Sunday, February 15, 2009
The Desert King by Olivia Gates
This was my favorite of the Throne of Judar series because we see a hard, immovable man brought to his knees with the realization that he did wrong the woman he loved and who loved him. Not that I like to see a person suffer, but this hero does grovel and does make amends for the horrible way he treated the heroine when he should. He also makes a decision that a power-craving man would only make if he really loves a woman, although he is in no way manipulated or guilted into to doing so by Aliyah. He was told some things about Aliyah that were definitely lies, and his own misgivings and fears based on an event in his past made him push her away. Aliyah had some personal issues that affected her health and personality, and made it easier for Kamal to believe the lies he was told, and made his rejection even more devastating. I also loved that Aliyah was strong in her own right, and was an incredible queen and this was realized fully by Kamal and those around her. The first scene between Aliyah and Kamal was great. She didn't turn into a ball of mush because of his awesome masculinity. She told him off and didn't back down from his imperious manner. Bravo, I was thinking. At the same time, she made a choice to marry a man she thought she hated for the good of her country and his. That took some bravery and emotional strength. As characteristic of Ms. Gates' novels, the writing is deeply involving and emotional as you see and experience the love and anguish that her characters feel. There are also vivid descriptions of Judar and its customs and the beautiful surroundings that its characters inhabit. The wedding ceremony is one of the best I've ever read. It practically played like a scene from an exotic movie. The love scenes are scorching and passionate as well. If you are a fan of sheikh romances and want to read a romance with three-dimensional, characters who take an emotional journey from desolation and loneliness to a deep, abiding love, you should read this book.