A modern day fairytale between the emir of a fictional Middle Eastern country and the Chatsfield Hotel’s chambermaid tasked to provide his entourage hospitality? Where the heroine, Liyah, is the pragmatic, illegitimate daughter of the hotel’s owner and the hero, Sayed, is an entitled, elitist snob betrothed to someone of equal pedigree?
The thing with these kinds of romance novels is that you come in to the story with certain expectations and this book’s cover in particular already warns you of the cheese factor ahead (and it certainly delivered on that promise)… but outside of that, Sheikh’s Scandal actually managed to surprise me. The sex was pretty reined in and fell into the treacly category more than smut; while the insta-lust was undeniably ridiculous, I could also excuse it given the circumstances the H and h were under she’s an inexperienced virgin, he hasn’t had sex for three years; both protagonists had tolerable personalities — him being honourable and purpose driven and her being an independent and sensible woman… well outside the Sayed Sphere or Sexual Sensations anyway.
It was easy to escape into these little triumphs this book achieved and enjoy it for what it is.
”I hope you are ready for this.”
She did, too.
He stopped in front of her. “I am breaking a three-year fast. Prepare yourself. I plan to feast on you.”
Then of course there’s that.
Not to mention the attempt to shed some cultural depth to Sayed’s character with his strange metaphors and turns of phrases. Blatant lies are not identified as bullshit in Zeena Sahra, they’re camel dung! Because you know… camels, man.
It was bizarrely fascinating, the way it’s like method writing as opposed to method acting. Points for the effort, I suppose?
I was actually quite confused what kind of a fictional nation of Zeena Sahra is, because critical me finds it a contradictory mess of traditional and modern. Not to mention the fact that both of Sayed’s deceased family members died from a bomb and he’s mostly concerned whether he got the chambermaid pregnant or not and how will he perform his royal duties when he gets a raging boner at the very sight of Liyah. It’s brilliant to create a nation and culture for the hero to rule and be conflicted over because it saves the effort of research on the part of the author. But keeping what little details you chose to show consistent would have been much better.
I wasn’t a big fan of how things ended between Liyah and Chatsfield but that may just be the vindictive bitch in me talking.
I do fully disclose that I have an unhealthy obsession towards a certain attractive emirati who allegedly got deported for being too beautiful. I mean, have you seen the ridiculous levels of pretty on this guy????
The opportunity to imagine that guy doing, erm honourable things, several times, probably accounts for most of the stars I’m blindly giving this book.
Okay, it probably accounts for ALL the stars I’m giving this book.
Even if this has been aptly labeled by Stacia as an awesome drinking game waiting to happen.
ARC provided by the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review.