02
Nov
08

The Lure of the Sheikh Hero by Annie West

Thanks, Desirabelles, for inviting me to your fantastic site! It’s so exciting to have such a strong group of Aussie and New Zealand Desire authors. I’ve been reading your books with enormous pleasure!

For those who don’t know me, I’m another girl from Down Under and I write for Harlequin Presents/Mills and Boon Modern. I’m absolutely hooked on reading (and writing) romance and I’m thrilled to say my ninth book for Harlequin has recently been accepted.

In the meantime, since my latest release is about a desert prince it was suggested I talk about the lure of the sheikh hero. I wonder how many of you share an appreciation of that particular hero?

It took me a while to come to the sheikh hero. In my early days of reading romances the heroes I discovered were usually European or American or occasionally from Australia or New Zealand. There were swashbuckling men in boots, regency rakes, businessmen, boys next door, bad boys on motor bikes, occasional cowboys, aristocrats or gothic antiheroes. Why would I need a sheikh with that sort of variety on offer?

But somewhere on my radar I was aware of the fact that sheikhs (or sheiks, depending on where you’re from) loomed large on the list of potential romance heroes. I knew women had swooned in droves when Rudolph Valentino appeared on the big screen in ‘The Sheik’ in the 1920s, but I couldn’t quite see what the fuss was about.

My curiosity was aroused and I sought out books featuring desert princes. I watched Valentino and ‘Harem’ and read more on the subject. Soon I was in no doubt why so many women love a sheikh hero.

Dangerous and Delightful
There’s something scintillatingly dangerous and delightful about the sheer escapist fantasy of being swept into the arms of a mysterious, handsome stranger and carried off to his lair. What a set up for wonderful conflict and tension! What heroine worth her salt wouldn’t revel in the challenge of a man who can have whatever woman he wants, yet chooses her?

In these stories the sheikh is so intrigued by the heroine’s beauty/character/defiance/intelligence/ stupidity in venturing into this domain that he has to have her for himself. He rules his world with absolute power. He has utter dominion over the woman he’s lured/seduced/kidnapped/rescued/found. We sit on the edge of our seats wondering whether he’ll use that power for his own ends, or will he refrain, and meet her on her own terms? Will he relinquish that power for love?

Or perhaps they meet elsewhere, in her home town for instance. He stands out from other men as different, intriguing and compelling. He’s drawn to her, whether he likes it or not. Even though she’s not obviously the right woman for him, instinctively he knows there’s something in her that calls to him and he can’t ignore that. His single-minded focus on learning more about her can lead them both into dangerous waters where attraction and duty collide.

The quintessential male
The sheikh is the quintessential male, won over despite himself. Initially he holds the power in their relationship and he may be ruthless in using it, which can put the heroine in a terrible situation – something we romance readers adore.

The heroine is likely to be vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean weak! After all a strong hero needs a strong heroine. Even if she’s usually self sufficient and even if her sheikh isn’t the rampaging, ride-across-the-desert-to-kidnap-her sort, something about him will challenge her – her freedom, her perceptions or her plans for the future. Whether he wears Armani and runs a multi-national company, or lives the life of a nomad, he’s a threat, the most powerful man she’s ever met, and the most fascinating. He threatens her peaceful world.

If you love a strong alpha hero then these romances may be perfect reading for you. If you enjoy stories of Cinderella transformations or the tug of duty versus love or the strong man brought to realise love is a force he can’t conquer, you may want to pick one up.

For centuries sheikhs, sultans and pashas have intrigued audiences, perhaps in part because of Western perceptions of the sexual power play associated with harems. Maybe too because they just seem so exotic! Think of Mozart’s ‘Escape from the Seraglio’, Edith Maude Hull’s ‘The Sheik’, Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. Which reminds me – did I mention the clothes and the terrific horses?

The Settings
Then there are the settings: desert strongholds, romantic oases, sprawling palaces with hidden treasures, or perhaps a penthouse apartment in the heart of an exciting metropolis. The world is this man’s oyster. For background colour there are silk carpets, souks, glittering jewels and an exotic ‘Arabian Nights’ aura.

