‘The Sheik Retold’ by Victoria Vane & E. M. Hull

TSR VV2STORY: The Desert was Never Hotter!

Pride and passion vie for supremacy between a haughty young heiress and a savage son of the Sahara in this fresh new telling of E.M. Hull’s romance classic. A haughty young heiress for whom the world is a playground… A savage son of the Sahara who knows no law but his own…

“There will be inquiries.” I choked out. “I am not such a nonentity that nothing will be done when I am missed. You will pay dearly for what you have done.”

“Pay?” His amused look sent a cold feeling of dread through me. “I have already paid… in gold that matches your hair, my gazelle. Besides,” he continued, “the French have no jurisdiction over me. There is no law here above my own.”

My trepidation was growing by the minute. “Why have you done this? Why have you brought me here?”  “Why?” He repeated with a slow and heated appraisal that made me acutely, almost painfully, conscious of my sex.

“Bon Dieu! Are you not woman enough to know?”

When pride and passion vie for supremacy, blistering desert days are nothing compared to sizzling Sahara nights…

REVIEW: First, I never read the original by E. M. Hall, [although after I read this one, I had to get it for my Kindle especially because it was FREE!], so my review is solely on this retelling of the tale.

My impression of the heroine Diana kept going back and forth between admiration and disdain. I started off by admiring her spunk and independence; I understood that her background shaped who she was and I liked her adventurous side. She appeared to know exactly who she was and what she wants of her life, and I admired that.

However, as the story developed and I got to know her better, I questioned many of her decisions and I thought her too impulsive and bratty; too stubborn as she ignored the dangers she was warned about.

Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan is the hero of this tale and if you’re into the über Alpha Male, this guy is ‘all that’ and more!

Since this story is told to us from the heroine’s POV we are not privy to the hero’s thoughts at all, yet his actions and the people around him, give us a good introduction into his past and present.

He is a complex, flawed and mysterious man whose life went through a profound change before he embraced his identity. Despite his powerful and controlling nature I liked Ahmed Ben Hassan because he was constant; knew who and what he was, and he was a perfect man for a woman like Diana.

‘The Sheik Retold’ is an intense and sensual romantic adventure. It’s filled with action and drama, some plot twists and plenty of very sensual moments between these two headstrong characters.   

What I also liked in this book is the wonderful background in which this story is unraveling. Ms. Vane had me take virtual trip into the desert with Diana and her Sheik. She had me smell in the scents they did and sweat the danger they were pot through.

If you’re looking for an exotic, sensual and passion filled romantic adventure, this is for you! I highly recommend it!

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the Author.

Spotlight on Victoria Vane and…

THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES

A Wild Night’s Bride  (Ned and Phoebe’s story- romantic romp)

AWNB VVBOOK BLURB: What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a bored and machinating rake?

She’s a lonely lady down on her luck: Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis, is a struggling Covent Garden actress with a bruised heart and a closely guarded secret.

He’s steadfast and eminently respectable:  Sir Edward Chambers, Ned to his intimates, is guilt-ridden over his beloved wife’s death and avowed to live out a rustic and mundane life … of celibacy.

With the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay: Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere, is determined to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. His meddling machinations result in a night of mind-blowing passion after which “dull dog Ned” awakes to find himself in the King of England’s bed!

EXCERPT: here

MINI REVIEW: The first time I ever read this author was under her pseudonym of Emery Lee and the book was ‘Fortune’s Son’. My review of it is here. Since I liked her style and voice, I thought to try her other books, under her Victoria Vane pseudonym.

In this first book of the DeVere Series, she has a couple that no one in their right mind would put together, let alone have them fall for each other, and that is why this romance works.

The story never takes itself too seriously and through its witty dialogue achieves what it’s set out to do: entertain, titillate and intrigue.

The author cleverly spreads a few ‘crumbs’ throughout the story about Devil DeVere that a reader is left with too many questions to now abandon the series, therefore compelling one to follow the trail into the next book.

If you’re looking for a faced paced, funny and very sensual series this summer, this will, without a doubt, fill the bill. Highly recommended.

TVH VVBOOK BLURB: Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants…Coddled and pampered, since her mother’s death, Lady Vesta Chambers is beside herself when her father goes to London to prepare for her come-out and returns with a young bride of his own. With her world turned upside down, Vesta accompanies her godmother, Diana, to town, where she is smitten the moment she lays eyes on a certain captain of the Seventeenth Light Dragoons.

But when the object of her passion has eyes for another… it’s time to take matters in hand..

Captain Hewett DeVere, younger brother and heir to Viscount Ludovic ”The Devil” DeVere, has returned from the American war scarred, disillusioned, and looking forward to settling down to a quiet and respectable life. But when the handsome and straight-laced captain turns his eyes toward the widowed Diana, Vesta is prepared to take devilish measures to prove to prove to Hew once and for all that she is no longer a little girl, but a woman with the passion of …a huntress.

EXCERPT: here

MINI REVIEW: This is the second book in The Devil DeVere series and this couple was even more mismatched than the first! I think Ms. Vane thrives on this concept and deliberately plots her stories around these poor characters that have nothing whatsoever in common.

 

The hero is enamored with another woman, and the heroine is hell-bent in snatching him up for herself and blatantly pushing herself on him. I actually enjoyed the many, MANY plots our little virgin puts the hero through in order to show him how perfect she is for him.

Another fun and witty, as well as sensual, little romp. I do recommend they be read in order though.

 

TDYK VVBOOK BLURB: Who can Find a Virtuous Woman…Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley  has long resigned herself to her twelve-year loveless and childless marriage to a feckless husband…until his gambling pushes them to the brink of  financial ruin.

