Friday, October 28, 2011

Monarch of the Sands - Sharon Kendrick



Monarch of the Sands literally took my breath away.  It was such a fantastic and romantic love story by the fabulous Sharon Kendrick.

 Zahid Al Hakam was now sheikh of his country due to the death of his uncle and cousin.  He was in England for a series of meetings.  So he stopped by to see his childhood friend Frankie O'Hara.  His father and Frankie's father had not only been close friends, her father discovered oil in his country and you can well imagine how that improved their economy.  Frankie's father was considered a hero.  However, it had been years since Zahid had seen her and when her father had died he couldn't attend the funeral, so he sent his brother.  But now the young woman standing before him was someone he didn't know, she was lovely, no, she was beautiful and she was engaged to be married.

After questioning her, he found out that her fiance, Simon had come to her home when her father had passed.  A home sat on a lot of acreage, worth a fortune.  He had even gone so far as to offer her a job.  He also found out that her fiance, Simon had told her she was drab and so Frankie had a make-over.  New clothes, hair, make-up and contacts.  The red flags went up when he was told they were selling her family home.  To learn more, Zahid insisted on taking them both to dinner.  It was a disaster, and in the end Zahid "called" Simon out, she broke off the engagement and was so emotional because now she didn't have a job.  On top of everything, Zahid didn't know how to respond to this new Frankie who had grown into a very beautiful and desirable woman because she definitely appealed to him physically.  Resisting her was going to be hard.

Frankie had loved and adored Zahid from the time she was a child.  As a teenager, she not only loved him she fantasized about him.  He affected her in ways her own fiance didn't,  It troubled her because she was so in-experienced.  Shee was also furious with Zahid because he had Simon investigated and  found out he had another woman.  She was embarrassed, no job and wanted to leave her home.  So what did Zahid do........he created a job for her and took her home to Khayarzah.  Sounded a little fishy to me, because deep down I just knew he wanted her for himself.  He had ended his affair with a Russian model so he had no one in his life at the moment......dangerous!

When they arrived in his country, all sorts of things changed.  Frankie worked on his father's diary.  Zadiq was challenged to keep his distance and she couldn't believe how archaic their customs were.   Resisting Frankie or Francesca as Zahid called her, was torture. Of course, in the end with all of the sexual tension arching between them, they entered into a very secret affair.  And then when he realized it couldn't continue and he would have to choose a proper wife and/or wives, it ended brutally.

The ending chapters were hard to read and that's because author Sharon Kendrick always builds up the emotion, in such a powerful way and then it comes crashing down.  Adding to this particular romance, due to his country and the people, they would never accept a western woman as their queen, even though her father had been their hero.  Heart broken, Frankie returned home and Zahid was miserable and in bad temper.

Monarch of the Sands was such an interesting and spectacular love story.  I couldn't see how they would get their happy ending.  So how would Sharon Kendrick tie this all up?  I'm definitely not telling, you'll just have to trust me with patience and their love, they would both make their relationship work.

Back Blurb:

An impossible love affair – with a sheikh!

Francesca is shocked when family friend Zahid Al Hakam turns up on her doorstep. After all, he’s now the Sheikh of Khayarzah – England’s surburbia is hardly his regular stomping ground! But he is as achingly gorgeous as ever…and she’s certainly tempted by his invitation to come to the desert and work for him.

Zahid finds the geeky, gauche teenager he once knew is now an understated beauty. Embarking on a secret affair is bittersweet – but, however all-consuming their passion, Zahid’s duty to his kingdom must surely come first?

The Sultan's Choice - Abby Green



The Sultan's Choice by the fabulous Abby Green was a charming and sultry romance.

The Sultan of Al-Omar had only one reason he wanted to marry Princess Samia Binte Rashad al Abbas and that was for the stability and reputation of his country.  That came first for him and he wanted a wife to enhance that.  Samia also brought respect and no scandal as she was a respected archivist from London's National Library.  Unlike his parents marriage, he wanted a wife that was stable, who would compliment him and give him heirs.

Poor darling Samia overheard a conversation with the man she was soon to be asked to marry.  A man she had met years before when she had been embarrassed at a party she attended with her brother.  Now she overheard a conversation between Sadiq and his secretary about why he wanted to marry her and it was hurtful.  However, in the end she knew she would have to go through with it because as Sadiq pointed out it would benefit both of their countries.  Plus it would also bring peace to both countries.  On top of that, she was next in line for the throne of her country Burquat should something happen to her brother, the ruler.  As the Sultan pointed out, if she married him, he would assist her in ruling.  Personally, I thought it was a lot of pressure for this princess.

His future queen charmed him and his body responded in ways he didn't understand.  Five days later while at an exclusive department store in London he realized Samia actually had a body, built for sin and secretly I thought "let the games begin" because I would tell this playboy sheikh was going to meet his match both in and out of the bedroom.  Let's just say he was also in for a surprise because he thought as a 25 year old woman she couldn't possibly be a virgin.   There were definitely sparks between this couple and I just knew in the end, Samia would make Sadiq a marvelous queen.  However while in London they embarked on different discussions concerning his past romantic liaisons and what if she couldn't give him heirs, he told her he would divorce her and remarry.

Sadiq was absolutely sure Samia would make a great queen and so did his mother.  When they were both presented at the palace, even those attending admired Samia.  It was only her who felt unsure of herself, especially  now that she had a new wardrobe and was not wearing her former "boxy" clothes.  There was also the fact that she was afraid she would please her husband.  There was also the fact that Sadiq didn't believe in love because he had seen how it had destroyed his parents.

Their first time together was the night before their wedding and she gave herself completely to this sheikh.  She was so responsive, like no other woman he had ever been with and she held nothing back.  Oh, oh, I thought would this turn out hurtful for this future queen?   Her honeymoon was like a dream and they couldn't get enough of each other.  Sadiq even went so far as to take her to a tent and an oasis in the desert.  He had never experienced anything like this with a woman.  I could see neither of them had expected this from their marriage.  So who would get hurt, I thought probably both of them.  Because Samia made Sadiq feel things he had never felt before.  As for Samia when they returned back to the palace, the honeymoon was definitely over because she started making demands to her King.  She definitely wasn't going to be a figure head Queen, she wanted to make a difference in her new country!

Weeks later, her husband met her project demands but for her she was hurting.  She realized she loved her husband and really wanted her marriage to work, she wanted to get to know him, be with him both in and out of the bedroom.   She wanted it all!  And then in a jealous rage, Sadiq said things he didn't mean and there was a huge crevice thrown up between them.

A hot romance set in the desert, with all sorts of road blocks for each of them to knock down.  An amazing Sultan and Queen with so many lessons for each of them to learn, especially about each other.  It was shear madness until his very own mother made him see the light.  In the end, this fierce Sultan came to his senses and finally realized his connection and love for his wife!  Samia's and Sadiq's love story was fascinating and  definitely extraordinary to read.

 Back Blurb:

Chosen as the Sultan's bride, Samia has no option but to go ahead with the marriage. And, as her new husband slowly peels away her bejewelled wedding finery, despite her best intentions she finds her inhibitions swept away.

Sadiq is surprised by his new bride's passionate nature! He chose her as a shy, biddable wife who will not make any demands on his time. Now he finds Samia to be anything but...Instead she's determined, demanding - and defiant!

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