Saturday, December 09, 2006




WHAT MAKES A SHEIKH BOOK HOT?

Article from The Sheikh's and Desert Love



HAVING AN EXOTIC AND SOMEWHAT DANGEROUS DESERT KINGDOM AS THE BACKDROP

In Lord of the Desert by Barbara Faith, American businesswoman Genevieve Jordan travels to Kashkiri to help plan an international conference. Upon her arrival, she finds herself in a primitive world in which women are not safe on the streets alone. To make matters worse, the evil Sheik Omar Haj Fatah has been staging uprisings in an attempt to overthrow the current ruler, the father of hunky Lord Ali Ben Hari (Genny's main squeeze).

Description: Kashkiri lay before her, ancient and venerable, golden-domed mosques shiny in the afternoon sun, graceful palms and blossoming flowers blooming along the boulevard. Beyond lay the sea to the west, the desert to the east. A faint and plaintive call drifted out over the city...the muezzin, calling people to prayer.

WHEN THE SHEIKH MAKES A CHANGE FROM WEARING WESTERN STYLE CLOTHING TO THE TRADITIONAL ROBES OF HIS COUNTRY.

In Desert Man by Barbara Faith, nurse Josie McCall is assigned to work in Abdu Resaba because of the strings that Prince Kumar Ben Ari pulled to get her there. When they met in the States, he was handsome and dressed just like everyone else...but when Josie deplanes onto the soil of his desert kingdom, she is stunned at his transformation when he arrives to greet her.

Josie's Arrival: Attired in a white djellaba, with his dark hair covered by a ghutra, the typical Arabian male headress, he looked foreign and mysterious. His skin seemed darker, his brows heavier, his eyes more sensuously threatening. In Arabian clothes he was every woman's idea of a desert sheikh, devastatingly handsome, so outrageously masculine she wanted to duck back into the plane and run for cover.

WHEN UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES FORCE A WOMAN TO WED A HANDSOME SHEIKH.

In The Sheikh's Proposal by Barbara McMahon, Sara Kinsale is arrested after she is caught filming members of the Kamtansin royal family. Since she is the daughter of the man negotiating oil leases with Sheikh Kahrun bak Samin, it seems that the only way to avoid an embarrassing public scandal is for the sheikh to marry the lovely blonde. As for Sara, she quickly gets over her reluctance to wed and feels the blood pounding through her veins at the prospect of becoming the wife of this handsome stranger.

The Wedding Day: Kharun almost caught his breath. She looked shy, virginal and breathtakingly lovely. There would be few questions asked when his uncle's ministers saw her. They'd immediately conclude the reasons why he was marrying her - for her looks, her mind and her background.

WHEN KISMET IS THE DRIVING FORCE THAT KEEPS TWO LOVERS TOGETHER.

In Desert Ecstasy by Connie Mason, Lady Christa Horton and the rugged Desert Hawk (aka Mark Carrington, aka Prince Ahmed) are thrown together despite the dramatic twists and turns their lives take. At their first meeting, the man known to Christa as Mark boldly declares that they meant to be together, and then often repeats himself throughout the book:

"Do you believe in kismet? Our fates are intertwined. You were born to become mine."

"But never fear, sweet siren, we will meet again. It is written in the starts. It is kismet..."

"Perhaps now you will believe me when I say kismet has decreed that we should meet again."

WHEN DRAMATIC RESCUE FROM THE CLUTCHES OF A ROTUND, SLOVENLY SULTAN.

Burning Love by Nan Ryan includes several rescues, but the best one occurs near the end of the book. When Temple Longworth is taken captive by Mustafa Ibn Agha Hussain, she is informed that she will have to marry the unwashed sultan. On the morning of her wedding, she is in complete despair...until Sheik Sharif Aziz Hamid manages to show up in the nick of time to prevent his love from being wed to his sworn enemy.

The Rescue: It happened so fast, the sultan's many guards and soldiers had no time to respond. A few seconds of stunned silence, then screams and gasps went up from the startled crowd and guns were raised and cocked by the palace guards. But into Mustafa's ear, the Sheik coolly warned, "If you want to live, tell them to put away their weapons."

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Annie West - New Harlequin and Mills and Boon Author will be writing sheikh books.

I am thrilled this morning, as I've just heard that my 2 sheikh books will be released in North America in consecutive months for your summer. The Sheikh's Ransomed Bride in July and For the Sheikh's Pleasure in August. I'm so excited to have the linked books coming out together.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


THE NANNY AND THE SHEIKH, BARBARA MCMAHON

In Barbara McMahon's new Harlequin Romance, The Nanny and the Sheikh, Melissa Fox's trip to the kingdom of Qu'Arim is a perk of her job with the Valentine family. When she arrives, she works for Bella Lucia, but when she expertly calms Sheikh Surim Al-Thani's three little children, the handsome sheikh is determined she will stay on as the children's nanny. When Melissa realizes how much the children need her, she agrees--she will teach the gorgeous but guarded sheikh how to love and care for them. Only she finds herself falling in love with a man she could only dream of marrying.
Fog City Diva Newsletter

Wednesday, November 01, 2006




SHEIKHS AND DESERT LOVE
It's an excellent website and data base for authors and readers of sheikh books.

Link: http://sheikhs-and-desert-love.com/index.htm


THE SHEIK AND THE VIRGIN SECRETARY - Susan Mallery


Can you imagine two days before your wedding walking in and finding your future husband with another woman? Would you want revenge? Heck yes and then some! Kiley Hendrick is stronger than she believes and approaches her handsome boss, Prince Radiq of Lucia Serratt to assist her by becoming his mistress. Little does Kiley realize that Radiq will not only steal her heart but will teach her the art of making love.

Prince Radiq, strong, sexy, successful and handsome has had many women in his life. He is honest with them from the very beginning and walks away from relationships without a backwards glance. He has a strong sense of responsibility to his country but not to his family as his mother relinquished her rights to him at birth and his father was too young to accept the responsibility of a son. Radiq was raised by mammies and tutors and didn't know the meaning of family until he accepts Kiley's proposal to become his mistress. Radiq adores Kiley but keeps his heart closed.

The Sheik and The Virgin Secretary is a wonderful addition to Susan Mallery's Desert Rogue series and ties in all Royal families at the end, those from Ed Bahar, Bahania and The City of Thieves. I'm hopeful Susan will continue her series with Radiq's brothers and sisters as her stories are so entertaining.

Book Summary from Back Cover:

The wedding of my dreams was only days away...until I discovered my fianc had a nasty habit of unfaithfulness. So to mend my wounded pride, I turned to the most eligible man I knew: my boss, Prince Rafiq of Lucia-Serrat! Although the dashingly handsome prince had enticed dozens of women, I had just one thing in my mind when I proposed becoming Rafiq's mistress: revenge on the man who'd humiliated me before.
It was easier than I'd expected to go from Rafiq's chaste secretary to his lustful lover. What I didn't expect was to fall head over heels for a man who could give me anything I wanted, except his heart....


