Friday, January 22, 2010

THE DESERT PRINCE - Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis charms and delights her readers with a tender love story in The Desert Prince. It’s set near the Arabian Sea in an ancient desert city with two strong and romantic lovers who had a past.

Salim Al Mansor is one handsome, honour-bound desert prince. He is the son that stayed in Salalah, Oman and was raised by a stern father to value his heritage and to marry the woman he chose for his son. Unlike his two other brothers who lived in North America, he obeys his father’s wishes. However, the marriage doesn’t work out because Salim can’t forget Celia Davidson, the woman he once loved while attending college in America. He broke her heart when he told her he was married and then four years ago he bumped into her again at a conference and they spent two wonderful days together. Again, he cut her loose breaking her heart.

Celia Davidson is an accomplished landscaper, a wonderful mother to a 4 year old daughter Kira who hasn’t divulged to the father that she exists. The very same father who has asked her to come to the desert and work on a hotel project with giving her an offer she can’t refuse. Can her heart survive? When will be the right time to tell the man who still affects her heart that he has a daughter?

From the moment they shake hands the sparks fly, their feelings ignite and it’s that way the entire time they spend together. However, in a way it’s a healing process for both of them because they discuss how much they loved each other in college, how much it hurt them both when Salim married, again how much Celia hurt when Salim sent her away a second time. It was also a time for Celia to get to know Salim’s brother and family as they were visiting. They as well could see how much this couple only had eyes for each other. The very first week they act on their feelings for each other; it’s explosive.

As with all stories there are hurdles…..Salim admits to his brother just as soon as he gets Celia out of his system he’s going to marry a suitable wife and produce heirs. And then Celia tells Salim they have a daughter together and he demands she bring Kira to meet him in Oman. Add to this the pressure his family put on him to marry Celia, Celia’s fear he’ll take their daughter away and the fact that the woman he later plans to marry shows up at the hotel job site.

The Desert Prince was such a joy to read. It was wonderful reading about all of the family, their interaction with each other, Salim and his brother Elan, his wife Sara and the children as well as Salim and his sweet daughter Kira and in the end when Salim realizes how much he loves, has always loved Celia… outstanding love story about second chances and a happy ending.

About the Book from Dear Reader:

"My first book, The Boss's Demand, told the story of the unfortunate but irresistible attraction between oil magnate Elan Al Mansur and his assistant Sara. Since it was published, I've received many e-mails asking whether there would be stories coming for Elan's brothers, who appear in the wedding at the end of the book.

I'm happy to say this is the story of one of those brothers. Salim Al Mansur, the dignified eldest in the family, never quite got over his college sweetheart Celia. Now he finds himself in dangerously close proximity as she designs the grounds for his newest hotel.

This book takes the reader to Elan and Salim's hometown of Salalah, Oman, an ancient coastal city looking out over the blue waters of the Arabian Sea. I had fun catching up with Elan and Sara while I wrote this book, and I hope you enjoy Salim and Celia's reunion romance."  Jen
Book Description:

Mr. February: Salim Al Mansur, desert prince
His Quest: Marry and produce an heir
His Quandary: The woman he wanted, he couldn't have

He'd been determined to keep their relationship strictly business. Though seeing Celia Davidson again had Salim reconsidering seduction. Yes, he'd once rejected her because she would not make a suitable bride. But surely Celia understood he could not deny his duty, and the lovely American could never give him an heir.

Or had she already done so?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

THE DESERT KING'S HOUSEKEEPER BRIDE - Caron Marinelli (The Royal House of Karedes)

There are series and then there are spectacular series and that what every single Harlequin Presents author gave to The Royal House of Karedes.

Dramatic and stunning is all I can say about the last book which is Carol Marinelli’s contribution with The Desert King’s Housekeeper Bride. It was so amazing that it kept be charged and up all night reading it and absolutely not wanting it to end. As I read the last three chapters my heart raced because I new it was going to end dramatically and it lived up to that emotion and so much more!

Knowing that you were going to be King of a country would be hard on any man but not this future King, this desert sheikh Zakari He can’t wait but before he can rule his country Calista and take over the island Aristo he must find the missing pink Stefani diamond. Once he does that and he’s very sure he will, he will rule both countries as Adamas as it once originally was before a bitter family feud. The desert always clears sheikh Zakari’s head so that’s where he’s gone and he awaiting a maid from the palace to take personal care of him in everyway. However, she’s becomes unavailable and in her place a palace maid is sent thinking she’s going to clean and cook for him. Of course, this sexy and handsome sheikh has other ideas until he sees this prim, shy and curvy virgin.

