Monday, January 31, 2011

Bella and the Merciless Sheikh - Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan has yet again provided this reader with a most magnificent read. In fact I personally enjoyed it so much, I read it twice!

Bella Balfour intrigued me as she hid so many hurts. As we've learned in previous The Balfour Legacy series, their father Oscar holds a charity ball every year and it seems each one has some sort of press coverage of a new family scandal. Behind the scenes, Bella who is known for her beauty and being a party girl and her Olivia were locked in a battle over a shocking discovery and it was revealed concerning their sister Zoe. So their father like he has done in the past sent Bella away to a quite retreat in the desert to think about her behavior and how she could turn her life around.

Feisty Bella had noticed the stables across from the retreat and slipped away. She found a lovely mare and as she in her youth was an experienced horsewoman, she decided to take the mare to go into the city because she was going crazy at the retreat with no cell phone, Internet, etc. Once there she would leave the mare. However, she got lost and thought she would die in desert alone.

Sheikh Zafiq was an amazing man and head of his country, Al-Rafid. He was a strong and proud ruler, loved his country and his journey once a year to find peace and meditation. He was devoted to his siblings and had raised them He at times, felt the burden of raising them plus the burden of his country so he was looking forward to his five days alone in the desert, with no one, not even his guards. You can well imagine when he found his prize mare and a beautiful young Bella lost, dehydrated and sunburned in the desert, he was furious.

Bella and Zafiq's time in the desert began on a extremely rocky note and then after he nursed her back to health, the sparing began and then the sexual tension. They have five days to get to know each other and their time and romancing you absolutely will not want to miss. Their attraction was as intense as the hot desert sun and Bella fell in love. Zafiq, well let's just say duty came first. He was determined not to be like his father and be weak and fall in love with a beautiful, spoilt and pampered woman. Bella shared with him so much of her life in England and her family and he knew he was duty bound to his country to find respectable wife and mother for his heir so he needed to say goodbye upon their return to Al-Rafid and send her home to England.

Bella didn't want to go home because she felt two things; 1) her sisters were still angry with her and 2) every time her father looked at her she reminded him of her mother's betrayal.

She also new the mare she had stolen, his prized mare was the prize in an upcoming race. Zafiq's marvelous horse favored to win. However, if he did not, then the sheikh stood to loose his mare. She begged him to stay and promised if he gave her a chance, she would work in his stables, anything not to have to go home and face her family. I so admired how Bella handled herself with the grooms and horses. How hard and long she worked and because of her love for this proud man she was willing to sacrifice her safety. It was brilliantly written and so many lessons for all reading Bella's Disgrace.

Oscar Balfour had many family rules and I think Bella learned a few under the desert sun which were dignity, courage, loyalty and commitment traits any man could love. However, she most importantly learned about sacrifice because that was what she was willing to do for the man she loved even if it meant sacrificing herself or injury.

Behind the Book:

"When I was first invited to contribute to the Balfour Bride series, I was thrilled. As I waited nervously for the brief to arrive, I hoped that my Balfour sister would be someone ‘real’ – someone whose journey would be absorbing and emotional. Right from the first moment I read Bella’s story I was excited, and that excitement stayed with me all the way through the writing of the manuscript. Bella was definitely flawed. She was also complex and sometimes spoiled, but I sensed immediately how vulnerable she was underneath all that attitude and how much of her ‘image’ had been developed as a defence mechanism.  Spoiled Bella became humble Bella and then bold, brave Bella.  I loved her (Go Bella!), and I hope you love her too'.....Sarah's post at I(Heart)Presents

Sarah's post at Tote Bags n' Blogs

Back Blurb:

Sheikh Zafiq Al-Rashid is furious when his week of solitude is interrupted by Bella Balfour, lost in the desert! While his fierce honor demands he rescue her, the willful heiress is a little less grateful than he'd expected. Zafiq is tempted to leave the spoiled socialite wandering the wilderness…but where would be the challenge in that?

He's powerful enough to tame the rebellious beauty. However, when they depart from the seclusion of the oasis, will Zafiq leave the memory of the fiery passion behind or announce to his kingdom that he is taking a queen?

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