Author: Maisey Yates
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Date of Publication: December 17, 2013
A woman that could start a war
The Gypsy Sheikh, betrayer, modern-day marauderZafar Nejem has been called many things. And now he is to be called Your Majesty. Returning to the throne of Al Sabah, his first act is to rescue American heiress Analise Christensen from her desert kidnappers.
Since Ana is engaged to the ruler of the neighboring kingdom, her discovery must be concealed until Zafar can explain her presence, or else he risks war. But as the sun rises over the sand dunes, so does the forbidden heat that burns between them, threatening everything .
Sometimes I have real love/hate relationships with HP books. This time, though, I don’t really. I liked this book, I just didn’t love it.
No one could really call Ana strong initially, though she definitely grows and develops over the course of the novel. She starts out the good girl who’s lived her life trying to make herself indispensible to people so they won’t leave her (she has some emotional scars that are helped to finally heal, thanks to Zafar), but gradually comes to realize she doesn’t want to hide away behind those walls.
Zafar was horribly betrayed by a woman when he was sixteen, resulting in the death of his parents and his exile from the kingdom he should have inherited. So, I really don’t blame or need him to be all uber-alpha-male. He’s not a dominating man like so many HP heroes are, though he’s definitely a strong man. He had to be, surviving and bonding with the Bedouins who inhabit (and are persecuted by his uncle who ruled the kingdom after Zafar’s parents died) the desert parts of the kingdom. He built walls of necessity and has to reenter society after his uncle’s death to take over the kingdom even though the city-dwelling citizens think he’s nothing but a monster, not knowing all that he did during his exile to protect his people.
These two are a great couple and deseperately needed the comfort they ultimately find. Unfortunately, for me, what kept this from being a 4 or 4.5 star rating, was the amount of time spent repeating the memories/thoughts of what happened in the past. Yes, I understand they’re tortured and haunted by guilt over what they believed they were responsible for (and in many ways Zafar did have some definite reasons to be guilty, albeit out of youthful passion and naivete). But that really overwhelmed the bulk of the story and I got tired of seeing the “woe-is-me, I am scum” thoughts (not literally, but along those lines) throughout. Of course these two hurt souls are put on the path to healing finally through the love that grows between them. I just wish they’d started healing a bit sooner.
I like how Ana protected Zafar in the end from risking a war with his neighboring kingdom (Ana was engaged in the beginning to the sheikh of the next kingdom over), and how she looked to protect her father even after deciding she wasn’t going to keep just being what people needed to be.
So, all in all, a good but not fabulous book. I’m glad I read it and I will keep on reading Maisey’s works in the future.
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.