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Posted August 7, 2012
Zoë Martin was desperate to get away from her uncle. She'd been raised in the US and when her parents died her uncle Tareef came and collected her and took her back to Jazaar with him. He'd promised to look after her, but instead had stolen her inheritance, abused her when she rebelled, and made her a servant in his household. Her only possible escape was to marry and attempt to escape on her honeymoon. She thought it was a good plan until she met her betrothed--Sheikh ibn Shihab Nadir, aka The Beast. A nickname he'd earned two years ago when he rejected his previous bride.
Sheikh Nadir had agreed to the marriage to Zoë for political reasons. Her family's tribe was a highly respected and influential one. The marriage was to ensure good relations between Nadir's family and the tribe. He had rejected a bride from the tribe two years ago and this was his way of making amends. His plan was to marry her, consummate the marriage, and then send her away in the Sultan's palace never to lay eyes on her again.
Falling in love was never part of either of their plans.
This was a fun book. Zoë was in an impossible situation doing what she can to get out of it. Before she'd come to live with her uncle she had dreams and aspirations of becoming a doctor like her parents. Now she's just looking for a way out. Her husband-to-be is thought to be a little too modern in his thinking and making her his bride was meant to be an insult. Nadir had entrusted the picking of a wife to the tribe and instead of picking a Jazaari bride suitable for a sheikh, they chose an outcast from the tribe--Zoë. Things could have gone very bad for Zoë and she could of found herself in an even worse situation than before, but thankfully Nadir wasn't just forward thinking when it came to business dealings.
What I liked about this book is that Ms. Carr did not sweep some of the issues of the Arab world under the rug for the sake of the romance, but brought them to light. Abuse of woman does happen, with women having little or no rights to prevent it. We've all seen the stories. Ms. Carr, however, delicately balances the romance with a dose of reality. While Nadir seemed a little too westernized and modern for his people, he was still a little bit backward in his way of thinking. Zoë and Nadir had to try to blend two distinctly different cultures and beliefs together to make their marriage work. I'm glad that in the end Zoë didn't have to sacrifice her dreams to be with her husband or choose between the two.
Overall, I gave this romance a 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. I liked both the main characters and how Nadir did his best to try to accommodate Zoë while dealing with a world (Jazaar) not yet ready to join the modern ways of thinking. I also liked how Nadir didn't leap to conclusions or act before he got all the facts. I loved the relationship the two shared and how he ended up respecting and seeking out her opinion on matters. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating-too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.
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Posted August 7, 2012
Posted April 6, 2013
Posted December 6, 2012
Sexy with a hint of spice ...
For full review including excerpt and dialogue highlight, please visit Reader's Edyn at:
readeredyn (dot) blogspot (dot) com
Nadir needs a wife, fast. He was married once before, but rejected his “wife” before the ceremony festivities ended. His youth and anger caused him to handle the situation in a bad way, saddling him with the nickname The Beast. But time has passed and he still needs to marry. Negotiations are bad with this tribe so he agrees to marry a woman of their choosing in the hopes of strengthening ties. But the tribe has another plan and sends him a bride that is less than suitable … especially for a sheik.
Zoe is an outcast. Raised by her parents in Texas, one American, the other from Jazaar, she is returned to the tribe following their deaths with nowhere else to go. Her American ways are unacceptable and she is constantly abused, humiliated, and punished in an effort to purge the American out of her. Years of broken promises and beatings have caused her to mistrust men. Her only chance of escape back to the states is to marry a man and sneak away from him as fast as she can, so she agrees to the marriage with Nadir. But she has another secret to hold on to – at least until there is no chance Nadir can throw her back to the wolves.
I enjoyed that these two were kind of outcasts in their own way. Zoe being raised American with independent tendencies and ideals. Nadir with his Westernized ways of thinking and plans to bring Jazaar into the new world. Although the two think they couldn’t be more ill-suited for one another, they end up complimenting each other in many ways and soon love blossoms. But the two still have a long way to go. Zoe, with her mistrust of men, struggles to let go of her plans to escape to America and constantly second guesses Nadir’s intentions. And Nadir is not perfect either. He believes himself to be modernized in his way of thinking, but really is stuck in the ways of his ancestors with a lot of issues still. And he thinks he knows exactly whom Zoe is running away too as well. Both have several misconceptions about the other and only blatant honesty will allow their love a chance.
I enjoyed my time spent with these characters because they each had a lot of growing to do. Nadir, with his ideal of self, has to come to grips that he is not quite as modernized as he had thought and it takes Zoe for him to realize it. And Zoe who believes that her chance at what her life should have been was ripped away with her parents’ death. She has to find a way to open up to Nadir to see that her dreams can still come true and Texas doesn’t necessarily have to be a part of the equation for that to happen. The key to the character growth was that even though they both made a lot of changes, they both remained true to self, who they were, and what they stood for. That is a huge deal for me when reading. I have read some pretty hard core sex scenes lately, so this one to me was tame, but still descriptive enough to be sexy and tasteful. For those of you who enjoy romance with a bit of spice and characters who realize that happiness isn’t always found where you thought it would be, you are sure to enjoy this read. At less than 200 pages you will fly through it and enjoy the time you spent reading it. I can honestly say that I will be reading Susanna Carr again.
(print copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.)
Posted October 26, 2012
Posted October 3, 2012
Posted September 5, 2012