My eyes tracked upward to rest on his sun-bronzed and lightly bearded face. Harsh and angular in the lamplight, it was at once the handsomest and cruelest face I had ever seen. He regarded me fiercely with scornful eyes. Those eyes! I had seen them before.
I gasped. It was him! The man from the party who had eyed me with such insolence. Even now he gazed at me as no other man had ever dared to—in a way that made me feel like a slave exposed for sale in a public market.
"Who are you?" I asked hoarsely, speaking in French without thinking.
He replied in French as well. "I am the Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan."
The name conveyed nothing. "Is it money that you want? Are you holding me for ransom?"
He regarded me for a long and silent moment with an expression of contempt. "I have no need of your money."
"What then?" I demanded, but deep down I already knew it was not a question of ransom. The way he looked at me was far too revealing and made my stomach churn. "Do you think that you can keep me here, you fool?" I lashed out in growing panic. "Do you suppose I can vanish into the desert and that no notice will be taken of my disappearance? That no inquiries will be made?"
"There will be no inquiries," he answered me calmly.
"There will be inquiries." I choked out. "I am not such a nonentity that nothing will be done when I am missed. The English authorities will make the French Government find out who is responsible, and you will pay for what you have done."
"Pay?" His amused look sent a cold feeling of dread through me. "I have already paid… in gold that matches your hair, my gazelle. Besides," he continued, "the French Government has no jurisdiction over me. There is no authority above my own."
My trepidation was growing more terrible every passing moment. "Why have you brought me here?"
"Why have I brought you here?" He repeated with a slow and heated appraisal that made me acutely, almost painfully, conscious of my sex. "Bon Dieu! Are you not woman enough to know?"
A haughty young heiress for whom the world is a playground…A savage son of the Sahara who knows no law but his own…When pride and passion vie for supremacy…Blistering desert days are nothing compared to the sizzling Sahara nights…
The Sheik Retold is a retelling of EM Hull's The Sheik, one of the most widely read novels in the 1920s. I haven't read the original, so I cannot and will not make comparisons in my review.
The StoryDiana Mayo is a young heiress. Beautiful, rich, stubborn, independent, and I have to say, she came off as selfish to me at first. She wanted to trek through the Algerian dessert before joining her brother in America. Her plans goes awry when she got kidnapped by Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan. Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan is powerful, mysterious, gorgeous and domineering, and he wants Diana. He claims that Diana is his.
There's a bit of intrigue behind the whole kidnapping thing that for me was never really fleshed out. We only know about the plot because one of the characters told us. Nevertheless, the focus of this book wasn't the kidnapping itself but Diana and Sheik Ahmed's attraction, passion and Diana's eventual capitulation to Ben Hassan's seduction.
This isn't your typically dark, kidnapping story though. Although, Ben Hassan was domineering and very proud, he wasn't effed up, dark or unstable. He had a temper but he's basically a good guy, in my opinion. He cared for his people and his friends but most of all, he cared about Diana. He may not know how to show it properly but he did care and has grown to really love her.
Now Diana was an entirely different matter altogether. At first, I wasn't crazy about her. She was spoiled and selfish but halfway through, I've actually grown to like her spunky attitude. She did some very stupid things which resulted in tragedy but after that, she really did redeem herself.
I enjoyed this book very much. Victoria Vane isn't a familiar author to me, but I'll definitely be adding her other works to my TBR list. There were part which I felt was rushed and wasn't properly fleshed out, especially Aubry's (Diana's brother) involvement in Diana's "kidnapping" plot. That part was abruptly resolved with Aubry dying and that was it. But other than that, very sensual, very hot, very enjoyable read indeed.
A copy of this book was given to Ever After Romance Blog in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist, cowboy addict, and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. Look for Victoria's sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming from Sourcebooks summer 2014.
Victoria will be awarding one copy of "A Wild Night's Bride" or a copy of "A Breach of Promise" to randomly drawn commenters at each stop.