Review: Cinderella and the Sheikh by Teresa Morgan

cinderella sheikHero: Sheikh Rasyn (Ra-sin) Al Jabar has no interest in becoming the next ruler of his homeland, Abbas in North Africa. He decides a Western wife will surely raise the country’s hackles and get him out of the line for succession. When he spies Libby, he thinks he can fulfill his desire to leave the throne and get pleasure out of the arrangement too. He puts on his most charming face and goes in for the kill.

Heroine: Libby Fay is working as a waitress at Hotel Scheherazade in very posh upscale Manhattan. She earns big tips from the wealthy clientele. Waitressing for Libby allows her to wait on people who need a little tender loving care (TLC). She feels that she makes people’s days easier. Growing up, she and her mom would play restaurant, and that’s when she found her calling. This job is the best job she’s ever had and she’s not about to mess it up for a playboy sheikh… even if he’s devilishly handsome and charming to boot.

Review: Libby is no fool. She doesn’t feel Rasyn’s attentions are genuine. He’s only just met her – how can he be in love with her? When he proposes marriage on the first “date” she’s floored. She doesn’t love him, why would she marry him? She says “yes” to help him save face, but an inch given is a mile taken with Rasyn. Twice in the novel, Libby’s mom provides the push to allow Libby to open up to Rasyn. First, he looks at Libby like her father looked at her mother… and then later when her mom asks if she ever gave her heart a chance to love Rasyn. I liked Rasyn’s line about not marrying a man you love, but marrying a man who loves you. I thought that was great! I also like how his plan to bring in an uncultured Western woman backfires. She’s genuine and kind which draws people to her. So while she makes social gaffs like he expected, their results are anything but catastrophic. Poor Rasyn.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Cinderella and the Sheikh (Hot Contemporary Romance)

Researching the Sheikh – Your Help Wanted!

by Cathy Jean  and Trysh Travis, guest bloggers and romance researchers

Greetings, romance readers! We are two researchers at the University of Florida and we want to get your opinions about the romances you read—especially if you love sheikh novels.

Our research suggests that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about these books and the people who read them, so we want to gather information and set the record straight.

The top stereotypes we’ve encountered:

  1. People assuming that sheikh romances show Arab culture as “primitive” society.
  2. People assuming that the male characters in these books are unusually cruel and/or kinky, with the suggestion (sometimes just hinted at) that this is due to the “primitive” society they come from and their fascination with and/or hatred for “civilized” or Western society.
  3. People assuming that the women who read sheikh romances don’t know anything about the “real” Middle East.

It really is pretty amazing the attitudes people have and we could really use your help!

If you read this blog, you are an expert on the romance genre, so please share your wisdom with us by completing a quick (about five minutes) survey here: http://kwiksurveys.com/online-survey.php?surveyID=NOJLLK_6ed851cb

Cathy and Trysh need you’re help so don’t wait! Take the survey! I did it and it doesn’t take very long at all to complete. Really just five minutes. :D

*You can ask for your personal information to be held private if that’s a concern.

Review: Bella and the Merciless Sheikh by Sarah Morgan

I just finished reading this amazing Sheikh category romance by Sarah Morgan. Oh my goodness, this is a book to glom! There’s so much to love about the book…

The Heroine: Bella Balfour has the public image of a bad girl. Her recent media explosion landed her smack dab in the desert for a forced retreat as punishment. If you looked sassy up in a dictionary you’d find Bella there. She’s perfect and her terrible jokes are pretty funny if only because you can image the hero’s eye-rolls in response. Her father couldn’t have picked a better spot to strand her because the resort took away her laptop, cell, ipod, makeup, and hair products. The threat of another cup of herbal tea and more hours spent in boring introspection and meditation are enough to inspire a jailbreak.

What I liked about Bella is her very believable transformation from the spoiled socialite into the fiercely independent woman. Without the armor of her bad girl reputation, deep vulnerabilities are exposed. Bella is keenly aware that nobody likes her, that she doesn’t have any true friends, that men only want her for sex. For once she’d like to be desired for herself, flaws and all. When she’s back inside city limits all she wants is to be given a chance to prove to herself and others that she’s not a mess.

The Hero: Sheikh Zafiq Al-Rashid loves the 5 days he gets every year to vacation in the desert and put aside his responsibilities. It’s the only time he gets to relax and enjoy peace, quiet, and most importantly solitude. This year his trip to a quiet oasis is foiled by a chance encounter with an unconscious dehydrated woman and a horse… his most prized mare to be exact. Determined to rescue and then punish the horse thief, Zafiq is unprepared to handle a conscious Bella.

What I liked best about Zafiq as a Sheikh hero he was that he prized self control above all else and realized in the face of Bella that he had never truly tested his control. A quality he thought he had a lot of ended up being something he had surprisingly little of. Usually the heroine is the virginal miss who appears so virtuous until she’s tested by the hero and winds up having very loose morals in most cases. So the fact that it’s reversed (even if the quality in question is different) is wonderful. I liked how it came to play in the category.

He also hates socialites because of how his father acted around his stepmother. He finds love to be a weakness and has literally expunged from himself as many emotional ties as possible, with the exception of perhaps his siblings. He doesn’t understand how to act like a man in love or how to act in a relationship and it’s bittersweet at times to see his reactions to Bella. He can be as merciless and arrogant and prickish as any alpha hero, but inside he’s just a lovable uncertain mess.

Don’t miss out! Go grab yourself a copy!

