Friday, February 2, 2024

Review - - Raiders of the Lost Heart

Raiders of the Lost Heart
by Jo Segura
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: December 5, 2023
Reviewed by Hellie

Archaeologist Dr. Socorro “Corrie” Mejía has a bone to pick. Literally. 

It’s been Corrie’s life goal to lead an expedition deep into the Mexican jungle in search of the long-lost remains of her ancestor, Chimalli, an ancient warrior of the Aztec empire. But when she is invited to join an all-expenses-paid dig to do just that, Corrie is sure it’s too good to be true...and she’s right. 

As the world-renowned expert on Chimalli, by rights Corrie should be leading the expedition, not sharing the glory with her disgustingly handsome nemesis. But Dr. Ford Matthews has been finding new ways to best her since they were in grad school. Ford certainly isn’t thrilled either—with his life in shambles, the last thing he needs is a reminder of their rocky past. 

But as the dig begins, it becomes clear they’ll need to work together when they realize a thief is lurking around their campsite, forcing the pair to keep their discoveries—and lingering attraction—under wraps. With money-hungry artifact smugglers, the Mexican authorities, and the lies between them closing in, there’s only one way this all ends—explosively.


Hellie’s Heeds 

A very fast-paced enjoyable read, full of action, adventure, and steamy-steamy love scenes. The heroine (whom I love) could be possibly classified as abrasive and she loves a well-placed F-bomb. Girlfriend has a LOT of alpha energy, which depending on how you like your heroines, could be great or could be a dealbreaker for you. Ford Matthews has a quieter energy–but the more you learn about him and things he’s done, the less likeable he becomes (especially compared to Corrie, IMO.) Our trope is the classic enemies to lovers–and the reader arrives in the middle of the relationship, if you will. The reason why they’ve become enemies makes you go, “Oh, that’s bad.” (And I tend to carry heavy grudges. Especially for fictional characters.) I was worried if the author would be able to bring them back together as a couple, even as the situation got worse and worse (because of course, one of the characters is much less forthcoming with secrets and the honest truth–and by the time it is revealed, it’s too little too late.)  

The conflict doesn’t rest solely on the internal and external conflicts of the hero and heroine, and there is yet another mystery to solve–and I did not see who it was until the reveal. (So well done.) The sex scenes were all very steamy and hot, though occasionally I did get a little tired of the frequency. (Am I old? I don’t remember this being a problem in the past.) The writing voice and voices of the characters are excellently written–and I would find myself immediately sucked back into the story and time passing quickly. That said, it did take me a bit to read through this book because once I did put it down…I would get distracted and now here we are, FINALLY finished. I believe this is because of the trope–and not at all the writing or pacing or plotting, which again were all well done. (And there is some very clever and spicy banter too.) It was the trope and hero that made me less than enthusiastic.  

If enemies to lovers is a beloved trope for you, I think this book will click all your boxes: well-paced fun action and adventure, a well-crafted mystery with some twists, hilarious dialogue and the “famous stories about Corrie” had me in stitches, the palpable sexual tension and conflict between the characters as you wondered how are these two going to work this out. BUT if high alpha energy and enemies to lovers are NOT your favorites, I think you will still enjoy it…but it will probably be a slower read for you. After all, I’m not an enemies to lovers “trope-er” any longer, but the title, the premise, and the hilarious first pages all convinced me to give it a try. I think Jo Segura is going to soon become an auto-buy author for many readers–I myself cannot wait to see what she produces next.



  1. Thanks for the introduction to a new to me author. I am sort of over heroines who are abrasive. It seems that's all I've seen recently. But, an accomplished woman who is good at what she does, would be easier to handle. Thanks for the review.

    1. She IS excellent at her job--the BEST in her field, which the hero acknowledges; however, I admit I'm not a perfect reader. I.e. my biases prefer a more "patriarchal-acceptable" heroine--meaning I love her snark and her smartness, but when I think she's being a bit too abrasive (and/or maybe too sexually secure), I'm put off a little. I'm a product of the culture and I realize what I'm doing (i.e. men get a pass for things, but women--well, you should be better) and try to take my reactions with a grain of salt. The writing is very well done; the plotting was great. I try to acknowledge them in my reviews because I want to be clear what I may have felt about a character isn't necessarily what others would feel about the character--and that I really need to work on my biases. *LOL*

  2. This sounds good,thanks I'm looking forward to reading it

  3. Any story with archeology a part of it gets my attention. The elements included here will make it interesting. I don't mind assertive, snarky heroines as long as they don't get too carried away.. It is so hard to make it in many fields without men overshadowing or taking credit for their work. I don't know what Ford did, but I can understand how she might be unwilling to forgive. It sounds like I might have to give this one a try.