September 11, 2012
The Tarnished Jewel of Jazaar
Author: Susanna Carr
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Pub. Date: August 7, 2012
Digital Price: $2.99
Print Price: $4.99
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Jeweled veil weighing heavily on her head, Zoe Martin waits for her sheikh husband-to-be. The shame of her adoptive family, orphan Zoe has endured six years of being kept as a slave—now she’s been sold into marriage…to a man known as The Beast!
Being discarded to the sheikh has one bonus—this could mean freedom! Zoe must play along with the three-day—and three-night—ceremony, but she isn’t expecting the blazing attraction from just one stolen glance at playboy sheikh Nadir.…
The Beast takes a bride. Sheikh Nadir ibn Shihab earned the nickname after his first bride left their marriage bed bleeding and raving. But Zoe is given to him in marriage, nonetheless, and has to reconcile her experience with this broodingly sexy alpha male who stops irrevocably on a dime when she says no, with the reputation of The Beast.
They just don’t seem to jive, and she finds herself less and less interested in what had been an elaborate scheme to run away on their honeymoon. She responds to his touch. She wants to stay with him almost as much as she wants to leave their country of Jazaar. At every turn, she wants to leave and wants to stay. For a woman who has undergone heartbreaking abuse at the hands of her people, Zoe presents a compelling case to leave them behind. But for a woman who has never known the loving touch of a man, she also makes you want to root for her to stay.
Because for all his bluster, Nadir is obviously falling for her, throughout the book, and against his better judgment. Only he doesn’t know she’s planning to leave him. And the tension of the heartbreak waiting to happen is delicious and visceral at times.
As an avid Presents fan, I have to admit that I’ve read the “Sheikh finds a lover” storyline before, but not quite like this. I can see why the editors picked this out of the pile of hopefuls. It was a unique and very heart-felt twist on an old favorite. This is the kind of book I would go back to for a comfort read, not to mention that the characters were memorable and very deep.
While I haven’t read other Susanna Carr books, I do think that her voice fits in well with the Presents line, and I found myself easily transported both to the Middle East and into the lives of these two unique characters. This book is everything that you would enjoy about a Harlequin, and will fulfill the echoing refrain in the heart of every Presents fan who wants a new story to strike that familiar chord.
Rating: 4 (Very Good)
Heat-Level: 4 (Hot)
Reviewed by Camryn