About the Book:
Title: The Sheikh’s Diamond (Sheikh’s Wedding Bet #1)
Author: Leslie North
Published: June 23rd 2016 by Leslie North
Received: from the author, in exchange for a review
Narrated by: Rose DeMarco
Sheikh Masoud Khalidizack is terminally bored by palace life. With his elder brother inheriting his father’s responsibilities and his younger brother treating life like one big party, he often feels left behind. When a family friend suggests a bet to see which brother will be left unwed at the end of the year, Masoud thinks it is impossible to lose and he’s already making plans on what to do with the prize – Muharraq Island.
That all changes with the arrival of headstrong Fleur Summers, a beautiful archaeologist bent on finding the legendary Solomon Diamond. It was once part of the Khalidizack family’s heritage, but now it is lost to history. Her reputation depends on finding it and putting it into a museum, but the distractingly handsome Sheikh who hired her certainly isn’t helping. In fact, Masoud intends to restore the diamond to its rightful place – in the Khalidizack palace.
Now, they have to overcome their mutual mistrust and simmering attraction to find the artifact that could bring glory to them both. In a race against ruthless rivals that spans continents, finding the prize will bring them together or destroy one of their lives.
Ok this is a first for me. It is my first book involving Sheikh Romance and I must admit I kind of liked it. I have received an audio version from the author in exchange for an honest review so my rating is for the overall quality of the story and writing + narrator.
Starting with the big list of positives, I really really enjoyed the adventures Fleur and Masoud embark when deciding to find Solomon’s diamond. In this exotic context, the sheikh becomes attracted to the archaeologist Fleur Summers. Her passion and her devotion towards uncovering history have aroused his interest. Travelling with her for days to find a precious jewel that will secure his family’s ruling only gets him more attracted to her and thus his desire to have her. This mix of adventure and passion is great and give the story of big big plus. It’s simply something new and refreshing.
Analyzing a little the characters, Sheikh Masoud Khalidizack is used to women falling for him, especially for his money. When he meets someone clearly focused on something else but his looks and wealth, he becomes intrigued and even more committed to have her. Fleur is so caught up in continuing her parents’ research on the diamond that the romantic involvement does not seem as important as her mission to prove the existence of the jewel. Yes, definitely she sees the gorgeous man in front of her but she understands she only needs her to find a diamond and she needs him to approve for research on his land.
For the most part of the book, the focus is on finding the diamond, but when this is out of the way that is a shift towards the romantic aspect. Sort of like “Business first, pleasure later”.
Now here come some things I did not quite enjoy. From writing perspective, I would have wanted a little more insight into the sheikh’s culture, except the wealth. Also in the beginning, it all starts with a bet between the brothers and one would think this was a focus point as well. But no, until the end of the book I completely forgot about it. So for this story the bet was not significant at all. It may be for the other books in the series. We shall wait and see. Last on my list of dislikes is the narrator. I could not relate to her interpretation of Masoud and most of the other male characters. I had the impression everybody was angry or ironical, probably because there’s a lot of muttering. The sheikh was more like a grumpy man.
To close up, I am going with 4 stars for the story but 3 for the narrator. An adventure with a lot of romance is a perfect combination for a great read. Hope you like it at least as much as I did.
About the Author:
Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.
The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.
Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.
She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don’t hesitate to contact her via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.