When is a Sheikh Romance Not a Sheikh Romance?

by Annie West, author of The Sultan’s Harem Bride

When it’s about a sultan, of course.

0215-9781460349878-bigwI confess, I’ve got a weakness for desert romances. They’re doused in the exotic. They’re about hot-blooded, passionate men who rule their worlds. There’s more than a touch of drama and all sorts of fun to be had when cultures and expectations clash. No wonder I love writing them. These powerful, usually honourable men, knocked completely off balance by a woman, draw me every time, especially when they’re faced with a woman who doesn’t seem to fit their well-ordered life.

But my current desert romance is just a little different. It starts in a harem. Admittedly it’s not full of nubile young women, in fact it’s empty, but it’s a harem nevertheless. Instead of tribal tents or a small desert fortress, I discovered the setting was an ancient sprawling palace, rather like Topkapi in Istanbul. Think acres of land, interconnected courtyards full of riches, gardens, pavilions and kiosks, a labyrinth of beautiful old rooms.

A palace that magnificent demanded a sultan rather than a sheikh, and a powerful, charismatic one at that. Enter Sultan Asim of Jazeer, striding through his palace late at night, fuming that his plans to select a suitable wife have been leaked. He has high expectations of the woman he’ll marry, a formidable checklist she’ll have to meet, and he prefers to do the choosing, not have hopeful women chase him.

Asim is an absolute ruler. Fair and hardworking, he’s nonetheless used to calling the shots. No-one disagrees with him. Everyone obeys. Everything is as he commands it.

Until he walks into the royal harem late at night and discovers a naked woman. Not one he invited. One of my favourite lines in the book comes at the end of chapter one:

9781472098368‘Who are you and what are you doing in my harem?’

What he’s discovered is a whole lot of trouble, in the form of Jacqui Fletcher. An outsider and worse, a journalist – that breed he’s learned not to trust. Dealing with her should be easy but he hadn’t reckoned on meeting a woman every bit as determined as he is. Or as infuriatingly enticing.

I won’t tell you any more as I’d love you to discover what happens for yourself. If you do, I’d love to hear what you think of The Sultan’s Harem Bride.

In the meantime, take a look at these covers (I’ve included the British cover too as both are great representations of Asim). My sexy, uptight sultan makes Jacqui tingle with anticipation right to the soles of her feet.

Who would you cast in in the role of Asim?

About The Sultan’s Harem Bride:

WANTED: Desert princess to join harem

Sultan Asim of Jazeer has hundreds of women at his beck and call. So why does he want the only one who threatens to reveal his family’s shameful secrets?

Journalist Jacqui Fletcher jumped at the chance to write a history of the harem—not to become a sultan’s plaything! But it’s hard to remember her assignment when the sultan’s sensuous caresses spark a fire she’s never experienced before…

Asim is looking for a pliable princess for a marriage of duty. Brave, beautiful Jacqui couldn’t be more wrong for him. So why does holding her feel so right?

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Breaking News! Fifth Avenue scandal reaches epic proportions!

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by Pippa Roscoe, Associate Editor

If you haven’t heard of the scandalous exploits of Jason Treffen, then this intrepid reporter must ask the question—where have you been for the last year? Hiding under a rock?

For ten years, New York’s most famous street has housed a deep, dark secret. Jason Treffen might have wowed you all with his notorious philanthropic ventures and his celebrated legal mind, but who could have known that his expensive suits and over-the-top charm hid such dark depravity?

Three of New York’s most handsome and notorious playboys, that’s who! And they are here to tell you that revenge is a dish best served red hot!!

Austin Treffen has the plan… With proof that his father had abused his position, his staff and his friend, he is determined to bring his father down to the lowest of depths.

Hunter has the money…to ensure that Jason Treffen’s financial destruction is complete once Austin has ensured his family was protected.

And Alex has the power…to use his media empire to spread the news across the world so that there would be nowhere left for this villain to hide.

