Wednesday, March 28, 2007

THE SHEIKH'S RANSOMED BRIDE - Annie West



From the very beginning, I was captivated, intrigued and on edge as this story begins with a kidnapping, a ferocious storm and two very captivating characters Rafig (ruler and monarch) and Belle, a marine archaeologist who along with her co-worker was kidnapped and held for ransom. Immediately the stage is set as Belle and Rafig are thrown together, he her protector and Belle with everything she’s been through, her strength and courage shows throughout in this desert tale.


Belle’s homeland was Australia; she and her sister were for the most part, raised by her mother. Belle is strong, beautiful, hard working and proud. She has come to Q’aroum to explore and excavate a sunken first century trading ship. She and her co-worker are kidnapped by Rafiq’s cousin and the ransom demanded is the “Peacock’s Eye” not only very valuable but of importance to the people of Q’aroim. For generations it has been the gift of the Sheikh to his bride and Rafiq has given it up in order to save Belle and her co-worker!

Rafiq, is lilke no other sheikh or monarch…….his character ireminds me of something out of “The Arabian Nights”. He’s handsome, intelligent, fearsome and very proud and he wants Belle……he wants her for his bride! Sparks fly off of these two characters as they both fight their attraction to each other and along the way find their way into a romance you won’t forget. A tale of East and West, two such different cultures and people who find a bond, mutual respect and love!

This is Annie West’s first "sheikh" book and I personally feel was exceptional, full of intrigue, chemistry and a wonderful love story set on a dessert isle.


Book Description:

He saved her life. Now it’s her turn - to help him save his country. By marrying him.


Rafiq paid a sheikh’s ransom to rescue Belle Winters. The ransom is a national treasure but also a traditional bridal gift to the sheikh’s betrothed. Now his people expect a royal wedding.


Belle owes Rafiq so much. How can she deny him this sham marriage that will keep the peace in his fledgling island democracy?


They’re from different worlds. She’s a dedicated archaeologist from an ordinary family. He’s descended from a line of autocratic adventurers and buccaneers. Is their marriage simply a political necessity or a passionate destiny?


Release Dates:
Mills & Boon Modern Romance - UK hardback Feb 07, paperback April 07
Harlequin Mills & Boon Sexy - Australia/NZ May 07
Harlequin Presents - North America July 07

WHAT ANNIE SAYS:
"This book had such a long gestation period. It emerged from discussions with friend and fellow author, Anna Campbell, over months – no, years, about heroic archetypes and female fantasies of falling in love. Anna and I don’t see each other as often as we’d like so when we do get together it’s a talkfest. And one of the late night themes was why the sheikh? What is it about this sort of hero that appeals to so many women worldwide? Why do we look twice at books about Arabian princes emerging from a fantasy world to sweep some (lucky) woman off her feet?


I know sheikh heroes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and I admit that years ago I might have said the same. But their appeal has grown on me. Maybe it’s their larger than life aura. Maybe it’s the echo of some exotic Arabian Nights fantasy. Or perhaps the fact that they wield such power in their own domain but are conquered by love.


The Sheikh’s Ransomed Bride explores what happens when duty and passion collide. When two people from completely different worlds find themselves flung together in a situation that tests them to the limit. Belle and Rafiq rise to the challenge, and in the process discover just how far they’ll go for the one they love.


The idea for this specific story came to me while I was at a Romance Writers’ of Australia conference in Coogee, Sydney. I’m sure the excitement of being with so many other wonderful writers inspired me. I was getting ready for the official dinner when inspiration struck and I had to jot down a couple of ideas.


It was quite a while before I got a chance to start the book as I was writing something else at the time. Maybe that was a good thing. By the time I sat down to write The Sheikh’s Ransomed Bride so much of the story was vivid in my mind – particularly Rafiq, one of my favourite heroes. The setting too was marvellous – a place I looked forward to visiting each time I sat at the computer. In fact I became so fond of Q’aroum that it was hard to leave and I set my next book there too!


I hope you enjoy Belle and Rafiq’s story as much as I do."
Annie West

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