recover artifacts looted from Morocco—the home of her past and her heart. Trained, competent, and proven, the last thing she needs is a brash, infuriating babysitter, no matter how sexy he is.

Former special forces Bane Rua wants this starched-up professor in every way a man can have a woman, and he always gets what he wants. His duty might be to protect the beautiful doctor and recover the relics, but no one ever said he couldn’t have two assignments.

Review: Fans of The Mummy and Indiana Jones will flip for this romantic suspense novel from author Sutton Bishop. Her first novel Afraid to Fall really blew me out of the water with its attention to detail, an introduction to the Guatemalan and Mayan culture, and the whole sexy adventure aspect. Afraid to Hope was no different. Bishop writes smart, sophisticated romance that takes you on a trip through fascinating cultures--in this case, the Moroccan culture--and stimulating plots rife with mystery, danger, and explosive chemistry.

Natasha is a bad ass bitch. We're talking a doctor, secret agent, take-no-shits, brilliant woman. She was exactly what a romance reader wants from their heroine. And the best part is that the tough, strong, handsome hero never tries to put her in her place. Oh, you want to go on ahead and scope out a location? You do that, honey. What's that? You want to break into this building with me or climb down into a strange tunnel we just found? How about you go first! Bane is a dirty-talking, nerve-getting-on, handsome hero to start, but he morphs into more than just a thorn in her side throughout the novel. He always considers her his (very attractive) equal and that's not something we get enough from in romance novels, in my opinion. And I truly enjoyed that Bane wasn't afraid to get emotional himself.

Most of the romance novels I read take place in present-day America or 1800s England, so it's fun to come across a book that'll transport me to a country I've never been and teach me about a culture I know nothing about. Not only did Afraid to Hope teach me about the Moroccan culture, but I also learned so much about archaeology and antiques and history at the same time. A couple of times I actually paused my reading to look some term or get more information on a person, place, or thing. Sometimes I want an easy-going read and then sometimes I want a book that's going to challenge me and my knowledge base, and this is one of those books.

But, at the end of the day, the book is a really fun, suspenseful read filled with spicy romance, exciting adventure, and an evil society hellbent on depriving the world of priceless artifacts. You don't have to read Afraid to Fall to enjoy Afraid to Hope necessarily, but if this book sounds good, why wouldn't you?


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