The tempering agent – an impossible love in the desert

Margaret Kazmierczak's book review for The Tempering Agent

Broken hearts and impossible love lead the way in this Egyptian romance. Can two people overcome their past and open their hearts to a new beginning amongst the backdrop of betrayal and suspicion. Both have to dig deep like the archaeological excavation going on in the story.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Tempering Agent by Victoria Pitts Caine

My Penny’s worth

The impossible love of the main characters Priscilla and Donnie dances around a plot that has intrigue flowing through it. Both are on a dangerous mission, and I enjoyed Ms Caine’s writing as she wove the action from dig to romance to jeopardy.

As storylines go, this held me even though the pace seemed to be a bit quick especially with regards to overcoming the past and the possibility of moving on. Consequently, this appeared too neat and not messy enough for me. In fact, I wanted to feel the battle and walk alongside the pain, empathising with the struggle. Would Priscilla just give up?

What I liked

I liked the little gems and twists along the way to keep you guessing as to whom the villains were. But could Donnie protect a woman whose independence had got her to where she was today?

Rayhan and Liz I felt were good supporting characters and added to the story. From the descriptions, I could see, smell, taste and hear the action along with the food and personal relationships.


One little curiosity I had, why the word “Cheerio” for a greeting? Priscilla’s father, who is English, uses this when he answers the phone. I have not heard it used like this before – yes a minor issue I know, but being English, I just wondered.

This book can be read alone and indeed I haven’t read the first two but not knowing the history of the other characters didn’t actually matter.

Some teasers

In the final analysis what will happen to this impossible love between Priscilla and Donnie? Who are the villains? And what does a pansy have to do with anything? For the answers, you will need to read the book.

What would I rate it?

I did enjoy the book and would like to give it four stars.

Thank you, Victori Pitts Caine for writing it.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Click here to purchase your copy! And don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post. Thanks for reading.

About the Book

TheTemperingAgent_Cover_medBook Title: The Tempering Agent

Author: Victoria Pitts Caine

Release Date: February 14, 2014



Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself thrown back into the murder investigation of her fiancé, Trey Whittington. While she was a suspect three years ago, she’s now working with the police to find the murderer, Egyptian artifact trafficker, Zarka El-Din. During a sting operation in Siwa, she and Agent Donnie Barnes are drawn to each other but Priscilla, overcome by personal ghosts from her past, decides a relationship isn’t possible. Priscilla realizes she’s the bait in the ruse and uncovers others involved with El-Din. Will she and Donnie reconcile and unravel the reason behind Trey’s death before El-Din kills her, too?

About the Author

Victoria Pitts Caine Head ShotVictoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian and lives in the central portion of the state. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels.

The author has received recognition in both fiction and nonfiction from: Enduring Romance top 10 picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, Holt International Children’s Services Magazine, and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel was published in 2007 followed by two more as well as novellas and short stories in anthologies.

Victoria is a former staff technician in air pollution control. She is the mother of two daughters. Now retired from the work force, Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, cooking, and are self-appointed “foodies”.

Guest post from Vicki Caine

Since childhood, I have been interested in genealogy and ancient Egypt. Two of my prior novels, Alvarado Gold and Cairo, let me follow my fantasies into those two areas. Donnie the hero in The Tempering Agent is also in the other two books, and it was his turn to find his own romance. When archaeologist Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself drawn back into the murder investigation of her fiancé and the missing breast plate of the high priest, Agent Donnie Barnes, is just the man to help her out, even if she doesn’t think so.

Traveling along with Priscilla and Donnie, I discovered some interesting facts about ancient Egypt, from the ruins in the Siwa Desert to the mystery of the Valley of the Kings. The genealogy factor in my novels is Donnie is loosely based on my cousin. Alvarado Gold tells the story of my family while Cairo and The Tempering Agent fueled my inquisitiveness about Egypt.

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Author: Margaret Kazmierczak

For over fifty years I have laughed and cried through my life – it has been exciting, exhausting, emotional, challenging and infuriating. No one gave me a map or a ‘How to get out of stressful situations’ manual, to help me on my journey. Instead, it has been God and me, His Word and my mistakes. So let’s cut to the chase, I am a wife and mother of three almost adult children! I live in the South of England and dislike the rainy climate. Yes, it looks green but so does my face with little sunshine! With many occupations under my belt, I now spend my time writing – for my blog which includes book reviews, interviews some humorous pieces and a book called "How to Make Victoria Sponge." I also have some devotionals in a multi-author book "Heartwings Devotional. My life is hectic; I am disorganised, and God continually sorts me out. I hope my words bring you hope, comfort and laughter as I sit here in my dining room praying for inspiration and for the cat to get off my laptop!

10 thoughts on “The tempering agent – an impossible love in the desert”

  1. I love a good mystery. Victoria, I haven’t read any of your books yet so this might be a good starting point.

  2. Thank you, Margaret, for your great review! I have not yet read any books by Victoria, but do look forward to reading this book.

  3. This story sounds like it contains a mystery I always love a good one. I used think it would be awesome to go on a dig and discover hidden treasures..thanks for a chance to read this exciting book

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