I’ve read desert princes who are men of action in thrilling stories of adventure, or honour-bound men whose primary aim is to protect those they’re responsible for. I’ve read sexy seducers who have the tables turned on them and suave, powerful captains of industry who learn to their cost that one woman can disrupt all they’ve planned.

In part it’s the power play between two apparently unequal characters that fascinates me. There might be a clash of different worlds with all the challenges that can throw up. Above all there is sense of the power of love overcoming difficult circumstances to bring our heroine and hero together in lasting happiness.

Have you read a sheikh story? Was it what you expected? What stood out for you? And if you don’t read them, why not? I’d be fascinated to hear (and I’ll give away a copy of one of my sheikh stories to someone who posts a comment, chosen at random).

ABOUT ANNIE: Annie’s third sheikh hero is making his appearance right now. Khalid is a man on a mission to save his country from years of mismanagement. He has no time for complications like love or marriage. But a chance encounter with Maggie, the most unlikely of potential brides, brings consequences neither of them expect. Their marriage will be one of duty and convenience. At least, that’s the plan…

THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE is available now in Australia and New Zealand or you can buy it on the web from the UK. It will be released in North America (Harlequin Presents Extra) in April 2009. In the meantime you can read more about it on her website.

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58 Responses to “The Lure of the Sheikh Hero by Annie West”


  1. November 3, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Annie! Welcome to our Desirabelles Blog! I really enjoy reading a Sheik story from time to time and, for me, your comment “the most powerful man she’s ever met, and the most fascinating” really sums it up. He’s King! His word is law. He rules. How can that not be fascinating and enticing? Especially when, as you said, he becomes “the strong man brought to realise love is a force he can’t conquer.”

    Great blog! I look forward to seeing everyone else’s comments.

  2. 2 Avi J
    November 3, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Sheikh stories are my favourite. Most of what you listed are why l love them, the palaces, the passion and glamour. Susan Mallery’s Desert Rogues are my favourite series. Trish Morey’s Stolen by the skeikh is another favourite. To tell the truth, l have so many l cant remember all the titles. l read one of your sheikh stories as well, the one where the heroine was an artist.
    The perfect Alpha Male in my opinion is a Sheikh 😀

  3. November 3, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Annie, what a wonderful take on why we love the sheikh! I must admit I’ve long had a fascination of the desert prince hero – I think it comes from a childhood watching things like the Thief of Baghdad. They were cheesy but they were exotic and dramatic and action-packed. And they usually featured a really gutsy heroine who stood up to our hero for all she was worth. I recently read THE SHEIK which started the whole craze, I believe. It’s surprisingly modern in many ways – certainly not a musty, fusty, dusty read by any means. Two of my favourite sheikh stories are your THE SHEIKH’S RANSOMED BRIDE and FOR THE SHEIKH’S PLEASURE. Both of those books were fantastic! And now I’ve got your new hero, Khalid, in THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE to add to that list. Whoo-hoo! Congratulations on the new release. I’m sure you’ve got another huge hit on your hands.

  4. November 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Yvonne, I’m glad to hear you enjoy a sheik story from time to time. There’s something so powerful about a story where as you say, the hero’s word is law, and yet he discovers he’s not as totally in control as he thought. The apparently unequal situation between hero and heroine can make for some really intense moments, which I love!

    Annie

  5. November 3, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Avi,

    How terrific to find another lover of sheik stories. I think you’re right about this sort of hero making the perfect alpha male! I really had fun writing my sheiks and one day I know I’ll have a ball coming back to that sort of story. These characters seem ready made for high octane drama and passion! Ah, the story of mine about the artist and the sheik is ‘For the Sheikh’s Pleasure’, which I’m thrilled to say finalled in the 2007 National Readers Choice Awards in the US, the first time I’d entered.

    I know Trish Morey’s story (doesn’t she write a great hero?) but I’ve yet to read the Susan Mallory series. Some other favorites of mine are by Lynne Graham, Jane Porter and Liz Fielding. Actually, I’ve read a stack of great sheik stories waiting to be reread by a wide range of authors and some more new ones on my tbr pile.

    Annie

  6. 6 Kirsty C
    November 3, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Hmm, I haven’t ever read a sheik book (except for a funny Roald Dahl short story, but that certainly wasn’t a love story), so I can’t really say. Does the sheik ever cross over to the Desire series?