THE SHEIK AND THE BRIDE WHO SAID NO - Susan Mallery

This is probably one of my favorites in Susan's Desert Rogue series. I particularly enjoyed this book because of Crown Prince Murat. It seems that this incredibly sexy Prince is so sure of himself in the business world and ruling his country but when it comes to sharing his heart or speaking of love, he cannot. This proud and sexy man is so vulnerable to his once fianc Daphne and is determined to marry her this time. Little does he know there will be a battle of wills and sparks will fly.

This is just another entertaining Susan Mallery book and I have enjoyed reading all of her Desert Rogue series.

From The Back Cover:

Daphne Snowden is horrified when her young niece Brittany announces her intention to marry Murat, the crown prince of Bahania. Daphne accompanies Brittany on the plane and is successful in convincing the girl that a marriage to a much older man is a bad idea. So while Brittany is on her way back to the United States, Daphne remains in Bahania to explain the turn of events to Murat...the man she was engaged to ten years ago.

Time has changed Murat, and he never quite got over Daphne leaving him at the altar. When she reappears in Bahania, he refuses to allow her to leave and locks her in the palace harem. And before long Daphne discovers that an official royal engagement has been announced in the local newspapers: between her and Murat!

She is furious with Murat, but realizes in her heart that there is unfinished business between them.

Publisher: Silhouette (February 1, 2005)
ISBN: 0373246668


THE SHEIK AND THE PRINCESS BRIDE - Susan Mallery

Billie Van Horn's and Prince Jefri's story to me is probably the "spunkiest", if that's a word, of Susan Mallery's Desert Rogue series. It was so much fun to read and yet a little sad.

Billie is the only girl in her family of men who travel all over the world training countries and pilots in the art of flying jets. Billie is an ace pilot and has never been beaten by a man. She is fun, beautiful, sexy, and spunky and longs to meet a man who accepts her for just being Billie.

Prince Jefri is the youngest son of the King of Bahania and is in charge of setting up the air force for Bahania, El Bahar and The City of Thieves. He is a Cracker Jack pilot as well, a ladies man and just plain sexy and handsome. However, he has also agreed to accept a wife as arranged by his father. Little does he realize he will be so strongly attracted to Billie and later fall in love with her. However, his "arranged" bride-to-be arrives on the scene only to complicate matters. Enter one huge mess and to add to the mix, Billie's brother and the King interfering in their relationship.

Again, Susan Mallery has written such an enjoyable story....love, lust and passion all in a desert setting.

Book Description:

Lovely blonde Billie Van Horn is a gorgeous, take-no-prisoners flight instructor who has been assigned to train a number of pilots in Bahania, including the ultra-masculine Prince Jefri. At first Jefri is miffed at being bested by the beautiful super-pilot, but after he lays his eyes on her, he becomes hopelessly smitten.

The prince invites Billie to stay at his family's palace during the duration of the flight training, an offer she eager accepts. With her dog Muffin and her brother Doyle, Billie settles into the luxurious suite and enjoys her close proximity to Jefri.

But Billie is crestfallen when Jefri's future wife, the young and shy Tahira, arrives on the scene. Before meeting Billie, Jefri asked his father to find a suitable wife...and is dismayed when it seems to be too late to cancel his marriage plans. Billie is well aware that when royal honor calls, her high-born lover will have to fly from her side forever...unless he defies his destiny and chooses love

Publisher: Silhouette (November 1, 2004)
ISBN: 0373246471


THE SHEIK AND THE PRINCESS IN WAITING - Susan Mallery

Little does Emma Kennedy realize that she is still married to Prince Reyhan of Bahania and that years ago her parents kept her away from the handsome Prince. So when she is approached by the State Department and asked to travel to Bahania per the request of the King, she's stunned.

Prince Reyhan, he's closed his heart but upon seeing Emma, he longs for what might have been but is determined not to let things get out of hand.
As this story unfolds, they learn that Emma's parents tried to keep them apart. What doesn't help matters is that the King insists that they spend a few weeks together to reacquaint them selves with each other. If matters can't get any worse, Emma's protective parents arrive in Bahania and try to discourage Emma from seeing Reyhan.

Can this couple find their way back to each other? Susan Mallery tells their love story in such a way that it will melt and pull at your heart. This proud Prince will fall to his knees over the beautiful Emma. This is just another wonderful story and addition to Susan's Desert Rogue Series.

Book Description:

Emma Kennedy is working as a nurse in Dallas when two men await her at her apartment one day to inform her that the king of Bahania has requested that she travel to his country. At first she is puzzled, but when she realizes that his son, Prince Reyhan, is behind the reason, she literally faints when she sees him again after six years.

During their college days, the two married in a ceremony in the Caribbean. But had it been a real ceremony? Emma always thought it had been for "pretend", especially when he abruptly left her soon after their honeymoon. But the marriage is real, and the two are still very much husband and wife. Upon discovering this secret, the king orders Reyhan to spend two weeks with his wife before he is willing to grant a royal annulment so that his son can follow through with his wish to have an arranged marriage.

The two have no choice but get reacquainted with each other...and isn't the paradise of Bahania the perfect place to fall in love all over again?


Publisher: Silhouette (April 1, 2004)
ISBN: 0373246064


THE SHEIK'S OF SUMMER - Authors: Susan Mallery, Brand and Sellers

The Sheik's Virgin" by Susan Mallery

Beautiful Phoebe Carson visits the island of Lucia-Serrat, the birth country of Ayanna, the great-aunt who raised her. She soon meets a handsome man, who becomes her escort in exploring the exotic Arab land. Little does she know, however, that her suitor is actually the country's beloved leader, Prince Nasri Mazin.
More books by Susan Mallery

"Sheikh of Ice" by Alexandra Sellers

Travel agent Kate Drummond arrives in Barakat to work out an itinerary for an adventure holiday for her clients. Upon her arrival, she meets brooding Hadi al Hajar, who functions as her tour guide. Despite his moodiness, Kate feels drawn to the handsome Sheikh, and wonders if she will succeed in taming his hard heart.
More books by Alexandra Sellers

"Kismet" by Fiona Brand

Laine Elizabeth Abernathy, a prim librarian in the small town of Ransome, catches the eye of reclusive Sheik Xavier Kalil al Jahir. During a fierce storm, Kalil rescues Laine from a collapsing house, and nurses her back to health. The more time he spend with the young beauty, the more he begins to feel a sense of recognition, and that he knew Laine in a past



THE SHEIKH'S VIRGIN - SUSAN MALLERY

A very sweet story of an innocent young girl who arrives on the beautiful Island of Lucia-Serratt. She finds the beautiful, handsome Prince Mazin who takes her breath away. He agrees to show her arround the island and their mutual attraction soars out of control.

Later Phoebe learns that the Prince is a Prince and that he has four sons. She also learns about desire and attraction and takes her relationship with Mazin to the next level.

Even though this is a short story, one of three in the Sheiks of Summer, it was just another example of Susan Mallery's incredible writing skill.


