I wouldn’t be reviewing this at all, except for the fact that this book is the first in a trilogy of three “powerful sheikhs born to rule and destined to find love as eternal as the sands.” Yah, okay. Never-mentioned modern Middle-Eastern politics, nor the subservient role women have traditionally played in this part of the world aside, if the next two installments are anything like the first one, you’ll want to think twice before sifting these sands.
Caroline Langley is a beautiful American who has come to West Barakat (a silly and unnecessary map is included in the front of the book, along with the Tale of the Three Princes and How They Got That Way). Caroline was to have been accompanied by her fiancé, David Percy, a much-older man, and a dealer in antiquities. The couple won a surprise, all-expenses paid trip to The Barakat Emirates, but, at the last minute, David decided not to go. That’s okay with Caroline, who is only marrying wealthy David for his money – her parent’s live a life-style beyond their means and they are looking to Caroline to marry well (and divorce better!), so they can continue not lifting a finger. This premise was not believable at all.
At any rate, when she gets to West Barakat, Caroline is stunned to find her driver and tour guide is the darkly handsome, sexually charged Prince Karim (in disguise as a darkly handsome, sexually charged driver and tour guide), who promises to make her every vacation fantasy come true. His real motivation is to recover a stolen artifact he believes is in David’s possession. But when Karim discovers David didn’t even come on the trip, Karim is angry at first, then intrigued by the lovely Caroline. He offers her sex as part of his vacation package, and when she realizes she has fallen in love with her faux driver/tour guide, she eagerly capitulates. This premise was not believable at all. Unprotected sex in a foreign country with a tour guide who has possibly boinked every female passenger he’s ever had, and Caroline gives this guy her virginity??? And when Caroline finds out her tour guide is really the prince, she gets upset??? Do you really want me to continue???
If you can suspend belief, and if you can divorce yourself from how women are often really treated in the Middle Eastern countries, and if you can believe an educated woman would give her virtue to what she believes at the time is a gigolo taxi driver, you might enjoy this book – and it’s sequels. I, however, will not be the first in line.
So why didn’t I just go ahead and give this book an F? Well (here I admit to a guilty pleasure), I liked Karim – I kept envisioning Adrian Paul, shirtless, in a turban and silk trousers. Silly, I know, but there you have it. Dare I say yummy?