Lost to the Desert Warrior (The Private Lives of Public Playboys #3) by Sarah Morgan
Series: The Private Lives of Public Playboys #3
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Presents
Publication Date: August 20th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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"Walking into the lion's den unprotected, Princess?"
For Layla, princess of Tazkhan, her arranged marriage means one thing: a lifetime of cruelty and captivity. Such an unendurable prospect drives her to throw herself at the mercy of Sheikh Raz Al Zahki - her family's greatest enemy!
Raz demands one thing in return for the safe haven Layla is seeking - this brooding desert king wants to make her his queen! Her freedom might be secured, but now her heart is at risk, for soon she's lost to the scorching heat of their marriage bed. However, it will take more than fire to thaw her guarded husband.
The politics of the Middle East with its ancient cultures, its many kingdoms and fiefdoms of varying sizes, and its very mixed religious allegiances are a mystery to most occidentals. But Ms Morgan has written a story that most of us can understand when set in the context of a family without any love or respect, of two sisters whose only source of caring is each other, and the deep fear they endure when facing the cruelty of the man their uncaring, ambitious father has chose as husband for his oldest daughter and ruler of his country. We can all understand the need of a caring and powerful alpha-type ruler who knows that he is the rightful ruler of that country and also bears their ultimate good in his heart and as his goal for them and for himself. Little wonder that Princess Layla found a way to escape the cruel life in store for her as she ran to the one man who had a right to hate her and her family.
This is a very different love story as it is rooted in the distrust that is almost always the result of political manipulation and p0wer grabbing. Of course, we have all read romances where the principal characters are at odds. Yet here Raz and Layla do indeed have a common bond in their mutual desire to see Layla’s people ruled by a king who will put their well-being ahead of all else. The sticky wicket in this story is Raz’s inability to trust Layla that fights with his persistent attraction to her. He is literally “blown away” by the deep passion that characterized their wedding night, yet he battles his distrust and his own failure to keep his vow to honor the memory of his now deceased wife. The story is made even messier by the presence of a traitor in Raz’s camp, one that has Layla as a target but whose plan unfortunately didn’t take collateral damage into account.
This is a short novel and won’t take a lot of time to read. Yet it is a good read and one that will please even those fans of romance fiction who may not usually be drawn to the “desert sheikh” kind of tale. It’s a great way to spend a summer afternoon with that tall glass of something cool, even as your read about the blistering heat of the Middle East desert.
I give this novel a rating of 4 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.