Wednesday 18 September 2013

Possessed by the Sheikh (Harlequin Presents) by Penny Jordan - Book Review

From the Blurb:

Held captive in the desert!
Stranded in the sands, Katrina is rescued by the Sheikh and taken back to his lavish desert camp....
She has to marry the Sheikh....
In order to protect her, he will have to wed her!
Then he discovers that she's a virgin!
He's a desert sheikh who lives by a strict code of honor: Katrina must become his wife!

The Review:

Poor Katrina! She's kidnapped by a co-worker who intends to assault and possibly rape, her. He then strands her in the desert to be kidnapped by desert rebels. At this point, we might hope the worst has happened to Katrina, but no, she is then protected by a man who she admittedly finds attractive, but who is really quite a knob, while being stalked by another of the desert rebels.

It's pretty much one traumatic event after another for Katrina. It's very easy to sympathise with her, and while he is a bit of a tool, her desert sheikh, Xander, ultimately does play quite the hero.

I received this novel as part of a Harlequin Presents' package, and I must admit it isn't the usual sort of title I go after, so I was a little dubious about this story. That said, I have to admit it won me over a little. The writing isn't great, the heroine is the virginal victim (a romance trope which I really don't like) and there isn't much to love about the hero who is mostly insulting rather than appealing. One would be forgiven for wondering if Katrina is a victim of Stockholm syndrome. However, unlike we sometimes see in such stories, Xander is not to blame for her capture, rather he is her protector. Not a great protector, to be sure, but he isn't really to blame for anything more than being a bit rude and obnoxious. And, he likes books and poetry, so... I sort of loved him by the end.

The story of Katrina's capture was quite tedious, but after Katrina and Xander returned to safety, I began to like the story a little more. By this point Katrina has fallen in love with Xander and we get a bit of honeymoon romance. I was a little unsure as to why Xander had to keep disappearing in the daytime - it would have been nice to have their relationship develop into more than a sexual attachment, but all the same I liked the way Katrina developed an understanding of Xander through his library (very Beauty and the Beast) and came to find pleasure in their relationship.

This book certainly could have been better, but it wasn't quite as terrible as I had assumed.

I read the Audiobook, so what about the Narrator?

Juani Tantillo was an effective narrator. Nothing special but well suited to romance of the Harlequin Presents' type. She seemed to fit the virginal Katrina, discovering sex and romance for the first time.

Possessed by the Sheikh was published in 2005 by Harlequin and is available from Audible, Book Depository and Amazon.