Kendrick's THE SHEIKH'S CHRISTMAS CONQUEST was a quick read, as most Harlequin books are. My interest was held from the first page to the last due to the unexpected storyline. Saladin, a sheikh and king to boot, travels far from his own country, through a winter storm no less, to demand that the horse whisperer travel back with him to try to heal his horse. Livvy is his last resort since everything else has failed, and she hasn't answered his request for help.
When Saladin and Livvy are forced to spend time together due to the storm, she continually resists his request to heal his horse. She's put that life behind her. She is also fighting the attraction between them.
Watching them take one step forward and two back was sometimes fun to watch but at other times heartbreaking. He's like no one she's ever met and doesn't know what to do about her reaction to him. Their continued contact seemed surreal, and Livvy was always confused as to how she should act, what she was feeling, and her unexplained attraction to Saladin since she's sworn off men (due to something that happened in her past).
Saladin was often confused as well. Yet as a king, he felt only he knew best and wanted Livvy to kowtow to him the way his subjects do. He picked the wrong woman for that!
This story has it all--royalty, commoners, secrets, memories, businesses, wintry weather, heat, demands, animals, laughter, tears, anger, happiness, unhappiness, baring of souls, two different lifestyles, and love. The descriptions of the locations, whether in England or Jazratan, were vivid and made me feel like I was really there. The epilogue gave nice closure and tied up loose ends.
Kendrick is a new-to-me author. I look forward to reading the first book in this series, CLAIMED FOR MAKAROV'S BABY, as well as other contemporary romances that she has written!