Desert Destiny

"Desert Destiny" by Mardi Ballou whisks a reader through time and space into the opulence of ancient Turkey, where a modern day feminist experiences the ultimate in feminine decadence.

For the time traveler lover "Desert Destiny" delivers an enticing story of love, desire betrayal and discovery. I just adored this novel; the writing is so crisp and smooth, the historical references add such a vivid imagery to the landscape of the novel and the chemistry between Marisol and Prince Grentoori permeates the pages.

Marisol Murray, an academic archeologist and a self-proclaimed feminist is just itching to discover the find of the century. The chance to uncover precious artifacts surrounding the mysteries of the legend of the Indurlia civilization would secure her place as a credible archeologist and trump her egotistical boss in the process.

What begins as a discovery of an ancient artifact quickly turns into an experience she will never forget. Although Marisol proclaim herself to be a feminist, I just loved the way she finds herself succumbing to the splendor of King Hashimur’s Harem. Her quizzical nature and her quest for knowledge even under duress allow a reader to experience her discoveries from a clinical perspective. The novel’s comical banter between Marisol and her eunuch trainer Melgart really is a test in fortitude; her constant questions, his overall displeasure with her mannerisms and curiosities do a great job of depicting the difference in the time period.

I loved Prince Grentoori! His overwhelming need and desire for Marisol really shows in the outrageous actions that he takes in order to be with her. Ms. Ballou empowerment of Grentoori to see the futility of Indurlia’s civilization and the need for change really displays his leadership quality during a time when the Kings word is law. Not to be left out of the entire time travel experience Marisol’s boss, Grant Drury is whisked into the picture, where all it not as it seems. I loved how he makes his presence know and the aftermath of his intervention is hot and steamy.

Ms. Ballou really delivers an exceptional piece of work, if there are any short coming to the novel, I would say that although there is an epilogue included, it only briefly touches on some of the events in the aftermath of Marisol’s return to present day Turkey. The novel may have been best served if the epilogue had delved a little deeper into the Indurlia civilization history after Prince Grentoori put his plan into action...

"Desert Destiny" is a splendid piece of work that I highly recommend. 

Book Blurb for Desert Destiny

Her find of a buried scroll will boost Marisol Murray’s career and impress her arrogant project head, Grant Drury. Then the earth moves—and she’s face-to-face with two eunuchs and a prince. April Fool’s? Not.

Suddenly, feminist Marisol is headed to a harem in sixteenth-century Indurlia! She’s slated to become the king’s latest concubine, a sexual toy for male pleasure, only Marisol meets his hot son, Prince Grentoori, first. Instantly attracted, they break with tradition and have lots of heated sex—the forbiddenness of their actions driving them on. But when a traitorous general discovers the prince’s sexy transgression, the battle is on. Grentoori can’t leave Marisol, so the prince escapes with her in a carriage that becomes caught in an earthquake…

Marisol comes to in a transformed Grant Drury’s arms. Could it be? Is he the insolent boss she left behind or her sixteenth-century lover?

Publisher’s Note: This story was previously published elsewhere under the title Heather and the Harem Scroll and has been revised for Ellora’s Cave. 

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2011 5.00