Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: standard Harlequin (my book has the little cover).
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.
Cassie is an Australian actress, but she wants something more than that. So when she sees an advertisement for English teachers wanted in Tarakhar, a small but wealthy Arabic country, she applies for the position, and is accepted. Unfortunately, while travelling to the remote town where she will be teaching, the bus breaks down. All the other passengers live nearby and leave on foot, leaving her alone with the driver when bandits attack and kidnap her. She is terrified! So when she is given as a love slave to Sheikh Amir, she has no idea what to expect, and tries to defend herself with a fruit knife. What else is she to do? She has been dresses in those harem clothes, and chained to his bed!
But Amir has no plans of taking a woman against her wishes, and is determined to make matters right. After all, she is kidnapped in his country, but this bandit leader Mustafa whom he is trying to negotiate with. He needs peace along his border! So he cannot take Cassie home with him right now, he has to finish negotiations, and show Mustafa and his bandits that he is worthy of being the Sheikh. But he will protect Cassie, only she cannot leave his tent for the next week. And sleeping together is necessary to make the others think he accepted their “gift”. Even though Amir is to be married to a high ranking virgin in his own country in a few weeks. But the more he gets to know Cassie, the harder it is to keep his hands to himself. She is so gorgeous! And Cassie falls just as hard for Amir. Is it really possible that there are honourable men? Her mother was her father’s mistress for years, until she was replaced. After that, she took other protectors, and Cassie preferred staying at boarding school as much as she could, especially when one of those men thought that buying her mother gave him rights to Cassie as well. Cassie has sworn never to be like her mother.
Cassie and Amir do become lovers, and he doesn’t even notice she was a virgin. Back at his palace, he keeps her away from the main part, in the harem. Where she is bored silly, and refuses the many treasures he wants to give her. She only accepts a few clothes, and she wants to start teaching. The evenings they do spend together, while his marriage negotiations continue. He will get over his attraction to her soon enough, right?
But when Cassie finds out about it, and realises she has become a mistress after all, she is devastated, and leaves at once. How could she not see this? Why was so silly to dream that there was more between them? Was this what happened to her mother as well?
I know, not my usual reading material. I have won this (signed) book on Facebook, thanks to a recommendation by Anna Campbell. I have shared some emails with Annie West, who is a very nice Australian author, and so I was glad to get this book for review.
I did enjoy parts of this book, but thought Cassie way too naïve for me to really like. Yes, she has had a hard childhood, not getting cared for by either parent and considered an accident, and cramping her mother’s style. But she has a good education, and she is a good actress. And now she wants to do something good, and teach English to Arabic women.
Of course I do blame Amir for deceiving her, not being honest or truthful, and totally blinded with his desire not to be like his parents, who were only focused on their own pleasures and their next thrill.
And still, the book got to me, and I did enjoy the ending a lot. Yes, it did make me cry, I confess. But it also made me smile when closing the book. All in all, this is a lovely romance story. The language used is very descriptive, very flowery.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian