Ancient History

Romance - Suspense
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/25/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite

Athena was the daughter of the renowned archeologist Hamish Duncan. She lived a sheltered life cocooned in the love and luxury that her parents gave her. As a Master’s degree holder following in her father’s footsteps, she went to every dig site and formal parties with him. However, a tragedy occurred that ripped her life apart. While she was navigating through the chaos that was her new life, Patrice showed up with a tale of affection and adoration, with a focus on her father’s work. Dr. Latimer was not left out of the campaign to win Athena’s heart. Two accomplished and drop-dead gorgeous men were after Athena, but were their intentions pure? What secret do they hold and how is it connected to her tragedy? Ancient History by Sophie Penhaligon has all the juicy details.

Ancient History by Sophie Penhaligon is a full-blown, beautiful, suspenseful romance novel with an academic approach. I loved the fantastic and wholesome plot that was based on family, loyalty, trust, deception, sacrifice, and honor. The character development was also excellent with the energetic Marie-Claire waltzing around the place and leaving drops of life like the queen that she is. Athena’s character also appealed to me because it was realistic and relatable. We’ve all been at points in our lives where our intuition kicked in during situations, but we ignored it just because... I loved the writing style as it was simple and captivating, which made the story easy to follow. A flawlessly edited book with seamless dialogues makes for a great reading experience, and Sophie ensured I got that. She is a fantastic storyteller, by the way, and I would love to read more from her.

Hayley Haun

What do an ancient Egyptian artifact and a young, grieving woman have to do with each other? One word: secrets. Ancient History by Sophie Penhaligon writes about the world of archaeological intrigue. Athena Duncan is the daughter of Hamish Duncan, a world-renowned archaeologist, who it seems, had fallen into some trouble. However, tragic circumstances muddy the situation, and Athena travels to Paris to ride out her grief. Patrice Moreau and Jack Latimer are just the men to help her get over her sadness. Or, so Athena thinks until their main interest looms around her father. Which man can she trust? Can she even learn to love after what has happened? In a twist of mystery and perhaps fate, Athena digs deeper into the truth behind the artifact and her father’s involvement.

Ancient History was a fun read. More romance filled the pages rather than suspense or secrecy. For me, I tend to enjoy romance, so it was not a problem. Penhaligon added the right amount of mystery and action when the plot called for it. Nothing fell through or made no sense. From the beginning to the end, Ancient History kept the intrigue flowing. The writer never had to grasp at straws. Sometimes in books, things can slow down, and the reader is left wanting to keep up the pace. Penhaligon successfully kept the ball rolling, and as a reader, I appreciate that. What’s more Ancient History didn’t leave me wanting more or less. It had the right amount of everything a novel needs.

Pikasho Deka

Ancient History is a romance mystery novel written by Sophie Penhaligon. Athena Duncan is a talented twenty-four-year-old woman doing her Masters' in archaeology, following in her father's footsteps. However, her sheltered life is shattered the day her parents die in a freak car accident. Traumatized by the incident, Athena travels to Paris to her godparents' home to get her life back on track. A handsome Frenchman named Patrice soon sweeps her off her feet, and she finds herself spending a passionate night with him. But Patrice's behavior pushes her away, and she finds herself returning home to Oxford, where she meets Dr. Jack Latimer who proves himself to be the man she always dreamt of. As Athena starts a burgeoning relationship with Jack, events from her father's past spring up to complicate her life.

An intoxicating blend of romance and mystery, Ancient History entertains you from start to finish. Author Sophie Penhaligon eases the reader into Athena's world seamlessly, wasting little time in moving the plot forward. The characters felt well-realized with complex motivations to guide their actions. Athena's relationships with her family, friends, and lovers drive the narrative. Her evolution from a sheltered academic naive in the ways of love to a confident young woman felt captivating to read. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader engaged throughout the pages. I found Athena's dynamic with her friends and Jack particularly adorable. If you enjoy well-written romances with a bit of mystery, Ancient History is the book for you.

