Monday, June 29, 2009

Why Read the Sheikh Genre?



Why Read Sheikh Books? For me reading the sheikh genre began because of some of my favorite Harlequin Presents authors……Sandra Marton, Lucy Monroe, Susan Stephens, Penny Jordan, Kate Walker, trish Morey and Jane Porter. Now other authors have started writing for the genre like Annie West, Sabrina Philips, Kate Hewitt and Kate Hardy. I’ve also found some Desire authors like Olivia Gates or SuperRomance author Liz Fielding.

Then gradually I began reading Susan Mallery and I read her entire Desert Rogue series which were incredible, sexy, witty and sassy.

As I did more research, I found an incredible website The Sheikh’s and Desert Love. It was interesting to see how many authors were out there and I began sharing my reviews on that website and then spammers took over and that's when I decided to begin my own blog Romancing The Desert Sheikh Books because I had put so much work into sharing my reviews and then they all disappeared. Hopefully, you’ll stop by and enter my monthly contests. They are not limited to only North America, so I hope I’ll see you there!

Here’s an interesting article I recently found on the internet.

There are many fictional desert kingdoms in Sheik romance. In these desert romances the handsome and enigmatic sheik or prince finds love with the white woman for her sass and zeal of life. She is usually American or English. Powerful and very masculine he domineers her despite her Western background.


The Unshakeable Appeal of the Sheikh Hero

Article on I (Heart) Presents

Why Authors Love a Good Sheikh Book

The article here.

Kimberly Young an Editor at Harlequin said on a blog post at I (Heart) Presents:

For me a sheikh’s kingdom is the ultimate in escape, one place I know I’ll never be able to visit in real life. But its secrets, history and sensual power intoxicate me…I’ve never liked eating Turkish delight — but I damn well tried to like it — after all it’s exotic and mysterious with barely any calories. And for me a Presents Sheikh is like devouring guilt-free treats: I get all of the pleasure without gaining weight! Just try it!


From Mills and Boon July release and August in the North America, an incredible book which I will son post my review. It’s Sabrina’s first sheikh book and it’s magnificent.

THE DESERT KING’S BEJEWELLED BRIDE – Sabrina Philips
Kaliq Al-Zahir A'zam cannot believe the audacity of Tamara Weston! This teasing little virgin, who once rejected his proposal of marriage, is now a top model, displaying her body on advertising billboards for all to see.

Kaliq still wants Tamara, so he sees to it that she returns to his kingdom for the assignment of her career—she will model the royal jewels she should have worn as his bride, and deliver to him the wedding night he was previously denied….

Harlequin has outdone themselves in July with all of the following sheikh releases, and I for one can’t wait to ready them all!

SHEIKH BOSS – HOT DESERT NIGHTS – Susan Stephens
Casey Michaels has come prepared for her new job in the desert—complete with a safari outfit! But, faced with her gorgeous boss's potent sexuality, she suddenly feels out of her depth….

Sheikh Rafik al Rafar knows an inexperienced woman when he sees one, and in the sultry heat of the desert he begins her sensual awakening. To his surprise, Casey teaches him about the simple pleasures in life. But royal duty is never far from their door….

SURRENDER TO THE PLAYBOY SHEIKH – Kate Hardy
Karim al-Hassan can have any woman he wants, and sexy little waitress Lily Finch has caught his eye. One glance leads to a searing kiss—and a hunger that Karim plans to satisfy with a temporary fling.

But Lily is actually more than just a waitress. Successful and career-focused, she is determined never to mix business with pleasure—until playboy Karim's slow seduction breaks down her resistance! Soon Karim is breaking his own rules: he wants Lily in his bed—forever!

THE SHEIKH’S LOVE CHILD – Kate Hewitt
With butterflies fluttering in her stomach, Lucy Banks has arrived in the desert kingdom of Biryal—with a secret!

Seeing Sheikh Khaled—the man who once loved and left her—in his sumptuous royal palace, Lucy is blown away by his barbaric magnificence: he's king of the desert and his eyes are blacker and harder than before. He's not the man she once knew. She wants to run away from his overwhelming masculinity, but they're inextricably bound forever…for he is the father of her son.