  7. November 3, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Ooh yes, the Sheikh – he is hot, hot, HOT! There is just something so satisfying about a man who is lord of all he surveys being brought to his knees by a woman. And when it’s combined with the mystique of the desert… well, what’s not to like?

    And chiming in to agree with Anna C. THE SHEIKH’S RANSOMED BRIDE is one of my all-time fave sheikh stories. I adored Bella and Rafiq. Can’t wait to read THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE. Keep up the good work, Annie!

  8. November 3, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Anna,

    How terrific to ‘see’ you. I grew up watching the same old movies as you, I think. They seemed very exotic to me and I’m sure somewhere along the line they influenced me. The other thing I discovered was that some places I visited on my travels also gave me inspiration to write sheik stories. I’ve been lucky enough to get to some terrific spots, and I have plans for more travel too in the interests of research!

    Thanks so much for the lovely comments on Rafiq and Arik’s stories! I’m honoured that you enjoyed them so much, especially since there are some excellent ones about. Excellent that you enjoyed THE SHEIK. As far as I know it’s the book that started it all off. Thanks for your good wishes for THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE!

    Annie

  9. November 3, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Kirsty,

    Yes, there have been sheik stories in the Desire line. Not sure about any current sheik releases. Maybe one of the Desirabelles knows? I’ve seen quite a few in Presents and even in Sweet and Harlequin Medicals. They sure get around!

    Annie

  10. November 3, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Michelle, hey, thanks for the lovely comments. So glad you enjoyed THE SHEIKH’S RANSOMED BRIDE so much! You put it so well – the lord of all he surveys brought to his knees by a woman! (G) And the interesting thing is that he’s not a pushover with anyone else. I have to say I’m a sucker for a tough guy who has a soft side for the right woman! It makes what that have together seem even more special.

    Have you any thoughts of writing a sheik story?

    Annie

  11. 11 LJ
    November 4, 2008 at 2:07 am

    I love the whole romance between the hero and heroine in sheikh stories. It is so much more intense. It really is fun to see the heroine “tame” the hero.

  12. 12 azteclady
    November 4, 2008 at 3:59 am

    Hi, Annie!

    Well, I fell in love with romance a looooooooooooong time ago thanks to E.M. Hull’s The Sheikh, yet… Well, these days it depends a lot on how the author writes the characters. As you say, the obvious and tremendous imbalance in power between them can be overwhelming–and definitely off-putting–if it’s not written well.

    And by well, I would mean, convince me that in the end there is equality in their positions somehow, that they complement each other in such a way as to give them equal footing.

    Best of luck with the release!

  13. November 4, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Ooh, Annie, I should love to set a story in the desert – soooo romantic. But a sheikh hero? Alpah heroes aren’t my strong point, I’m afraid.

    Should love to write a shaykhah heroine – a kick butt Arabian princess who meets an outback boy (shall have to see what my ed thinks).

  14. November 4, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Hi LJ, I think you’re right about the intensity of these stories. It seems inbuilt somehow. And as for taming the hero, sometimes you can’t imagine how that will happen. I love it when he ‘tames’ himself to win her too!

    Annie

  15. November 4, 2008 at 7:39 am

    Aztedady,

    Thanks very much for the good wishes on this release. I have my fingers crossed readers will enjoy it.

    You started with EM Hull? Fantastic! It’s interesting to see what has changed since she wrote that and yet how many themes remain in modern romance stories.

    Yes, I think that imbalance of power thing is a major issue. For me it’s terrific as I always start by wondering how on earth the author is going to deal with that in a satisfying way, and in good books they do. I wouldn’t enjoy a story where I didn’t feel both characters were equals in some way, that on a personal level they complemented each other and respected each other, so that no matter how others view them, they know they’re equals. I think that’s one of the things I so enjoy about romance stories, the coming together of well-matched couples who make the other even more complete in some way. Where the hero is a sheik with lots of power, it can be challenging, but I believe it adds extra spice.