THE PRINCE & THE PREGNANT PRINCESS - Susan Mallery

This was a storyline right out of My Fair Lady with the reader meeting the wonderful, sexy, witty Cleo who torments Prince Sadik. Cleo was raised in a foster home and came to the Pink Palace months ago with her foster sister Zara. Reason? Zara had discovered that her real father was King Hassan, Sadik's father.

During the girls time spent meeting the royal family, Cleo and Sadik are drawn together into a very powerful sexual relationship. Cleo feels out of her league and suddenly leaves to return home to the US and later finds that she is pregnant. Sadik doesn't follow know that in a few months she'll return for her sister's Zara's wedding.

Upon returning the secret of Cleo's pregnancy is revealed and hold on to your seats for a wild and crazy ride at the Royal House of Bahania.

This is a very enjoyable read, fun, humorous, sensual and very romantic. Again Susan Mallery has written another wonderful book in her Desert Rogue series.

Book Description:

She was all kinds of wrong for royalty!!

When it came to kingdoms, impulsive, up-from-the-streets Cleo Wilson was no Cinderella. Why, mere months ago she'd done the unthinkable: fallen for arrogant, irresistible Prince Sadik -- and come up pregnant! Now, briefly back in Bahania, she had to bide her burgeoning curves or risk losing her baby-to-be to royalty!

Tall, tempting Sadik promptly seduced Cleo anew...unveiled her secret...and demanded they wed! But could Cleo's lifelong fantasies of love and family find fulfillment in a palace? After all, wasn't she the last person on the planet to become a princess--and bring a proud, imperious prince to his senses, let along his knees?

Publisher: Silhouette (June 1, 2002)
ISBN: 0373244738


THE SHEIKH AND THE VIRGIN PRINCESS - Susan Mallery

In the Sheik and the Runaway Princess, you are introduced to Rafe Stryker who is in charge of security for the City of Thieves and an honorary sheik. Rafe is a "closed" man, who is strong, sexy and independent. In this story, Rafe has been assigned to the King of Bahania, King Hassen.

Zara and her foster-sister Cleo have one mission and that's to find out if Zara's father is in fact the King of Bahania. So the girls travel to Bahania to do a little investigating. Upon their arrival and tour of the Pink Palace, they literally "bump" into Rafe who later finds out their reason for being at the palace.

Rafe finds Zara sweet, soft and interesting. He also feels protective of her due to her vulnerability to the situation. The King puts Rafe in charge of Zara when he finds out that she is the daughter he never new existed.

Is Zara ready to become a Princess? Can Rafe fight his attractions for the sweet Zara? Theirs is a love story not to be missed. The way Susan Mallery tells their story is just plain wonderful. I also enjoyed how she described the difference between the sisters, Cleo and her also new found sister, Princess Sabrina. A very enjoyable addition to Susan's Desert Rogue series.

Book Summary:

When prim professor Zara Paxton ventures to distant Bahania, she wants only to find the father she'd never known. But her father turns out to be King Hassan of Bahania. The desert king promptly put his "princess" under the protection of a muscular, mesmerizing Sheik, who sets Zara's sense aflame, yet he refuses to quench the fire!

Steely security liaison Rafe Stryker scorns lasting love. But before he knows it, the bespectacled brunette sneaks into his heart, making him throb with the urge to taste her sweetness. Clearly, innocent Princess Zara wanted to be his woman, but taking her was tantamount to treason. Rafe knows the consequences, but even he can stand so much temptation.

Publisher: Silhouette; Special edition (March 1, 2002)
ISBN: 0373244533


SHEIK AND THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS - Susan Mallery

Princess Sabrina Johnson storms out of the Bahania palace; angry with her father who had betrothed her to someone she didn't even know. As she never had a relationship with her neither father nor brothers and felt left out of her family, she decides to go in search of the City of Thieves and its supposed treasure. While being trapped in a desert storm, she is rescued by a stranger who makes her his slave. Unbeknown to Sabrina, this man is Prince Kardal Khan (her betrothed) and he finds her foolish and believes what he has read about her, that she is a spoiled and promiscuous American. However, all Sabrina's ever wanted out of life is to belong instead of being shuffled and ignored by her American mother and father, King Hassan of Bahania.

As they journey to their final destination, the Princes' home, she finds out that not only is he a Prince, but the Prince of the City of Thieves. He makes her his slave and allows her to stay and study the treasure within the walls of his palace.

As their story unfolds, they both learn so much about each other, and Prince Kardal realizes that Sabrina is not the spoiled person he thought she was but a lovely woman and a virgin as well. Sabrina is captivated by him, frightened of her attraction to him as she realizes her duty is to her father, country and future husband. She also learns that Kardal was raised without a father and even though he is close to his mother, and adored his Grandfather who raised him, he does not believe in love but hopes for a marriage of respect and heirs. When he finds out that his father is King Givon of El Bahar, everything becomes complicated and he turns to Sabrina.

Their story becomes one of fire, passion and complications. Sabrina feels also betrayed by her father who does not come to rescue her and Kardal who she learns has made a bargain with her father that she will be Kardal's wife. There are many twists and turns to this story but in the end yet another wonderful addition to the Desert Rogues series, tying in the kingdoms of El Bahar, Bahania and The City of Thieves.


Book Summary:

When half-American Princess Sabra (aka Sabrina Johnson) is kidnapped by Prince Kardal Khan while searching for the legendary City of Thieves, she soon realizes that his heated touch makes her body betray her recklessly.

She doesn't want to feel cared for in her captor's tender embrace. After living a lonely life, rejected by her father--King Hassan--and treated dismissively by her mother, all she's ever wanted was someone to love her. But falling for the sexy Sheik, otherwise known as the Prince of the City of Thieves, was simply out of the question!

The virile Sheik didn't consider kidnapping Sabrina an act of theft; he was claiming what was rightfully his. Unbeknownst to the fiery beauty, she had been betrothed to be his wife!

Publisher: Silhouette (November 1, 2001)
ISBN: 0373244304


THE SHEIK'S SECRET BRIDE - Susan Mallery

Lianna Archer and her daughter landed in El Bahar looking forward to their new life and home. Lianna's looking forward to her new job as teacher at one of the schools, getting away from bad memories and saving some money for the future. However, just as they're ready to disembark, a band of men board, among them Crown Prince Malik Khan. This handsome prince spies Lianna and decides he wants this pretty teacher and daughter to stay with him at the Royal palace. He will not take "no" for an answer and whisks them away. The sexual attraction between them was so strong it was frightening. It's a constant battle between them for her to stay in the palace. However, Lianna demands to move to her own quarters the school provided for them.

Days later, the Prince arrives to extend an invitation that Lianna join him in the desert to attend a dinner with a nomad tribe. She is requested to dress appropriately so as not to offend the tribesmen. Little does she know that a marriage ceremony between them has been planned, he requests she stay overnight in the desert and she agrees. The next morning when she finds out they are married, she goes ballistic.

So many questions, she's attracted, can she trust her heart, and can she trust her daughter and her heart to this Crown Prince? What so moved me was Malik's story, his childhood, his first marriage, his inability to trust and feel and when he finally realizes what's it's all about, well it's tender, sweet and a great love story with a Cinderella ending.