Friday, June 19, 2009

THE ROYAL HOUSE OF KAREDES - Harlequin Presents Series


Be on the lookout for this incredible series coming up in July with Sandra Marton’s Billionaire Prince, Pregnant Mistress kicking the series off.

Two Crowns, Two Island, One Legacy

A royal family torn apart by pride and its lust for power, reunited by purity and passion.

The islands of Adamas have been torn into two rival kingdoms:

TWO
CROWNS

The Stefani diamond has been split as a symbol of their feud.

TWO ISLANDS
Gorgeous Greek princes reign supreme over glamorous Aristo.

Smoldering sheikhs rule the desert island of Calista

ONE LEGACY
Whoever reunites the diamonds will rule all.

But When the king divided the islands between his son and daughter, he left them with these words:

“You will rule each island for the good of the people and bring out the best in your kingdom. But my wish is that eventually these two jewels, lke the islands, will be reunited. Aristo and Calista are more successful, more beautiful and more powerful as one nation: Adamas.”

Now King Aegeus Karedes of Aristo is dead, and the island’s coronation diamond is
missing! The Aristans will stop at nothing to get it back, but the ruthless sheikh king of Calista is hot on their heels.

Whether by seduction, blackmail or marriage, the jewel must be found. As the stories
unfold, secrets and sins from the past are revealed and desire, love and passion
war with royal duty. But who will discover in time that it is innocence of
body and purity of heart that can united the islands of Adamas once again?

July – Billionaire Prince, Pregnant Mistress – Sandra Marton
August – The Playboy Sheikh’s Virgin Stable Girl – Sharon Kendrick
September – The Prince’s Captive Wife – Marion Lennox
October – The Sheikh’s Forbidden Virgin – Kate Hewitt
November – The Greek Billionaire’s Innocent Princess – Chantelle Shaw
December – The Future King’s Love Child – Melanie Milburne
January – Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress – Natalie Anderson
February – The Desert King’s Housekeeper Bride – Carol Marinelli

What a line up and you can bet this reader will have this entire collection.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June Contest



June contest on Marilyn's Romance Reviews is Lip Service (Book 2) in Susan Mallery's Lone Star Sisters series. It's a great beach read!

To win this autographed copy, just comment on your favorite Susan Mallery book and why and please note your contact info or I won't be able to contact the winner.

Thanks so much for stopping by Marilyn's Romance Reviews. You can also see my interview with Susan on Romance Author Buzz.

BEDDED BY BLACKMAIL - Robyn Grady



Robyn Grady has written a fantastic and wonderful love story in Bedded by Blackmail.

Tristan is quite a catch and is constantly pursued by women who for the most part want him for his wealth. He has left the family business and has become quite successful himself so he's learned to be cautious of women's motives.

When he returns home one day he finds a woman swimming in a pink bikini and long and tanned legs only to discover it's his "mousy" housekeeper Ella Jacobs. He's alarmed because there have been break-ins in his neighborhood and sees her over turned purse. Now Ella has inherited some money from her mother's estate and is giving her notice to Tristan but he talks her into staying on as he has a business deal to close and needs her to cook and help entertain.

Ella is a lovely woman but she has secrets and she's keeping them that way. Just before her mother passed away, she found out her father had an illegitimate son and the only way to describe him is he's evil and he's blackmailing Ella. He's also gone to the police accusing her of killing her mother. The entire situation is a mess. Her brother Drago calls and hangs up, shows up without warning asking for money and has violent tendencies. In the end, an additional secret is revealed to Tristan and everything turns upside down.

Ella's not the only one with secrets, Tristan has one of his own; a fiance who was killed when driving drunk. He also believes she was having an affair with his oldest brother. Reading this story one will definitely feel the family tension. At times you will see his jealous and mistrusting tendancies.

Bedded by Blackmail is a lovely romance with some lessons to be learned, like trust, forgiveness and belief in finding happiness. Just another example of an incredible romnantic story as only author Robyn Grady can pen.


