Saturday, June 11, 2011

For Duty's Sake (Royal Brides) - Lucy Monroe

Angele bin Cemal and Sheikh Zahir bin Faruq al Zohra had been promised to each other since she had been a young girl. Zahir had been photographed with a German actress Elsa Bosch. In fact, the photos had been sent to her residence in the United States. What a cruel thing for someone to do. It made me wonder if it was Elsa herself.  In the end, it was a blackmailer.  Angele had always cared for Zahir from afar and wondered if she should just give him up so that he could be with the beautiful and curvy actress and find happiness.   Because in the photographs they looked very intimate and happy. Maybe she and Zahir wouldn't wed but she would ask him to share one intimate night together before she gave him up!

Since Angele had been eighteen, she had been in love with Zahir. She had not cared if people understood or believed that such a young innocent girl was capable of that emotion. She'd just known what she felt and it was not a crush. As each year passed, it had grown deeper. In fact at a state dinner they had attended tohgether, while strolling in the gardens she had asked him to kiss her. Instead of doing so, he had told her she was too young and had kissed her on the forehead. Talk about awkward. On top of that, there was the fact that her father was not faithful to her mother. It was an embarrassment to her family and to their country. Therefore, as she sat looking at the pictures of Zahir and Elsa "lip locked", she knew deep in her heart that she could not allow Zahir to be held to the contract.  The contract which had been brokered by men who had never given love between the two people involved even a thought.  His lack of love for her demanded his freedom. Personally, I thought what a lovely and noble gift she was giving him.

Angele had been treated as the favored niece by the King of Jawhar. Now they were both, along with the wedding guests, attending his brother Amir's and Grace's wedding.  A marriage  which was based on love. Both of his brothers had found love with women not all together suitable. However, it was not the same for him.  His bride had been set by an agreement between Zohra and Jawhar and he honored his duty and the contract. Angele had refused the request to be apart of both weddings and Zahir assumed it was her way of demanding he formalize the engagement between them. It was obvious she was tired of waiting and he realized the time had come to do his duty. On top of that Zahir had spoken to Angele's father and told him he would not marry a woman whose farther appeared in the tabloids, Her father patched things up with her mother and had not been featured in the press for five years.  Thus proving he took his daughter's future seriously. Zahir vowed he would never be unfaithful even though his marriage would be a loveless one on his part.   His future bride's stubbornness gave him hope for their future together and he realized so did her love for him as well..

Angele slipped away from the wedding and approached Zahir in his private office. She blurted out that she knew about Elsa. In fact, it was then revealed  to the reader, that twice she had paid the blackmailer in order to avoid a scandal for Zahir.  This fact he was unaware of  because he thought it was Angele who had seen the pictures in the tabloids. However, during their discussions Zahir told her his five year relationship with Elsa was over and assured he was not like her father. He also assured her he did not consider himself "stuck" and he had been a young adult when the agreement had been made and that he chose his future. Because Angele loved Zahir so much, she wanted him find happiness like his brother's, he deserved to have it. She could do no less for the man she loved with her entire heart.

Angele and Zahir continued to argue about duty, honor, responsibility and a marriage that should take place, a marriage their families agreed to but this stubborn young woman held firm. She actually asked him if he had loved Elsa. The answer to the question was he refused to discuss it. Then she told him she wanted the wedding night she would never have and he realized she loved him. Back and forth they argued and then he agreed after all of his brother's marriage celebrations were over he would give her that one night and he sent to her room the dress that his grandmother wore on her wedding day. That was a huge surprise and I wondered why he would do such a sentimental thing like that for a woman he wasn't going to end up marrying?

Zahir was furious, with Angele, because after an evening of making love, which he enjoyed immensely, he was sure she would agree to their royal engagement and future wedding. How could she have left him like this, putting out press releases, giving letters of explanation to the Kings, calling her father? How could she after all they shared?  Damn her for doing this to him.  He was shocked and so angry with her. After hours of explanation to his father, her father, and the Kings, he came up with a plan. One that had me laughing so hard because in the end, I was sure this  proud sheikh would fall hard. He wanted his father to put out a "royal" press release stating that he Zahir, future King would "woo his future wife". His father laughed at him and his answer back was "you doubt my ability to woo one innocent woman after witnessing his skills at negotiations with world leaders?" Angele's father died laughing and his response was "a woman is not a world power." With that Zahir said, "no, but one day your daughter will be married to one." I thought, good luck with the wooing, Zahir. lol

For Duty's Sake, clearly showed Lucy Monroe's sense of humor and I couldn't wait to continue along with Zahir's and Angele's journey at finding happiness. After he found the blackmail pictures she left behind for him, he knew Elsa had not only betrayed him with a lover, now these picture and the lengths that Angele would go to protect him, proved to him how much she loved him. First, he would deal with the blackmail and then the courtship, because Angele would take her place as his Queen  by his side because she truly loved him.  She was honorable, stubborn and would make him a perfect queen. From a distance, the courtship began with gifts and flowers and all the while, he thought of her. Finally, he personally came to see her and was shocked at her appearance. He was even more shocked when she agreed to marry him because she was carrying his heir. Could this get anymore complicated? She had conditions for their marriage.  After I read them I realized they reflected back on both of their childhoods convcerning fidelity and  how their children would be raised.   It made complete sense to me.

