Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile God is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.
Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the futureor love.
Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. When he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?
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The old abandoned temple remained one of his favorite spots along the Nile, overlooking the river from a small bluff, with a deserted beach below. Bek stood gazing across the sparkling water at bronze- and black-spotted crocodiles sunbathing in the final rays of the setting sun. A breathtaking mix of colors stained the sky as the Goddess Nuit spread her cloak across the heavens, sprinkling the black velvet with stars.
A beautiful soprano voice rose from the beach below the bluff. Bek recognized the words of a familiar old song, given new meaning by the hypnotizing, alluring voice. I must see this songbird. She's cast some kind of spell over me.
He strolled along the path from the ruins toward the beach. Taking the last turn on the trail, he walked out on the sand and found the woman. She waded in the water, casting a small fishing net and retrieving it, every once in a while picking out a wriggling silver fish and throwing it into a waiting basket on the beach. Her ample breasts flashed into view when she leaned over. She had kilted her skirt to her thighs, revealing shapely legs. Long ebony hair was caught behind her ears with combs in the shape of seashells.
Wouldn't I like to take those combs out and see her hair tumble downshe's as beautiful as her voice.
He must have made some sound. She stopped singing and wheeled, taking an involuntary step deeper into the river at the sight of him, a stranger. Her face paled under her tan and her eyes opened wide as she staggered, caught by an eddy of the current.
"Don't be frightened, please. I mean you no harm." He held his hands up, palms out, and smiled. "I heard your singing and it drew me here. I only wanted to give my thanks for the concert."
She laid one hand on her graceful throat, toying with an amulet on a thong. "You startled me." Poised to bolt, the girl appeared wary, probably planning an attempt to run past him.
"I apologize." He kicked off his sandals and waded into the water at an angle from her. The net drifted lazily in a whirlpool; he reached out and caught it, lifting the tangled strands from the river.
"Oh, don't! You'll ruin your fine kilt, sir." She came to him hastily and took the net from his hands. "The river runs muddy at this time of the year. Your servants will labor in vain to get the stains out."
He glanced at his waist. Oh yes, I did choose to wear the pleated white kilt of a nobleman. He followed her to the shore as she splashed through tiny waves with her net. "Fortunately, I have no servants to worry with such things."
While putting his sandals on, Bek frowned at the Nile crocodiles lying deceptively immobile on the opposite bank, then glanced at her. "You take great risks, walking into the river with those beasts nearby." One of the animals twitched. Bek glared at it. The creature met his eyes for a second, then settled onto the sand.
"Oh, I'm not afraid. I'm protected." She was busy folding the net and packing it into a compartment in the lid of her fish creel. She didn't even spare a moment to consider the predators across the water.
He coughed to cover his instinctive laugh. "Protected? And exactly how are you warded against attack?"
She stood briskly, raised her chin and tugged an amulet free of her dress to show him. It was a small green stone crocodile hanging on a frayed black leather thong. "My great-grandmother was the last priestess of the temple on the bluff above."
He indicated the amulet. "May I see it?"
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Egypt 1500 BC. Sobek, the Crocodile God, is drawn to one of his old, now a ruin, temple, where he hears one of his old song sung by a beautiful young woman. Unable to stop himself he introduces himself as a mere man asking to spend an hour in conversation. Merys, the ill-fated daughter from a the village scribe's earlier marriage, spends an evening exchanging stories with a man dressed like a wealthy merchant, a man like she's never known before, handsome, kind and intriguing. Their meetings become frequent, and Sobek begins to fight the attraction he feels for her because it is forbidden for a God to love a Human, a law so enforced that it would be the death of the human. But the near death of Merys makes him throw away his charade and let her see just who he is... and just how much he lusts after her. A simple, entertaining story of love of insurmountable obstacles in the ancient Egypt, with its vast amount of gods and goddesses, pharaohs and mere men and women of its land. Priestess of the Nile is short story of love that either one of the destined couple doesn't hope to dream of, coming to fruition. It's beyond forbidden for a God to come to love a human woman and have a life with her. It's a sweet love story, filled with egyptian mythology, to have any girl hooked to see what will happen between Sobek and Merys, because surely there has to be a way for this to end happily, doesn't there? Despite this Bek can't be away from Merys once he'd come to hear her enchanting songs and hear her stories of her village and of her unjust life with her new stepmother and her children. Bek has never loved before, and it takes a while to realize what it is he feels for her, having lived forever he has an air of languid crocodile like patience and strength and he waits too long to truly let her know how he feels. Put once his heart knows pain there is nothing to stop the horrible power he can wield against those who have taken from him. Merys, a young woman dedicating herself to singing and honoring the Crocodile God even though his temple is in ruins, is the descendant of the High Priestess of Sobek. She's solemn and has been through a lot with her new stepmother and her new children with her father, despite the way she's treated she hasn't lost the playfulness and her happiness when she's free of them and alone by the banks of the Nile, caring for the temple. In all this book was very good, it had just the right amount of despair, hope, love and mythology to make the story truly entertaining. At 88 pages it's a quick read, just few hours, but time well spent! Once you start the story you don't want to set it down, I sure didn't. This is my favorite Egyptian Novella so far! Makes me want to go and read Mika Waltari's, The Egyptian again. ;)
(Disclaimer - Veronica Scott is one of my sister's dearest friends, and a local RWA sister, so I wanted to like her work.) Scott's debut novella gives us the forbidden love story between Merys, descendant of the priestesses of Sobek, Crocodile God of the Nile, and Sobek himself, though he doesn't initially reveal his identity to her as he courts her. I've never thought of crocodiles as sexy, but Scott manages to give Bek/Sobek a handsome human form, even an intriguing mixed human/crocodile form, as well an an imposing all crocodile form. Despite Merys being a mortal, and Bek being a god, they fall in love. I enjoyed this story very much, though I was left wanting more. I think this is a bigger story squeezed down to only 63 or so pages. Much is told, rather than shown - Merys's life in the village as the Cinderella stepdaughter to her weak-feigning stepmother. The rules of the Egyptian universe weren't clear to me. There might be more tension if they were revealed more clearly at the beginning, so we knew what the lovers were going up against. I did wonder how Scott would weave in the whole theme of the afterlife, so large a part of what we picture when we imagine ancient Eqypt, and there she does a beautiful job. I loved the way Scott brought in Isis, Anubis, and some of the other gods of ancient Egypt. The sex scenes were... sexy, but compared to the other erotica I read over the same weekend, almost tame. They were fine, they fit the material, but they didn't leave me squirming in my chair, if you KWIM. If you are looking for blow-your-socks-off short erotica, this ain't it. If you are looking for a sweet erotic romance with unusual characters in a very different setting, this is a great read. I look forward to more of Scott's work.