    Annie

  16. November 4, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Michelle,

    Count me in on that one – a kick-butt Arabian princess and an Aussie outdoors boy? What a story that would make! Can’t wait to hear what your editor thinks of it. That would really be an interesting turn around. I do hope your editor enjoys the idea and lets you go ahead with it.

    Annie

  17. November 4, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Hey Annie and everyone!

    Kirsty asked about sheiks in Desire. I recall Ms Singh’s first Desire, Desert Warrior being a sheik, and when it came out in Australia, was paired with Kristi Gold’s Expecting the Sheikh’s Baby. Two fabulous books 😀

    The first sheikh book I read was Johanna Lindsay’s Captive Bride when I was 12. Man, it got me hooked from then on! (it took JL AGES to finally do another sheikh book – Silver Angel.) Read The Sheikh, of course, plus any Barbara Cartlands with arabian heroes got me. I was obsessed with Morrocco for many years after reading a veeeery steamy-bordering-on-erotic book called Bitter Passion, Sweet Love by Patricia Ott. It’s old, it’s ratty, and the pages are falling out but I adore it. And Captured in a harem… hmmm… must dig it out and read it again…

  18. November 4, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Ohh, Paula, you’ve mentioned a couple of books that are new to me. ‘Captured in a Harem’, eh? That sounds really intriguing. I enjoy the way different authors use the sheik hero and turn the situation to write their own particular story and put their own slant on it. They range from spicy to high tension adventures to seduction stories, sweet stories and so on.

    Smiling about your obsession with Morocco. It’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit and am yet to get to. A friend recently gave me the most gorgeous illustrated book on it and I’ve been enjoying the exquisite photographs which I’m sure are going to spart more ideas for future stories. Do you have a single fave sheikh story, Paula?

    Annie

  19. November 4, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I should’ve typed a bit clearer, Annie ;D Bitter Passion, Sweet Love was about being captured in a harem (g) Captive Bride is my fave, although it was JL’s first and her writing style has really polished up since then. But it brings back such great memories of me passing it ’round to all my girlfriends in high school 😉

  20. 20 Dina
    November 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Sheikh stories are my favourite type of royal romances, more than the usual prince. The clothes, setting and the passion all combine to make a spectacular story. I love Penny Jordan sheikh books. l saw on the PHS there is a post on sheikhs as well, you might find some more reasons to love a sheik story there.

  21. 21 limecello
    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Annie – thanks so much for visiting with us! I love Sheikh stories- and haven’t read any/any good ones in a while – so I’m very excited about your book. But waiting until April? Haha I’m so impatient!
    I love sheikh stories because they’re fun, exotic, and you get to write a very … alpha man – bordering on chauvinistic at times, but it’s great because the heroine brings him to his knees. Everyone loves a bit of grovelling 😉

  22. November 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Paula,

    Thanks for explaining. Otherwise I’d be hunting for a book that doesn’t exist (G). Captive Bride certainly conjures up all sorts of interesting images. I think I’d better go looking for some of those older books. Some of those books we read in our teens just seem to stay with us forever, don’t they?

    Annie

  23. November 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Dina, thanks for the tip about PHS. I haven’t been there today. i’ve been working on the opening of my next story (not an Arabian prince in sight in that one) so haven’t been to many sites. Glad to find another sheik afficionado! The background really can add that extra something to the story, can’t it? Penny J does write a terrific sheik, doesn’t she? I’ve just been having a chat with a friend about a whole range of terrific desert prince stories – fortunately there are a range to indulge in.

    Annie

  24. November 4, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Hi Limecello, smiling here at you enjoying a good grovel. I remember writing a particular hero in a recent book and setting him up for a big fall. Every time the poor guy asserted himself he just dug the hole deeper and I chortled, thinking about how much he’d have to grovel and prove himself to get out of it.

    Glad to hear you’re interested in THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE. Yes, it’s a shame about the delay before the US release. Simultaneous releases would be much easier (G). Ah well, hopefully you’ll find it worth waiting for.

    Annie

  25. 25 Mau J
    November 5, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Sigh. You all took most of my answers. Ok well I must say I adore Sheikh stories like everyone else. They really are very exciting passionate reads. I loved your books The Sheikh’s Ransomed Bride and For The Sheikh’s Pleasure. Jane Porter and Penny Jordan are authors who’s sheikh books I love too.

