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Friday, November 19, 2010

Chosen by the Sheikh by Kim Lawrence and Lynn Raye Harris

Chosen by the Sheikh by Kim Lawrence and Lynn Raye Harris
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (191 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The Sheikh and the Virgin by Kim Lawrence

Prince Tariq Al Kamal furiously forbids his brother to marry an unsuitable woman. Then Tariq whisks Beatrice away to his desert home where he becomes intent on seducing her. What he doesn't realize is she isn't his brother's intended—she's an innocent who's about to become his bride!

Kept for the Sheikh's Pleasure by Lynn Raye Harris

King Zafir bin Rashid al-Khalifa does not care for surprises. Especially ones that involve the reappearance of his ex, Dr. Genie Gray! Now Zafir has the power to make all the rules—and what he wants is a willing Genie in his bed….

Satisfy your craving for handsome sheikhs by reading this pleaser of a book because there are two awesome stories to enjoy and gush over.

The first story, The Sheikh and the Virgin was total entertainment. Here’s this guy, a crown prince even, who is dead set against this woman marrying his susceptible brother and he’s going to get her, evil gold digger that she is, away from him no matter what. Tariq says one thing but his body and actions tell a different story. His refusing to admit his own ulterior motives behind his every thought and deed told me more about how deeply Beatrice got under his skin. I love it when a man of strength and dedication gets all turned around and upside down by the sight of water sliding down a woman’s bare skin. He’s being seduced by her very presence and he’s fighting it every step of the way. I knew he was a gonner.

Beatrice is a feisty, adventurous and loyal woman who would do anything to protect the blossoming love between Tariq’s brother and her best friend – even to the point of concocting a hair brained scheme. She’s naturally ebullient and doesn’t react the way Tariq expects her to which drives him nuts and that kept me amused throughout the story.

There is wonderful byplay between Beatrice and Tariq both in dialogue and action. They are both drawn to the other and for obvious reasons have to fight it, but as with all fun romances, they lose in a spectacular fashion resulting in a winning read for this reviewer.

Secondary characters abound but the main ones are of course, Tariq’s brother, Khalid, her friend Emma and even a brief but memorable appearance of their dad, the king. Beatrice’s interaction with the king was pretty funny and the results threw Tariq for a loop which upped the enjoyment factor of the tale.

When Tariq and Beatrice succumb to their desires and passionate needs, it’s everything a romance reader looks for and I was very satisfied. Ms. Lawrence sure knows how to deliver a great read.

The second story, Kept for the Sheikh’s Pleasure, is a case of second chances by kidnapping. I actually liked the idea of two people from different cultures meeting somewhere totally neutral where they got to know each other as the people they were, not what their roles in life demanded of them. Eventually, the fact that Zafir comes from royalty and had his life prearranged for him was a buzz-kill to their fledgling relationship. Geneva went one way and Zafir went another. Then one day, at a dig site, Genie gets a huge shock when she’s scooped up onto the back of a camel by a scary dude straight out of Arabian Nights and whisked off to become barter-bait for the new king in the area. Guess who he turns out to be? Yes, indeed, it’s Zafir. He’s back and not only that but the connection and banked fires of passion that smoldered for years in each of them roared to life in a conflagration of need. And things get really complicated from there.

Internal conflict dogs their every footstep throughout this tale. There is so much pain that has to be exposed before it can heal. Zafir feels so frustrated because his culture is so stifling; he feels like he’s drowning and is in desperate need of a lifeline. Geneva has a career she loves and will do anything for but how far is too far?

This story has a lot of emotional angst and yet isn’t mired with woe and wretched drama. It’s written with a good balance of hope, understanding and a love trying to grow. The love is there and always had been but it matures in this story, and strengthens. I sometimes think people need to live a bit so they can understand themselves and in doing so, know what they need and want in a significant other. Genie knew what she had once, and in the intervening years never found it again until she was kidnapped and brought to Zafir. Zafir knew he needed something because there seemed to be a hole in his life that he had no idea as to what would, or how to, fill it, until Genie ripped off her veil and stood there with attitude and fearlessness.

Kept for the Sheikh’s Pleasure is another well written romance taking place in larger than life settings with down to earth heart and dilemmas between two special people perfect for each other. Zafir and Genie compliment each other’s personalities and enhance their strengths by the power of their love. I had a great time reading this story and commend Ms. Harris on a book that drew me in and made me feel for the hero and heroine.

The whole book, Chosen by the Sheikh kept me fascinated, interested and entertained throughout with fine storytelling and characters I really enjoyed getting to know. My reactions were a mixture of laughter, surprise, amazement and sighs of satisfaction from the happily ever afters that were beautiful and well earned. This book gets a solid five book recommendation from this contented reader.