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Bella and the Merciless Sheikh

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Review: The Sheikh’s Captive Bride by Susan Stephens

I found this book to be an absolutely awful read. It’s one of those romances that if your non-romance reading friend were to pick it up they could use just about everything in it to prove their point on why romance is garbage. No—seriously it’s true…

Lucy Benson is in debt up to her eyeballs. The bank has pulled out it’s financial backing for her plan to renovate Westbury and now she has to deal with creditors and contractors she’d already hired and had start working on the castle. When Kahl (just call me Kahl) shows up she assumes he’s one of them. He doesn’t correct her.

She tells him her sob story and how she plans to pay everyone back, never knowing he was the reason why the bank pulled out of their deal. Then he proceeds to take advantage of Lucy in what amounts to a one night stand. The next day he leaves her before she wakes up and leaves her with no way to contact him. He also leaves her pregnant because he’s a dumbass and chose not to use protection.

When Lucy unexpectedly runs into Kahl again in Abadan she’s surprised and amazed that he’s Sheikh Kahlil and also insanely worried he’s somehow found out about Edward. Very quickly he puts two and two together and jumps to the most illogical conclusion – Lucy must be a gold digging whore who planned it from the beginning! (Okay so not in those exact words, but the meaning was just the same.)

He forces her into marriage and Lucy proves how idiotic she truly is by feeling guilty that Kahlil never saw Edward go through a lot of his firsts. WHAT? Why? The guy is an irredeemable asshole who even now is threatening her with legal action to take away Edward, won’t let her leave his country, and still thinks she’s an immoral woman who is completely unacceptable as the future queen of his country. Feeling guilty over his irresponsible misbegotten behavior? Puh-lease.

The 180 flip in the last ten pages didn’t do anything to redeem Kahl in my mind.

Rating: 0.5 Stars

Buy: The Sheikh’s Captive Bride

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Giveaway Winners!

Congratulations to the winners! You are:

random

which in English stands for…

  • 5- Debbie Tsikuris for Knight’s Fork by Rowena Cherry
  • 6- Afshan N for Working Man, Society Bride by Mary Nichols
  • 8- Alexandra  for Market for Love by Jamaica Layne
  • 1- Lisa W. for The Sheikh’s Defiant Bride by Sandra Marton
  • 10-Jeanne St. James for Can Perfect be Put on Paper by Carmen Shirkey

Ladies I should be in contact with you by the end of the day with an email. If you don’t see one please email me at reviewromancenovel@yahoo.com.

Giveaway: Get Some FREE Romance Books

Hi there gang! I have some books to giveaway… 5 in fact! They’re been read before and show varying marks of previous ownership. All of them are free of perfumes and smoke.

Leave a comment and my nifty random generator button just might choose you to get one of them. I will be matching winner to book based on the order pulled by the random generator.

Books Up for Grab:

  • Knight’s Fork by Rowena Cherry (ARC copy/signed) – LRP Rating 3.5/4 Stars
  • Working Man, Society Bride by Mary Nichols – LRP Rating 2.5/3 Stars
  • Market for Love by Jamaica Layne – LRP Rating 4.5 Stars
  • The Sheikh’s Defiant Bride by Sandra Marton -LRP Rating 3.5 Stars
  • Can Perfect be Put on Paper by Carmen Shirkey (signed) – LRP Rating 4 Stars

Contest is open to US participants only. Sorry international readers!

Winners will be posted tomorrow!

Review: The Sheikh’s Disobedient Bride by Jane Porter

guestreview

Cara Lynn writes to us her first romance novel review in response to the $10 gift card contest! LRP is very happy to have her with us today! If you would like to win a copy of a book by the author of this novel please see the end of the post for more information.

It’s pretty unfair for me to review this book, as this genre isn’t my particular favorite. However, they do get published!

When Tally finds herself kidnapped by Sheikh Tair, a fierce desert warrior, she comes up against the proverbial immovable mountain. I am not surprised. Tally is a photographer, and she has taken some compromising photos, or they could be. And not only that, her translators are more than they appeared, as they are enemies of the Sheikh. He isn’t at all convinced that she is innocent. However, he is more than willing to put her into his harem and to test her loyalties more than once.

She is determined to escape, but not knowing the land, finds herself in dangerous situations, where she needs to be rescued. And you guessed it, by Tair.

Ultimately, the Sheikh marries her (as you can tell by the title) and they fall in love – or do they. Perhaps they fall in lust. As in many Harlequin books, there are banter and arguments, but underneath it is respect for the man who is always wealthy and rich. Let’s face it, who would put up with these attitudes if he weren’t! The woman is always denigrated to an extent, which grates on me after a while – or from the beginning. It seems like an intelligent woman would use that intelligence to discern what kind of man the man is and not waste her breath on verbally fighting him. Of course, part of that is supposed to be sexual tension. How to rate the sex in this book? I didn’t feel like they had any chemistry. But that’s just me. Perhaps you did. I appreciate the fact that the sex is not crude. On the other hand, she doesn’t think she’s in love with him. And on the other hand, she is not a virgin, so she knows the ropes. And they both think the sex is great.

If you want a mindless read, or if this is your genre, you will enjoy this book. I’d have preferred it, if she had determined how he governed, what his daily life was like, what the issues of survival were, how she could contribute if she were his consort. (I can’t see her ruling.) Because she is less than prepared along these lines, she finds herself kidnapped by the men who had been her translators. She is rescued in about a page. I think this could have been extended too, over some of the other things in the book. But it fits the genre. After all, the Sheikh’s mother is from the West and married his father in similar circumstances. Perhaps one of the earlier Sheikh books by another author tells the generic story of their meeting.

Rating: 1.5 Stars