But the one thing none of these eternal bachelors had counted on was the incredible women they would encounter along their journey. Each powerful, beautiful and equally determined, Katy Michaels, Zoe Brook and Chelsea Maxwell are about to get up close and personal with the male equivalents of kryptonite!

One thing is absolutely guaranteed…the road to revenge is never easy, and the path to true love? Well, you’ll just have to read it to find out!

Missed it the first time around? Can’t wait to get your hands on the complete box set? Well, here’s your chance to come back to the scandal that rocked 2014!

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There’s no need to wait. Click on the link below now to get your hands on the entire story!

http://www.harlequin.com/storeitem.html?iid=57312

Have you seen the trailer? If not, why not? Click on the link below!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG9tSTRR0qM&feature=youtu.be

But the scandal doesn’t end there! Look out for even more stunning revelations coming soon!

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Some secrets are too shocking to ever reveal!

by Chantelle Shaw, author of To Wear His Ring Again 

To the rest of the world Marchesese Constantin de Severino seemed to have everything a man could want: wealth, power and incredible looks that attract women to him like bees to honey. But Constantin could never forget the terrible incident he had witnessed when he was seventeen. Since that day when he saw his father and step-mother fall to their deaths he hid a dark secret from everyone – including his wife.

Two years ago Isobel Blake called time on her marriage and walked away from Constantin, acknowledging that she had never really known her enigmatic husband. When they’d met he had swept her into a scorching affair. But soon after they became lovers Constantin’s nightmares started and showed him the devastating truth that Isobel could be in danger – from him.

An unplanned pregnancy forced Constantin’s hand. He could not allow his child to be born illegitimate, so he married Isobel. But his nightmares were a warning that for her safety he could never risk falling in love with her.

Isobel had never understood why Constantin changed into a remote stranger after their wedding. She hoped their baby would draw them together, but a miscarriage ended her dreams of being a mother and dispelled any hope of saving her marriage. Constantin’s lack of support drove Isobel to find comfort with her old friends, and singing with her rock band The Stone Ladies led to a new career and a newfound confidence.

Now Isobel is furious that Constantin has accused her of desertion in the divorce papers. She is no longer overawed by her powerful husband and is determined to end their marriage as equals. But Constantin suddenly has a very good reason for needing his wife back – temporarily. The sexual chemistry between them is as explosive as it was when they first met and Isobel is tempted to wear Constantin’s ring once more. But the shadows from Constantin’s past are never far away and threaten do destroy his and Isobel’s marriage for a second time.

In To Wear His Ring Again, Constantin needed to confront the secret in his past before he could move forwards and find happiness with Isobel.

But is honesty always the best policy in a relationship – or are some things best kept a secret? I’d love to know what you think,

Chantelle xxx

About To Wear His Ring Again:

0215-9780373133154-bigwFor better or for worse?

Desertion. The word sticks in Isobel Blake’s throat. How dare Marchese Constantin de Severino accuse her of abandonment? Their marriage might have been hasty, but the loss of their child nearly destroyed her and Constantin was nowhere to be found.

Having rebuilt her life, Isobel will use her newfound confidence to confront her powerful husband and end their marriage as equals. But when she sees Constantin again, the temptation to wear his ring once more becomes overwhelming.

Now, as long-dormant secrets are uncovered, Isobel must decide if Constantin is still hers to have and to hold…

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Presents Hearts New Authors!

by Carly Byrne, Editor

One of the most exciting parts of my job is acquiring new authors.  From the first flutters of anticipation when I find a manuscript that grabs me, to the excitement of making The Call, to seeing that story go on sale for readers to enjoy! It’s the magic of the job.

So it’s no surprise that a highlight for me last year was making The Call, along with Presents author Sharon Kendrick, to the winner of Harlequin’s global writing competition So You Think You Can Write, Amanda Cinelli.  It was a thrill to have a Presents story win the competition (go Presents!) and to welcome Amanda to the Presents family!

With her go-getting heroine Dara (who scales the balcony of an exclusive Milan nightclub – in six inch heels, no less! – to get a meeting with the elusive owner), sexy Sicilian hero Leo and opulent Castello setting, Amanda’s winning novel Resisting the Sicilian Playboy, is perfectly suited to the sensational, sophisticated world of Presents.

