Bridger's Last Stand

Every Little Thing

Madigan's Wife

The Moon Witch

Secret Agent Sheik

The Sun Witch

The Sheik and I
by Linda Winstead Jones
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1420, $4.99, PG) ISBN 0373-27490-4
The Sheik and I s is a part of the “Capturing the Crown” series and is set in the small kingdom of Silvershire, next to the country of Kahani. It is apparently in the Arab world, but beyond that little information is given. Both countries are undergoing a change in rulers. The story involves Sheik Kadir Bin Arif Yusef Al-Nuri, who is the Director for European and American Affairs for the Kahani Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a young woman named Cassandra Rose Klein, who is a diplomatic aide for the kingdom of Silvershire. Luckily for us, they go by the names Kadir and Cassie.

Here is the set up: Kadir is supposed to meet with the new future king of Silvershire. He hopes to get him to agree to an alliance. Kadir is trying to update his country and bring the laws and the people into the 21st century. His enemy is known as Zahid. Zahid wants to keep the country the same with men in power and women repressed. He is evil and has already killed Kadir’s sister. Now he has made attempts on Kadir’s life, including forcing an old man to try to blow him up while holding the man’s family hostage. The future king has discovered that Zahid met with the previous prince of Silvershire and there is concern that the visit from Kadir is now some type of problematic issue. So Cassie is instructed to take Kadir on sightseeing visits and generally help him waste time while the new king decides what to do.

Kadir and Cassie are instantly attracted to one another. Cassie, who is a twenty-something virgin, is almost positive that Kadir is “the one,” you know, the one who she will be instantly in love with and live happily ever after with. But she is leery because he is not supposed to be a diplomat whose love would create havoc on her job. Kadir, meanwhile, is attracted but assumes it is just because he is lonely. He has essentially given up his life for his country and cannot be distracted from his mission now.

In writing this out, it really sounds worse than it reads. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fairytale type story. But it is well written and generally engaging. Cassie is dedicated to her career and really fights her attraction. Kadir is serious yet he is charming and sexy. Both realize that there is something between them, but neither wants to admit what it might be. They were engaging as a couple and as individuals, which made the story work.

There are several attempts on their lives. Cassie proves herself to be steady and brave. Kadir is willing to sacrifice his life for his country, but he sure wants to enjoy Cassie too. There is a friend of Kadir who offers insights into his psyche, while adding some levity to the story when he is attracted to Cassie’s rather flighty sister.

It is evident that there was some information in the other tales and that there is more to come. It is still easy to read this one as a stand-alone story.

The Sheik and I has some moments that are sexy, enjoyable, scary and at times, predictable. It is definitely a fairytale and requires the reader to accept some political issues at face value rather than scrutinizing them. It is a tad far-fetched, but in the world of category romance, this story is acceptable and at times, fun.

--Shirley Lyons

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