Saturday, May 29, 2010

SCANDAL: HIS MAJESTY’S LOVE-CHILD – Annie West (Dark Hearted Desert Men, Book 4)

Annie West has successfully succeeded in creating one of the most charming yet tortured sheikh in Scandal: His Majesty’s Love-Child. It was essential that the final book tied everything together and Harlequin/Mills and Boon couldn’t have picked a more accomplished author than Ms. West to complete the task!

The Dark Hearted Desert Men was a spin-off from the Royal House of Karedes series. Of these four devastating sheikhs who would be king and would they find love? However, let’s not forget the authors who had a hand in writing this sexy series……Carol Marinelli, Jennie Lucas, Trish Morey and Annie West…..bravo!

Tahir Al’Ramirz was larger than life… a very young age he was exiled from his country by his father, a cruel and abusive man, more than abusive one will learn while reading this particular book. His father not only brutally beat him he also sent his thugs to also do the job. He also betrayed his wife with a string of mistresses. Tahir had never been able to please his father no matter how hard he tried. He was a loner and self-contained. He was dark, handsome, sexy, rich and had a different woman on his arm weekly. He had long ago given up caring what his family was up to until he received a call from his oldest brother that he was needed at home. It was on this journey over the desert, flying a helicopter in a dust storm that his plane went down.

Annalisa was keeping a promise to her father. She had promised to go into the desert and take his telescope to view a comet he named after her mother. She would make sure that the comet got the recognition it deserved! Yearly, she and her father had spent time camping in the the desert when she was not working as his medical assistant as he was the village doctor. Now she really had no one with the exception of a few aunts and cousins. So out to the desert she went and was to return home in a few days with a camel caravan. Then the most amazing thing happened while bathing in the oasis, the most incredible man appeared on the horizon wearing a tuxedo, staggering down the dunes. He was bleeding, had a bump on his head and he was the most handsome man and had the most incredible blue eyes. It was obvious to Annalisa that he was in need of medical assistance.

For them both their time spent in the desert was emotional; Annalisa missed her father but was looking forward to when she returned home she could travel, see the world and then go to university. Tahir’s wounds needed to be healed but he also needed to come to terms with his past and his nightmares and his feelings for this sweet young woman who had become his caretaker. As Tahir’s wounds healed, temptation was off the charts for them both. They actually liked and respected each other but the attraction was like a magnet for them both and then out in the desert camp, under the stars they made love many times and Annalisa lost her heart and virginity and Tahir for the first time in his life really enjoyed himself, he felt at peace. However, he knew the caravan that would take them home was soon to come and he needed to make a clean break, not to give her any hope and so he was curt, dismissive but made sure she knew that if she’d become pregnant, she needed to contact him.

Annalisa returned home and Tahir was hospitalized and then he was told he was to be King as he brother Rafiq didn’t want the throne. A shock yes, but a greater shock Annalisa had to face when she found out she’s was pregnant. She wandered the streets after receiving the news and fate steps in again when she accidentally meetsTahir’s mother the Sheikha who invited her to be a guest and stay at the palace.

Tahir was a fierce leader and stepped into his responsibilities as if he was born to lead. Annalisa’s stay at the Palace made him aware that’s she was more than a pretty face, she was different from and not the typical Qusay woman based on her European heritage and her involvement in her father’s profession. Talk about tension in the palace both sexual and emotional for them both. They complimented each other in so many ways and while reading this final story I could see hope for their relationship even though it took this tortured alpha some time to see reason.

Scandal: His Majesty’s Love-Child was a roller coaster romance with extreme tension leading the heroine from innocence to mature awareness and the hero from feeling tortured to feeling content. Annie West more than deserves high praise for writing such a beautiful contemporary and ending the series on such a high!

Book Description:

Speculation surrounding exiled rebel Prince Tahir Al-Ramiz has reached fever pitch! After being spotted causing mayhem in an exclusive Monte Carlo casino, Tahir flew home to Qusay for his brother-s coronation. But when a desperate mayday was received, and the remains of Tahir-s helicopter were discovered the worst was assumed- Until he came back from the dead, with no explanation as to how he had survived!

Now a mysterious beauty has moved into the palace. Rumours of a pregnancy abound- Could it be that this notorious playboy prince’s lost days in the desert camouflaged a secret affair?


The Sheikh as a Hero - Liz Fielding

The Sheikh, as hero, burst onto feminine consciousness when, in 1919, E M Hull’s bestselling novel, The Sheik seized the imagination of a generation of women.

Sheik Ahmed ben Hassan is portrayed as the archetypal alpha male. Commanding, driven, set apart from society by his role as leader. Putting himself outside of civilisation when he kidnaps the boyish, aristocratic English girl, Diana Mayo – a symbol of everything he most hates -- raping her, keeping her his prisoner.

What then, for the millions of women who were swept away by Hull’s book, could possibly be the attraction in this character? What was the power of The Sheik?

