The Treasure by Iris Johansen

Bantam Dell

Historical Romance

ISBN: 978-0-553-80731-8

Reviewed by Shayna




Take a step back in time to twelfth century Scotland where danger burns like a flame and passion burns even hotter.  All ex-assassin Kadar wants is to live a life free of the horrors of his past and to share that life with Selene.  But though the years since her freedom from captivity have taught Selene safety, she still refuses to trust Kadar with her heart.  And though he loves her, Kadar will accept nothing less from Selene than all that she has to give.

Even as the sexual tension mounts during Kadar and Seleneís silent battle of wills, Kadarís past comes back to haunt him when Selene is kidnapped by Kadarís old master.  Now, in order to survive, the lovers must steal a treasure others will kill to keep safe.  Their quest will take them throughout Europe, where they discover one of the most powerful artifacts of all time.  As they begin to unlock the treasureís secrets, Selene and Kadar find that the key to one of the greatest mysteries of all time might be the very thing that tears them apart.

Over ten years ago I picked up, on a whim, an enchanting historical romance by Iris Johansen called Lionís Bride.  In that story, I fell in love with Kadar and Selene and have been waiting (fairly) patiently for Ms. Johansen to write their tale.  It was with equal parts excitement and trepidation that I picked up The Treasure, hoping that Selene and Kadarís story would be all that I wanted.  I am more than pleased to report The Treasure is well worth the wait.

Selene has a fiery spirit that makes her a joy to read about.  When the book begins her heart is hardened against truly letting anyone in, and though her past has lent her a cynicism beyond her years, she is still slightly immature.  I loved watching her character develop over the course of the story as she matured and learned to open her heart and fully trust the man she loves.  Kadar, in turn, is everything I could hope for in a hero.  Heís intelligent, inquisitive, and oh-so-sexy.  His past is dark and yet he has defied his upbringing in being a man of honor.  Separately, Kadar and Selene are intriguing.  Together, they are captivating.  Each lightens the otherís soul, but their road to happiness isnít easy.  It takes plenty of love and determination on both their parts to overcome all the obstacles in their path.

While Kadar and Seleneís romance is the heart of The Treasure, the quest for the mysterious treasure is every bit as entertaining.  Without giving away spoilers, I will say that Selene and Kadarís journey was a fantastic adventure that introduced interesting new characters, including the treasureís guardians, and reintroduces a familiar face from Lionís Bride, the enigmatic Vaden.

For readers who havenít read Lionís Bride, The Treasure fully stands on its own.  All necessary information is woven in without slowing the pace for readers familiar with the previous tale.  I am thrilled Ms. Johansen has returned to writing historical romances and hope that the teasing glimpse of Vadenís plans means there is a story for him in the near future.  I Joyfully Recommend The Treasure.  Itís an engaging, fast-paced, sensual read that is sure to leave you feeling supremely satisfied.  Like the title suggests, The Treasure is an absolute gem.


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