My rating: 5 of 5 gargoyles
First up – it’s Maisey Yates. That, for me, is pretty much an auto-read issue. Add in the fact that it’s a sheikh story AND it’s a revenge story…revenge of the WOMAN…and I’m allll in.
I had uber-high expectations and Ms. Yates, as always, did not let me down. Samarah is a princess who’s lived her entire life in hiding because her entire family (save her and her mother) were slaughtered by rebels after Ferran had her father executed for sleeping with his mother (he actually witnessed it). She hates him for this and so, having worked her way into a situation where she can get close to him, and having been tutored in martial arts by a kindly man as she was in hiding (no, as it’s presented, I actually had no trouble believing in how/why she was trained to fight…it really works in the story), she tries to kill him. She of course fails and strangely Ferran offers her a choice: prison or become his sheikha. Weird, but again, it’s a Harlequin Presents book and Ms. Yates’ talents work to make it believable.
Ferran – very closed off man who carries a heavy weight on his shoulders for past deeds. In Samarah, he finds a way to at least partially alleviate some of his issues. It’s not so much a case of her marrying him will redeem him, more he’s as always trying to carry out his duty.
It’s very difficult to summarize this novel because there’s so much packed into the category length story.
I loved the setting. Ferran’s tale about how his ancestors came to rule the country, along with the tribes that still inhabit parts of the kingdom without being citizens of the kingdom were great. I loved watching Samarah grow beyond the angry, hate-filled woman she is at the beginning into realizing the choices she was making. These two really did help each other heal from the wounds inflicted both by themselves and by the world around them.
Without a doubt, I recommend this and hope everyone will give it a chance, even if you traditionally turn your nose up at the sheikh trope. This one’s worth your time!
Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.