Review

The Treasure

by Iris Johansen

New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen weaves
a tale of treasure, trysts and timeless romance in her triumphant
return to the romance genre in THE TREASURE. Since she was a young
girl of 11, Lady Selene Ware worshiped the handsome ex-assassin
Kadar Ben Arnaud, who rescued her from slavery and debauchery in
the House of Nicholas. As Selene grows into a young woman, worship
turns to lust for Kadar, who is known for a string of broken hearts
across Scotland. When jealousy is slow to attract Kadar’s
attention, Selene throws herself at him, certain that destiny will
make them man and wife.

Kadar succumbs to ravishing Selene before he sails away into the
night on the Dark Star to make good on an age-old promise
to Sinan, king of assassins. He is forced to lie to her just as he
gains her trust and claims her for himself. As in all good romance
novels building a plot between lovers, Selene is kidnapped and
dragged into Kadar’s journey to obtain “a great
treasure, a treasure beyond price.”

Kadar had walked the dark path because it was easy and exciting,
but he walked away from it and created a new life with
Selene’s family in Scotland. Kadar professes to Selene,
“There’s a fate that guides all of us. We were meant to
be together. I’ve known it almost since the first time I saw
you.”

Sinan’s successor, Sheikh Jabbar Al Nasim, has an
insatiable quest for power and sends Kadar to the castle of
Sienbara in Tuscany, Italy, to steal the “shimmering gold
box” containing “the treasure” from the elusive
Tarik. Before the journey begins, the reader is swept into moments
of passion as Kadar pleasures Selene in the luxurious tower room,
using his body to sear their souls together.

The mysterious treasure brings Kadar and Selene closer to the
“gift” inside, but not without facing dangers and near
death. Before Kadar and Selene discover what the treasure is, they
learn about Eshe --- words engraved on the grail inside meaning
“Life.” Tales of long life have been told since
Biblical times and the “grail” is part of the mystery,
but is there really a “miracle recipe for eternal
life”?

Tarik and his wife Layla have been guardians of the treasure for
eons. As Kadar lies unconscious with a “death wound,”
Tarik is forced to make a life-altering decision to save
Kadar. Selene and her manservant are used as pawns in this
struggle between the evil men vying for the treasure. When Haroun
is slayed by Nasim’s men, she seeks vengeance and implores
Kadar to work with another assassin, Vadan, to kill Nasim and his
men.

It all sounds dark and clandestine, but reading THE TREASURE is
a romantic adventure, one that reminds you of watching a sweeping
epic on the big screen, including fortresses, castles and warriors
riding through forests and across the countryside with swords ---
larger-than-life images drawing the reader closer to a surprise
ending.

Kadar and Selene’s harrowing journey strengthens their
love. “He would look at her and she would be swept away in a
storm of sensuality and anticipation.” Yes, they discovered
the treasure and secret of Eshe, but they found another treasure
even greater, that of eternal love. “Love always makes a
difference. We have to grab it and hold on until the last
moment.” Romance and love --- some of the most treasured
memories of our lives.

Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on January 23, 2011

The Treasure
by Iris Johansen

  • Publication Date: December 9, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam
  • ISBN-10: 0553807315
  • ISBN-13: 9780553807318