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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shadow of the Sheikh by Nina Bruhns

Shadow of the Sheikh by Nina Bruhns
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (281 pgs)
Heat Level: hot
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

All are terrified of the ruthless legend of al Shahin—the Black Hawk. Sheikh Shahin Aswadi doesn't mind. It makes his job easier. He is one of the immortal shape-shifters who serve the ancient Egyptian god Set-Sutekh, and no human has dared approach his hidden oasis encampment for nearly a century.

That is, until intrepid anthropologist Gemma Haliday comes sniffing around after her missing sister. She has foolishly disregarded the dire warnings of the nomads in order to question the one man who may know of her sister's fate. To Shahin's gratification, she walks straight into the trap he has carefully laid for her.

Just one taste of Gemma's lips and he knows he must possess her fully…but he wants her willing. He wants her to burn for him as he burns for her—with a desire as hot and vast as the timeless Egyptian desert.

This book is as hot as the scorching sands of the desert this tale takes place in and reading this was a thrill ride from beginning to end.

I’d read the first book in the trilogy and wasn’t sure if Ms. Bruhns was going to be able to top it. To my delight Shadow of the Sheikh has proven to be another great read and I couldn’t be happier. I can also say that if a reader wasn’t able to catch the first book, don’t worry because this book is really about Gemma and Shahin and the other characters orbit around them in just the right amounts to enhance the story without diluting the powerful romance between the hero and heroine.

Gemma is in a dilemma. She seeks out her lost sister and instead finds a mysterious man who invades her dreams with wanton and sensuous abandon. Little does she know that those dreams weren’t her own and yet I have to wonder how much is him and how much is actually her true self. I say that because of how Ms. Bruhns wrote her character. Gemma is a passionate woman who doesn’t hide from herself. If she wants something, she goes and gets it. If she’s curious about something, she investigates. When she’s faced with the astounding truth, she steps up to the plate and deals with it, after a short bout of hysteria. The fun part is that what she wants, is curious about and what she faces all revolve around one man, Sheikh Shahin Aswadi – a dark and compelling myth.

Except Shahin isn’t a myth but a man with definite and delicious designs on Gemma’s person. He has one tiny problem. He doesn’t trust a woman any farther than he can throw a camel. Okay, that’s not the best choice of comparison because of what he can do to camels. Let’s just say that the hero has been burned by a female in the past that was so bad it would make even Dudley Do Right think wrong. And yet, I was excited to see that he was not immune to the honest passion and innocent trust in Gemma’s eyes. He was a man lost and the heroine was his key to finding happiness again. I thought it was pretty funny that he seemed to be the last one to know it. Well, almost last. It took Gemma a bit to believe it but when that part came it was very romantic.

In the beginning I claimed that this book was hot. That’s an understatement. Get out the ice cubes and cold shower because the consummation scene with Shahin and Gemma and someone else is enough to make steam rise off of the pages. It was written so well that it was a seduction of the senses, not only for the characters but for me too. In that moment, I wanted to be Gemma.

There is of course the underlying story thread of the war between the last two demi-gods and that drama plays out one step further bringing a heightened sense of impending doom. The book ends with a satisfying happily ever after between Gemma and Shahin but dangles a enticing dramatic thread sure to make the final book of the trilogy a must read. I can’t wait to find out which demi-god wins and in fact there is a sneaking suspicion that perhaps one extra person might find true love than what is obviously presented. I could be wrong but I can’t wait to find out.

Shadow of the Sheikh is a powerful romance between two strong people who come to find trust and love in troubled times. I had a great time reading this book and it was another one-sitting-cover-to-cover until it’s done kind of event for me. This is going on my keeper shelf along with the first book, Lord of the Desert and I can’t wait to see what Ms. Bruhns comes up with for the grande finale. If it’s as good as the first two, then I’m in for a real treat.