Title: THE WIDOW AND THE SHEIKH
Series: Hot Arabian Nights #1
Author: Marguerite Kaye
Format: Kindle, 288 Pages
Published: Harlequin Historical (April 1, 2016)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Rescued by the sheikh!
Abandoned in the desert, Julia Trevelyan finds herself at the mercy of Azhar, an imposing yet impossibly handsome Arabian merchant. Determined not to be intimidated by her rescuer—or their sizzling attraction!—she asks for his help…
But Prince Azhar is in fact the rightful heir to the Qaryma throne, returned from exile to take back his inheritance! He knows a dalliance with the enticing English adventuress is out of the question, yet he can't deny the temptation to claim both his throne…and Julia!
"There is nothing more effective in igniting a man's desire than a woman's passion. To see the fire in your eyes, to feel the fire in your blood as you touch me, it sets me on fire too. Do you imagine I would prefer to kiss a woman who responds only with -- with compliance? No, I would not. No red-blooded man would. Never apologize for passion. Restraint, Julia, has no place in lovemaking."
THE WIDOW AND THE SHEIKH by Marguerite Kaye is a very enjoyable romantic read! It is a delightful first installment in the author's new Harlequin Historical Hot Arabian Nights series. This is the story of Cornish widow Julia Trevelyan and Arabian Prince Azhar. Be aware that, once you start reading their story, you won't want to stop until you've read it all the way through.
As the story opens, Julia awakens to find that she has been drugged, robbed and left bereft in her ransacked tent in a desert oasis. The worst blow is that the completed precious time-consuming botanic work that brought her to Arabia has also been stolen. Those drawings, write-ups and organized specimens were meant to set her free but now she's anything but as she cannot leave until she completes the required tasks again.
Azhar has not been home for ten years. He is a successful merchant now and enjoys his work. He and his father had been estranged and Azhar had thought that he had been disinherited; Indeed, he wanted nothing more to do with the kingdom of Qaryma. Fate, though, has dealt him a hand that he cannot ignore and he has to journey home to set himself free. He is on the last leg of his solitary difficult trek back home when he comes upon an English woman who has been victimized in one of his country's most popular oases. He is an honorable man and cannot leave her there. So he has no choice but to take her with him.
I really liked both the hero and the heroine. They are a mismatched pair with steamy chemistry on a journey of discovery. They immediately have commonality in that both of their lives are being directed from the grave. Both are desperately seeking freedom and believe that freedom means not being beholden to anyone. However, the meaning of freedom is not so simple. This complex tale is aptly set against Arabian and family politics that kept me on the edge of my seat through-out.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
"So you wish me to forget that you are a sheikh and a prince and a crown prince and soon to be King? That is a lot to forget."
"It is terrifyingly beautiful," Julia said softly.
"Nature at its most beautiful and most lethal. It is like standing on the edge of one of those lakes in Switzerland, so blue and so calm and so deep and so dangerous. You have the overwhelming urge to plunge in, even though you know the cold will kill you. This desert - your desert - it makes me want to walk into it and keep walking. You probably think I'm being ridiculously fanciful."
"I would not have put it in those words, but they are exactly how I feel about Qaryma. Terrifyingly beautiful."
There is an old saying, that in the desert a camel is more useful than a kingdom," he said ruefully, "but as a location for lovemaking, it leaves a lot to be desired."
Marguerite writes wonderful historical romances. This new series takes us to the middle east with hot and sexy arrogant alpha heroes in a setting of shifting sands - both terrifying and beautiful. I would recommend THE WIDOW AND THE SHEIKH to anyone who enjoys solidly plotted, hot and steamy historical romances.