Publisher: Silhouette (June 1, 2000)
ISBN: 0373243316

Book Description:

Single mom Liana Archer has read her share of romance novels featuring dashing, passionate Sheiks. Despite her fascination with the genre, she is astonished when sinfully handsome Malik Khan, Crown Prince of exotic El Bahar, hijacks her and her young daughter off an airliner and into his lavish desert palace. What does this sexy prince want with a passably pretty, slightly overweight schoolteacher from San Bernadino?

Dazed, breathless and mesmerized with desire, Liana quickly becomes Malik's royal bride after an intimate desert ceremony she does not understand. When she learns she is in fact married, she must face whether she can entrust her daughter, or her heart to a man would give them everything...except his love. How might a caring American mother and child finally move this proud, imperious monarch and make his kingdom complete?


THE SHEIK'S ARRANGED MARRIAGE - Susan Mallery

The Sheik's Arranged Marriage is the second book in the Desert Rogue series by Susan Mallery and is Prince Jamal's and Heidi McKinley's story. Heidi is a long time friend of the family as her grandfather and King Givon were friends. Now the King and his mother feel that Prince Jamal needs to marry and of course, they have chosen Heidi, the virginal and studious plain Jane to be his bride.

Prince Jamal is the middle son, has a love of history, and his country and is extremely handsome, is a prince in more ways than one and known to be a ladies man like his brother Kahlil. He had a former disastrous marriage to Yasmine who was no longer alive and he did not believe in love. However, he is honor bound to his father and country to marry and produce heirs. So he agrees to marry Heidi.

After they wed, Heidi announces that she cannot be a wife in the true sense and that she is a virgin. However, as their relationship progresses Heidi decides she has deeper feelings for Jamal and so with the help of his family she becomes "Honey" and disguises her looks and becomes a "hot" sexual kitten. Jamal sees through her act but decides to go along with her plan and is intrigued by his new wife. When Heidi learns that Jamal has been wise to her little game, she is heart broken and ashamed. However, Heidi finally learns that she could have won her husband by just being herself and that he already loved her not his deceased ex-wife.

This is just another great story by Susan Mallery. The scenes where Heidi becomes Honey are fun and endearing. This is a wonderful addition to the Desert Rogue series.



Book Description:

Man-shy American Heidi McKinley winces when the king himself insists she marry - and make heirs with - his sinfully sexy royal son! For Prince Jamal was a legendary lover, an expert on erotic intrigue. Whatever would he see in serious-minded Heidi?

Plenty! Up to his crown in gold-digging bubbleheads, Jamal is secretly enchanted with the sweet and studious virgin. So why was homespun Heidi donning silken disguises and posing as siren "Honey Martin" to seduce him? And how could Jamal hope to choose between a bold, brazen "mistress" and a bashful, blushing bride?

Publisher: Silhouette (May 1, 2000)

ISBN: 0373243243


THE SHEIK'S KIDNAPPED BRIDE - Susan Mallery

A lonely and scared Dora stranded in her wedding gown at an airport with no money, coat or personal belongings? What's a girl to do? Enter handsome, sexy and powerful Prince Kahlil Khan of El Bahar to the rescue. What a great start for the Desert Rogues series by Susan Mallery.

Dora Nelson had never known love nor had ever felt she belonged. She now has a chance to succeed as a personal PA to Prince Khalil. Little does she realize that she will grow not only to respect him but also fall in love? Little does the prince know that he will come to depend upon Dora not only as his PA but also to help him get out of an ugly situation, an arranged marriage to one of his countryman.....a personal family friend with loose morals and unsuitable as a wife of a crown prince. Khalil tricks Dora into marriage and when she finds out this fact, she can't forgive him. Khalil takes Dora back to El Bahar where a stand-off begins in their marriage. Dora is allowed to work with the Western businessman to liaise with them and El Bahar while she struggles with her love for her husband.


Susan Mallery has gotten off to a great start with this book, the first in her Desert Rogues series. I enjoyed the humor Susan brought to her story and the depth of passion that was shown. Her use of dialogue is interesting and intriguing as she weaves this very romantic tale set in the desert

Book Description:

After working as his administrative assistant, frumpy brunette Dora Nelson is soon swept away by the passionate Prince Khalil Khan. After a swift marriage, she revels in her new fairy-tale life as Princess of El Bahar. But once she learns that the love and affection Khalil had showered her with was merely a sham to avoid marriage to a woman he despises, she refuses to bend to his will. He tricked her into marrying him, and she can't forgive him.

But she also can't stop loving him.

More than anything else, Dora wants a happy home and an adoring husband. Still, when Dora's feistiness meets with Khalil's arrogance, sparks fly. And unless Dora and Khalil agree to meet halfway, this fiery marriage threatens to consume them both!

Publisher: Harlequin (August 1, 2004)
ISBN: 0373388101

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


BEDDED BY THE DESERT KING - SUSAN STEPHENS
This is absolutely a fantastic read. It's emotional, warm, spirited and a very sensual journey in finding love. It's a story of survival for them both with a peaceful ending full of joy!

Susan Stephen's characters Zara and Shahin sizzled and their attraction and passion was instant. This is a story I will long remember and will enjoy reading again and again.


BEDDED BY THE DESERT KING - SUSAN STEPHENS

Zara Kingston has gone to the desert city of Zaddara to confront the man she blames for her troubled past. But when, during a sandstorm, she's protected by a dark stranger, she finds that the desert holds hidden treasures.

Zara soon realizes that the man she yearns for is Sheikh Shahin--the thief of her happiness! Shahin knows that Zara is a virgin--forbidden, no matter how strong his desire. But it's forbidden fruit that tastes the sweetest….

Publisher: Harlequin (November 1, 2006)
ISBN: 0373125836



THE SHEIKH'S CAPTIVE BRIDE - Susan Stephens

One passionate encounter is all it takes for Lucy Benson to become pregnant with the son of Sheikh Kahlil. Almost a year later, Lucy has business in the kingdom of Abadan and is startled to find herself face to face with the handsome man she'd bedded!

Kahlil soon guesses the truth about little Edward's paternity and declares that his child will inherit Abadan. In order for this to happen, however, she must become his wife. Lucy is both apalled by the idea of a temporary marriage to the arrogant sheikh...and unable to deny her desire to share Khalil's bed again. But unless she can change Kahlil's mind, after six months, she'll no longer be his captive bride.

SHEIKHS AND THE SERIOUS BLOGGER - TIME ARTICLE


This summer, romance novels turn to the desert—and bloggers are riveted
By MELISSA AUGUST Monday, Aug. 22, 2005

Some otherwise serious bloggers have spent the summer fascinated by a niche in romance literature with its own fan website: Sheikhs and Desert Love. Eerie, a contributor to 'Aqoul, a blog mostly about news from the Middle East, noting a significant increase in the number of romance novels featuring handsome desert nomads, provided a helpful graph documenting their rise. Yin Shui Si Yuan dismissed these romance novels as "incredibly ill-informed, orientalist, romantic fantasies involving oil sheikhs." Political Animal's Kevin Drum and Abu Aardvark's Marc Lynch have found the subject an amusing distraction from the August doldrums.