Sometimes the Devil is in Disguise…As a Gentleman…

Viscount Ludovic, “The Devil DeVere”, is a man accustomed to taking what he wants according to his whim and heedless of the cost…until he encounters a woman who won’t be had at any price.

When Dealing with the Devil, It’s Easy to be Burned…

When Diana discovers a secret that shatters the carefully built façade concealing her private pain, she seeks aid and comfort from the most unlikely place…the devil’s arms. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?

EXCERPT: here

MINI REVIEW: This is the third book in the series, but it actually takes place before the other two books, and it gives us a look into Diana and Devil’s past. Once more she pairs a duo of characters that, on paper, should not be compatible, yet once they meet, the sparks fly and the tension this author builds is palpable.

We finally get to know and like Diana. I was surprised at how much I really liked her.As for our hero, he reveal  much about himself and not all of it to my liking. As in earlier books, Ms. Vane plots, paces and entertains well with this first part of Diana and Devil’s story.

To get the most out of this series, I strongly suggest it be read in order. It really gives you the dynamic of the players involved and especially this story which has a mystery plot in it.

TDM VVBOOK BLURB: When Burned Once …Arriving in London as her goddaughter’s chaperone, Baroness Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley wants to avoid her erstwhile lover at all costs. Once nearly consumed by passion, four years has reduced the former inferno to bitterness and ashes.

By An Old Flame… 

A world-weary master of seduction, Ludovic ”The Devil” DeVere is bored with his chosen life of debauchery. When Diana’s charge disappears, she is forced to seek help from the devil’s lair, and their mutual desire reignites with undeniable ferocity.

Fire Is Best Fought With Fire

While DeVere is hell-bent to have her back in his bed, Diana is equally determined to bring him to his knees…by acquiring some sensual secrets of her own.

EXCERPT: here

MINI REVIEW: This is the second part to the third book and Devil and Diana’s story. In this one, the author finally lets us, as well as Diana, see the heart of our hero. Diana finally realizes that this man is more than he lets people see, and we as readers realize that both hero and heroine are two very complex people who are meant to be together.

This was one of those happily ever after stories I was looking forward to and wasn’t disappointed.

The tension, as well as the sensual scenes, in this book is so well written that will leave you breathless.Throughout the series Ms. Vane has done an outstanding job in balancing characterization with plotting a fun, entertaining and interesting story. She enhanced each story with a witty dialogue that at times had me laugh out loud.

This is a must in the series!

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JOTE VV
PREQUEL VIGNETTES
DITM VV
TTWS VV

Victoria VaneAUTHOR BIO: Victoria Vane is an multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling and intensely erotic romance. Look for Victoria’s sexy new contemporary cowboy series coming in summer 2014.

A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria Vane combines these elements to craft novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone , Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. 

Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog.

You can reach Ms. Vane at: Web Site / Facebook / Tweeter / Goodreads

‘Fortune’s Son’ by Emery Lee

FS ELSTORY: Love is the ultimate gamble…

Seasoned gambler Philip Drake knows every trick and uses most of them. After years of infamy, he’s ready to accept the mantle of respectability with his earldom– until a devastating racing loss and the threat of debtors’ prison force Philip right back into his gaming ways…

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a woman with a past who refuses to belong to any man again. But Philip’s skill catches her eye and she persuades him to teach her how to win at the tables. Their new partnership turns into an exhilarating high-stakes game that entangles them in terrifying risk and unimaginable rewards…

REVIEW: This book has been on my wish list and TBR for a year now and the only reason for it was its cover. I mean, just look at it! I also liked the blurb for it, although once I read the book, I was amazed how inadequate it was. Another thing I found out as I finished the book was that ‘Fortune’s Son’ is a sequel to ‘The Highest Stakes’ and finally things in the middle of the story made more sense. Needless to say, I am now compelled to read the first book and highly recommend you read it in order because the author only glossed over some of the very important and crucial events. If the author repeated those events verbatim from ‘The Highest Stakes’ this book could have been better understood and enjoyed by this reader.

The story opens up with our hero in his thirties, with a hangover after his huge loss on the racing track, and now trying to once again come up with money to pay his debts. And while he’s arranging the sale of some horse-flesh, someone in his company mentions the name of Susannah, Lady Messingham, and off into memory lane goes our hero.

We are now meeting Philip Drake at age twenty, a second son of the Earl of Hastings. He is handsome, full of life and devilry, charming and doesn’t give a damn about his ruthless father or half-brother. He hasn’t seen them in years and refuses to live off of his family’s money. His quick wit and talent at dice and cards are the only means of his support while awaiting his mother’s legacy left to him when he turns twenty-one.

Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a twenty-eight year old widow that has money troubles of her own and as she spots young Philip at play, decides that he just might help her out by tutoring her in gaming. At first, Philip isn’t so enthusiastic about her proposal, but the chemistry they share from the start is something he’s willing to explore.

As they embark on this journey of mutual need, neither is aware that their relationship would go through the highest of the highs and lowest of the lows and have their love tested over and over.

As I read this story, watching Philip’s life go from heartache to heartache, I kept thinking that he must have been cursed from the moment he was born and my heart just went out to him.

Emery Lee, with her unprecedented and meticulous research of history, gaming and horse racing in Georgian era England, made this story play out like an epic movie in my mind’s eye. Her characterization of Philip and Susannah was impeccable and their love as it spanned a decade will touch your heart.

For a high drama, passion spanning a decade, revenge and redemption of both hero and heroine, this is one book that is a must read, BUT only if you read the first book before this one.

*Book purchased through Amazon.