And if you want to walk in Dara’s skyscraper heels, be on Leo’s arm at the opera or spend the night in the luxury of his Sicilian Castello, then you don’t have long to wait!  Resisting the Sicilian Playboy will be released digitally this month, on February 14th – the most romantic day of the year!

So make a date with www.harlequin.com and download your copy!

0215-9781460383766-bigwSuave, sensual and utterly scandalous…

Leo Valente is as notorious as the tabloids make him out to be. But feisty wedding planner Dara Devlin isn’t deterred. She needs his family castle for her top client, so she boldly accepts Leo’s outrageous challenge to be his fake girlfriend!

If Dara thinks her sensible suit and unwavering professionalism will discourage him, she’s mistaken. They only make Leo want to get beneath her buttoned-up exterior all the more!

Surrounded by the imposing walls and haunting memories of his opulent Sicilian castello, Leo finds seducing Dara is the perfect diversion—and claiming her will be this playboy’s ultimate prize.

And Amanda Cinelli isn’t the only new author to join the Presents family this year! Andie Brock released her compelling and emotional debut, The Last Heir of Monterrato,  in January and Louise Fuller will wow you with the drama and intensity of her first Presents in Vows Made in Secret coming in July! We know you’re going to love these dazzling new voices as much as we do and can’t wait to hear what you think!

In the meantime, tell us, did you take part in SYTYCW 2014? Do you love trying new authors? What’s the best part of your job?

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Presents Hearts The Chatsfield + Giveaway!

by Carly Byrne, Editor for Presents

In case you haven’t heard, the world’s most elite hotel, The Chatsfield, has opened its doors again! With the eight Chatsfield siblings you met last year now happily married and settling down, it’s time for a new generation of Chatsfields to shine!

Spencer Chatsfield has stepped in as CEO, determined to prove his worth. But when he approaches Isabelle Harrington, of Harringtons Boutique hotels, with the offer of a merger that would benefit them both…he’s left with a stinging, red palm-shaped mark on his cheek! But neither knows that there’s one stakeholder with the power to decide their fate, and this person’s identity will shock both the Harringtons and the Chatsfields…

If that’s whetted your appetite and you want to make your reservation at The Chatsfield, don’t worry if you missed the first instalment in January this year—we have 15 copies to give away to some lucky winners! Winners will also receive a coupon to redeem on March Harlequin Presents titles. So you can continue your stay at The Chatsfield and soak up even more style, sensation and scandal with Princess’s Secret Baby by USA TODAY bestselling author Carol Marinelli, available in March.

0315-9780373133192-bigw

In Carol’s gripping, emotional and sensual story, the Princess Leila of Surhaadi is desperate to escape a life lived in the shadows of her family’s past. One misguided night of rebellion later and Leila’s world comes crashing down, thanks to two little blue lines on the pregnancy test!

When James Chatsfield—world-renowned bad boy and soon-to-be father—hears the shocking news, he knows he needs to act, and fast! He’ll propose to protect his heir, but will Leila ever believe he sees her as more than just the mother of his child?

Set against the stylish and scandalous backdrop of The Chatsfield, New York, Carol will take you on a roller coaster of emotions from the heady rush of lust when Princess Leila and James Chatsfield first meet to the explosion of emotion when those little blue lines appear on the pregnancy test to the sensational, sexy, satisfying Happy Ever After!

For a chance at winning, just answer this question in the comments below: If you could go on a romantic break to a luxury hotel anywhere in the world, where would it be? And who would be your dream guest to share it with?

Giveaway! Answer the above question and you could win a copy of the first installment of The Chatsfield, Sheikh’s Desert Duty by Maisey Yates, a letter from Chatsfield and Harlequin Presents author Carol Marinelli and a coupon for March Harlequin Presents titles! The contest will close on February 10, 2015. For full giveaway rules, click here.

Update this giveaway is now closed.

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