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Friday, October 9, 2009

The Thief and the Desert Flower by Bonnie Dee

The Thief and the Desert Flower by Bonnie Dee
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary
Length: Full (150 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Water Lily

He stole her heart. Now they’ll have to steal their chance for love…

Chala may be a princess, but as her caravan bears her toward an arranged marriage, she feels more like a prisoner, robbed of any chance for true love. When she is kidnapped by a band of nomads, escape is her first instinct. But as the leader, Kyo, turns his seductive charms on her, she finds fury and lust inextricably entwined.

Kyo only meant to take the treasures Chala carried, but the fiery tempered princess draws more than blood when she scores his face. She ignites a craving in his veins that burns hotter than the desert sands. Impulse drives him to seduce her until she freely gives him everything he wants. What he gets is a battle of wills—and a new enemy in the form of her jilted fiancĂ©, who isn’t about to let a merger between two kingdoms dissolve without a fight.

Captured between duty and desire, Chala must use every ounce of her cleverness to save a desert people…and take back the most precious treasure of all—a future with Kyo.

The premise of The Thief and the Desert Flower is the stuff of fairy tales—on the way to wed a man she’s never met, a princess is captured by a handsome outlaw. The reality is as gritty as the desert sands in which this tale is set. While the sex is descriptive in detail, the characters’ motivations are not.

Kyo is at once desert rat and ruler of a nomadic tribe. He, for reasons that aren’t clear or believable, chooses not to live with his tribe. The reasons the tribe continues to follow him aren’t clear or believable either. His policy of never raping and rarely killing his victims disappears when he sees Chala. After killing half her guards, he sends his men off with a lame excuse and kidnaps Chala. Then he hides out with her, not even stopping at his people’s encampment to divide the spoils.

The physical aspects of his and Chala’s relationship take precedence over the plot line.

Kyo prescribes to a strange blend of desert practicality and morals. He’ll slit a man’s throat without remorse, but women must be willing to f*** him before he f***s them. (The language is gritty as well. Nothing soft or romantic here.)

I wanted Kyo to be strong—the alpha male the plot demands. But he’s not. Chala is a spoiled princess who comes off as a spoiled princess. Half of the story is from her POV which should have made me like her better but didn’t.

Dee did a good job making her setting come alive. The shifting desert sands and rocky outcroppings are vivid. The brutality of the hostile environment is the perfect backdrop to the story. I just wish there’d been greater character conflict and that the sex had added to the plot line rather than existed for its own sake. If, however, you are in the mood for steamy, gritty, graphic sex scenes between a handsome outlaw and a spoiled princess, The Thief and the Desert Flower might be what you’re looking for.