Effie is a very sweet and sincere person, takes her duties at the palace very serious and misses her mother very much since she passed away. She loves her country but also has a love of Aristo where her mother once was a palace maid as well before leaving and arriving in the desert kingdom to live out her days in her little cottage. Effie has kept up on the politics of both countries and is aware Aristo’s king cannot have his coronation until the missing diamond is found. She is hard working, honourable and wishes to serve her King but when she arrives to his desert tent what she sees is the most amazing and handsome King she’s admired from afar. What she doesn’t count on is liking him, spending time talking with him, sharing a meal and in the end having him seduce her.

Zahir is used to getting what he wants especially in bed. He doesn’t make the time for kissing he only takes but on this occasion when he realizes that Effie is a virgin he makes sure it’s perfect for her. What he doesn’t realize is two things, 1) it’s perfect for him as well and 2) later that evening she’s wearing a gift from her mother, a necklace with a pink diamond the exact one he’s looking for and he puts two and two together with Effie’s stories about her mother. He realizes her mother had an affair with the King of Aristo and she’s the result. He whisks her back to his palace, demands they marry, lies with words of love and then the next day destroys her when he tells her the news.

How can the man she loves sink so low by lying with words of love to get the diamond and end the end for one reason only to be the ruler of bother countries? Effie’s devastated and the proud sheikh doesn’t understand. He likes Effie, she gives him peace and soothes him and he believes she’ll be a good Queen and mother of his children. She’ll have power, money, everything her heart desires so how can she turn away from him?

Personally I wondered how any author could tie all of these books together, with the two countries, the different families and their own personal stories and Carol Marinelli did it brilliantly. The last chapters, the strong emotions, the uncertain, the heartbreak and the oh so surprising ending full of twists and turns, they had me on the edge of my seat and I thought absolutely brilliant. And then the teaser because not all of the mysteries surrounding these two dynasties were solved as there is still one missing person and Ms. Marinelli left one hoping and dangling at the same time. So if you’re a fan of The Royal House of Karedes, Carol Marinelli’s Wedlocked: Banished Sheikh, Untouched Queen might hold all of the answers. This will be part of her Dark-Heart Desert Men series.

USA Today Bestseller

Book Description:

Housekeeper Effie, a practical yet slightly frumpy virgin, has been summoned to the desert to serve the sheikh!

Ruthless Sheikh King Zakari had gone to seek solitude in the sands, but nights alone are not something this ruler is used to. However, with his housekeeper at his service, there's no need to allow his bed to grow cold….

After hot hours of passion, Effie's heart is near to bursting. But what she doesn't realize is that something has compelled Zakari to take her, a lowly servant, as his royal bride!

Behind the book – Carol Marinelli:

“I loved how awkward and shy Effie first appeared, yet just beneath the surface, she was intelligent an strong. And as the story revealed, there was something special about her – she just didn’t know it yet.

As for Zakari, he was my first sheikh, so he holds an extra-special place in my heart. I love Zakari!” CM

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ruling Sheikh, Unruly Mistress - Susan Stephens

The al Maktabi brothers

Kings of the desert… Masters of the bedroom!

Ruling Sheikh, Unruly Mistress by the very talented Susan Stephens was definitely Cinderella/Prince love story but an unusual one.

I’m not sure I can pinpoint why I felt this way but it’s definitely a different sheikh romance. There’s a lot of interaction and dialogue between the two main characters Razi and Lucy and they are as different as night and day. Razi is the love them and leave them playboy prince but now it’s time for him to take the throne and he wants one last fling. His country, his brother and friends are very important to him but duty comes first.

As for Lucy Tennant, she’s English born an accomplished chef at one of Razi’s exclusive skiing chalets. She’s sweet, innocent and bright but lacks self confidence. Immediately Razi or as he calls himself Mac, seduces Lucy and brings her and introduces her to intimacy she never dreamed of and stirs unbelievable emotions. This couple are so different from each other one can’t imagine how explosive their affair is and how it abruptly ends.

Lucy finds out she’s expecting their baby and decides to travel to Razi’s desert kingdom. Their meeting is explosive, their time spent together in the desert amazing, seeing their twins sonagram beautiful and sorting out their future emotional to say the least. Its East meets West, compromise and understanding the past in order to have a future. It’s simply beautiful!

Author Susan Stephens weaves such an emotional, sensual and roller coaster romance set in the magical desert with such passion and hope for the future , a magical romance you won’t want to miss.


Duty vs Desire in the desert!

Women around the world sighed when Sheikh Razi al Maktabi declared his playboy days were over and duty would be his new mistress.