The discussions turned more scholarly recently when an article in al-Sharq al-Awsat, the Arabic international daily, complained about Penguin paperback books 70th anniversary publication of excerpts from Gustave Flaubert's letters from Egypt. The article's author, Susan Bashir, complained about the provocative new title, "The Desert and the Dancing Girls" and the cover's "half naked girls." Abu Aardvark echoed Bashir: "Is this what Penguin thinks the Arab world really is...empty deserts and exotic dancing girls?" Meanwhile, as the genre's 51 million readers pump gas this summer, will they be dreaming of oil sheikhs in exotic kingdoms or eternal supplies of fuel in the arms of a gas station owner?


BARBARA MCMAHON



THE SHEIKH'S SOLUTION

Pregnant Molly Larkin thinks that Sheik Kaliq bin Shalik will graciously accept her resignation, but instead he shocks her by proposing a marriage of convenience. It seems her powerful boss needs an American bride to remain in the country. Since Molly has opened her heart to the wrong man, Molly is in need of a name for her unborn child.

Nevertheless, Molly never expects that the man she's secretly loved from afar will look into her eyes as if they hold the most precious secret. As her life with the Sheik takes her to his desert land of Manasia, Molly begins to ponder whether the fantasy will come to an end in a few months...or develop into something real.

THE SHEIKH'S PROPOSAL

Photojournalist Sara Kinsale is given the plum assignment of filming members of the royal family of Kamtansin, one of the newly emerging Arabian countries on the Mediterranean Sea. But soon after she begins taking shots, she is apprehended, arrested, and accused of being a spy.

When Sheikh Karun bak Samin discovers that Sara is the daughter of the man with whom he has been negotiating oil leases, he takes action to ensure that her arrest doesn't create an international incident. He quickly proposes that he and the blonde beauty marry temporarily, until the oil lease negotiations have been completed. But soon he begins to wonder whether or not Sara will be his bride in name only.

HER DESERT FAMILY

Librarian Bridget Rossi isn't used to mingling with the rich and famous. But after the death of her beloved father, she is invited--through her glamorous, model cousin--to stay at the opulent residence of a powerfully sexy sheikh.

His home in the desert oasis is stunning, but despite the luxury, Bridget discovers a man who's buried his emotions. Ever since Rashid's wife died, his little son has been crying out for his father. Bridget knows she can bring these two lost souls together...the only problem is that in the process, she's falling in love--with both of them!


THE SHEIKH'S SECRET

Laura has been absolutely swept off her feet by a gorgeous new man -- she's never been made to feel so special!

But as they become closer, Talique is torn. Laura doesn't know his real name, the past that drives him, even that he's a sheikh! All she knows is the perfect world he's created for her. And just as his secret plan is about to be revealed, he realizes his intentions have changed: he wants Laura as his bride!

LIZ FIELDING


THE SHEIKH'S GUARDED HEART


Saved from certain death in the unforgiving desert of Ramal Hamrah, Lucy Forrester is transported to a world of luxury by her rescuer, Sheikh Hanif. The tender care he offers her is more than Lucy has ever experienced in her loveless life, and she finds herself drawn to the proud Arabian prince, despite his tortured soul.

As Sheikh Hanif helps Lucy recover from her injuries, Lucy wonders if she can heal Hanif's own wounds, and capture this sheikh's guarded heart….


THE DESERT ROSE

Prince Hassan al Rashid has all the trappings of an international playboy, but underneath his expensive Italian tailoring lies the heart of a true desert prince. In his determination to save his desert land of Ras al Hajar, he decides to attract the world's attention by kidnapping the beautiful fiery-haired English journalist, Rose Fenton.

Wooed to Ras al Hajar to write a flattering piece about reigning Prince Abdullah for a major news magazine, media darling Rose Fenton is instantly fascinated by the appealing Hassan. He is her ultimate fantasy man, but she wonders if pride will ever allow him to see her as suitable marriage material.


MICHELLE REID



THE SHEIKH'S CHOSEN WIFE

It's been one year since lovely Leona left her husband, Sheikh Hassan ben Khalifa Al-Qadim, and is startled when her spouse abruptly re-enters her life.

At first Leona is angered when she believes Hassan has abducted her, but as they spend time together on his luxurious yacht, headed for the Gulf state of Rahman, his actions are explained and she remembers why she fell in love with him and became his wife.

Unfortunately, the fact that Leona cannot get pregnant is an issue that continues to come between her and her handsome Sheikh. Leona fears that her failure to deliver a child could mean the end of her marriage...or could it?





THE MISTRESS BRIDE

The whole world is interested in the golden couple, Sheik Raschid Al Kadah and Evie Delahaye. Despite fierce opposition, their passionate, high-profile affair has lasted for two ecstatic years--but soon the relationship will have to come to an end. Raschid is expected to marry an Arabian princess, and Evie's mother is constantly pushing her toward a member of the English aristocracy.

Time is running out, but a drastic turn of events reveals Raschid to be a man of honor. As the Sheik whisks away his love to his native land of Behran, his honor comes to the test when he must choose to turn against the wishes of his family in order to make Evie his bride.

THE ARABIAN LOVE CHILD



It's been eight years since Englishwoman Melanie Portreath fell in love with Rafiq Al-Qadim, a son of the ruler of Rahman. But when she is cruelly ejected from his life after he believes ugly lies about her, she never gets the chance to tell him that she is pregnant with his child.

Now that her son is old enough to need his father, Melanie is determined to tell Rafiq about the child he's never known. Still embittered by what he believes is her past betrayal, Rafiq doesn't let the beautiful blonde from his past get a word in edgewise. However, when he finally discovers that she gave birth to his child years earlier, he quickly assumes his role of father and seeks to fulfill the role of husband.

Sparks fly when he and Melanie reunite, but are the sparks enough for a lifelong marriage?

Sunday, October 29, 2006


THE SHEIKH'S BARTERED BRIDE - LUCY MONROE

Lucy Monroe has done it again! This is an incredible love story, one which begins as an arranged marriage, and evolves into a passionate love affair. Secrets create and put up road blocks in the relationship with an incredible resolution. I highly recommend this East meets West love story.

Book Description:

After a whirlwind courtship Sheikh Hakim bin Omar al Kadar proposes marriage. There are no declarations of love, but shy, innocent Catherine Benning has already fallen head-over-heels in love and she accepts… After their wedding day – and night, when the sheikh claims his virgin wife – Catherine and Hakim travel to his desert kingdom. Catherine discovers that this is no love match for Hakim – he’s bought her!

From the Authors Website:


THE CHARACTERS: Hakim bin Omar al Kadar is a man driven by honor, duty and loyalty to his family - the Royal Family of Kadar. His duty includes convincing Catherine Benning to marry him. Catherine spent her childhood and teen years as a social outcast because of physical problems she could do nothing about. By the time she was able to alter her appearance, she no longer trusted people, particularly men, enough to pursue her dreams of love and having her own family. She begins the book vulnerable, but she's a strong woman and her growth forces Hakim to look at his own motivations and feelings.


