Sunday, October 25, 2009

THE SHEIKH'S FORBIDDEN VIRGIN - Kate Hewitt (The Royal House of Karedes)

Kate Hewitt takes her readers on an extremely romantic journey through the desert in The Sheikh’s Forbidden Virgin. While reading this exciting adventure, an adventure it surely was, I actually felt like I was in Zaraq, in its markets, the palace and in a desert storm. As for Calista where Princess Kalila is to be wed, the same applied, the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, riding in the desert with the sun beating down and fantasizing of being with a rugged sheikh. The author succeeded in giving me my fantasy and then some.

Kalila had known from a very young age that she would have to marry the future king of Calista. An arranged marriage by her father and Zakari’s father. She had just finished college in London and now she has to return home and to her duty. She mourns the fact that both of her parents married for love and she wants the same for herself. But duty prevails and she must go through with it. She hasn’t seen her future husband since she was twelve years old. Now this future king is due to come and claim her in Zaraq. However, he doesn’t come, he sends his brother Arif who is a very rugged, handsome and aloof prince.

Arif is the brother everyone looks to, the protector and an extremely honourable prince. One immediately senses the attraction between Arif and Kalila, a forbidden one because of course nothing can come of it because she is soon to become the wife of his brother. Arif holds a lot inside, has dreams of a horrible kidnapping which ended in the result of one of his brothers disappearing, never to be found. However, he adores his country and family and is determined to take Kalila home to his brother.

Kalila resists the marriage and escapes by horseback and rides off into a dust storm the day they are to leave. She is confused because first of all she hasn’t heard from her bridegroom and she’s attracted to Arif. Of course Arif follows and they have to spend the night in the desert in a tent. They act on their attraction and in the morning Arif is furious with himself. He can’t believe he has betrayed his brother and the burden is heavy on his heart. However, Kalila is pleased it’s happened even though she’s lost her virginity and is to marry the King. She feels it was precious and sacred.

Once in Calista, still no King, no message and Kalila is more confused. She is lonely and misses her time with Arif. It was such a sad time for them both and really a sad time for this reader because once you read this wonderful book you will be cheering them on and hoping to see them together. Each time they meet or go sightseeing, it’s a battle for them both not to look or touch, it’s heartbreaking.

Kate Hewitt is such a talented author and this sheikh book was a little different from others I’ve read because I felt I could actually live the fantasy. It’s such a sweet romance, even though their emotions for each other were a little rocky at times. The Sheikh’s Forbidden Virgin was a wonderful addition to The Royal House of Karedes series. The author recently stated in an interview “I liked how star-crossed my lovers were – their situation seemed truly hopeless, and yet love prevailed – of course”! Kate Hewitt more than succeed with her goal.

Book Description:

On her twenty-first birthday, Kalila is pledged to marry the King of Calista. But first she must be delivered to her husband-to-be. Scarred, sexy sheikh Prince Aarif, the king's brother, is sent to escort her. However, willful virgin Kalila tries to escape and Aarif has to catch her. In the desert heat his scorching desire for her ignites—a desire that is forbidden!—and Aarif claims Kalila's virginity, even though she can never be his!

When she walks up the aisle on the day of her wedding, Kalila's heart is in her mouth: who will be waiting at the altar to become her husband?

Monday, October 19, 2009


Secret Sheikh, Secret Baby was a very intense and sexy sheikh love story written by the very talented Carol Marinelli. It was also my first Harlequin Medical romance and I was very impressed that due to its nature it was not boring but very interesting as the heroine was a midwife and the hero a sheikh prince and surgeon.

They meet at an orientation in London where Felicity Anderson is attending in order to determine if she wants to accept a position already offered in the Middle East or accept a position in one of the most modern and beautiful hospitals located on a private island, ruled by a royal family the Kingdom of Zaraq. The royal prince and surgeon Prince Karim is overseeing the recruitment for his hospital and university.

Karim and Felicity meet in the most interesting way when he slips inside the presentation and immediately they sense each other, through site, smell, and sexual attraction. What’s so very bizarre is that Felicity has recently broken off with her boyfriend because of sexual problems and after a year, she cannot have a relationship, even though she has been through therapy. So, this immediate attraction to a stranger, a man who makes her feel things she’s never felt before are frightening yet exciting. As fate would have it, they are brought together after the conference due to an auto accident and then the fateful night they spend together before they both go their separate ways.

Karim is a man bound by honour to his King (his father), his brothers and his country. His first love is his profession as a surgeon but due to the illness of his father, he will be to any lengths to serve his country. He has also been a playboy but that is soon to end as his father wants him to marry and produce an heir since his brother’s wife is barren. However, he can’t seem to forget his one night with Felicity and wonders if he’ll ever see her again in his country.

Like Karim, Felicity has been honor bound to her mother and sister. She has accepted all financial responsibilities for her sister’s illness and her mother’s bills. She is determined to make a success of her life in Zaraq and when she finally gets there and starts orientation and later being a midwife, she realizes she has made the right decision. Only there are a few problems……upon arrival she finds out the man she spent the night with is a prince and heir to the throne, that she’s pregnant with his baby.

When Karim is told he’s the father of Felicity’s baby, his entire personality changes. He accuses her of lying, he put together a deceitful plan for the good of his brother and for his country, and he demands marriage and takes her into the desert. There in the desert, they learn quite a lot about each other and all Felicity wants is the man who she grew to love in London, the sensitive and caring man.