But he found time for one final fling before he took his desert throne, and curvy chef Lucy Tennant certainly whetted His Majesty’s appetite. A whiz in the kitchen, Lucy was a beginner in the bedroom, and Razi couldn’t resist one last challenge.

But one night has led to the scandal of the century! Lucy has unexpectedly arrived at the desert palace…proud, packed – and pregnant!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

DESERT PRINCE, BRIDE OF INNOCENCE - Lynne Graham (Pregnant Brides)

There's something quite powerful about a tall dark and handsome desert prince who knows what he wants and never lets anything stand in his way. That's just one of the things that make Sheikh Jasim in Lynne Graham’s Desert Prince, Bride of Innocence so unforgettable. It is the first book in her Pregnant Brides series.

Have you ever known deep within your heart that a couple should definitely belong together? That’s how I felt about the very sexy Prince Jasim and the lovely titan Englishwoman, Elinor who was his brother Murad’s nanny. This proud sheikh thinks he’s doing his sister-in-law a favor by luring the nanny into a sexual relationship which leads to her having to leave their employ. Jasim believes again, his brother has shown bad judgment when it comes to the lovely young woman and is sure his brother will cause another family scandal. What he and his brother’s wife don’t know is that at one time Elinor’s mother and Murad loved each other and that the man was only trying to protect her by offering her a job and had no interest in the lovely young woman.

Elinor has always known since her mother died that her father had no use for her and was constantly belittling her. He called her stupid and nothing she could ever do pleased him. So as soon as she could she left home went to school to become a nanny and was thrilled when the crown prince offered her a job taking care of his daughter. Now she’s had a horrible birthday and has come back to the estate and an empty house because the Rais family is on holiday. If that’s not bad enough she encounters the most handsome man she’s every seen in her life, Murad’s brother who seduces, shames and tricks her into having leave her position.

Being the proud, determined and hard working person she’s become, Elinor is determined to find another position while Jasim has other ideas and wants her to live with him as his mistress. As fate would have it, he leaves on business, only to return and find that this young woman is pregnant so he demands they marry because if they don’t, his heir won’t be accepted. Just when one thinks things can’t get more complicated, the wedding is a disaster and hurtful to Elinor due to lack of emotion and then she over hears a conversation between her new husband and Murad’s wife which is so upsetting that she flees.

Jasim after long months of looking for Elinor he finds her and his son, the son that will be the heir to the Quaram throne. As much as they both fight the physical it’s still very much there and so is the mistrust, especially for Jasim. He still believes she was out to get something from Murad, he mistrusts her and does not believe her explanations because his past has taught him never to believe a woman. First his mother left he and his father for another man, and the woman he was to marry a few years ago was not what she seemed. Now he must return back to Quaram with his son which means he must take his wife with him. Reading some of this was hard at times because you knew if they could both drop their guard, see what was right in front of them, they would have a chance to be a family.

As always, Lynne Graham is very good at weaving together a fast plot and colorful story along with interesting characters. The chain of events she inserts into the storyline upon their arrival at Quaram only adds to the roller coaster romance.

For readers of Harlequin Presents and the sheikh genre and for those who love a good romance with an alpha hero who sets pages on fire with passion. Lynne Graham’s Desert Prince, Bride of Innocence is a story not to be missed!

Book Description:

Prince Jasim bin Hamid al Rais was concerned that his womanizing elder brother was bewitched by his child's nanny—the throne of Quaram could be threatened by scandal! Though Elinor Tempest appeared to be a fragile beauty, Jasim wasn't fooled; he'd deal with this strumpet himself….

Only after he'd ruthlessly seduced her did Jasim discover Elinor really had been a virgin—and she'd fallen pregnant! A royal baby couldn't be born out of wedlock so, faster than the desert wind, Elinor became Jasim's unwanted bride….

Post From I(Heart) Presents:

"Life can often be tough and I like my protagonists to have suffered at some stage in their lives because I think it makes them more real. My lead characters in DESERT PRINCE, BRIDE OF INNOCENCE both have unfortunate backgrounds and this has affected them in different ways.

Jasim was rejected as a child because his mother left his father for another man and his father was very tough on him. Elinor lost her mother young and her father was an intellectual who treated her as though she was stupid and denigrated her career as a nanny. Elinor was left with low self-esteem while Jasim’s various experiences make him too quick to distrust women.

In many ways all of us are shaped and marked for life by our upbringing, sometimes positively but just as often negatively. In common with many other writers I draw on some unhappy childhood experiences of my own when I write and sometimes I do wonder if the sad memories are the most effective at firing our creative energy. I know that I will often use pieces and feelings inspired by those recollections to illustrate and explain my characters’ strengths and flaws in greater depth." L. Graham

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