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The Sheik Retold
by Victoria Vane and E. M. Hull
A haughty young heiress for whom the world is a playground…
A savage son of the Sahara who knows no law but his own…
When pride and passion vie for supremacy…
Blistering desert days are nothing compared to the sizzling Sahara nights…
Restless, I moved about the tent, listlessly examining objects that I already knew by heart, and flirting over the pages of some French magazines. I should have been elated at his unexpected absence, yet in my perversity, I was strangely unstrung with anticipation of his return. Now the utter silence only oppressed me.
Where was Gaston? Even the servant’s company would be preferable to my own. I guessed he must have gone with his master or perhaps he was long retired. I went to the flap of the tent and gazed out into the night. The camp, large and spread out was covered mostly in a blanket of blackness, broken by the occasional glimmer of a sparking fire.
I had dreamt for years of this experience, of a month spent in the desert and now here I was. I had longed for adventure. It is what I had sought, so why could I not turn this tragedy to my advantage? I had food and shelter that was far superior to any I could have provided for myself. And I was surrounded by hundreds of armed men. Whether I viewed them as my captors or my protectors was only a matter of perception—a matter of choice.
I knew I was safe. I had seen the depths of deference, the authority of the Sheik’s command. Any man outside of himself who dared to touch me would suffer death. Of that I had no doubt. The only thing stopping me from enjoying my adventure in this vast oasis and my freedom in the Sheik’s camp, was my own desperate desire to cling to a state of chastity I truly cared nothing about. It was only my pride that stood in the way of my pleasure, and my refusal to allow him to take it from me.
I chewed my lip as I gazed up upon the stars glimmering in the heaven like countless brilliant diamonds shimmering against a backdrop of black velvet. I wondered if in the great scheme of things, my pride was a bit over-rated.
This entire evening I had bucked with resentment against the pretense that I was a willing guest here, but had I met this same Sheik in Biskrah, in more conventional circumstances, if I had only been properly introduced, would I not have willing, even gratefully accepted an invitation to his camp? Only a week ago I would have jumped at the chance. What now prevented me from embracing that role? From enjoying that status— for as long as I had planned? I smiled to myself. Yes, it was all just a matter of perception—except for the bartering of my body— the Sheik’s expectation in return for his hospitality.
My smiled dimmed.
I could enjoy my month of holiday as planned, as long as I would willing serve his needs—and all that implied— in his bed.
I’m not sure how to express myself in my review of The Sheik Retold so here goes…As most know, I love Harlequin books, my sheiks in Harlequin Presents especially and the women that they finally love once and for all. Most of them are ruthless, powerful, sexual beasts for a taste of the wicked but underneath all of that bravado lies a heart of a beating man who is tender, kind and just wants to love.
Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan is just that man. And once he wants Diana Mayo, he will stop at nothing to have her. Only problem with that? She’s not a meek mouse and will challenge him in ways that he never expected. Having kidnapped her from men that want to murder her, he will expect nothing from her but complete submission to him and his bed. Again, another problem…she has no clue.
Diana has been brought up by her brother so she doesn’t understand the needs of others around her. She has been raised a spoiled brat and about the only thing she has going for her is her beauty. Diana hates being a woman, too. Strong willed to a fault and not understanding the true reason why the Sheik kidnapped her, it makes for a wonderful tale of growth for her.
Keep in mind that Ms. Vane retold the story. It’s a historical romance set in 1920 and she did not deviate from the time period or the crux of the story itself. Yes, she left out the whole “forced seduction/rape” trope and while the sex is still scorching and you will need a fan, it will not make you throw your Kindle and think that Diana is a TSTL heroine. Just the opposite in fact. I know that some will think that there is mild BDSM in it but I didn’t see it that way. I read the story with the knowledge that it is a historical romance and that our English ways or not necessarily the ways of the desert. A harem is a harem. 🙂
This is my first Victoria Vane novel and it will not be last. I love a great historical from the sweet to the erotic and she didn’t disappoint me in the least. From her lush settings, the dialogue between the Sheik and Diana, the time period itself, I was hooked. Because underneath all that truly is a beautiful and compelling love story.
I’m not sure that Ms. Vane will appreciate the Harlequin reference but again, I felt like The Sheik Retold is a much hotter, erotic telling of the old Sheikh trope. What sets it apart from the rest is Ms. Vane herself. You feel yourself in the story. You want to be there and surrender to the Sheik; at least I did. 😉
Did I mention the twist with the Sheik? *evil laugh* Harlie doesn’t do spoilers, so you will have to read it to find out what I’m talking about. Enjoy!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist, cowboy addict, and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. Look for Victoria’s sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming from Sourcebooks summer 2014.
Facebook: Author Victoria Vane