INNOCENT IN THE SHEIKH'S HAREM
From E.M. Hull’s The Sheik to Bertrice Small’s The Kadin to Sergeanne Golon’s Angelique, readers have fantasized about handsome desert princes and life in a harem. Kaye capitalizes on this with a short, quick, lightweight tale of an innocent Englishwoman swept away by a marvelous hero into a life and a passion she has never known.
Recently wed Lady Celia Cleveden arrives in the Middle East intent on aiding her diplomat husband. When their caravan is attacked and her husband murdered, Celia is rescued by Sheikh Ramiz al-Muhana, ruler of the exotic city of A’Qadiz. Educated in Europe, Ramiz thinks he understands British women, but he has never encountered anyone as courageous and innocent as Celia. Celia is fascinated by Ramiz and intrigued as to why she is the only woman in his harem. While awaiting word from England Celia learns much about her host and his culture and begins to desire his touch. She was a bride but never a wife and would like nothing better than to be taught the ways of passion by Ramiz. Believing she is an experienced widow, Ramiz gently woos Celia into his bed. When he learns she is a virgin, he offers to wed her. Still, cultural differences, the British government and Ramiz’s enemies threaten their love. (HARLEQUIN, Jul., 300 pp., $6.25)