This is the prescription I received from Doctor Olivia Gates when I was awake in the early hours a while back with a nasty case of insomnia.
Naturally I followed her instructions to the letter...though it made me feel so good I think I overdosed.
Sheikh's make for an interesting fantasy in this day and age when the modern era has overtaken even the desert. The days of vanishing into the ever shifting sands at the hands of a primitive white clad lord of a desert tribe are over in real terms. Olivia does a nice job of creating the fantasy in the real terms of the modern world. Her sheikh's are well educated men of the present with just that nice hint of primitive power and lots of passion.
Olivia has another Sheikh Trilogy in the process of being released, so I'll be able to dose up again on her Desert Knights.
Throne of Judar Trilogy
The Desert Lord's Baby *****
Take a deep breath. Where do I begin with this one? I've had this book on my shopping list for months so I can read the two sequels. It is well worth the wait. This is a reunion story and ticks all my favourite buttons.
The heroine Carmen fled Farooq sixteen months ago when their time limited affair resulted in her pregnancy. She has rebuilt her life around her miracle child Mennah, the child she'd believed she would never have due to infertility issues that destroyed her first marriage.
Farooq has been searching for Carmen ever since that night when he intended to ask her marry him but instead faced disillusionment and betrayal. Betrayal because his cousin Tareq told him that Carmen had been his tool to destroy Farooq's right to the throne of Judar.
But all this pales into insignificance when Farooq learns he is the father of Carmen's child. And not just because he needs a wife and child to meet the requirements for the Throne. He wants his child, and when he sees Carmen again he realises that he wants her too. In his bed, even if her betrayal means he will guard his heart.
For Carmen this means being thrust into an alien world. A world of money and power and a different culture. A culture that requires of Farooq a marriage of state beyond this first marriage to secure his child. It also means the provision of a male heir, something Carmen knows she cannot provide.
This story and the ups and downs of the relationship between Carmen and Farooq had me in tears more than once. The passion and intensity of the lovemaking is ultra hot and verging on the erotic. The dilemma's faced by both of them are real and heart rending. The solution is just another example of why Olivia Gates heroes are the ultimate in all round alpha males.
The Desert Lord's Bride *****
One of the things I really love about Olivia Gates books is that once the heroine is in the heroes sights there is no question of another woman. Vague intimations of arranged marriages aside there is no doubt from the very first moment that for these men there is only one woman in their life.
When Shehab makes his plan to lure his unwilling bride into his clutches, no one is more surprised than he is by the conflagration of need this woman he intends to use and discard awakens in him. All he knows about her, her cold calculating use of men, counts for nothing in those moments when he see her for the first time in the flesh.
Farah has very good reasons to mistrust men and the way she falls flat on her face in a puddle of drool is so unlike her that she is left disoriented and confused. No dim bulb she almost realises the true nature of Shehab's seduction but her own feelings overwhelm her caution and she is swept away.
To an island paradise where Shehab tempts her unbearably with his charm, humour and unbelievably gorgeous body. (yeah another of those typical Olivia Gates heroes. Men who have it ALL. )
Of course the revelation that he is her arranged husband who must marry her for the sake of the kingdom is the last thing Farah needs and this precipitates one of the most gut wrenching scenes. What Shehab does makes him the most incredible hero. A very worthy match for our heroine.
It is this scene that pushes the rating into 5 star.
The Desert King *****
So you liked the first two Throne of Judar books and wanted more. Olivia Gates gives you more in The Desert King. More passion, more angst, more of that fabulous exotic background. And more Hero and Heroine.
Kamal might be the baby of the family but he's taller and darker and angrier than both his brothers. We've seen a little of that dark side in the earlier books but now faced with his demons we get the full treatment.
The breakup with Aliyah seven years ago marked both their lives drastically. The ruination of his young love affair and the disillusionment involved turned Kamal's life into a bleak desert far more dangerous than the deserts of his home country.
For Aliyah, Kamal's abandonment almost destroyed her fragile sanity, only just recovering from a childhood dependency on misdiagnosed prescription drugs. Having rebuilt her life and recreated herself as a successful artist, the worst thing to happen was Kamal's re-emergence into her life.
The marriage is required to maintain stability in the region and would be a temporary arrangement to provide an heir.
Until things explode between the two of them on their wedding night. .. So where was I?