Edith Wairimu

Ancient History by Sophie Penhaligon is a thrilling, passionate romantic suspense novel that involves the search for a valuable Egyptian artifact. Like her father who is a renowned archaeologist, Athena Duncan is fascinated by the ancient world. At her father’s book launch, she meets Jack, a young and attractive Harvard professor. Later, a tragic accident derails Athena’s life. She travels to Paris to live with a loving couple as she works through her grief. In the city, she meets Patrice, a stunning but evasive Egyptian. While Athena hopes they will become closer, Patrice is adamant that their bond remains casual. Athena returns to Oxford where she meets Jack again. Revelations about the missing Egyptian artifact, which incriminate her father, cause Athena to be more cautious even as she gets closer to Jack.

In Ancient History, Athena is a compelling main character. To the experienced Patrice, she appears naïve and unaware of her beauty. Her development in the novel is apparent as she learns to cope with her grief and becomes bolder. The supporting characters that include Patrice and Jack, her stylish, vivacious mother, her messy but honest father whose main interest is archaeology, and the loving couple who take care of her in her grief, are equally interesting. Athena’s relationships are explored alongside the mystery which adds suspense to the story. Though she wants to trust Patrice and later Jack, she has a feeling that something is wrong but no one is willing to disclose details about the stolen artifact. With an intriguing mystery and engaging characters, Ancient History by Sophie Penhaligon is an absorbing read.

Heather Osborne

Ancient History by Sophie Penhaligon is a steamy romantic suspense novel, which takes the reader from the beauty of Greece to fashionable France and to misty Oxford. When Athena Duncan’s parents are killed in a horrible accident, she feels she will never recover from them being ripped from her life. Still unsure there wasn’t more to her parents’ deaths, Athena spends time in France where she meets the mysterious Patrice Moreau, who takes her on a whirlwind affair before she decides she has to return to Oxford to complete her studies. While there, she finds herself working for Dr. Jack Latimer, an elusive memory from her past, and sparks begin to fly. Yet, Athena cannot shake the sensation there are forces at play around her that she cannot explain but are tied to her father’s archaeology work. Will what’s hidden come into the light, or will Athena be caught up in a mystery she cannot begin to solve?

A novel certainly fit for a leisurely day on the beach, Ancient History by Sophie Penhaligon had a certain charm to the story, coupled with some steamy scenes. The history lover in me wanted more of the archeological angle. I would have loved to have seen the novel take Athena and Jack to Egypt together or to have more suspense tied in. I liked Jack very much, and his drive was admirable. Although I did love Athena as a character, I wanted more depth to her, more exploration of her academic side. Still, this didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story, which I really enjoyed, and I would certainly recommend this novel to anyone who wants a quick, steamy novel with a touch of suspense.

Rainu Arora

Title - Ancient History
Author - Sophie Penhaligon
Genre - romance/suspense
Pages - 212
Format - e-book

The story revolves around the protagonist Athena, a young museum intern. She lost her archaeologist parents in a car accident. She visited to Paris to find out the cause of this accident. There she met with Patrice Moreau and after that Jack Latimer.

Firstly she falls in love with Patrice but it's for a very short time. Later she dates Dr. Jack Latimer.

What happens next?
Will she be able to find the truth?
Read the book to know the answers.

The cover of the book is simple yet eye catchy. The title of the book is totally apt to the content. The plot of the story is interesting, engaging and predictable. It is a perfect blend of history(archaeology),romance and suspense. The author has given the detailed description of the places so amazingly that one can feel like watching a movie.

Language used is simple and easy to understand. Characters are very difficult to relate. It's the mystery which hooked me till the end. The flow of the story is not constant. Some parts like romance are fast paced means they seemed rushed and some part too much dragged.

Overall, an entertaining read.

Rating - 4/5

I recommend this book to those who love reading romance with a little mystery.
Rainu Arora