At the beginning of the twenty century society deemed that sex was something that “nice” women did out of duty, on their back, with their eyes closed and the light off. In The Sheik, Hull gave them – without ever lifting the tent flap -- the fantasy of the forbidden; guiltless, white-hot sex. Diana struggles, screams, declares she would kill herself if Sheik Ahmed had not taken her pistol and, having resisted with every fibre of her being, she is morally off the hook, free from the censure of society. And what happens next, of course, is that the stunningly virile Sheik Ahmed awakens the sensuality in this almost asexual young woman, but awakens it for him alone.

Sheik Ahmed never admits to feeling anything for Diana. Only when she is kidnapped by his enemy does he reveal the strength of his passion, putting his life on the line to save her. Only in delirium, hovering between life and death, are his feelings revealed and, all but destroyed by what he’s done to her, it is Diana who redeems him with her love.

It’s a powerful story and one that romance writers have been revisiting ever since; the Greek ship owner, the ruthless Sicilian, the Italian count are versions of “The Sheik” in an Armani suit. Powerful men brought to their knees by love. Yet of all these mythic heroes, the Sheikh alone carries an air of mystery and romance that was once the prerogative of royalty, the rich.

He is different. Exotic in manner and in dress. Unfathomable. Not just able to live in the desert, but most happy in its empty spaces. Even though the Sheikh may own a penthouse, wear fine broadcloth when the occasion demands, he retains the aura of man not just in command of, but at one with his environment. He is the cowboy in robes and when danger threatens, his strength and protection are absolute.

These are the characteristics that make him, still, a powerful, a compelling hero in the romance genre.

I have had two Sheikh stories published – with two more in production. In my first, HIS DESERT ROSE, published in 2000, I took as my model the classic story. When Prince Hassan al Rachid kidnaps beautiful international journalist Rose Fenton, she shows all the spirit of Diana Mayo, even attempts escape. But Prince Hassan’s motives are political, and Rose has her own agenda. It’s his story that she wants and by kidnapping her, concealing her at his desert oasis, he has played straight into her hands. Despite the fact that this is a complete switch on E M Hull’s The Sheik, as with the beginning, the end has echoes of the original. Hassan kidnaps her, but then Rose, in enslaving him, becomes the hero of her own story.

And that, I suspect, is the secret of the Sheikh romance. The heroine has to be as strong as the hero. Not necessarily one of those feisty females, who gives as good as she gets, but a woman who is strong to the core. Lucy Forrester, the heroine of THE SHEIKH’S GUARDED HEART, is not, at first glance, strong. Her entire life has been dictated by the whims of others and yet, when confronted by difficult choices she never hesitates to do what is right. Even confronted with treachery and betrayal, her only thought is of the innocent. It’s a thought that nearly costs Lucy her life.

Sheikh Hanif al-Khatib, a man mired in guilt and grief, who has put himself out of society, exiling himself in the desert, rescues her in a classic “sheikh” moment, lifting her onto his horse, carrying her away from danger. But this is the twenty-first century and he’s still holding her, keeping her safe, on the helicopter he summons to ferry her to the nearest hospital. At this point he should be able to walk away, hero stuff done. Except that she’s alone, with no one to take care of her and honour demands more.

The hero is, once again, held captive by the heroine, who as her wounds heal, sets about healing his soul.

And, yes, she enslaves him.

Friday, May 28, 2010

FORBIDDEN: THE SHEIKH’S VIRGIN – Trish Morey (Dark Hearted Desert Men)

After reading the Prologue in Forbidden: The Sheikh’s Virgin by Trish Morey, I knew this book was going to be one big bombshell! In book one learned that King Xavian abdicated when he learned he was really the missing Prince Zafir of Calista (The Royal House of Karades series). This meant then Kareef Al’Ramiz would be the next heir to the throne. However Kareef fell in love with a woman from his past, someone who could not produce an heir. Because of his love for her, he abdicated leaving his brother Rafiq Al’Ramiz the next in line to be King.

Coming home to Qusay was hard for Rafiq because of the memories and the woman he left behind, the woman he loved and who betrayed him by marrying another man. The very same woman named Sera who was now his mother’s companion and living in the palace, the woman he hated! Sera had married for wealth, privilege and status and now she was a widow. On top of it all, his mother the Sheikha wanted him to go into the desert to a village where the women of the village made beautiful fabrics to see if he wanted the fabrics exclusively for his emporium back in Australia. The same business he built from nothing which was a huge success because he enjoyed the challenge. Because of adversity it had shaped him into the man he was today. And Rafiq saw this journey as a way of getting revenge from Sera by taking her along with him. Knowing she was uncomfortable just being around him, pleased Rafiq and feeling her squirm in the vehicle, gave him great pleasure!

