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Book CoverLynneC’s review of The Return of the Sheikh by Kristi Gold
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin Desire 7 May 13

Oh, a sheikh book. Love them, probably because I know very little about sheikh life, so I can swallow the stories whole.

In this one Zain returns home reluctantly to claim the throne, although he has two brothers you just know are going to get their own stories. The story of the second brother actually starts in this book when Zain and Madison attend his wedding to a suitable bride instead of the one he really wants. And then there’s the raffish pilot brother. Neither play an important part in the plot.

Zain knows Madison, a smart image consultant, and he lets her know he wants her, but he doesn’t force her into anything. As it is, Madison, who feels that she can’t do her job and sleep with him, gives him a strong case of blue balls. In fact, Madison has a severe crisis of conscience. She also knows that she can’t marry him, because the king has to marry one of his own kind (I do know that doesn’t happen, because of all the Western wives of sheikhs) and she can’t give him children (guess what the epilogue is!). Her job isn’t discussed very much, barely at all, which is an annoying state of affairs. I do like that she walks out at first, and it takes the intervention of Zain’s brother to get her to come back, and then reluctantly. Actually, there isn’t much of a plot, but that’s generally okay with me, except there’s a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, especially at first, which seems to lead nowhere.

Zain is an honourable man. When I discovered what he’s been doing instead of philandering, I nearly groaned, which would have been a shame because I was flying with a plane full of sleeping people at the time. I can’t sleep when I fly. The best I can do is a doze. Thank the powers that be for backlit tablets and adjustable brightness controls. Zain is really good, and there’s a lot of altruistic charity stuff in this book, which I could have done without. It doesn’t give Zain much king practice, just makes him look so good I wanted to hit him. Sorry, I know that’s just me. It involves starving children, too. But Zain is at least sexy and doesn’t force himself on Madison. Sometimes, (oops, non PC moment coming up here) I almost wish he would.

Because Madison is one of the most annoying heroines I’ve read in a long time. There are numerous instances where they nearly do it, and then she says no or puts him off or something else interrupts them. Ick. And it is so artificial. The author has to fight to find good reasons why they shouldn’t do the nasty, and the more that part of the book goes on, the less persuaded I am. And I do find myself muttering, “Just do it, already.”

Well, eventually, they do. The sex is okay, if a bit pedestrian, although I like their first time. Sweet. Once he gets her where he wants her, he controls her like the alpha he is. Then there’s the whole ‘he has to marry his own kind’ storyline, although it is obvious what is going to happen, because hero and heroine are committed and destined to be together. That part is more enjoyable, when they find their way to each other, and the final scene is lovely.

Not the epilogue, though. I have to take a point off for that.

Spoiler alert (highlight to read):
Not just one baby, but twins. Her non-functioning ovary did really well, didn’t it? Fraternal twins. They come from two eggs. Two eggs from one ovary. Zain must be really good to do that one. Not unknown, but the cute baby epilogue dodged the problem of having children or not.

LynneCs iconGrade: C


His Latest, Greatest Conquest

After a seven-year absence, Crown Prince Zain Mehdi returns to his throne with a tarnished reputation and finds a fiery blue-eyed political consultant named Madison Foster to help him repair it. But Madison isn’t just another plaything for the sheikh….

A romance between a royal and a commoner is forbidden, yet Madison can’t resist the passionate nights in Zain’s bed, lying spent in his strong arms. Loving the crown prince is dangerous enough, but would Madison’s latest secret–a royal baby of her own–derail Zain’s reign for good…or end in happily ever after?

Read an excerpt.