Series: Throne of Judar
Author: Olivia Gates
Genre: Contemporary romance (Silhouette Desire)
Synopsis: The future of Judar rests with Farah Beaumont, a foreigner who wants nothing to do with her heritage.
And to secure his country’s peace, prince Shehab Aal Masood must make her his bride—by any means necessary.
Hiding his identity and sweeping Farah off her feet is a start. But the joyful, seemingly innocent Farah is nothing like he expects. And Shehab’s calculated seduction soon becomes an affair too powerful to control….
Review: Another guaranteed good Arabian/Middle Eastern story from Olivia Gates. No other category romance author is as consistent in creating realistic characters and locations while seamlessly weaving Arabic into the story.
I also LOVE that Gates often uses names authentic to the Middle East and writes about men and women of mixed race. Too many times, ‘desert sheik’ category romances are about ‘white’ women falling in love with an Arab prince or sheikh. Diversity is a wonderful reality, which is reflected in the readership of these books, so kudos to Olivia Gates for reflecting this in her books.
The Desert Lord’s Bride is book 2 in Olivia Gates’ Throne of Judar series for Silhouette Desire. (Book 1 id The Desert Lord’s Baby while book 3 is The Desert King)
Shehab may have been thrust into the role of crown prince of Judar but he vows to do what he must for Judar’s future safety and prosperity. With his head full of gossip magazine reports on Farah, the new ruler sets a clever trap for her.
Unfortunately for Shehab, he ends up falling into it too and gets caught up in a passionate encounter with Farah in the ‘forested’ area of the posh mansion at which he is throwing a party one night.
Farah has a reputation as an aloof, materialistic, young woman who is dating her dead father’s former business partner because he has lots of money. So far from the truth, and discovering this puts Shehab in an uncomfortable position.
Like any human being with doubts, pre-conceived notions, goals and major responsibilities, Judar’s crown see-saws between having faith in the Farah he gets to know intimately and the woman she pretends to be to the world.
Everything comes to a very emotional head when the full truth about Farah’s biological father (the neighbouring ruler) comes to light. Gates made me feel like I was right there with Farah, when she suffers an emotional breakdown after years of ‘pushing through’ the pain and heartache.
Shehab’s journey to redemption in Farah’s eyes may have taken place in a few pages but you totally buy the commitment he makes in that short space of time to his one true love.
Excerpt: “He shook his head. “How can you underestimate your effect on me to that extent? You think I’d forget you?” He clamped her shoulders again, his eyes filling with what looked like a vow…………………………..
He’d brought her here to seduce her. He’d struggled each moment to remind himself she was a means to an end. He’d fought to convince himself that no matter how much he craved her, and though he would marry her, there’d never be emotions involved.
But with each moment he could no longer connect the the reality of the woman who delighted him, who roused every appreciative emotion he’d never though he had, with the image of the unfeeling, amoral woman she was supposed to be. Then came today.
Memories bombarded him now that she was no longer in pain or danger. Of every heart-bursting second as she’d charged him, exchanging places with him. As he’d watched her convulse, felt her scream gurgle through the water, electrocuting him with fright. And then what followed, where only the blinding need to carry her to safety, to absorb her fear and agony, had existed…………….
Blind, out of his mind, (Shehab) caught (Farah) to him, filled his hands with her, honey and life and unconditional surrender made flesh, made woman, all woman. And she was his for the taking. And he would take her. And take her.