In the end, they were both full of surprises. Zahir's feelings about her love for him and how it would be positive for their marriage. Her thoughts on her pregnancy and how  Zahir' negotiated everything. Moreover, of course, their upcoming "quickie" wedding. However, it all worked out in the end with both mother's doing the wedding planning.  There was also the fact that world leaders would soon be attending a summit in Zohra.  Which meant their wedding would take place in two months time and would be a "political" event. The surprises continued to come with her future husband continuing the courtship.  I began to wonder could he possibly be falling in love with her?

The ending chapters were amazing and Lucy Monroe made sure that anyone reading  For Duty Sake would realize Angele was Zahir's treasure.  There was also the fact that he was an old fashion man. Because on the fateful night when they first made love, he had actually considered her his wife. In the end, their lovemaking changed and I understood why because Zahir needed his future wife to trust him. To me it seemed like they had a real chance for a successful and happy marriage.  That was until he took her on a business trip with him to Europe. Could their love survive  the fact that she saw him having lunch with a female instead of attending the meeting her told her about on his schdule?

 Love is about trust and Angele trusted her future husband and in the end realized, he cherished her. Oh, I cannot begin to convey how much I've loved this Royal Brides series and this book was no exception. How Zahir discovered his love was amazing to read and so was their beautiful royual wedding.  It was just the perfect ending, to a perfect royal romance thanks to the brilliant Lucy Monroe.

Book Description:

Angele has longed for her betrothal to Crown Prince Zahir to be consummated within wedlock. She naively hoped her promised husband would wait for her, as she would him—but compromising paparazzi photos have dashed those youthful dreams….

She cannot become Zahir's wife out of duty and endure a loveless union; she must let him go free…but on one condition. Without taking Angele's hand in marriage, will the proud sheikh agree to give her the wedding night she has long dreamed of?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Breaking the Sheikh's Rules - Abby Green Contest - International

I loved this book so much I went out and purchased it to share with those of you who love romance and the genre.

Description: (corrected)

The huge imposing castle and the barren terrain of Merkazad are a far cry from the modest farm and the emerald fields that horsewoman Iseult calls home. Or used to, until Sheikh Nadim bought her family's stud farm. As part of the deal, she must work at his royal stables….

Nadim enrages Iseult…but he also inspires a more unwelcome, unfamiliar feeling: desire. Drawn into Nadim's sensual world, Iseult feels like a beautiful, confident woman for the first time.

But she must remember the sheikh's cast-iron rule….

About the Author:

I've been hooked on romance novels for as long as I can remember, and it all started one day in my grandmother's bedroom in the west of Ireland where I spent all my summer holidays. She had taken one of the distinctive rose emblemed books out of the library, and being a voracious reader, I devoured it in one sitting. It could have been a Penny Jordan, or a Sally Wentworth, I can't remember now. But what I can remember is being swept away into a story that was passionate and romantic and wanting more.

The fact that I am now writing for that company is a dream that still hasn't quite sunk in, although deadlines and readers figures are helping a little!

I've lived in Dublin all my life but was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in Kerry with my grandmother. Ireland is a vibrant, ever changing and growing country, and especially Dublin its capital.

I've been working pretty much since the day I left school in the film industry as an assistant director, getting in on the very lowest rung and working my way up. It's been a fascinating and engrossing career. It also gave me the opportunity to work abroad which was such a gift. But, the hours are long, the work is extremely hard and the situations can be very stressful. Not to mention the weather conditions, especially here in Ireland! I'd often thought of trying to write a Mills and Boon and when a friend lent me a guide to writing one, the idea just wouldn't go away.

Many years of procrastination later, I finally sat down and put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. My first and second attempts were both rejected, albeit with encouragement, and at that stage I was determined so I didn't give up. I sold my first manuscript to Mills and Boon Modern Romance in March 2006, and have been living my dream since then.

I can honestly say to any aspiring author out there that it really is worth it to keep trying, the only difference between an unpublished author and a published author is persistence, I truly believe that.
Good luck to anyone out there trying to get published and just believe that you will.  Abby

This contest is International. In order to win a copy of the magnificent love story, tell me your favorite sheikh book or royal romance. Don't forget to post your email address. Contest ends June 30th. For an extra chance to win, follow Abby Green on Facebook.

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