by Maisey Yates, author of Sheikh’s Desert Duty
“Really though, he should just kidnap her.”
I said these words in a phone call to my editor as we were trying to sort out plot points to Sheikh’s Desert Duty. Then I laughed and said, “Just kidding, just kidding.” But Pippa, being Pippa, said, “Yeah, maybe he should.”
I jumped right on board with this. Okay, obviously I don’t endorse actual kidnapping. But I just love a marauding alpha hero. I love a hero who will see the task done, no matter the cost. A truly great alpha hero, in my opinion, has the backing of a deep, moral belief that whatever he does now, he does to aid the greater good.
Sure, he might have to blackmail a woman into marriage. Or mete out revenge in a way that others would find distasteful…but if, in his mind, it serves justice, then he can get away with a lot. At least in my books!
So when my hero Zayn kidnaps my heroine Sophie, a reporter, when he catches her eavesdropping on his conversation, he does it to protect his sister from the press. Anyway, he doesn’t really consider it kidnapping. More of a mandatory vacation in his palace. And he’s offering her a trade of sorts… She wants a scandal, he’ll give her one.
Sophie isn’t a passive kidnapee. She realizes that she can use the time alone with Zayn to her advantage. He’s offering her the scandal she wants, and if she has to go with him to get it, she will.
That’s the other thing. I love a marauding, ruthless hero. But I love him best when he’s with a woman equipped to handle what he dishes out.
I think it’s the balance between the hero and heroine that allows them each to shine, really. And ultimately, she’s the one who strips back all of his hardness, his meanness, and finds the man beneath, not just for herself, but for him.
I always think the heroine is really the one doing the saving.
It’s certainly the case with Sophie and Zayn. It starts as a kidnap, but he’s the one who needs to be rescued, and she does it very well.
As an aside, I’m loving the new covers for this Chatsfield series! I like the return to the classic Harlequin Presents look, but with a little something extra that reveals some of the flavor of the story.
So what do you like better? The full picture, like the original Chatsfield series, the full white background, or this neat mixture of the two?
About Sheikh’s Desert Duty:
Journalist Sophie Parsons needs a scoop to stop the sale of her friend’s hotel chain. And she’s found it! But being abducted by a sheikh goes way beyond the call of duty…
Sheikh Zayn Al-Ahmar has a wedding to arrange, a sister to protect and a country to rule. He’s not going to let one woman bring it all down with a headline! Kidnapping Sophie seemed like a good idea, but soon her delectable company puts everything he values at risk.
Only one mistress can rule Zayn’s heart—will it be Sophie, or his duty?
Welcome to The Chatsfield, New York!
Here is a little excerpt from Sheikh’s Desert Duty…
Rain was starting to fall, the only light coming from a lone streetlamp, casting everything in a yellow glow. Zayn’s mind was racing, his pulse in overdrive. If any of this got out, the press would have a field day. He had no idea what Leila intended to do about her pregnancy, and with the heightened interest surrounding the royal family, due to Zayn’s own upcoming marriage, she was in a much more precarious position than she might have been.
She was vulnerable enough without introducing the variable of public opinion and scrutiny. That would add pressure she didn’t need, judgment she didn’t deserve. No, he would not have that. He would not expose his family to such criticism and judgment. Not again. Not while he drew breath.
He heard a clattering sound in the corner of the alley, a trash can turning over on its side, a blur of motion catching his eye.
He was not alone. And he and Chatsfield had not been the only two involved in the conversation that had taken place only minutes before. They had a witness.
And that was unacceptable.
The feeling of helplessness drained, a shot of adrenaline moving through his veins. Action. He craved action. He craved a plan.
Zayn stalked toward the movement, his body on high alert, muscles tensing, ready to strike. When a man lived as he did, he had ample time to train his body. And Zayn had done just that. Had taken every opportunity to spend hours channeling physical frustration into strength training.