THE SETTING: This book takes place almost equally in Seattle, WA and the imaginary Middle Eastern country of Kadar. I had a tremendous time making up my own Middle Eastern country with its very own Royal Family as well as traditions and customs. And setting parts of the story in nearby Seattle was a lot of fun too.

THE STORY: Hakim is the alpha hero we all dream about. Sexy. Intelligent. Bent on doing what is best for all the people he cares about, including a quickly recalcitrant Catherine. While Catherine learns to trust beyond betrayal and Hakim learns to love beyond duty, they both test the limits of the emotion that simmers between them.


THE SHEIKH'S DISOBIEDENT BRIDE - JANE PORTER

Disobedient doesn't begin to describe Tally who is on a photo assignment in a wild and dangerous desert city. When she is involved in a cross fire and rescued or should I say kidnapped by the handsome sheikh Tair, the war of the sexes begins!

Tally and Tair's love story is full of passion, heat, disagreements and misunderstandings. Tally in Tair's eyes is disobedient and Tally to prove the point keeps trying to runaway. As this couple gets to know each other, the reader is led on an incredible journey right along with them. When Tair takes Tally to his palace, fires like you won't believe ignite.

In the past both characters have been through so much. Tally had to abandon her life's dreams to stay at home and take care of her siblings as her mother needed to work to support the family. Tally goes through a lot of self-discovery and realizes she has fallen in-love with this incredible sheikh. Tair not only lost his father but also his wife and son due to desert wars. He is afraid to let Tally mean everything to him but she slips right into his heart. They marry, because Tair demands they do so but then Tally is kidnapped. When he realizes she might suffer further danger, he sends her away.

Again Jane Porter has given her readers not just another adventure but an incredible love story, one I will personally long remember.

Publisher: Harlequin (June 1, 2006)
ISBN: 0373125429

Book Description:


She must be tamed-- by the Sheikh...

Sheikh Tair lives by the rules of the desert. When he finds Tally has broken a sacred law, endangering the safety of his tribe, Tair has to act.

Tally is kept like a harem girl, but every time she tries to escape, the hostile desert drives her back. And with each new act of her disobedience, Tair's resolve hardens. As a ruler, he must tame her. As a man he wants her-- willing or not!


THE SHEIKH'S VIRGIN - JANE PORTER

This book was exceptional. I've probably read most of Jane Porter's Harlequin Presents books and I'm always amazed by her knowledge of other countries. While reading one of her books one actually feels they've stepped into that particular country.

In the case of The Sheikh's Virgin, I fell in love with the Middle Eastern Desert. I could almost feel the sun on my face, smell the desert scents, feel the sand on my feet and hear the camels and Berber's setting up and taking down camp. I'm amazed at Jane's knowledge of the desert, the cultural aspects of the book and the love story, it took my breath away.

Sheikh Kalen is a true alpha to the core. He is handsome, rich and very powerful in London and in his homeland Baraka. He has had many mistresses which he doesn't seem to keep for long. He is mysterious, sensual, warm and intriguing.

Keira is a very beautiful emotional and sensitive woman who met Kalen during her teens in Baraka where he stole her heart. Keira was raised by her mother in the US and spent very little time with her father in Baraka. Her father felt she was too educated and her mother felt she was not smart enough. So where does Keira belong? And now, her father has promised her hand in marriage to an official in Baraka and Kalen is on a mission to protect his brother from Keira's father and intended husband.

This wonderful love story, full of mystery, passion, and intrigue will steal your heart as it did mine. I will read The Sheikh's Virgin many, many times and highly recommend it.

Book Description:

Keira al-Issidri is enjoying her carefree life in Dallas when her father suddenly orders her to return to her native Baraka to marry a prominent but old man named Sidi Abizhaid. Keira is horrified at the thought of returning to Baraka and live her life hidden behind a veil, and has no intention of obeying her father's edict.

Sheikh Kalen Nuri of Baraka is aware of the fate that awaits Keira and swiftly intervenes for political reasons yet unknown to her. He spirits her out of Dallas and ultimately weds her in an impromptu desert ceremony.

Keira is drawn to the magnetic sheikh, but a secret from her past torments her. She doesn't know how to tell him...or how he will react when he learns the truth. But she does know that she cannot bear the thought of losing him, now that he has claimed her as his woman.

Publisher: Harlequin (June 1, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN: 0373124732



THE SULTAN'S BOUGHT BRIDE - JANE PORTER

The first in the Princess Brides series. A Princess and a Sultan who you are led to believe their meeting is to protecct Nicky's older sister. Some twists, fun, pretense and a wonderful love story. I highly recommend it and encourage you to purchase the next in the series, The Greek's Royal Mistress", Chantel's story.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Princess Nicolette Ducasse refuses to allow her sister Chantal to follow through with an arranged marriage to Sultan Malik Roman Nuri of Baraka. She is so determined to protect her sister that she travels to the faraway kingdom of Baraka, posing as Chantal. She intends to tell the sultan that the wedding is off...but only once her young niece, Lilly, has been safely extracted from the clutches of Chantal's former in-laws.

But when Nic meets Malik, she never expects to find a young, sexy monarch. He is a kind, considerate man...and extremely hard to resist! Though Malik is a modern monarch, he makes it clear that if they share a bed, the wedding is on. And soon Nic begins to wonder how she will end this charade without humiliating the sultan by leaving him at the altar.

Publisher: Harlequin (September 1, 2004)
ISBN: 037312418X



THE SHEIKH'S WIFE - JANE PORTER

Book Description:

Sheikh Kahlil al-Assad hasn't forgiven Bryn for abandoning her wedding vows. And when he discovers that he's also missed out on the first years of his son's life, an infuriated Kahlil decides to take his revenge.

Bryn doesn't realize that technically she and the Sheikh are still husband and wife,and she knows she can't deny her son the father he's been asking for, so she agrees to return to Kahlil's desert kingdom of Zwar. There she finds herself relegated to the harem quarters, where she must prepare for being taken back...into the Sheikh's bed!
Harlequin
September 2006 re-released in a UK anthology, The Sheikh's Woman (cover shown right) isbn: 0263850781

May 2002 in North America - isbn: 0373122527

September 2001 in the UK - isbn: 0263825345


HOSTAGE OF THE HAWK AND MISTRESS OF THE SHEIKH - SANDRA MARTON

I can't believe I forget these two Sandra Marton books, so here they are:

HOSTAGE OF THE HAWK - Harlequin 1994

Book Description:

While in Morocco, Joanna Bennett offers to take the place of her ill father at a meeting with Prince Khalil in an attempt to avoid an international dispute over a business deal. But when Joanna comes face-to-face with the "Hawk of the North", she suddenly finds herself being abducted and flown to his remote land of Jandara.

Held prisoner by the devastatingly handsome Khalil, Joanna is determined to escape...but she hadn't counted on the "hawk" fulfilling all her secret desires. She now has to discover if Khalil is simply using her as a political pawn, or if he desires her. But should she hope that his interest in her is more than desire...and something she can build a future on?