Sera was terrified. Remembering back eleven years ago when she loved him, all of the pain came flooding back. The Sheikha said maybe this trip was a way to put the past behind them, a chance to heal. However, sitting next to him, remembering their past love was killing her. And then at an oasis stop, emotions welled up when she held a visitors baby and if that wasn’t bad enough, Rafiq asked way too many questions, making her uncomfortable, making her remember their time spent together when they loved each other. And then Rafiq confronted her about how she had not only hurt him but had humiliated him, and he exploded in anger. She remembered how his father the King and her father demanded she marry Hussein, the Qusay ambassador, the same man her father promised her to years earlier. There had already been one scandal in the King’s family and he wasn’t about to have another.

For both Rafiq and Sera the trip was troubling. On top of that the emotion they were both feeling, remembering the past. So many secrets were revealed the ntire “horror” of her marriage. Trish Morey wrote those scenes with such pain and passion she’ll have you weeping, I promise! When Rafiq realized he’d been blinded by his past pain and learned what part his father had played in Sera’s marriage he was shocked.

Just when you think they will get their second chance, the fates go against them. Rafiq wanted Sera to return to Australia and live with him but upon returning to the palace he’s told his brother had abdicated and he, Raif would now be King. Everything started to unravel in front of both their eyes when this proud man told her he loved her and wanted her to be his Queen. More secrets from Sera’s past marriage were revealed, horrible things her husband insisted she do, his threats and for Rafiq the enormity of these wrongs against Sera were overwhelming. Could he be King and also have the woman he loved as he wife? Or would he realize his future was with the her not the kingdom of Qusay?

As a wise village woman told him:

“Sometimes we look only with our eyes and we see only that which is right in front of us. Some people have perfect vision but will never see. For sometimes we must look beyond the pictures our mind presents as fact. Sometimes we need to see what is in our hearts. Only then do we see what is really true."

Trish Morey with her Forbidden: The Sheikh’s Virgin’s gave both Rafiq and Sera the second chance they deserved. But it also left a question as to who would be king. It left one to wonder if the youngest of the Al’Ramiz brothers’, Tahir would be found in the desert since his helicopter crashed. Would Tahir become king because it was obvious Rafiq was not giving up Sera the love of his life.

A kingdom torn apart by scandal, a throne left empty' four smoldering desert princes....Which one will claim the crown - and who will they claim as their brides?

About the Book

Book Description:

“Bedded, by order of the Sheikh”

Sheikh Rafiq Al'Ramiz left his homeland behind-betrayed by the woman he loved. He's hardened his heart and made his fortune-and now he must return: his country needs him. But he is more powerful than ever, and vengeance is high on his agenda!

Seeing Sera again, he finds the image he's held of a heartless temptress at odds with her drab robes and downcast eyes-but he will take what he's owed! What will this ruthless sheikh do when he discovers Sera's very real innocence?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Prince of Persia: - The Movie, The Game & The Premier

Talk about a fantasy come going to see it?

The Disney Movie:

The Game:

The “Prince of Persia” crew are really pumping out the behind-the-scenes featurette for the movie. Then again, since they’re trying to make themselves a multi-billion dollar franchise here, I suppose shelling out the cash for a dozen or so featurettes ain’t no big thang. The latest two focuses on the film’s leads, Jake Gyllenhaal as buff Prince Dastan and Gemma Arterton as seductive Princess Tamina. The second featurette is all about Princess Tamina, who unlike actress Gemma Arterton, probably doesn’t giggle like a schoolgirl in the movie from what I’ve seen. Mind you, Gemma Arterton giggling as she talks about her Disney Princess outfits is very hot.

Set in medieval Persia, the story of an adventurous prince who teams up with a rival princess to stop an angry ruler from unleashing a sandstorm that could destroy the world. Which is why after the prince was tricked by a dying Vizier to unleash the Sands of Time that turns out to destroy a kingdom and transforms its populace into ferocious demons. In his effort to save his own kingdom and redeem his fatal mistake, it’s up to the prince and the princess to return the sands to the hourglass by using the Dagger of Time, which also gives him a limited control over the flow of time.

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Toby Kebbell, Alfred Molina, Reece Ritchie, Richard Coyle, Gísli Örn Garðarsson, Steve Toussaint, and directed by Mike Newell
Beyond Hollywood

The Movie Premier

Friday, May 07, 2010

May Contest - Jennie Lucas's Tamed: The Barbarian King

Product Description
He's as wild as the desert, a barbarian prince, a revered leader. Long ago he loved a girl, but the power of their feelings almost destroyed them both. Now that woman, the only one he could ever love, is forbidden to him!
Betrothed to another, unable to bear him sons, she is unfit to be his queen…. But she can stop the storm that has raged in his heart since he last made her his.

His choice—take her as his mistress, or become the king he was born to be….

About the Author

Jennie Lucas's parents owned a bookstore and she grew up surrounded by books, dreaming about faraway lands. At twenty-two she met her future husband and after their marriage, she graduated from university with a degree in English. She started writing books a year later. Jennie won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest in 2005 and hasn’t looked back since. Visit Jennie’s website

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