The Sultan of Morocco asks his loyal follower, Sheik Jamal, to capture the Berber chief Youssef. The blue men of Youssef's tribe have been raiding the caravans and reducing Ishmael's coffers.
Despite a carefully planned trap, Jamal fails to capture Youssef, but catches Youssef's daughter, Zara, a proud and beautiful woman who stirs Jamal's heart. He takes Zara to his palace, Paradise, and enslaves her, not in his harem, but in his stables, determined to break her spirit.
Zara is fearful of what Jamal does to her senses. She does her best to keep as far away as possible. Yet his sensual charm leads her to almost give in. Jamal is determined to have Zara and brings her to the harem where the others' jealousy forces him to keep Zara with him.
When Jamal finally captures Youssef, Zara agrees to be his concubine in order to free her father. But neither Jamal nor Zara can explain the fiery passion that explodes between them. Even after she escapes, Zara cannot explain her longing for Jamal's touch.
Through the desert, they chase after one another, meeting, making love and escaping. Torn between desire and duty, both Jamal and Zara play a dangerous game of passion and treachery, betrayal and desire until they find the path to their destiny.
Ms. Mason has written another winner. Jamal is a sensual delight, and Zara is his ideal match, feisty and seductive. This is a story that will certainly keep you warm on a cold winter's night. VERY SENSUAL (Dec., 392 pp., $5.99)