Tariq is one of the hottest heroes I’ve recently stumbled upon, and I’m sure he’ll haunt my dreams for quite a while. He makes for a perfect modern-day ruler with just the right mix of regal bearing, fierce determination, power, and charisma. He practically oozes confidence without seeming cocky. At first he might come across as a bit cold and harsh, but we soon learn that the hard shell holds a soft core, and that he has his reasons for behaving how he does. It was absolutely fascinating to learn about his past, to witness his development and changes, and to fall head over heels in love with him.
Samira fascinated me just as much, and not all heroines manage to do that. I loved her hidden and not-so-hidden strength, her streak of stubbornness, and her intelligence. The way she handled Tariq’s children was heart-warming, and every single step she took made a lot of sense to me. Big kudos to the author for portraying her as a beauty with brains, and for making her so authentic and credible. She made a perfect match for Tariq, and I laughed and cried along with her.
Annie West has chosen to present the story from the point of view of both protagonists, and I think that’s the perfect choice. It made many things much clearer while at the same time intensifying the conflict and keeping me on my toes. Sometimes the book read like a movie playing out in my head, and I love it when that happens. The sensual scenes were really steamy but also very tasteful.
I had first heard about 'Sheikh romances' a couple of years ago and immediately thought that’d be my cup of tea. A dozen downloads later, though, I was bitterly disappointed. Many of the romance novels were more lust than love and more "macho alpha male makes helpless heroine swoon" than a real story with a plot. I don’t mean to go on a criticizing spree here, but I can honestly say that this book has reinstalled my faith in the genre. Now I’ll need to grab myself a copy of "The Sheikh's Harem Bride" because apparently Samira makes her first appearance in it – and because I’m definitely hooked on Annie West’s books now!