BOOK REVIEW (4.5): The Sheikh’s Disobedient Bride

WARNING: Cover not bus-reading appropriate.
Let me preface this review by first stating that I will now make it a point to avoid Presents novels starring a Sheikh hero.
 
And before I explain why, I also want to note that this was a book I started reading during the winter 2013 holidays (so end of December-ish) and I finished it around the beginning of January. (I have the exact date on GR, for anyone who’s curious…) So this review is an EXTRA. It is not being counted as the 30 books I’d like to read in 2014. BONUS REVIEW.
 
Okay. Back to the actual reviewing:
 
Sheikh heroes. -shakes head-

 

Oh dear. Where do I begin?
 
I know that this “brand” of hero has a lot of fans, but I’m not convinced by it.
 
He’s typically portrayed as grossly arrogant…and too often his looks are described as being “wild”, or its synonym “untamed” and my all-time fav, “barbaric”. Is this supposed to be endear me to the hero?
 
So a Sheikh hero is barbaric, wild, whatever–and yet he almost always surprises the heroine with how well educated he is: his English is superb, that’s explained usually by his studying abroad (usually in Europe), and he’s also a well-spring of Western and Eastern knowledge, oh! And don’t forget: he’s able to straddle the West and East border comfortably.
 
Excuse me but…WTF.
 
Okay, The Sheikh’s Disobedient Bride starts with a kidnap, the heroine is taken and held captive by the so-called hero. For no good reason!
 
Well, to be fair, there is a reason near the beginning. The hero, Tair believes the heroine, Tally, is a spy for some enemies of his. She’s not and she quickly establishes this early on. But NO, he decides to continue to hold her and since readers have privy to his thoughts (joy!) we learn he’s falling in love with her.
 
In his stupid, twisted mind Tair gets the notion that she’s better off with him. She begs and pleads to be sent away, but NO, she’s his woman darnit!

Yeah, about that. Because Tair doesn’t know her name to start with he calls her ‘woman’. Even after she tells him to call her by her name, he keeps calling her woman. “Woman this” and “woman that” and “woman shaddap, I’m the man in your life now”–holy fudge.
 
By this point if you haven’t already felt that this review is warning you AWAY from the book, please understand I’m trying to warn you AWAY from this book.
 
Now let me see what else did I absolutely abhor…oh right! The characters! Tair is a pompous ass who’s self-assurance went south, waaaay south returning from its trip as an egomania-ism that made this reader want to throttle him at several points through the story. He forces, FORCES the heroine to marry him. I know I said this a few paragraphs ago but What. The. Hot Fudge.


There is nothing glamorous or sexy or romantic about bride kidnapping. It’s sadly real and happening quite frequently in many parts of the world.
Tally isn’t much better. The Harlequin Presents line focuses on portraying its heroines as a 21st-century populace, but I didn’t get a sense of Tally being anything more than a TSTL heroine. Seriously she should have died countless amount of times. If this weren’t a goshdarned romance I would have been hoping she did (though its genre label hardly stopped me from praying for each next page to be blank–like some printing complication would force me to stop reading this train wreck).  All of her runaway attempts lead to a near-death experience on her part and the hero’s chance to “sparkle” as he swoops in to save her from the eviiiiiiiiil climate of his desert land.
 
Of course he locks her away in the harem of his beautiful, oasis-like palace in the middle of the desert where forced wedding preparations begins. There were so many times I felt like the author was trying to shove Tair and his diamond-in-the-rough personality down my throat, but I’m not a glutton for Alpha asshole heroes who prefer to wait out their marriages via Stockholm syndrome.
 
And Tally, oh Tally Tally Tally. You so daffy, girrrrrl.
 
She thinks that because she’s falling in love with Tair that’s okay. She rationalizes her captivity and often silences any internal conflict fighting against her kidnapper by having sex with him. Cause you know sex fixes everything right? Right?
 
Anyways I could go on and on and on…but I’m not going to.
 
I did laugh once in the book. There’s a conversation closer to the start of the book right after Tair captures Tally and he still believes her to be a spy. They have this back-and-forth banter that made me cry from laughing so hard, mostly because it was humorous but also because it was intensely bizarre. It was also the point where my hope died of this being a good book.
 
So I’ll sum it up this way:
 
Avoid this book if…
 
*you can’t sympathize with bride kidnapping
*hate A-hole alpha heroes
*can’t stand stupid heroines
 
Cool? Let’s move on to the verdict.


 

(1 star)
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