Dust and Desire: Archaeology and Adventure RomancesCrocodile on the Sandbank. While the Amelia Peabody series is definitely a mystery series, the first book is also a romance. A newly wealthy spinster travels to Egypt and meets a surly (but quite handsome) Egyptologist. Together, they uncover a mystery set among the tombs of Amarna. Elizabeth Peters earned a Ph.d. in Egyptology, which gives her authorial cred, but she’s also Barbara Michaels, who wrote romantic suspense novels filled with gothic elements. For me, the interplay between Emerson and Amelia are what kept me reading the series.
Many of the archaeological romances are historicals set during the 19th century or beginning of the twentieth. Perhaps my favorite one is Guilty Pleasures by Laura Lee Guhrke. We usually think of travel and exotic lands when we consider archaeology, but this book is set in England, about an excavation on English land of old Roman ruins. What is so fun about this book is that it combines the archaeology plot, a workplace romance, and an ugly duckling story.