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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Book Review: Carved in Stone by Kate Douglas

Carved in Stone
by Kate Douglas

Archeologist and folklore expert Nate Murdock has discovered ancient stone carvings that will either revolutionize thinking in his field or get him laughed out of it entirely, and he’s hired world-renowned photographer Alex Martin to document his find and bolster his claim. When the alluring Alexandra Martin, not Alex, shows up for the job, Nate’s not sure whether to send her packing or take her into his arms.

Alexandra Martin, the daughter of the famed photographer and just as talented with a camera, is a dark-haired and dark-eyed beauty. Years ago her father built his reputation on photographs he’d stolen from her, and she’s out to prove once and for all that she’s the real deal. When the opportunity to work with the celebrated and ruggedly handsome Nate Murdock falls into her lap, she jumps at the chance—whether he likes it or not.

As tempers flare and accusations fly, the two dig in for a battle of wills and an uneasy truce at their remote mountainside camp. But when drug smugglers trap them in a cave and leave them to die, Nate and Alexandra realize they must trust each other—and the fiery passion growing between them—and surrender to a mysterious force as it guides them through a perilous escape and the acceptance of a powerful love as primal and compelling as the mountain itself.

Carved in Stone engaged the long forgotten side of me that had wanted to be Indiana Jones when I was a child. Digging in the dirt, discovering pieces of ancient history, and of course, the armed villains that seem to come out of nowhere. That was the ultimate lifestyle for me. So naturally I was very enthusiastic to read Kate Douglas’ book. In that respect, the book didn’t disappoint.

Nathan Murdock is a well known and respected professor of antiquities and folklore (fancy way of saying he’s an archeologist) who has just discovered a group of stone carvings that could put him at the top of his field, or get him kicked out and humiliated. In order to document his find and back up his claim of how important these carvings are, Nate hires famed photographer Alex Martin to photograph his findings. When instead of an Alex Martin, an Alexandra Martin shows up, he’s not sure what to do with her. Does he send her home or does he give her a chance to prove that she can handle anything he dishes out.

Alexandra Martin is trying so hard to prove that she’s the Martin with the talent, not her thief of a father. Years ago, her father took credit for photos that she took. That’s how he became such a well known and respected photographer. This job is not just about her father though, Alex is tired of men letting her down, she’s tired of them making her feel that she shouldn’t be better than them at what she does. She’s tired of being used too. So she’s not about to let some man tell her what she can and can’t handle. Even if she thinks he’s ruggedly handsome and intelligent. I liked that Alex did have skills not only as a photographer but also at basic wilderness survival. She didn’t have to be taught by the big, strong man. In fact, she had to show the big strong man that she could do those things on her own. I liked that about her.

From the moment they meet, Nate and Alex just have one misunderstanding after another. Nate’s protective instincts towards Alex (Because she’s a woman) make Alex feel like he’s being a chauvinist and ramps up her independent streak to the point where she comes off as a shrew. At times Alex seemed like she had more than one personality. Her back and forth attitude became old and very quickly went into the “annoying” category. I understood her need for independence, and her need to prove that she didn’t need a man but the way she went about it was just wrong. She picked fights with Nate over everything instead of just showing him she could handle their situation. I found her to be all talk and no action, or worse, she did the opposite of what she claimed, saying she could handle anything, then bursting into tears and borderline hysterics when they’re in danger. I could have done without all that. Alex needed to toughen up for real instead of just talking about it.

What I really liked about Carved in Stone was the archeological setting. I loved the legend of the Spirit Walkers and the part they played in Nate and Alex’s adventures. I know that for some, archeology is boring and dull but to me it’s fascinating to be surrounded by that much history and the mystery of decoding it is thrilling.

The suspense and danger of Carved in Stone is a bit predictable at times but that was fine by me. It was a fun and exciting to read a romance that took place in a setting I once envisioned myself in. While Alex got on my nerves a lot of the times and her whiplash inducing relationship with Nate kind of tired me out, I did enjoy the overall book. I would definitely consider reading other books by author Kate Douglas again.

3 1/2 Sheep

Adria's Romance Reviews Among Wildlings

About the Author:
I've been married for over forty years to a terrific man who puts up with the idiosyncrasies of life with a writer. We raised two really great kids who are now wonderful adults who've produced six grandchildren for us. ALL perfect, of course!

I've concluded my long-running Kensington Aphrodisia erotic paranormal romance series, Wolf Tales (which includes the Sexy Beast anthologies I-VIII) and the erotic Dream Catchers series, as well as The DemonSlayers series from Kensington Zebra. My current series--also under the Aphrodisia imprint, is called Spirit Wild. This one picks up on the lives of the second generation of Chanku shapeshifters, beginning with Lily Cheval's story in DARK WOLF.

I love to hear from readers and answer all my mail personally. The link with my email address is on the front of my website at, along with first chapter excerpts of all my books. Please sign up for my newsletter with chances to win books and other goodies by sending an email to


  1. I've read quite a few of her books and have enjoyed them. Haven't read this one yet but it sounds good. Thanks for the review.

  2. Ooo yummy cover! I've read a handful of her books and enjoyed them too. The setting on this one does sound interesting. I've read a few with an archaeological background. Glad to hear even with the heroine troubles you enjoyed it :)

  3. Wow a heroine like that would get on my nerves. Not sure the story itself is enough to get over that. Glad you enjoyed the book though.