I don’t find the ‘Sheikh’ trope appealing, as I find the plot too fantastical and something stupid at times. So I don’t go for these books often.
Anyways, I have to try once in a while to see if someone has written something that would have some appeal.
Let’s find out how the story goes in ‘The Sheikh’s Last Mistress’….
Genre: Contemporary Romance. Mills and Boon.
Main Characters: Destiny Richards, Sheikh Zafir Al Asmari.
‘The Sheikh’s Last Mistress by Rachael Thomas’ ~~ Synopsis:
Zafir travels all the way to England to meet the renowned horse-whisperer named Destiny. Destiny is Zafir last hope to save his horse that was traumatized the night his sister met her untimely death.
The deal has already been finalized with her mother. But Zafir wanted to see if Destiny’s indeed as skilled as her popularity suggests.
He meets her stepmother who puts him instantly on guard. He doesn’t correct the woman when she mistakes him for Sheikh’s aide.
When he witnesses Destiny training a horse, he feels hope that she may be able to help the horse get better too. The one thing he didn’t expect was Destiny’s reluctance to take up the job, despite the fact that her parents has already agreed.
Destiny wants to first see the horse and then decide if she’d help the creature. And that would cost the Sheikh double the amount he agreed to pay to her parents.
Zafir doesn’t like re-negotiating the already agreed upon terms. But he’s seen Destiny work and he wants her help. So Zafir agrees to Destiny’s terms.
Destiny loves to work with horses, but her father and her step-mother have turned her love for horses into a business that’s draining her. After the death of her mother, she found refuge in training horses.
But she doesn’t want her father and his wife to take advantage of her skills any more than they already have. She wants her freedom.
Now that she has helped her younger sister to run away from the greedy clutches of their family, Destiny is considering leaving as well.
When Zafir enters and she realizes his assignment could be her ticket to freedom. All the money the Sheikh would pay, she’d start her new life, living closer to her sister.
Only after reaching the desert kingdom, Destiny finds out that Zafir is the Sheikh.
After meeting the horse, Destiny agrees to work. But Destiny wants to know more about what happened, the night Zafir’s sister died to traumatize the horse.
The one thing Zafir avoids talking or discussing is his sister and how his insistence to stick to the traditions, cost him his sister. He doesn’t want Destiny to know more than necessary or else she too would blame him for his sister’s death like he blames himself.
Destiny realizes that it’s not just the horse that seems to be carrying guilt, but his master as well. Destiny begins her work. Soon the forbidden attraction begins to bloom between Destiny & Zafir that they no longer ignore.
This time Zafir sets the rules: all he can give her is one night and no more. He has a duty to marry a suitable bride, Destiny isn’t one. Also, how could he marry for love when he denied his sister the same?
Destiny takes the deal; it’s time to live a little.
‘The Sheikh’s Last Mistress’ is one of those books that have an idea. An idea that seems good until it’s handled terribly.
There’s drama, there’s tension, there’s a torturous past to add more drama, there’s emotion, there’s chemistry, yet the author fails to utilize it all in a way that would have made it a good read.
Here’s what went wrong:
Destiny is one of the lamest characters I have read about. Zafir is no better. They don’t discuss anything about their past, especially the past demons that haunt them.
The last few chapters are wasted on a tug of war that should have been handled carefully. The tug of war goes like this:
Destiny: I want to leave. Let me leave.
Zafir: Okay. (Later) Not yet.
I don’t even know why so many words are wasted on this no drama. Chances are in reality this is how it probably would have been played out, but this is no reality, but fiction.
Then there’s an attempt at creating another misunderstanding between the main characters just a few pages before the end. And I was like – really?
Spare the torture of creating another drama when you cannot explore and exploit the previous ones to their full potential.
One misunderstanding or conflict is more than enough. It’s fiction for fiction’s sake, tie the loose ends!
Hit or Miss: Miss.
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