Product Description

Burned by a greedy heiress, Tristan Barkley had sworn off romance. Until a sizzling night with Ella Jacobs, his secretive housekeeper turned blonde bombshell, made the millionaire rethink his decision. He'd find a way to guarantee she remained by his side…and in his bed.

Yet when he learned she was carrying his child, he proposed the only solution: marriage. As their no-strings-attached connection turned all too real, Tristan couldn't shake the feeling that Ella was hiding something. And soon he began to doubt her true motives for the match—for love, for money…or forever?

THE ONCE AND FUTURE PRINCE - Olivia Gates



The Once and Future Prince is part of The Castadini Crown series and the first book in the series. This is one incredible sensual and erotic journey; all I can say is that it's magnificent. Olivia Gates is an extraordinary storyteller and this series promises to be every bit as great as her Throne of Judar.

At the beginning of the book there's an explanation of the trilogy.
It's set on a lush Mediterranean island drenched in sun and history, a kingdom that has refused to follow the rules of the world. For in Castaldini the crown is won, not inherited.


One learns early in the book that Prince Leandro D'Agostino has been stripped of his throne and is now residing in the USA, Before this happened, for months he had been having a secret affair with the beautiful Phoebe Alexander. Their passion was so intense it literally took my breath away. So one can only imagine when Leandro asks Phoebe to stay with him in the US and she refuses, it becomes nasty and their parting was intense.

Now eight years later the King of Castaldini has asked Phoebe to return to the US to request Leandro come back home, have his title restored and take over as ruler of the country. You would be able to ignore the tension both emotion and sensual between these two when their are reunited. Of course, Phoebe experiences roadblocks so when Leandro tells her he will only return if she resides with him.

Phoebe agrees to return with him and comes to terms her attraction attraction and her love for this incredible man. She agrees to reside with him at his lovely home and they finally fall into each others arms. All I can say is this is more than a sensual journey, it's incredibly romantic. The are scenes in the book like no other and when I now see a swing, I'll be sure to blush!

Of course no romance would be worth reading without secrets and misunderstandings and The Once and Future Prince have their share. For Phoebe she believes she will only have Leandro for awhile because of she's not good enough to be his queen. For Leandro she is the only queen he wants and when the council tells him is is to marry another, he is furious. Of course he over hears and misunderstands a conversation and strikes out and hurts Phoebe. So you can imagine when she realizes she's pregnant and now he tells her he's marrying another, Phoebe disappears again from his life.

I love reading about second chances and Olivia Gates has frustrated me with this splendid and wonderful book because I have to wait to read her next book in the series.

Product Description

He would have been king of Castaldini…until scandal sent Prince Leandro D'Agostino into exile. Now Phoebe Alexander, his secret lover who'd refused to leave with him, had come to convince him to accept his rightful crown. But the pain of betrayal still coursed through Leandro's veins. He would rule only if Phoebe bowed to his wishes.

Scorched from the decisions of her past, Phoebe was willing to do Leandro's royal bidding. She knew she could never be his queen, but she would freely become the prince's lover. Then an unexpected pregnancy changed everything.

Presents Marathon reading


I can't recall ever reading a Catherine George Presents but she'll be an auto buy for me from now on as I so enjoyed The Italian Count's Defiant Bride. It's about second chances and will absolutely tug at your heart strings.

As a young teenager just fresh out of school with absolutely no experience, Alicia travels to Florence with her bestfriend Megan and literally bumps into Count Francesco da Luca a retired rugby player. Alicia is overwhelmed because she's been a fan of his for years. Francesco shows her the city and they quickly fall in love and marry. However, their wedding night is a disaster and she leaves and returns home and refuses his calls.

Now years later, Francesco returns to Wales and is determined to see Alicia and bring her back to Italy under pretenses that his mother has left her something and the rest of the heirs cannot get their inheritance until she signs the papers. On top of everything else, Alicia has a problem with a man she adores like a brother and he's made advances so Francesco and Alicia decide to tell everyone they have reconciled.