  26. November 5, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Hey Annie! Welcome to the blog 🙂

    Needless to say I love sheik stories, given that my first sale was DESERT WARRIOR. I think part of the appeal of the sheik hero is the same thing that makes paranormal heroes so attractive – they’re outside the ordinary, everyday world – so they can get away with a lot of things other heroes wouldn’t! 😉

  27. November 5, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Annie!! Great to have you here 🙂 What a fabulous blog. You’ve got me in the mood to snuggle up with a sheik. Can’t wait to read your latest! I’m a late start for sheiks in romance – I’d always gone for more real-to-life heroes, which, in hindsight, is crazy because I love paranormal/urban fantasy. Since dipping my toe in, I want more and more – the all powerful male subdued by an ordinary, or is that extraordinary woman. The perfect fantasy 🙂

    Congrats again!

  28. November 5, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Annie, you’ll have a ball here! The mystique of the Sheikh is as true today as it was with E.M. Hull’s “The Sheikh”, and the actor of his time, Rudi Valentino, who epitomised the sheikh as the western world imagined him to be. All that power, wealth and women, with arrogance! The archtypical alpha male. I opened up your “The Desert King’s Pregnant Bride” at the weekend during a lunch break, and meant only to read one chapter. Couldn’t put it down until I turned the final page. Congratulations … it was a captivating read.

    All the best
    Helen

  29. 29 Mel
    November 5, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Hi Annie,
    I love alpha heroes, so a sheikh is right up there as one of my faves . I’ve read loads of sheikh stories, and think Jane Porter writes them really well. And yes, I loved ‘The Sheikh’ too. Looking forward to reading many more of these stories 🙂

  30. 30 Sharon
    November 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Annie

    I have to say that I loved your first two sheikh stories – especially Rafiq in The Sheikh’s Ransomed Bride! And now you’ve got a new one on the shelf so that’s on my shopping list.

    Actually, I feel like a wee bit of a sheikh-book novice having not read EM Hull’s The Sheikh… so I hopped over to Google it and found that it’s part of Project Gutenberg now! How lucky is that! And with the other stories named in your blog comments here, I can see I’ve got some more to seek out for a bit of reading indulgence.

    Thanks for having Annie to visit, Desirabelles!

    :))
    Sharon

  31. November 5, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Hi Mau,

    Don’t worry, if others said what you were going to say it means we’ve got a lot of views in common. I was just thinking about your description – ‘exciting, passionate reads’. That sums it up for me. It’s that extra tingle down the spine I get with a great sheik story.

    Lovely to hear you liked my first two sheik stories. What a thrill! I have to say I have a soft spot for those boys – Rafiq and Arik, but this new one, Khalid, has great qualities all his own. It’s interesting to me how different each of them are – similar traits but they’re not clones by any means.

    Actually, I have one of Jane Porter’s sheiks on my bedside right now – roll on the weekend!

    Annie

  32. November 5, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Hi Nalini,

    Isn’t DESERT WARRIOR a fantastic title? I agree with you about sheiks being out of the ordinary, giving an author a chance to tap into themes and actions that mightn’t fit elsewhere. Just like in paranormals and, to some extent, historicals. I know that there are things I can broach in a sheik story I mightn’t try in another book – that’s half the fun. Do you have a preference for the sort of book you like to write or does it vary from story to story?

    Annie

  33. November 5, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Robyn,

    Thanks for the welcome. Like you I came late to sheiks. Didn’t really read many, if any when I was young so I wondered what all the fuss was about. It took some dedicated research for me to switch on to this theme and this sort of hero, but now there’s no looking back. I have another idea or two in the pipeline for desert princes but I’m putting them aside for a little while to ensure I (and my readers) get some variety, but I have to say i’m looking forward to that next sheik – and boy, is he going to have some challenges! Hope things are going well for you with your hectic schedule. I’ve realised I have more books by at least 4 Desirabelles in my tbr pile, including yours!

    Annie

  34. November 5, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Ooh, Helen, that’s so lovely. I’m sitting here with a grin a mile wide, thinking Helen Bianchin found my story captivating! Wow! Pinch me, someone. (Let me just say that Helen has been a fave of mine for a long time, since before I ever aspired to write for Presents!).

