by Teresa Medeiros
Release Date: Dec 27, 2011
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Ashton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he's hired to rescue his brother's kidnapped fiancée from a sultan's harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.
The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan's court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.
From the summary, I wasn't sure I would like the setting and plot of a sultan's harem, but I really enjoyed this book as soon as I started reading. This is a true romantic fantasy book because all of the negatives of the harem are really glossed over and it focuses on the good aspects, so you can really be swept away.
The lead characters were very nice but I really loved the supporting characters of Poppy and Farouk. They were so complex, much more than meets the eye, and it was fun unraveling the different aspects of their personalities. My question is, why can't these different types of multifaceted, flawed characters ever be the leads?
I love the type of plot where the heroine and hero are childhood sweethearts and then they are reunited. It always warms my heart. So much history is added to the story that it's so easy to believe in their love story.
Some parts of the harem tale were over the top but I suppose it all tied into the full on fantasy of the novel. If anything, these aspects were a little much for me and otherwise, this book would have received 5 stars for me.
This was my first book by Medeiros, but her fast paced and easy to read style have won me over. It definitely won't be my last book by this author.
Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Bottom Line: A fun, fast-paced historical romanctic fantasy.