MISTRESS OF THE SHEIKH (Harlequin 2000)

Book Description:

Nicholas al Rashid finds a beautiful woman in his bedroom, and immediately assumes that she is there to spy on him. While he refuses to believe that she is there to work as an interior designer, he cannot deny his instant attraction to this woman.


AT THE SHEIKH'S COMMAND - KATE WALKER


At first glance they are lost………Malik the sheikh and beautiful proud Abbie who wants her brother out of jail. They see each other from afar and immediately there is lust, desire and tension.

Malik is regal, sexy, stern, determined…. all of the characteristics one would expect of royal blood and a sheikh. He has come to England to meet with Abbie’s father concerning the release of her brother from a Barakhara jail. Neither knows the truth about each other until one evening the truth is revealed and Abbie's hopes are shattered. Malik has come to England to offer pardon if Abbie marries his brother, the Sheikh of Barakhara (his half brother).

Abbie is so sexually and passionately drawn to Malik that she isn’t herself. The events are turbulent; an interesting mix to the storyline. Abbie’s desire for Malik, her pending marriage to his half brother and then a country in turmoil plus seeing Malik again after weeks of trying to forget him. This love story is as hot as the burning desert sun!

Kate Walker has yet again penned a powerful and promising love story full of passion, tension and drama set in the desert sun. Their love story will grip your heart and provide hours of reading enjoyment.

Book Description

Abbie Cavanaugh's brother is in jail. Abbie can obtain his freedom--but only if she marries the Sheikh of Barakhara.

The explosive passion between Prince Malik and Abbie could turn a marriage of convenience into one of Eastern promise.


But neither Abbie nor Malik knows the other's real identity. Can their marriage survive once the truth is revealed?

Publisher: Harlequin (October 1, 2006)
ISBN: 0373125763


DESERT AFFAIR - Kate Walker

Romantic Times January 2003
A thrilling, sexy read, with two volatile characters and one of the most romantic and sensual premises around.

Writers Unlimited Reviews
A romantic tale that touches the hearts and desires of all women. . .you won't be able to put it down.

Book Description
Three days and nights in the arms of a sheikh!
Stranded with a devastatingly handsome stranger, Lydia Ashton decides to throw caution to the wind and spend a luxurious and passionate three days and nights in his arms. Soon she discovers that her charming stranger is the proud son of a sheikh, heir to the throne of Kuimar, and used to getting exactly what he wants. And he wants Lydia. Amir fulfils her every desire, and their passion seems to know no bounds. But Lydia knows she has broken the rules byt falling in love. Too late she discovers why.


DESERT VIRGIN - Sandra Marton



What a marvelous book this was to read. Cam Knight, the oldest of the Knight Brothers and his story is Sandra's first in The Knight Brother's trilogy. I loved his "tough" character role and how his "Salome" blind-sided him with her strength and beauty.

This story is truly a fantasy set in the desert and one you won't want to miss especially since it's a Sandra Marton trilogy.

From the back cover:

Cameron Knight is a fearless troubleshooter on a mission in the desert kingdom of Baslaam.... Leanna DeMarco is a ballerina; she's been abducted to dance for the sultan of Baslaam....

When the sultan offers Leanna to Cam, he sees a way to escape with her across the sands. But she's temptation! Can Cam resist taking the sultan's gift?

Publisher: Harlequin (March 1, 2006)
ISBN: 0373125259

Romantic Times BOOKclub
"THE DESERT VIRGIN has it all, from thrills to danger to romance to passion."

romancejunkies.com
Filled with her trademark steamy sensuality and adventurous protagonists, THE DESERT VIRGIN is a thrill ride from start to finish.


Sandra Marton - THE SHEIKH'S CONVENIENT BRIDE

Feisty, erotic a great addition to the O’Connell series

This is probably one of my favorites in the series. I loved Megan's story. Megan has spunk and fire even though she is an innocent. Sandra weaves a wonderful "Eastern" sheik tale set in the desert, full of mystery, fire and hot passion. It's a wonderful addition to the O'Connell series.

Back Cover:

Fiery Megan O'Connell is an accomplished financial expert working at a firm in Los Angeles, who has just finished working on a proposal for client Qasim al Daud al Rashid, the King of Suliyam. It is clear to Sheikh Qasim (aka Caz) that she is the most qualified person to accompany him to Suliyam to ensure that important work is accomplished. Unfortunately, however, Qasim's homeland is a country where women have no status.

Determined to keep this lucrative account, Megan travels to Suliyam and finds her life threatened by tribal leaders who think she's a woman of loose morals. And the only way that the sheikh can ensure her safety is to marry her. Megan agrees, but does not expect or even want the marriage to continue once her work in this desert country is completed...or does she?

Publisher: Harlequin (August 1, 2004)
ISBN: 0373124104


Stolen by A Sheikh Trish Morey

Book Description:

The sheikh's chosen bride...
Sheikh Khaled Al-Ateeq has granted Sapphire Clemenger the commission of her dreams: the designing of the wedding gown for his chosen bride...


Only the Sheikh's deal isn't as simple as it sounds. Not only must Sapphy accompany this formidable prince to his exotic desert palace, he also forbids her to meet his future wife. In fact Sapphy begins to doubt that this woman even exists... Especially when the measurements given for the gown are her own!


Sapphy realises she's trapped in Khaled's kingdom - and it's intended that she'll be the Sheikh's future wife!

(The Arranged Brides duo - book 1)
Mills & Boon Modern Romance - August 2005
Harlequin Mills & Boon Sexy - September 2005
Harlequin Presents - February 2006
Harlequin Bianca - May 2006 - "Robada Por Un Jeque" (Stolen By A Sheikh)

My Review:

Pride and anger are such worthless emotions when so much is at stake". Quote from author Trish Morey.

I loved the book....excellent storyline. Who I really liked was Sappy (Sapphire), not just her spunk and energy but her character. Usually the women in "sheikh" books are from the UK or US Sappy is Australian born and raised which made this story very interesting plus her profession, a fashion designer working in Milan.

Sheikh Khaled, just a wonderful alpha, yet tender even though revenge was his first priority. He really met his match in Sappy. The attraction and sexual pull between these two characters was amazing and made for a great romance.

Thanks for the great read, Trish Morey. I can't wait to read Paolo's story, The Mancini Marriage Bargain.


Alpha males ahoy! Trish Morey has a talent for producing hot, sizzling men that leave us thirsting for more and Sheikh Khaled is no exception." ~ Cataromance Reviews


"...shows the talent of a great storyteller." ~ Cataromance Reviews


"Stolen by the Sheikh is a hot read that the reader will be unable to put down - try it and see!" ~ Cataromance Reviews

SHEIKH ARTICLE - CHICAGO TRIBUNE



I had the opportunity to speak with this reporter. He asked me interesting questions and one I actually did not think about, 911 and how reading books concerning sheikhs affected me? 911 was personally horrific for me and my country and mostly importantly for the city of New York.

