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!