    You made an interesting point about Rudi V’s arrogance in that role. It seemed like he was born to it – I wonder if that was good acting or great casting. What fascinated me was the photos I’ve seen of hundreds of people lining the street for his funeral, and I gather thousands of women went into mourning. He, in that role, really had an enormous impact! That was one of the things that made ne wonder about the extent to which an alpha Arab prince could draw an audience.

    Annie

  35. November 5, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Mel,

    Lovely to see you here and to discover another sheik afficionado. They make a great alpha hero, don’t they?

    Annie

  36. November 5, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Sharon, so glad to hear you enjoyed Rafiq in my first sheik story. That book was such fun to write I got an enormous buzz out of it. Actually it was a story that went through without a single editorial change, which I’ve since learned is a rarity (G). I have to say I loved diving into my fictitious Arab kingdoms. They were based on enough fact to make them real in my mind, but there was also some latitude to make things the way I wanted them, which was lots of fun. I hope you enjoy THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE when you pick it up. How interesting that the E.M.Hull is part of Project Gutenberg. It’s certainly been a massive bestseller over the years. I wonder where she got the idea for the story from?

    Annie

  37. 37 Gina
    November 6, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I like sheikh stories because of the romance and the fact that the “Alpha male” at his best in them. I esecially like to read it when they have shopping included in them. Oh the description alone is worth the money paid for the book.

  38. 38 Mia
    November 6, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Sheikh stories are my favourite because of the determined way he will go after the woman he wants.

  39. 39 Aviella
    November 6, 2008 at 2:17 am

    I love sheikh stories because of the settings and passion. I love how the desert is not just described as a desert by something of beauty if you only look.

  40. 40 lisa lee
    November 6, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Hi Annie, I love this topic, the passion, romance and the Sheikh himself are why I love a good Sheikh story.

  41. November 6, 2008 at 4:52 am

    This is a neat discussion. I agree with Aviella and the description of the desert, but I also feel this can be neatly applied to the man himself–something of beauty, honour, integrity, and worthy of love, if you only look.

  42. 42 Eva S
    November 6, 2008 at 5:01 am

    Hi Annie,
    another great sheikh hero coming, thanks! My first sheikh was E.M.Hull’s too, still on my keeper shelf together with other sheikh books by you (of course!), Jane Porter, Lucy Monroe, Lynne Graham, Anne Herries, Barbara McMahon and many more. Great alpha heroes!

  43. November 6, 2008 at 6:08 am

    Ah, Gina, now we’re getting to the nitty gritty Shopping! I LOVE shopping in books where I don’t have to spend my money and the results are FABULOUS! How could I have forgotten that? Hm, now I’m madly trying to recall whether there’s any shopping in my current sheik story (G) – certainly Maggie gets lots of glam new clothes once she marries her desert prince. I wish finding gorgeous things that fitted so perfectly was as easy in real life!

    Actually, one of the fun things about writing for Presents is the time I can spend window shopping in the most amazing stores in the name of research.

    Annie

  44. November 6, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Hi Mia, thanks for popping in. I couldn’t agree more. It’s the sheik hero’s single-minded determination to win that one special woman that works for me every time (sigh).

    Annie

  45. November 6, 2008 at 6:12 am

    Hi Aviella,

    I love the settings too. I’ve been in the desert a handful of times and each time i’ve been struck by the extraordinary beauty, even though it’s such a harsh environment. And I like some of the other settings too, like the street markets and palaces.

    Annie

  46. November 6, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Lisa Lee, thanks for stopping by. It’s great to find all these other people who enjoy sheik books too!

    Annie

  47. November 6, 2008 at 6:20 am

    Yvonne, you’re so poetic! Yes, you’re right – beauty, honour, integrity and worthy of love. That definitely works for me in a hero. I’ve found too that in writing my few sheiks the themes about integrity and honour have been really, really strong. In some ways that defines those characters. I think having the hero as a sheik can sometimes allow you to take those ideas even furthe than you might with some other heroes.