It's such a lovely and romantic love story, one you will definitely not want to miss.

Book Description:

Count Francesco da Luca doesn't like being made a fool of. When his bride fled the marriage bed, he vowed she'd pay the debt she owed him—their wedding night!

But Alicia Cross is no longer the trembling, naive innocent he married—and she won't be pushed around by the masterful count. His runaway bride is proving to be more of a challenge than he anticipated—until he discovers she's still a virgin. The wedding night Francesco wanted is his for the taking!



Ruthless Tycoon, Inexperienced Mistress by the very talented Cathy Williams was extremely exciting to read. Cesar Caretti is one stubborn and driven man and he's extremely frustrated with his younger brother who he's threatening to take away his trust fund. Now this very same brother has requested a meeting to discuss a project he's working on and Cesar is frustrated at leaving London, and he driving in a horrible snow storm. Upon arrival, he's very aware that his brother has started up an upscale jazz club and he's also aware of a young woman who's not the typical date his brother would choose. She's somewhat of a tomboy and she's very cheeky. On top of that, he takes her home as the storm continues and gets snowed in for days, which puts him over the top.

Jude is a woman who speaks her mind, is a designer and her closest friend Imogen is Cesar's brother Fernando (Freddy) little secret. They are in love and expecting a baby but Freddy wants to open a club and is afraid that his brother will think Imogen is a gold digger. Because Jude is their dedicated friend, Freddy feels it best to keep Imogen and the baby a secret. Cesar, Jude believes is a stubborn a stern man and on top of everything they are stranded and stuck but she takes advantage because it gives her time to speak on Freddy's behalf. What neither of them count on is the attraction and when they act on that attraction, everything goes up in flames.

When the snow clears and Cesar returns to London, he can't get her out of his mind and when he learns that Jude is pregnant with his child, he's determined they will marry and that she will live closer to him. They are both stubborn as mules but in the end Cesar wins out! On top of everything else, there is a ghost in Cesar's past, his wife who he's literally put on a pedestal because she died early in their marriage.

Cesar's and Jude's story is full of turmoil and compromises and extremely spirited and in the end, beautiful to read.

Description
Cesar Caretti has had a string of sophisticated socialites warming his bed—until he meets Jude. Her untainted beauty sets his Spanish blood on fire!

Jude struggles to keep up with Cesar's glamorous world. Then her inexperience is fully revealed: she's expecting the Spaniard's baby. For Cesar there is only one option—marriage. After all, he is a Caretti. And, as Jude discovers, his proposal is not a question…it's a command!



Kelly Hunter has written an incredible love story in The Maverick's Green Island Mistress. Her character development was amazing as she put together the beautiful and sexy Serena with the knock out and gorgeous Pete. It's a wonderful story about an secluded and small Greek island with a cast of characters the reader will long remember.

Serena is of Greek and Australian decent and she and her cousin Nico live in the family home. Serena rents vespas and Nico fishes. The entire island knows every ones business from Nico and his crush on Chloe who runs a local hotel and her nephew Sam and now the new arrival and helicopter pilot replacement Pete Bennett.

Pete is one sexy and gorgeous pilot and the immediate attraction between he and Serena leaps off of the pages. The entire town tries to put up road blocks in their relationship so they are always trying to sneak away to have alone time together. It was such a fun and sassy read with passion, danger thrown into the mix
On the back cover there's a quote, "Red-hot and reckless!" and this certainly describes Hunter's romantic love story.

Serena is a very determined young woman. For most of her life she has lived for her family. Just as soon as she can, she wants to leave the island and pursue her career in photo journalism so a summer romance for her would be fun as long as no one gets hurt. As for Pete, he's in agreement as he's a love 'em and leave 'em sort of guy. So when he falls, well let's just say their journey in finding happiness is a rocky one, a beautiful tale you definitely won't want to miss.

Book Description:

Pete Bennett: this maverick playboy revels in the thrill of the chase. He never falls for a girl; she falls for him, and he's the one to walk away….

