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Book CoverLynne Connolly‘s review of Surrender to the Playboy Sheikh by Kate Hardy
Contemporary romance released by Harlequin Presents 1 Jul 09

If anyone thinks that HMB books are churned out with next to no effort from the writer – this is one of the best examples against this argument that I’ve read, and certainly the best this year.  Kate Hardy wrote the award winning Breakfast At Giovanni’s which by the time it left the UK Modern line and moved to the US Present line became In Bed With Her Italian Boss. So I ask you, which title do you prefer? I can definitely recommend this one as well. 

This book took the trope of the playboy sheikh and turned him into a real person, one you could like. Karim is a second son, and inherits the responsibilities of the small country when his older brother dies. Part of his playboy reputation comes from the fact that these days a lot of business and networking is done at parties. While he regrets losing his career as a volcanologist he doesn’t repine on it but gets on with his new life. I loved that about him, and I adored the way he considered the needs and wants of the woman he falls in love with. He doesn’t take for granted that she will fall in with his wishes, he doesn’t force her or blackmail her or coerce her, he seduces her.
Great big sigh of happiness. His seduction is done with respect and healthy anticipation. I adored that about Karim and I could see exactly why Lily fell for him.
Elizabeth Finch (Lily) owns a catering company, and is a bit of a celebrity, doing recipes for magazines and photoshoots. She’s booked up three months in advance. And a warning here-Kate Hardy knows about cooking and if the descriptions of little ice-cream balls and coffee mousse filled choux buns don’t make you hungry, ur not doin it rite. She has a quiet dignity, and glory be, she is in her late twenties and she behaves like it, too. She has a brain and while she’s independent and proud of it, she’s prepared to compromise.

The stumbling blocks in the romance are believable and are dealt with in a great way. There is little heavy drama and savage declarations, but Kate Hardy uses proper words like “penis” and “come” and her sex scenes are erotic. Not erotic because of the frequency or the heat, but because you can see the couple falling in love, and even before they fall they care about each other, so the sex scenes are about connection and pleasure, not about athletics or marathons.

I spent a lovely morning with this book, and I’d advise you to do likewise. I read the UK version, but the US version is one of the July Harlequin Presents offerings. Get it. You’ll love it.  An unrestrained…

lynnec.jpgGrade: A


Karim al-Hassan can have any woman he wants, and sexy little waitress Lily Finch is in his sights. One glance leads to a searing kiss – and a hunger that Karim plans to satisfy with a temporary fling.

But Lily is more than just a waitress. Successful and career-focused, she is determined never to mix business with pleasure agian – until playboy Karim’s slow seduction breaks her resistance! Soon Karim is breaking his own rules: he wants Lily in his bed – for ever!

Read an excerpt here.