Sheikh's Ransom

Wife on Demand

Sheikh's Temptation
by Alexandra Sellars
(Silh. Desire #1274, $3.99, PG) ISBN 0-373-76274-7
Sheikh's Temptation is the fourth installment in Alexandra Sellers' “Sons of the Desert”series. While I haven't read any of the previous books, this one has left me with no temptation to look for them.

Lana Holding has fallen in love with the small Middle Eastern country of Parvan. The tiny kingdom is struggling to rebuild after a devastating war and Lana persuades her father, American billionaire Jonathan Holding, to lend financial assistance.

Her father's largess is responsible for the construction of the Emerald Highway that will link Parvan with the Barakat Emirates. Lana has decided she would like to be the first to travel the newly completed highway and Arash Durani ibn Zahir al Khosravi has been selected by the Prince of Parvan to be her escort.

Neither Lana nor Arash are happy with the fact that they must travel together. Several years earlier they shared a single passionate night. But the following morning, Lana awoke to find Arash gone and all attempts to contact him were rebuffed.

As Lana and Arash travel through the mountains, a blizzard forces them off the road and into an empty house to wait out the storm. Their passion resurfaces and they must finally confront the reasons for Arash's abrupt departure.

It was next to impossible to become emotionally involved in this story. Lana comes across as a spoiled little rich girl who always runs to daddy to buy her what she wants. She wants Arash, so why not buy his entire country to get him? I couldn't fathom what Arash saw in her.

That could be because the reader doesn't spend all that much time in Arash's mind. But when we are, his motivations seem more sympathetic. Arash is a product of his culture and he feels he should have something to offer a prospective bride. In his desperate financial straits, he knows he has nothing to offer the daughter of one of the world's most wealthy men. So he does what he considers the honorable thing and lets her go.

For me, the sheikh story line isn't all that appealing. Even so, in capable hands, plots that I thought I'd find unappealing have grabbed my attention and made me want to learn more. That wasn't the case here. Although it is evident the author knows and loves the Middle East, she was unable to pass that enthusiasm along to me.

Sheikh's Temptation holds the dubious distinction of taking longer to finish than any category title I've read. Four days of reading a book that's barely 187 pages long. With a plot that's paper thin, a petulant heroine and a cranky hero, it simply could not hold my attention.

If you've enjoyed previous installments of the “Sons of the Desert” series, you'll probably want to catch up with familiar characters that make an appearance in this sequel. For the rest of us, I might suggest you pass this one by.

--Karen Lynch

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