    Annie

  48. November 6, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Eva, what a thrill to hear my books are on your keeper shelf! Thanks for letting me know. I hope you enjoy Khalid and Maggie’s story too. You mention Anne Herries and I haven’t read one of her books in ages. I must go searching.

    Annie

  49. 49 rose
    November 6, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Hi Annie
    I love to read about those powerful, protective sheikhs. Lucy Monroe recently wrote, Hired: The Sheikh’s Secretary Mistress. This has just shot to the top of my all time favourite list. It was the first time that I saw the hero’s soft side right away; the caring the restraint and then the HEA I read it over again just last week. My other favourie authors are you of course, Penny Jordan and Susan Mallery.

  50. 50 Aideen
    November 6, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Hey Annie, I like them because of the settings and the romance between the Hero and Heroine. BTW, did you know there was a website dedicated to these kinds of stories it is called – Sheikhs and Desert Love. the link is http://sheikhs-and-desert-love.com
    There is an up to date list of books about sheikhs and a data base about most of the other Harlequin or silhouette sheikh books previously published.

  51. November 6, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Hi Rose,

    The trouble is that when I talk to other romance readers my tbr pile just grows and grows! I haven’t read Lucy Monroe’s book yet so will move have to make sure it’s in the pile to be read. So often the hero’s soft side is well-hidden so I’m intrigued to see what that hero is like. That gentler side is so important, otherwise he can be just too over the top.

    How nice to hear you enjoy my stories. Thanks for letting me know!

    Cheers,
    Annie

  52. November 6, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Hi Aideen, yes I’ve been to the Sheikhs and Desert Love site a few times. There really are some dedicated sheik fans out there. Thanks for reminding me. I’ll go and take another look. Thanks for popping by,

    Annie

  53. 53 azteclady
    November 7, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    I have been thinking about this… and I’m sorry if it’s been said, the white over white makes difficult to read the comments for me…

    I think that in many cases the distance from the exotic setting and/or culture of the hero, allows the reader to enjoy many behaviours and/or attitudes that would not be so acceptable coming from the next door boy–it’s like giving permission to the ALPHA to come out.

    Still, by novel’s end, the heroine has equal power over him, because of his feelings, so it’s okay.

    Ekk, I don’t know if I’m making any sense whatsoever *chuckle*

  54. November 8, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Aztedady,

    Yes, your comments do make sense. Absolutely. That’s what I was trying to get to when I mentioned that writing sheiks gave me latitude to write things I mightn’t necessarily attemnpt with a different sort of hero. I can emphasise his alpha qualities in different ways. If he’s the ruler of a kingdom he’s likely to be a very different guy from a city businessman, for instance. And I personally love to play on the exotic nature of the location and the culture, and how that impacts on the heroine. Thanks for coming back with those thoughts.

    Cheers,
    Annie

  55. November 9, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Hi girls,

    Thanks so much for having me to visit as guest blogger this past week. It’s been terrific! I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s different perspectives on the lure of the sheik in romance. Thanks for sharing.

    I promised one of my own sheik stories to someone who posted this week. So, CONGRATULATIONS AZTEDADY! You’ve won a copy of my latest release THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE! Depending on where you live this coud be a very early release. The book is only out this month in Aus/NZ, but not till next April in North America. Where ever you are I hope you enjoy it. Could you please email me at annie@annie-west.com with your postal address so I can send you the book?

    Thanks again to everyone who contributed this week. You made it such fun!

    Cheers,
    Annie

  56. 56 azteclady
    November 9, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Really?

    😀

    Yay!!!

    Thank you, Annie, and thank you, lady desirabelles!

    *off to email*

  57. November 10, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of everyone that you’ve been a fabulous guest, Annie! It’s great getting an insight to that illusive alpha male sheikh, too.

  58. November 11, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Late posting but I’ve been on a Mexican cruise and just got back tonight. Annie being on this blog and posting about “shiekh books” and her books, well let’s just say I never thought I would get “hooked” but I have and Annie writes for M&B and Presents; wonderful sheikh stories.

    I encourage all of you to read THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE it’s incredible. My review is posted on Romancing the Desert, Sheikh Books and Marilyn’s Romance Reviews. I hope you’ll stop by this month I’ll be offering Annie’s book for my November contest so please stop by and comment.


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