This royal family would do anything for their country, I mean anything and that was what I found so interesting, the difference in cultures and what lengths they would go to in order to keep peace and structure for their country and King. It was indeed a hurtful scheme which would hurt Felicity. Thanks to a friend she escapes and returns home. But Karim can’t escape and be at peace until he realizes what’s important in life and he doesn’t realize it until it’s almost too late.

The Secret Sheikh, Secret Baby was an excellent look into a royal family, the desert and its customs, the difference between the East and the West and most of all, forgiveness. It’s an intense love story, with intense characters, in a beautiful desert kingdom with lots of sexual tension as only Carol Marinelli can pen.

Book Description:

Hot-shot surgeon Karim Zaraq is prince of a desert kingdom. Karim knows he must find a wife and produce an heir, but this playboy wants one final fling before royal duty beckons.

Pretty midwife Felicity Anderson has no idea who Karim really is, but her one night with the sexy surgeon has turned her world upside down—suddenly she's pregnant!

With Felicity carrying the kingdom's hopes, Karim must marry her. But Felicity won't say "I do" unless the prince can prove it's for love.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Sheik and the Bought Bride - Susan Mallery (Desert Rogue Series)

Author Susan Mallery in her dedication to her Editor thanks her for letting her “write the book of her heart”. Quite honestly I sincerely believe it was the very best in her entire Desert Rogue series and a perfect ending to her sheik series. For me personally it was bittersweet as for three years I’ve been enjoying the series immensely.

What makes these books so different from others in the sheik genre is the author. Susan’s humour always shines through in her stories, her heroines are NOT faint at heart, they are strong, spirited and intelligent women. Her sheiks are very proud and honourable. These men for the most part have been educated in England or the US as their father’s were Kings in their particular region, their mother had passed away or their father had remarried.

The Sheik and the Bought Bride opens with Victoria McCallan’s father cheating in a card game. When he is threatened he will be imprisoned, his daughter Victoria who works at the palace offers to take the place of her father. Before her mother died, she made her a promise that she would always look out for her dad. Victoria stands by her word, her promise and first and foremost she’s a very honourable woman. When it’s decided that she will become Sheik’ Kateb’s mistress in place of her father going to jail, for Kateb and Victoria their journey begins and just like the heat in the desert, it’s hot!

As the reader learns early on, Sheik Kateb is soon to become the ruler of his desert nation and he’s unmarried. At one time he married his childhood friend who died in an Italian car accident. He’s been single for five years and his people want him to eventually marry. One also learns that this man for the most part has dedicated himself to his people and now faced with this lovely woman who stirs needs he hasn’t felt in a long time, it becomes most interesting reading regarding the interaction between Kateb and Victoria. An example of this and the authors humour is shown in the following: “I’ve never had a mistress before so I don’t have any expectations.” She took the wine without looking at him. “You have a harem.” “It came with the property.” “Sort of like a three-car garage when you only have two cars?” “Something like that”. Obviously, I chuckled throughout the entire book.

Just one kiss for them and it’s all over for both of them. Kateb realizes he’s in trouble and wants to send her back to the palace but when he learns she might be pregnant, it’s determined she cannot leave. However, both of them ponder was there something more powerful or frightening for them both to face as far as their attraction? Kateb also learns a lot about Victoria and realizes she wants nothing for herself and she’s a very complex woman.

Victoria had learned at an early age to take care of herself. Being left alone in the harem she’s no shrinking violet she’s a woman who needs something to do and she takes an interest in the people, especially the women who make beautiful gold jewelry. Being a Western woman, she carefully treads but wants to take their jewelry worldwide and Kateb allows her to present him with a business plan. That’s not all Victoria does, she takes an interest in a child who has been left to live on the streets due to his father’s crime. She a woman who is passionate about life and love, a woman who has only experienced love at the hand of her mother, a woman afraid to love herself. Can you imagine for a woman like this who’s afraid to love, when she realizes that she indeed loves Kateb what this does to her?

It’s the same for sheik Kateb, he cared once for his wife and look what happened, he lost his friend and love. Victoria pulls him in a way no other woman has had the power, but he fights it every way he can. In the end, well let’s just say emotions run high and Kateb realizes he must send Victoria back to the United States but she’s doesn’t want to leave him. It’s an incredible journey, extremely emotional and dramatic ending and very fitting for Mallery’s readers and fans. For us you have loved The Desert Rogue series, The Sheik and the Bought Bride was a perfect last book. My personal thanks to Susan for many, many hours of reading enjoyment!

Book Description:

It was bad enough being hauled out of bed by palace guards. Now Victoria McCallan had just offered to pay off her father's gambling debts—with herself as the prize! So the palace secretary was shocked when sexy Prince Kateb made her a counteroffer….

When Kateb whisked Victoria off to the desert to be his mistress for six months, the widowed ruler had no intention of falling in love. But the outspoken Texas transplant was soon tempting him to change his royal ways. Duty decreed the El Deharia sheik should wed a proper mate, but Kateb's heart was telling him something else: to claim Victoria as his woman—now and forever.

October Contest

October is a wonderful month, Halloween, crisp air, beautiful colors, and for me a conference with exceptional authors and speakers attending.

It's also a bittersweet moment for me because the Desert Rogue series is coming to an end. I never in a million years would have thought I would read a "sheikh" book let alone have this blog. A friend gave me my first Susan Mallery book and the rest is history. I became aware of the genre and noticed that other authors I was reading wrote for the genre, well I was hooked!

In honor of the last Desert Rogue, my October contest is a copy of Susan Mallery's last book in her series. All you have to do is follow me on this blog and tell me who you are and your email address. In advance, thanks for the Follow.

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