In Greece for the summer, Serena can't resist the glint of sin in Pete's eyes. Soon the baddest of boys has made her his Greek island mistress.…

Their supposedly temporary affair is hot and heavy. But one month in, Pete should be ready to roam. So what's keeping Serena in his arms



Robyn Donald has written a mysterious and incredibly romantic love story in Virgin Bought and Paid For, set on a secluded and beautiful tropical island.

Fleur was a sweet, natural beauty with a broken heart because of the death of her mother. The very same mother she's nursed for the past three years putting her life on hold. Now she's vacationing in a tropical paradise, a trip her mother planned for her before she passed and she has absolutely no money and finds herself be taken care of by Luke Chapman, one of the island's aristocracy. Her back pack was stolen with her money and clothes, so she's been sleeping on the beach, no food and fainted. Luke's security man has picked her up brought her to his home.

Luke Chapman is a very rich and handsome man who is devoted to his family and the island residents and their economy. He has an important deal coming up and on top of everything else his ex-mistress who once resided on the island is in danger from her husband. Fleur looks so much like her, she's the perfect decoy so Luke asks her to stay and play the role.

Virgin Bought and Paid For is full of island history, romance, mystery and danger. When Fleur is literally thrust in a airplane and taken to a safe house because Luke insists she leave, you're heart will break for Fleur. When she realizes she's fallen in love with Luke, flees his protection and realizes she's expecting his baby you'll need tissues, I promise.

Product Description

When a mysterious young woman is found on the tropical island of Fala'isi, Luke Chapman insists that she remain at his home. But Luke isn't being entirely benevolent; he has an ulterior motive for keeping her close….

Penniless Fleur Lyttelton has no idea why the enigmatic Luke is being so nice to her—they are worlds apart. Fleur knows she'll never be able to repay Luke's kindness, until he makes her an offer she can't refuse…and she realizes that her virginity is his price….

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

CAPELLI'S CAPTIVE VIRGIN - Sarah Morgan


Captivating is how I would describe Sarah Morgan’s Capelli’s Captive Virgin as it’s one of those love stories you’ll want to read from beginning to end in one sitting. Their chemistry leaps off of the pages.

Lindsay is a relationship counselor who’s had first hand experience because she witnessed her parents fail and blame everything on her young sister who also made some bad decisions when it came to men. And she has a problem; she hasn’t heard from her sister Ruby and has flown to Rome where Ruby is working for the billionaire Alessio Capelli. She dreads seeing him because they somewhat have a past. While the sisters were in Rome they were approached by a gang and it was Alessio and his brother Dino who saved them. Now Ruby is with Dino, is missing and Lindsay is frantic. She also dreads seeing Alessio again because of the sensual tension which vibrates between them and she is the only woman who ever walked away from him.

Alessio is a divorce attorney and very good and rich one with a reputation going from one woman to another and making it clear he doesn’t do marriage. He also only represents men. Now he is faced at seeing the only woman who has ever walked away from him and on top of everything she’s a pain because of her being so opininated on relationships, love, commitment etc. He tricks her into taking her sisters place as his personal assistant and going with him to the Caribbean to work a high profile divorce case. Then tension simmers between them and they act on the passion between them. Their bantering was amusing and their passion amazing.

There were many ups and down to this wonderful love story like Lindsay coming to terms with how’s she’s dealt with her sister, acting on the passion with Alessio knowing nothing will come of it and leaving him when she realized she loved him and that love would not be returned. For Alessio the realization he actually liked this woman, shared more with her than any other woman he’s been involved with and actually shared past family secrets with her. It’s sensual, fun at times especially their arguments, romantic and just an incredible love story.

Book Description:

Lindsay has turned down ruthless Sicilian Alessio Capelli once before, but he's determined she won't do it again—he will use her and discard her! Circumstance has provided him with the ideal opportunity: Lindsay has been forced to step into her missing sister's shoes and work for him.

This time Alessio will be the one in control. He relishes the thought of having a virgin in his bed, and he'll do everything to keep her captive—until he's ready to dismiss her….

