The Last Royal House of Karedes, Carol Marinelli's First Sheikh!

by Carol Marinelli, author of The Desert King’s Housekeeper Bride (Harlequin Presents, February 2010)

The Desert King’s Housekeeper Bride is the last in the Karedes series and my very first sheikh.

I was delighted when my editor invited me to be part of the series, especially when I found out that I’d be writing a sheikh romance. I was also thrilled when I saw who the other authors in the series were.

I couldn’t wait to get started.

Until I started!

My brain went into gridlock. I thought of all the fabulous authors in the series and their amazing books. I thought of all the other wonderful sheikh romances the readers love and I admit that I had stage fright, writers block… I had the lot!  I tried to type, to just push my way through it, but I kept stressing about tiny details – like, do they have fridges in the desert?   Honestly, I am an Olympic level procrastinator!

Well, a friend gave me a good talking to, as good friends do, and finally, when I got past the white noise in my head, I got my first real glimmer of Zakari.

For those that have read it, the image that came to mind was the first time Effie laid eyes on Zakari!

Finally I could see Zakari and his surrounds — I felt as if I were standing behind Effie and witnessing what she could see and it was at *that* moment I fell in love, not just with Zakari, but with sheikh romances. Suddenly, the book I had had so much trouble starting, I didn’t want to finish, I wanted to stay with the characters for a little while more.

There is something truly wonderful about  a sheikh romance , I’m completely hooked now. They’re sexier, richer, more alpha…. they’re just … more!

Pass me a fan!

The Karedes series has been a joy to work on. I spent a wonderful weekend refusing to move from the sofa, with my stash of books, some chocolate and wine, and I read all the books from start to finish (except my own) and again, I didn’t want the fantasy to end but luckily for me it didn’t have to!  In April the first or a new series – Dark- Hearted Desert Men comes out.  The first book, Wedlocked: Banished Sheikh, Untouched Queen will answer any lingering questions I may have left you with in the final book of Karedes.

So, even though it’s the end of a great series, it’s not all over yet!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on sheikh romances. If you’re a fan – and if you are, what makes them special for you?

Love to all

Carol x

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Comments ( 14 )
  1. Caitlin Crews
    February 10, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I just love sheikh romances. Maybe because sheikhs really are bound only by their own laws, no one else’s. They have *that much more* power than even the most powerful non-sheikh alpha hero. There’s nothing that’s not delicious about that–and about the way only the heroine can bring such a man to his knees!

    Can’t wait to read this book, and your next sheikh book too!

  2. Christina Hollis
    February 10, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    It’s the ultimate fantasy, isn’t it? An iron man who makes the rules, and a woman who can encourage him to soften…/just/ enough to ensure a powerful HEA.
    Wonderful, Carol!

  3. Sarah Morgan
    February 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Well, I love Sheikh books Carol, and I absolutely adored yours – and so did everyone else, given that it is as No 62 on the USA Today charts! Congratulations xx

  4. Maire Aine
    February 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    You already know what I think of the story. I absolutely loved Zakari & Effie’s story. You made Effie a heroine that you just had to be rooting for. She was very insecure and so unloved. She didn’t have any self-esteem, yet Zakari saw that she was well worth taking a second look at, then a third. I feel that the whole series was wonderful but something about Zakari & Effie makes us hope that we will all find our Zakar.
    Great final book for a great series. I only wish I didn’t have to wait so long for “Wedlocked: Banished Sheikh, Untouched Queen”
    Congrats for being #62 on USA Today Charts. You truly are deserving.


  5. Annie West
    February 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm


    I’m so looking forward to reading your sheikh. I love them. Like you I fell in love with them while writing my own first ever desert prince a few years ago. Now I hanker after them all the time. I love the sense of leashed power inherent in a sheikh hero and the clash of cultures and expectations. Love, love, love these stories. I’m particularly thrilled as I can’t wait to read the other stories in the new Dark Hearted Desert Men series too. Must say I never wondered about fridges in the desert, but sometimes those details do stall you for a while.

    Huge congratulations on hitting the USA Today chart! Fantastic news.


  6. Maisey Yates
    February 10, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    Of course I like Sheikh books. I also like the ones with Italians. And Greeks. And Aussies. And Englishmen. And Americans. Heck, throw in a Canadian if you want! Russians? Ok! Yep. All those are my favorites.

    I have very discerning tastes, you understand. 🙂

    Carol, this book sounds fantastic! I’ve been dying to get it since I first saw the blurb on it! *scrambles off to load onto Kindle*

    Happy reading to me!

  7. Marilyn
    February 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Carol, you know I loved this sheikh book and the entire Royal House of Karedes series. Like Annie, I’m a fan of the genre. So much so that I’ve devoted a blog to sheikhs.

    The Desert King’s Housekeeper’s Bride was the perfect ending to the series.

  8. Kate Hewitt
    February 10, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I thought your book was a great ending to the series, Carol, and a great book to stand alone too! I wrote my first sheikh for the series and I had my own doubts, as I’d never really written or read a sheikh before… but I loved it (and yours!) and like Annie said, the clash of cultures and cultural expectations for a man and a woman makes for an explosive and emotional read. Great stuff!

  9. Carol Marinelli
    February 11, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Lovely to read your comments.
    Oh Annie, I like it – leashed power! Marilyn what is the blog addy? It sounds fab.
    Maire Aine, thank you for saying such nice things – I agree, I wish there were enough Zakari’s for all of us!!
    Grinning at Maisey who loves them all! I was like Kate and hadn’t really read them. I loved Mediterranean and generally bought them, but now I’ve started I can’t stop. It’s like finding another layer of chocolates and all your favourite centres!

  10. Carol Marinelli
    February 11, 2010 at 3:50 am

    Captcha hates me!
    Kate, I loved your book, so much so that I could forgive Kalila for not loving Zakari:-)
    Caitlin, yep, just so powerful and then, as Christina said that heroine that can soften him *just* enough – that *just* is so important isn’t it?
    I’m addicted!
    Sarah, thank you for the congratulations. Your, The Sheikh’s Virgin Princess is one of my all time keepers – I loved the heroine, loved the whole book.
    I need another sheikh!

  11. Kate Hewitt
    February 11, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Yes, meant to say it was great to read Zakari’s story as he figured so much in my book! Effie was perfect for him 🙂

  12. romancelover79
    February 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    I love sheikh books they are just so yummy. There is just something about sheikh books that just touch me makes me coming back for more. I could finish a book then reread again right after I am done reading it. I look forward to reading your new book.

  13. Carol Ann
    April 10, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    What about Zafir, the missing brother? We needed his story for the series to be complete. It’s hinted that he’s out there in Effie’s coronation, but there’s a story there.

  14. jean Gleadall
    March 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Please finish this brilliant series with closure on Zaffir. For the family especially Ariff to have complete closure. Loved the series read and read all the books over and over
    Cheers Jean