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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bella and the Merciless Sheikh by Sarah Morgan



Bella and the Merciless Sheikh by Sarah Morgan
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (186 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Sheikh Zafiq Al-Rashid is furious when his week of solitude is interrupted by Bella Balfour, lost in the desert! While his fierce honor demands he rescue her, the willful heiress is a little less grateful than he'd expected. Zafiq is tempted to leave the spoiled socialite wandering the wilderness…but where would be the challenge in that?

He's powerful enough to tame the rebellious beauty. However, when they depart from the seclusion of the oasis, will Zafiq leave the memory of the fiery passion behind or announce to his kingdom that he is taking a queen?

Bella and the Merciless Sheikh is the definition of a fun and sigh-inducing romance sure to please readers across the globe. It certainly pushed all of my happy buttons I had the most awesome time reading this tale.

Once I was done reading this book, I wanted to read it again. I felt wonderfully satisfied with the characters, the setting and the plot conflicts.

Bella is one of the Balfour sisters. I’ve read one other book in the series so it’s easy to say that this is a standalone read. It’s also easy for me to say that this book kept me engrossed, highly entertained and impressed with the easy nature of the characters.

What I mean is Bella’s character is a peach. She has a quirky sense of humor that had me giggling. She thinks the hero is grumpy, way too serious and is determined to get him to smile. She’s perky, pert and a bit impulsive. She certainly kept the hero on his toes because he never knew what she was going to say. Neither did I and that was half the fun. Her dialogue was vivacious and clever and it covered a wide range of feelings. The thing is, I believe her way of speaking is part inner passion and part of an art or clever technique to cover her hurt and vulnerable feelings inside. She’s been betrayed in the past and injustices keep piling up on her and she can’t seem to stop it. She’s not a cardboard paper doll. No, Bella has heart and a good dose of stubbornness and really wants to make a difference, if only for a little while -- hence her being with Sheikh Zafiq.

Zafiq is yummy and a dream boat. He also carries the world on his very muscular shoulders. I’d love to see him in person because Ms. Morgan described him in delicious detail especially when Bella sneaks an eyeful at one point. I think the author had a ton of fun imagining those scenes and it’s terrific they’ve come across the written page so well. I enjoyed watching Zafiq fight his attraction to her. And of course he has emotional justification for resisting her unconventional ways. Another thing I noted about the hero is that he’s stuck in a rut. He’s had to act a certain way for so long, he’s not noticed that the people he loves around him have changed, that their needs have changed. I really liked that his knowing Bella actually prodded him to grow and change as a person.

The action and drama is mostly internal but there is this exciting horse race that really had me flipping the pages to keep up with the action. It was amazing and I like how the author justified it, worked out the logistics and threw in some suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat. Of course, the aftermath had some very funny moments and Zafiq had me in stitches. Not so much by what he says but what he did. He was being completely serious but it simultaneously was incredibly romantic and it was one of my favorite parts.

Ms. Morgan has delivered another winner of a story for fans and new readers alike. Bella and the Merciless Sheikh is plain old fashioned fun with a hero and heroine that readers will fall in love with. This is the kind of book that is easy to share among friends but you just have to let go of the book first. As for me, it’s going on my keeper shelf. I like to keep books that make me smile, have emotional and tender happily ever after moments and have characters I really liked meeting. This story certainly did that and more.

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