Quite honestly, when I read these stories I don't think about 911, nor religion, nor where they take place, I think about falling in love, about romance and hopefully all of this craziness going on in the world will someday resolve itself and there will be peace! I pray this happens for all because in my heart it's all about LOVE.

Here is the article as it appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

By Patrick T. Reardon
Chicago Tribune staff reporter
Published April 24, 2006

If this story were a romance novel, it would read something like this:

The heroine -- a feisty, brassy American woman, representing hundreds of thousands of female romance readers -- is irresistibly drawn to the Arab sheik. He's dark, brooding and incredibly wealthy, ruling everything he surveys in his desert kingdom. They have exotic adventures and eventually make hot, feverish and often graphic love. The End.

But this story isn't just about the many romance readers who relish fantasies about sheikhs (or, as some prefer to spell the word, sheikhs). It's also about a mystery.

So let's bring in a character from another pop fiction genre, a detective, to examine the puzzle. Picture him as a somewhat rumpled, somewhat nerdy middle-age guy. (Any resemblance to a certain newspaper reporter is strictly coincidental.)

The mystery is this: Since 2000, the number of sheik romances published each year in North America has more than quadrupled.

That's easy to explain, Susan Mallery tells our gumshoe. When it comes to sales, Sheik romances "kick butt." She should know. Over the past six years, Mallery, who lives in California, has published 10 sheik novels, each with press runs of more than 100,000.

But that doesn't explain why they kick butt. Or why they happen to be kicking butt at a time when U.S. soldiers are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and when fears of Middle East-inspired terrorism on U.S. soil remain high. Or why they remain popular after 9/11.

Sheik romances have a Web site devoted to them (sheikh and Desert Love at www-and-desert-love.com) and a Beloit College anthropologist (Kimberly Mills) who is studying them.

When our detective analyzes lists that Mills and the Web site compiled, he determines that, during the 1990s, an average of four sheik romances were published annually in North America -- compared to 17 a year since 2000.

Several romance readers tell him that, when they read about sheiks, they're learning about the exotic world of the Arabian Desert. And Lucy Monroe, who lives in of Oregon, says she spent a lot of time researching her two sheik novels.

"I take the best of the culture," Monroe says. And she leaves out the rest. In "The Sheikh's Bartered Bride," published in 2004 by Harlequin, she says, "I was careful not to get into the oppression of women."

Why? Because, Monroe says, the job of a romance novel is to "feed hope in the world -- the hope that those we see as our enemy can also be our friend."

Every romance novel, our detective learns, whether it features a sheik or some other male, is about the transformation of the two central characters, the Adam and Eve of the story. The hero and the heroine are expected to dislike each other initially -- to be enemies -- and, then, to be drawn against their wills into each other's arms. That's the happy ending every reader expects.

Writing a sheik romance "is a hoot," laughs Mallery. "I make up my own countries. It's broad fantasy. It is not based in reality. I don't deal with anything icky. [Readers] are not going to learn anything about the Middle East from me."

In the past, though, sheik fantasies could be pretty icky.

Consider the 1919 novel "The Sheik" by Edith Maude Hull, the forebear of all subsequent sheik romances. Not only does the sheik of the title -- "a splendid healthy animal" -- abduct and imprison the heroine, Diana, but he also rapes her.

Then she falls in love with him.

Monroe says this pattern of kidnap-rape-love, rooted in a pre-1980s cultural belief that unmarried women shouldn't go looking for sex, involved "forcing pleasure on women." For their own good, apparently.

This, notes Mallery, is the origin of the term bodice-ripper.

From Saskatchewan, Canada, where she edits the Sheikhs and Desert Love Web site, Erika Wittlieb tells our sleuth that "these novels [now] are quite generous in portraying Arab men, sheiks, as larger-than-life, virile, ultra-masculine heroes with a strong moral code."

Although the 9/11 trauma had little impact on sheik romance sales, Wittlieb says that, since the attacks, "romance novel sheiks were not often featured [on book covers] in their traditional Arab headdress or robes." Now, they appear in Western-style clothing.

Or shirtless.

From Harlequin headquarters, Katherine Orr, vice president for public relations, says the jump in sheik romances is simply a coincidence, having has nothing to do with world news.

As if to underline that, Marilyn Shoemaker, a sheik romance fan in Seattle, says, "I don't think about Iraq and Iran when I'm reading them."

Which leaves our investigator flummoxed and our mystery story without a solution.

But maybe it's the mystery that is the solution.

In a romance novel and in real life, it's often impossible to say why two people fall in love. They just do.

Why are romance readers buying so many more sheik novels? Our detective just throws up his hands. They just are.

- - -

Even sheiks can be afraid of commitment.

According to Sheikhs and Desert Love, a Web site devoted to romance novels featuring sheiks (www.sheikhs-and-desert-love.com), there are 11 major plots and themes for such books. They are:

Abducted by the enemy

Amnesia

Angry sheiks

Babies and child rescue

Historical tales

Kidnapped by a handsome sheik

Marriages of convenience

Meddling family members

Reunions with former lovers

Royal unions

Sheiks fearing commitment

- - -

5 sheiks

"He paused at the door to speak to the Frenchman, a picturesque, barbaric figure, with flowing robes and great white cloak, the profile of his lean face clean cut against the evening sky, the haughty poise of his head emphasized by the attitude in which he was standing, arrogant, dominating."

-- "The Sheik" by E.M. Hull (1919)

"His black hair was damp with sweat at the temples and nape. He looked sexy and full of sin, and, God help her, she was ready to ask him to kiss her."

-- "A Bed of Sand" by Laura Wright (2004)

"Beneath his loose, traditional clothing, this man was powerfully built. Strong and hard. The power that emanated from him had nothing to do with what he wore. Even with sunglasses hiding his eyes from her, she could tell that he had an unusually handsome, olive-toned face. The cut of his jaw was sharp and masculine, the nose perfectly straight and fittingly regal, and the mouth ... a mouth that sensuous should be illegal!"

-- "Secret-Agent Sheik" by Linda Winstead Jones (2002)

"His bronzed complexion and very black hair suggested an ancestry at variance with his beautifully enunciated English. Every aspect of him offered a source of immediate fascination. ... A tiny twist of something she had never felt before pulled low in her pelvis."

-- "The Sheikh's Innocent Bride" by Lynne Graham (2005)

"He towered over her, and she had on pretty high heels. He smelled clean, just soap and man, and even though it felt strange to have him continue to hold her hand, it was more good-strange than bad-strange. His dark eyes seemed to see down to the very depths of her being, as if he could read all her secrets."

-- "The Sheik and the Virgin Secretary" by Susan Mallery (2005)


----------

preardon@tribune.com




Welcome to Romancing the Desert where you can find recommendations for sheikh books written by some incredible romance authors.

I decided to start this blog due to the spammers who posted on SHEIKH'S AND DESERT LOVE. It is a very nice website, full of information about upcoming releases, features, themes and lists authors who write sheikh books. Website is http://sheikhs-and-desert-love.com. However the message board is no longer available.

Authors, I can't possibly read every sheikh book so please share or promote your book. Readers, I ask the same of you. share what your reading.

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