The Desert Lord's Bride
By Cinnamon
Aug 2, 2008 - 5:20:09 PM

Life hasn’t been easy for Farah Beaumont for the past ten years.  When her father died, she became the target for fortune hunters wanting a piece of his financial empire.  After one of these gold diggers seduced her and then dumped her, she swore off men permanently.  When her father’s company went bankrupt, she went to work for a family friend who suggested she pose as his mistress to get even with his ex-wife.  Farah likes the idea, since it should protect her from any further romantic entanglement.

Then she gets news that hits her like a bombshell.  Her father adopted her when he married her mother.  Farah is in fact the daughter of a king in the Middle East.  At first she is thrilled to have a father figure in her life again.  But then this man asks her to marry for a political alliance, and she realizes that he is only interested in her for what she can do for him…just like her old boyfriend and all the other men who have tried to date her over the years.

To save his kingdom from civil war and heal a rift between two rival families, Sheik Shehab Aal Masood must convince Farah Beaumont to marry him.  Unfortunately, she has an older lover and has already turned down her father’s request to come to his desert kingdom and marry Shehab.  To persuade such a woman to leave the security of being an old man’s mistress, Shehab devises a plan to pose as a player in the world of high finance and seduce her, thereby appealing to her sensual and business sides simultaneously.  He will weave a web so tightly around her that she won’t be able to refuse him. 

After meeting Shehab at a masked ball, Farah finds herself incredibly attracted to him.  Maybe she does have a sensual side after all and just needed the right man to inspire her!  She discovers he is the elusive Middle Eastern businessman her friend and boss sent her to meet at the party.  When the paparazzi catch them together, Shehab rescues her from their prying eyes and whisks her away to his private plane for dinner.  When they take off she knows a moment of panic, but Shehab quickly redirects her fears and she agrees to dine with him.

A simple dinner turns into a torrid island affair at Shehab’s palatial residence, and Farah falls for the financier.  He seems equally taken with her, but Farah knows it will have to end.  Who would want to be stuck with her forever?   

Shehab has all but dismissed Farah’s tabloid reputation as false.  If he could dispel the image of her with her aging lover, he would be able to confess to himself that he loves her, wholly and completely.  What will happen when she discovers that he is not who he claims to be?  Will he confess the truth or continue with the charade and save his kingdom from war?  As the crown prince of Judar, how can he do otherwise?

This book is absolutely perfect!  This is Olivia Gates’ second installment in her Throne of Judar series for Silhouette Desire.  I felt like I was right there with Farah, snorkeling off the shores of Shehab’s private island or riding his crème-de-la-crème Arabian mare.  More than the exotic location and foreign customs, more than the hotty hot hot hero with deep pockets and a private jet, the emotional facets of the characters’ relationship drew me deep into their world.  I laughed, I cried, and I got a serious crush on Shehab.  Sorry, hubby.

One of the things I loved most about the story was that Farah wasn’t too stupid to live—she was actually suspicious of Shehab at first.  Just as important, he began to doubt his preconceived notions of Farah and didn’t require “proof” that she was a good person, but trusted his heart, his instincts, and the proof of Farah’s actions.  This book stands alone, but to get maximum impact from the three Aal Masood princes, don’t miss reading all three books!  Ms. Gates deserves a standing ovation!

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