REVIEW: Desert Prince, Blackmailed Bride by Kim LawrenceSunday, February 21, 2010 1:00
Another daft title, but a bit more accurate than some I’ve read recently, where the title seems to have been drawn out of a hat.
I enjoyed this one. Like most HMB’s it suffers from the shoehorn aspect, where certain aspects have to be there, but in this one I could believe in the 24 year old virgin, and it’s not for any angsty reason, either. But I am getting tired of the “he stilled above her” moment in the Presents books.
Gabby arrives in Zatara trying to help her brother, who is in prison accused of drug smuggling. Although she will do anything to free him, she accepts that he’s a feckless person, so it’s not a case of blind love.
When she meets Rafiq, she thinks he’s in the palace clandestinely, but she doesn’t think that way for long.
I really liked Rafiq, who had a proper sense of duty. It overwhelmed him somewhat and certainly needed moderating, but he started from a good point. I didn’t believe the first scene, where the doctor tells him he’s dying, because he’s the hero and this a romance, and, well, heroes don’t die in romances, do they? But nobody else took it terribly seriously, either.
And the news should have brought his father, who remains absent throughout the book, even when Rafiq marries (this happens late in the book, but it’s in the official blurb so I’m mentioning it too).
Gabby has enough spirit to be interesting and not enough to be irritatingly feisty. She is the blonde, slight beauty that is so not Rafiq’s type, and her refusal to play dress-up can be irritating. Also the insistence on “designer” as if they are interchangeable. Everything is designed by somebody, and without the names the reference becomes fairly meaningless, it’s just a synonym for “expensive.”
However, their falling in love is believable and you get to see it and share it, which is the most important part of a Harlequin romance and that’s why I enjoyed the book.
Rafiq Al Kamil, heir to the desert kingdom of Zatara, thinks innocent Gabby will be the perfect convenient wife for his brother. But Gabby isn’t as biddable as she seems…
Now Rafiq will have to persuade her! Except the more time Rafiq spends with Gabby the more he wants her—in his own bed. But when he discovers she’s a virgin, the earth collapses under his feet. Suddenly, having her as his mistress is not enough— Rafiq demands she become his bride!
Read an excerpt here.