Friday, October 02, 2009
Author: Susan Mallery
Line: Silhouette Special Edition
Release month UK/ North America: October 2009
The S-Factor: Sizzling and Sensual
It was bad enough being hauled out of bed by palace guards. Now Victoria McCallan had just offered to pay off her father's gambling debts—with herself as the prize! So the palace secretary was shocked when sexy Prince Kateb made her a counteroffer….
When Kateb whisked Victoria off to the desert to be his mistress for six months, the widowed ruler had no intention of falling in love. But the outspoken Texas transplant was soon tempting him to change his royal ways. Duty decreed the El Deharia sheik should wed a proper mate, but Kateb's heart was telling him something else: to claim Victoria as his woman—now and forever.
Author Susan Mallery in her dedication to her Editor thanks her for letting her “write the book of her heart”. Quite honestly I sincerely believe it was the very best in her entire Desert Rogue series and a perfect ending to her sheik series. For me personally it was bittersweet as for three years I’ve been enjoying the series immensely.
What makes these books so different from others in the sheik genre is the author. Susan’s humour always shines through in her stories, her heroines are NOT faint at heart, they are strong, spirited and intelligent women. Her sheiks are very proud and honourable. These men for the most part have been educated in England or the US as their father’s were Kings in their particular region, their mother had passed away or their father had remarried.
The Sheik and the Bought Bride opens with Victoria McCallan’s father cheating in a card game. When he is threatened he will be imprisoned, his daughter Victoria who works at the palace offers to take the place of her father. Before her mother died, she made her a promise that she would always look out for her dad. Victoria stands by her word, her promise and first and foremost she’s a very honourable woman. When it’s decided that she will become Sheik’ Kateb’s mistress in place of her father going to jail, for Kateb and Victoria their journey begins and just like the heat in the desert, it’s hot!
As the reader learns early on, Sheik Kateb is soon to become the ruler of his desert nation and he’s unmarried. At one time he married his childhood friend who died in an Italian car accident. He’s been single for five years and his people want him to eventually marry. One also learns that this man for the most part has dedicated himself to his people and now faced with this lovely woman who stirs needs he hasn’t felt in a long time, it becomes most interesting reading regarding the interaction between Kateb and Victoria. An example of this and the authors humour is shown in the following: “I’ve never had a mistress before so I don’t have any expectations.” She took the wine without looking at him. “You have a harem.” “It came with the property.” “Sort of like a three-car garage when you only have two cars?” “Something like that”. Obviously, I chuckled throughout the entire book.
Just one kiss for them and it’s all over for both of them. Kateb realizes he’s in trouble and wants to send her back to the palace but when he learns she might be pregnant, it’s determined she cannot leave. However, both of them ponder was there something more powerful or frightening for them both to face as far as their attraction? Kateb also learns a lot about Victoria and realizes she wants nothing for herself and she’s a very complex woman.
Victoria had learned at an early age to take care of herself. Being left alone in the harem she’s no shrinking violet she’s a woman who needs something to do and she takes an interest in the people, especially the women who make beautiful gold jewelry. Being a Western woman, she carefully treads but wants to take their jewelry worldwide and Kateb allows her to present him with a business plan. That’s not all Victoria does, she takes an interest in a child who has been left to live on the streets due to his father’s crime. She a woman who is passionate about life and love, a woman who has only experienced love at the hand of her mother, a woman afraid to love herself. Can you imagine for a woman like this who’s afraid to love, when she realizes that she indeed loves Kateb what this does to her?
It’s the same for sheik Kateb, he cared once for his wife and look what happened, he lost his friend and love. Victoria pulls him in a way no other woman has had the power, but he fights it every way he can. In the end, well let’s just say emotions run high and Kateb realizes he must send Victoria back to the United States but she’s doesn’t want to leave him. It’s an incredible journey, extremely emotional and dramatic ending and very fitting for Mallery’s readers and fans. For us you have loved The Desert Rogue series, The Sheik and the Bought Bride was a perfect last book. My personal thanks to Susan for many, many hours of reading enjoyment!
Hero Hotness Factor♥♥♥♥♥
Heroine Lovability Factor♥♥♥♥♥
Stickability Factor ♥♥♥♥♥
Reviewed by: Marilyn