Monday, January 09, 2012

Girl in the Bedouin Tent - Annie West

Girl in the Bedouin Tent immediately had me smiling because Cassie, was not the average heroine.  She was full of fire, sass and determination because she had been kidnapped by scoundrel Mastafa, a nearby ruling sheikh who had given Cassie to Sheikh Amir who was attending a desert meeting with some of the regional rulers.  He certainly did not expect to be given a sexy woman.  However, because of her safety, they would have to pretend they were lovers so that she would not be harmed.  An entire week of temptation for him?  Thanks to Annie West, I devoured this amazing romance in one evening.  It had me laughing, thanks to the spirited Cassie.

Cassie was different from the sophisticated women he dated.   She was full of fire and was a "fighting cat".  She had more fire than any other woman he had known and she stoked sometime inside him, he didn't understand.  Negotiations were critical at this desert meeting and Amir could not afford for anything to go wrong. Reading about their week in the tent and their adventures was going to be so much fun.  I couldn't wait to read their love story.  Annie West never disappoints and I held my breath, waiting to read about Amir, his family and nation's history and of course, Cassie's background and her past.

In a few short days, his fascination had turned to desire.  Could it be for both of them their confinement in the tent?  Amir took her on a picnic, told her a little about his country.  His feelings of desire were strong and he wouldn't even think about his upcoming arranged marriage, a marriage which would benefit his country.  She stirred things inside him, he fought at every turn in the road.  And then the truth about Cassie came out days later.....there was no one waiting to hear from her other than her landlady and a few girlfriends.  Her father hadn't wanted to acknowledge her and her mother had been his mistress while he had another family.  She didn't do vulnerable, she kept her self busy.  The school  in Talrakhar where she was going to teach English, wasn't expecting her for another week. 

Like Cassie, Amir had a somewhat trouble childhood, selfish parents who only thought of their needs and themselves.  It was his uncle, the old sheikh who taught Amir.  Te sheikh had thought he would turn out like his selfish parents, unstable and irresponsible.  Thanks to his parents selfishness, it made him stronger and the ruler he was today.  Holding my breath, I so wanted them to be a couple because I knew there would be fire and passion.  Trust me, their passion blazed and when the week was over it continued until gossip and duty called Amir.  Hurt but looking forward to teaching, Cassie left the palace.

Miserable is the only word I can think of to describe both of their feelings.  Duty called, an up coming royal marriage and not to Cassie.  All I could think of, this author always finds a way for her heroine and hero to be together.  I knew she wouldn't disappoint me.  Spectacular is the only way to describe the perfect ending for the ending of this royal desert romancer.  Simply, it was brilliant!

Back Blurb:

Not your average damsel in distress!

Sheikh Prince Amir has vowed to redeem his scandalous family name - so the last thing he needs on a tour of his desert kingdom is to have a sensuous blonde with more spirit than clothes presented for his harem.

Fiery Cassie might have been kidnapped by bandits and dolled up as the Sheikh's love-slave, but she refuses to be any man's plaything. Yet spending a week in Amir's desert tent pretending to be his mistress would get under any girl's skin. Especially when she is under his sheets.

Behind the book with author Annie West:

How one story led to another…

Some time ago I wrote a book called THE DESERT KING'S PREGNANT BRIDE about an Australian horsewoman who fell in love with a dashing Arabian prince. In that book my heroine, Maggie, had been abandoned as a child by her mother who took Maggie's younger sister with her, leaving Maggie to the cold comfort of her father's care.

I'd planned a follow up book immediately - wanting to write the story of Cassie, Maggie's younger sister who'd grown up not knowing she even had a sibling. But one thing led to another and that book wasn't written. However, Cassie's character was real in my mind, as was her difficult childhood, brought up by a mother who supported herself as a rich man's mistress. Eventually, after working through and discarding several ideas where Cassie crossed the globe to be reunited with her sister, I took my editor's advice and concentrated not on the reunion but on Cassie's own love story.

The result is a story with not a sister in sight, but I hope you find it as satisfying as I do. Cassie is travelling in the Middle East because she's re-evaluating her priorities and has volunteered to work as an English language teacher in a remote town. On the way she's kidnapped by bandits from across the border and swept into a dangerous world completely beyond her experience.

I asked myself what a modern, independent woman would do if kidnapped and presented to a visiting sheikh as a love slave. It was a situation so fraught with dark emotion and danger that I couldn't resist. Nor could I pass on the chance to explore some of the fantasy elements of the sheikh story.

The lure of the story was all the stronger because the man to whom she's presented prides himself on his honour and his self control. Circumstances are such that he can't simply reject the offer of a female companion, or leave the remote encampment for his own country. He has a mission to complete and it's vital he remain. Which means Cassie and Amir must share his luxurious accommodation and his bed, till his business is complete. Yet pretending to be a kept woman is Cassie's worst nightmare. Both Amir and Cassie are forced to face their demons, even as they find themselves drawn into a relationship unlike any they've ever had.

This story was one of the most intense I've written and was pure pleasure to write. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  Annie West

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