Oh yes. Aliyah is certainly no doormat and fights every inch of the way but the pair of them play off each other brilliantly with wit and humour showing that the explosive chemistry isn't just in the bedroom. All that needs to happen is for them to get over the mistakes of the past to find a brilliant future. If they don't make too many mistakes in the present.
Olivia manages to pull the most angsty tear jerking moments out of the hat for these guys. I just love to see a strong man cry and Olivia doesn't mind making her men work for redemption. Of the three brothers Kamal has the most to regret and he pays for it. IN the most satisfying possible way.
Being the final we get a nice little epilogue to tidy up all three families and perhaps a hint of something to come in another series.
Well done Olivia.
The Pride of Zohayd Trilogy
To Tame a Sheikh *****
What can you say about a book where the hero loves and believes in his true love almost from the first moment? Olivia Gates takes her lovers, Shaheen and Johara, and places their romance in a situation where things like a sense of duty and external influences threaten to tear them apart. In a genre where misunderstanding and angst between the protagonists is the usual way to drive the conflict this book came as a pleasant surprise. There was plenty of tension and anxiety but the relationship between Hero and Heroine remained a shining light throughout. Olivia writes great prose and brings out emotions that engage and sex scenes that sizzle. I listened to this book on audio on my kindle while driving and became so involved I continued to listen once I arrived home against my usual practice.
To Tempt a Sheikh ****
When Dr Olivia Gates tells you to take two Sheikh's and get back to her in the morning, you know you have a prescription that will get you feeling better. Harres Aal Shalaan is Sheikh number one on that prescription because I'd already read about his brother, the first in the Pride of Zohayd series. Well, I have to say Harres is the best medicine for someone craving a male who is pretty much everything you could ever want in a man. Gorgeous, sexy, brave, intelligent, sexy, strong as an ox. Did I mention sexy? And to top it all off he is tender, faithful, patient, loving (stop me if this isn't appealing to you at all).
Talia, Doctor T.J. Burke, manages to get Harres all hot and bothered even when he thinks he's rescuing a man. Hey, that could get embarrassing ;-]. Instinct tells him that T.J is hiding a lot more than just the secrets that could bring down his family dynasty. Tough and practical, Talia is more than a match for the (see description above) Sheikh. Did I mention his long hair and the sexy bit? She's also hates the Aal Shalaan family for what they did to her brother.
A nice set up for conflict but in the end there isn't a great deal between the protagonists. This is something I'm rather liking about Olivia Gate's books. Most of the angst comes from outside influences, trying to pull the lovers apart, allowing you to wallow in the development of the relationship between the Hero and Heroine. Oh we do have the black moment, but not to the extent that they tear each other apart causing painful scars.
Did I mention that Harres is one Hot Sexy hero? I just thought I should mention that. This is not a book for reading on the train on the way to work where other people will see your flushed face and heavy breathing. Love scenes are seriously steamy with a heroine matching the Hero for passionate intensity. (Turns on air-con).
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the verbal and physical interactions between Harres and Talia made for a witty and sensual read. I'm looking forward to the second half of the prescription when I read about the eldest brother. He's been sneering at all this love stuff his brothers have fallen for. I suspect he's going to fall hardest of all.
To Touch a Sheikh ****
Amjad is a the Crown Prince of Zohayd. He'd done his duty and married only to be betrayed almost to death by his wife and her lover. Never again would he allow himself to care. The only exception, his brothers.
Maram has loved Amjad for years, since he saved her at a conference four years ago during a bomb scare. She had managed to maintain her sense of humour and her loving trusting disposition through one arranged marriage and another disastrous marriage of rebellion.
When Amjad needs a weapon to force Maram's father to yield the stolen Jewels of Zohayd she seems an ideal tool to his hand.
Such a pity that they have to be isolated in a severe dust storm far from civilisation. The two of them, alone together, for days on end. Talking to each other, getting to know each other, tempting each other. The results were inevitable. Until Maram finds out that her trust in the man she loves is misplaced.
The tangle that ensues involves the whole family as they find the solution to the mystery around the stolen Jewels that has been an underlying mystery through the trilogy.
As always Olivia Gates produces an ending that powers through the emotions. These men once love hits them, are prepared to go all the way for their loved ones.
A nice little epilogue shows us the extended family including members from the Judar trilogy.