Monday, June 01, 2009

THE TUSCAN TYCOON'S PREGNANT HOUSEKEEPER - Christina Hollis


Intense doesn’t begin to describe The Tuscan Tycoon’s Pregnant Housekeeper written by Christina Hollis with both of her characters Michelle and the handsome Alessandro having past issues to be dealt with regarding their past.

The very shy and somewhat plain Michelle was ruled by her very stern mother and has sincere self esteem issues. However, when the rich and proud Italian arrives at the mansion she’s taking care of as housekeeper she doesn’t stand a chance. Her gentleness and innocence immediately charm him; she’s like no other woman he’s met and he decides to have a vacation affair. However he abandons her and returns to Italy. He also makes arrangements with one of his foundations to set Michelle up in business and buys her a cottage.

Returning back to England, Michelle finds herself pregnant and meanwhile Alessandro can’t seem to get her out of his mind so he returns to England to rekindle the affair and finds out her secret. Being always in control of his life, business and affairs, he demands she return to Italy with him and marry for the sake of his heir.

Alassandro literally has overturned the family business and whatever he touches he’s a success. There is no way he’ll ever allow House of Castiglione to be tainted. He’ll marry her, get his heir but she won’t affect him in any way. Both of his own parents strayed so love for him isn’t ever going to be an option.

As for Michelle does she love him? What would she know of love, no one had ever shown her, including her parents. Reading about her upbringing and how she was willing to settle for anything he gave her was very hard to read. I wanted to strangle him for his incensitivity. Michelle’s stay at the villa was sad to read as well, not speaking the language and being shut out but when Alassandro’s secrets are uncovered and everything is revealed about his past, the reader begins to understand his actions.

Alassandro and Michelle’s love story even though at times was sad to read, their coming to understand each other was lovely to read.

Book Description:

Virgin housekeeper, convenient wife

Plain, shy housekeeper Michelle Spicer keeps her head down and gets on with the job. She knows her place.

Bored and restless in the South of France, Alessandro Castiglione has found himself a plaything. Stripped of her uniform and naked in his bed, mousy Michelle blossoms before him.

But she knows she’s only the housekeeper – not a rich man’s wife. Discarded, disgraced, and left with nothing but the child inside her, Michelle is back in rainy England. Until the Tuscan tycoon decides to taste her charms again…

ONE NIGHT WITH THE REBEL BILLIONAIRE - Trish Wylie



From the moment Roane spotted him naked and swimming on the beach she was transfixed or should I say mesmerized and then she realized eventually that he had returned back to Martha’s Vineyard, had returned home but what were his motives and what has he been doing for those years?

One Night with the Rebel Billionaire was sexy, hot and a fast sensual read as only Trish Wylie can pen and her billionaire alpha Adam Bryant is one sexy, handsome and beautiful man, one with secrets and twelve years to answer for to his father and brother. What he doesn’t count on is his attraction to Roane a young woman who’s working for his brother and also taking care of his father. The sexual tension between Roane and Adam leap and sizzle off the pages. And then after sexual taunting Roane is swept away and is given passion that’s she’s never known and tries to guard to heart in the process.

As they get to know each other she realizes that he is guarded about his past and why he’s returned home. Other things are also revealed to her like his high IQ, his past feelings about his father and how he grew up and then everything blows up in their face when his brother Jake reveals what he’s found out about Adam. Will Adam leave her and return to his billionaire life?

Roane and Adams love story was strong and fabulous to read and the ending a little surprising but so worth it thanks to this wonderful author Trish Wylie.

Book Description:

When Roane Elliott meets a naked stranger on the beach, her second thought is to challenge his trespassing. Her first thought makes her innocent heart beat quite erratically!

Then she discovers the stranger is Adam Bryant, the wickedly smoldering son of the Bryant dynasty. After a decade away, he's back to claim what's rightfully his...however willful the prize.

Roane is determined to resist him, but the temptation is overwhelming. His bedroom door is open and she's walking toward surrender....
 

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