ORDER A COPY: Cinderella and the Sheikh (Hot Contemporary Romance)
Published: April 6, 2011
Self published – ebook
Rating: 3 stars
She’s about to get charmed…
Libby Fay’s safe little life as a waitress at a posh New York boutique hotel implodes when Sheikh Rasyn Al Jabar, black-eyed and seductive, crashes into her world and swears that he loves her.
The powerful sheikh will do anything to prevent becoming the ruler of his North African homeland, including marrying a woman who is inappropriate to be queen. When he sees the beautiful, bubbly waitress, he knows that she is the perfect wife to help him avoid the throne—all he has to do is make her fall in love with him.
All her life, Libby has longed for the same loving, equal partnership her parents had—something she couldn’t possibly have with a forceful sheikh who ignores all her objections. But Rasyn seems to be able to charm her into anything, including his bed. Soon, she finds herself on a plane to Abbas, transported into a fairy tale come true.
Unfortunately for Libby, a Cinderella is the last thing this Prince Charming wants.
Sheikh Rasyn ibn Bakr ibn Rahman al Jabar is the next heir to the throne of Abbas. An honor he does not want. He believes his cousin will be a much better king so he devises a plan to find a foreign wife, a commoner, and a woman so wrong that he will be passed over as heir.
Libby Fey is a waitress in the Hotel Scheherazade an exclusive hotel which caters to rich foreign dignitaries. She has been warmed to avoid getting entangled with the VIPs. But no matter how hard she tries, the prince keeps pursuing her.
After a night of seduction and passion, the prince proposes, stating his undying love for her, and take her home to Abbas. But his plan backfires when Libby starts to win over the hearts of the people of Abbas.
There is no doubt that Rasyn is using Libby to achieve a goal. He makes it known to the reader from the beginning that Libby is the means to an end. He uses his natural gift of persuasion to convince her of his love for her, and how she needs to come with him to his home country and give him a chance to win her love. He is not a very likeable character, although he is charismatic and sexy, he is selfish and childish. I found that every time I started to like him a little, he reminded us that his intentions are self-centered and all for the end goal of getting him off the throne.
Although Libby is a much more likeable character and she wants to help people (like when she visits the orphanage), I don’t understand how she was convinced to go to Abbas. Her constant mantra was that “she won’t let him into her heart” which I thought would turn into “I’m falling hard,” but everyone keeps asking her, if he’s trying so hard to make her fall in love with him, why hasn’t she. Although she keeps jumping into bed with him, she doesn’t really let him into her heart. She spends all her time telling herself that they are incompatible and they will never be as happy as her parents so she doesn’t want to risk anything. Again, if she didn’t believe him, didn’t think they were compatible and wasn’t going to give it a try, why bother going with him.
You would also have to wonder why, after her initial blunder in royal society, and when she doesn’t stick to her decision to go home, why she doesn’t then make more of an effort to learn the job of a princess, i.e. social customs of the area, etc. She allows herself to be talked into staying since her blunder was what Rasyn was trying to accomplish, but while she is there she doesn’t try to learn more about Rasyn or the life he is supposed to be offering her.
After Rasyn realizes he was falling for her along the way, even he comments that “you let everyone else into your heart, from the servants to my uncle, but never me.”
This was a quick read and the story held my interest, but there was no real draw between the characters since he was faking his affection and she wouldn’t risk her heart.
Received copy courtesy of the author. Thank you!
Libby put her napkin over her mouth to cover her smile.
Rasyn’s face darkened. “Don’t do that. A man wants to see his beauty’s smile.”
The wine was definitely going to her head. Or maybe it was the close contact of a prince determined to convince her that he loved her. “Does a man want to see his beauty snort champagne through her nose?”
“Every day.” Rasyn laughed, a warm sound that filled the room. When he laughed like that, she forgot that he came from a long line of royalty, forgot that the price of the suit he wore would pay her rent for a year, and she forgot that only that morning, she had wanted to avoid him more than anyone on the planet. And she nearly forgot that she was putting her precious job at risk.
Libby looked away, unable to stand the sincerity in his gaze. The food had been amazing, the wine better. Rasyn’s stories of his home had painted an exotic portrait of a magical place.
“Dance with me.” Rasyn rose from the table.
Not a good idea. Danger signals flashed in her head. They were nearly as loud as the desire throbbing in her pulse.
“I shouldn’t…” But it was too late for warnings. Her fingers were already settling into his open palm.
Chills went through her as he caressed her knuckles with his thumb. “I will never ask anything more of you.”
“That’s what you said about dinner.”
The corner of his mouth lifted in a lopsided smile. “I lied. Come, dance with me.”