This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Small Publisher
Released on February 13, 2016
Haven’t read a good desert sheikh romance in a while so I was happy to see this one waiting for me. New to me author and series. This is book two, but it functions just fine as a standalone. I’m reading this one as part of The Red Hot Lovers Box Set.
The story opens with Sheikh Ahsan Afshar joining his friends at a Gala held in Dubai. He is distracted by a stunning vision in white, but he tries to play it low key since it is generally known that he never lets a woman turn his head. But this one…
Sessily Pavel feels all twisted up inside. She is at the Gala for one reason only: Sheikh Ahsan Afshar. Ahsan’s brother is holding her sister hostage and forcing her to spy on Ahsan and perhaps something more deadly if Ahsan’s intent is to usurp his brother as the crown prince. Ahsan is known to be hard to get close to and her assignment is to not only get close, but get invited into his household as a spy. This turns out to be the easy part. Ahsan surprises her with his gallantry, courteous hospitality and quiet life away from public view. He is making it hard for her to hold onto the hate that will make her lies and spying palpable. Then she sees the women and suspects Ahsan is in the human trafficking business with his hateful brother.
Ahsan doesn’t get Sessily. He is drawn to her and is impressed that she doesn’t fawn on him and want something from him like most women, but it is obvious that she is keeping secrets and something is bringing the fear to her eyes. But even as he tries to figure out Sessily, the political situation heats up and threatens to pull him in a direction he doesn’t want to go.
All right, this one isn’t deep, but was engaging. I enjoyed the playful, flirting banter between Ahsan and Sessily. The intrigue was a nice surprise and added enough to keep it interesting. I liked that the narration was shared by both Ahsan and Sessily so I could get what both were thinking. The romance develops with a little extra tension because of Sessily’s secrets and the misunderstanding about Ahsan and the captured women. There was a fairy tale quality to the story and I enjoyed that tone.
Normally, I don’t care for stories that have the ‘big misunderstanding’ element because usually it’s obviously just a device to amp up the angst. In this case, the author used it well. The issue made sense in keeping with Sessily’s experiences and the fact that she doesn’t have much time to get to know Ahsan. The reader knows the truth and it’s hard to see her suspect the very guy who can help her and yet it’s not a big stretch to see that she’s not being stupid to be cautious and trust no one particularly the bad guy’s brother. So, all that to say, the conflict worked well for this story.
Now her second misunderstanding, that was just her willing to think the worst and her insecurities, but fortunately it didn’t carry on forever.
The romance was sweet with a bit of spice and happened at a rapid clip, but that is par for the course. I liked this pair together and would have liked a bit more at the end of them together, but wasn’t too disappointed.
All in all, this was a quick, moderately satisfying read. I want to get the rest of the stories about Ahsan’s friends. This is for those who enjoy light, quick, fairytale like contemporary romances.
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