Marriage Behind the Façade: Another Al Dhakir Brother Gets a Book , by Lynn Raye Harris

by Lynn Raye Harris, author of Marriage Behind the Façade (Harlequin Presents Extra, January 2013)

I love Presents sheikhs.  They are masculine, commanding, and utterly certain of themselves.  They know what they want, and they go after it with single-minded intent.  They are ultra arrogant, more so than the typical Presents hero, because they usually walk that tightrope edge between civilization and the harshness of the desert.  They have no time for niceties.

I realize this is sheer fantasy, but it’s a fantasy I enjoy.  Since the moment I read my first Harlequin Presents oh so many years ago until now, the sheikh hero is my favorite of all.

In March of last year, I brought you King Adan al Dhakir, a sheikh who’d lost his wife in the desert after she gave birth to their child—and who finds her again singing in a bar in Hawaii.  Isabella can’t remember her husband, or their child, and it’s a tense situation when Adan finds her.  I loved writing about these two – and RT Book Reviews loved it too because Strangers in the Desert is an RT Award nominee for Best Harlequin Presents of 2012.

After I wrote about Adan, however, I kept thinking about his brothers and what might have happened to them.  Malik al Dhakir sprang to mind almost immediately.  He’s as tall and dark and arrogant as his brother the king – but Malik has a problem you wouldn’t expect from a guy like him.

He’s no good with words.  He doesn’t know how to say what his feelings are.  He’s incapable of opening up because he believes words have no meaning.  It’s what people do that makes the difference.  Malik has learned this the hard way.

Yet he’s done everything wrong when it comes to his wife, Sydney.  So much so, in fact, that she’s serving him with divorce papers.  Naturally, this arrogant, entitled sheikh can’t believe any woman would do such a thing!

But divorce is not an easy matter in Jahfar and Sydney can’t be rid of her sheikh as quickly as she thinks.  They’ll have to spend 40 days together first, living as man

and wife in the country Sydney has never been to, before the law will allow them to dissolve the marriage.

You already know this isn’t going to go the way they think.  There’s a desert tent, a hot shower scene, and a sandstorm to contend with—as well as their not-so-easily-dismissed feelings for each other.

I hope you’ll give Malik and Sydney a try, and that you’ll agree these Al Dhakir brothers are pretty hot indeed.  (And when you get to the end of Marriage Behind the Façade, you’ll meet another brother.  His story hasn’t been written yet, but I’m thinking about it….) 🙂

What is your favorite kind of sheikh story?  Forced marriage?  Unexpected pregnancy?  Something else?  I’d love to know!

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Comments ( 13 )
  1. Diana
    January 9, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I just love it if the sheikh “kidnaps” the heroine coupled with an unexpected pregnancy.


  2. Lynn Raye Harris
    January 9, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Oh, good one, Diana! I like that too. 🙂

  3. Sarah Morgan
    January 9, 2013 at 10:51 am

    I love Sheikh stories Lynn. Like you, I love escapist fantasy. This sounds fantastic 🙂 And congrats on your RT award nom.

  4. Fiona Marsden
    January 9, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I love reunions when they’ve been faithful and forced marriages and unexpected pregnancies. I do like sheikh’s being all desertified and macho. But I like that soft marshmallow core just for the beloved. When someone that entitled gets vulnerable. *sighs*

  5. Tara
    January 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I loved Strangers in the Desert, Lynn…I can’t wait to read Malik’s story…

  6. Lynn Raye Harris
    January 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Hi, Sarah! Thanks for the congrats. 🙂 I’m not surprised you like sheikhs — you write them so well! 🙂

    Fiona, good point! That’s it exactly. He’s vulnerable only to her, and it’s awesome. That is what’s at the heart of these stories, I think. That hard man brought to his knees by one woman. Oh, makes me shivery!

    Hi, Tara! Thank you so much! I do hope you enjoy Malik’s story too. 🙂

  7. Rosemary K
    January 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I love sheikhs in my romance novels. I can’t pass them up. They are one of my favorite reads.

  8. Karen Pietrusinski
    January 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    I would say an unexpected pregnancy. The story sounds like a great read. I have put this one on my TBR list.

  9. Lynn Raye Harris
    January 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Yay, Rosemary! Another sheikh lover. 🙂

    Hi, Karen! I love those unexpected pregnancies too. So many possibilities in those stories!! Thanks for putting Malik and Sydney on your TBR! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

  10. Michela
    January 9, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I love Sheikh stories too.
    They’re so sexy and hard to tame… but heroines know how to do!
    I think I also prefer unexpected pregnancy when both characters have to face something they weren’t ready to accept in their lives.

    I bet this book is amazing, Lynn – habits, customs and tradition of that world… they’re a pleasure to discover and to tell.
    I love such stories because the hero and the heroine come from too different worlds and when they collide…it leads to an interesting challenge.

  11. Tassie Jan
    January 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    You know me any way they come…love my sheikh books the dark brooding types the desert kings that rule the roost and brought down by a innocent heroine cant get enough of them. deserts setting, oasis, camels, and Sheikhs can not be beaten. Loving Strangers in the desert, keep them coming. 🙂

  12. Ginger Robertson
    January 9, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Hi Lynn
    I look forward to reading Marriage Behind the Facade. Congrats on your 2012 Harlequin Presents nomination.

    I enjoy reading books about ex military, alpha males.

  13. Lynn Raye Harris
    January 10, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Oh, I like those kinds of stories too, Michela! There’s always something fascinating about seeing those differing cultures trying to find a way to harmonize. 🙂

    Jan, I know you like your sheikhs! Thank you for the kind words on Strangers! 🙂

    Hi, Ginger! Thank you so much! Hope you enjoy Malik and Sydney!