The Desert Lord's Baby

Olivia Gates
2008, Series Romance
Sil Desire #1872, $4.75, 187 pages, Amazon ASIN 0373768729
Part of a series

Grade: D+
Sensuality: Hot

Even though the Big Mis is one of my biggest pet peeves in romance, at times I can buy into it as a plot device - if the reasons behind the misunderstanding are plausible. That's a big "if." In The Desert Lordís Baby, however, I wanted the heroine to turn off the water works, get her hormones under control, and tell the hero the whole truth.

Farooq Aal Masood, a prince of Judar, had everything he thought he could want. A series of events made it possible for him to negotiate an agreement that would save the lives of many, discover that he could be the kingís successor upon meeting certain conditions, and possess a woman unlike any other. However, when Carmen, his unbelievable temporary mistress, announces suddenly that their three month arrangement is over after only six weeks, Farooq is devastated. He believes that she made a deal with his arch-rival for the crown to bring him low.

Carmen, a multi-lingual events planner in Manhattan is slowly rebuilding her life after a brutal divorce, the loss of her mother, and the neglect of her father. She didnít expect to be swept away by Farooq when she agreed to a three month arrangement to be his mistress. When she discovers sheís pregnant after assuring him she is incapable of conceiving, fear for her unborn child forces her to flee. She goes into hiding from Farooq and is successful for 16 months. When Farooq shows up on her doorstep demanding the child and her, she has very few choices.

Despite time, anger, and bitterness, Farooq is still determined to have Carmen. The King of Judar made the competition for the crown based on commitment to family and a wife and child could firmly secure the crown. He also wants revenge on her for conspiring with his enemy and for taking his child. On the other hand, she realizes she was wrong to keep the child from him and wants to make things as right as possible without telling him the whole truth.

Needless to say, I have a few problems with this one. The hero blew hot and cold for at least two-thirds of the book. However, when he comes around, he really comes around and makes tremendous sacrifices for Carmen Ė certainly hero worthy. The heroine, on the other hand, just seemed incredibly selfish, even though she did what she did out of fear. Honesty from her would not have solved all the problems between the couple, but it would have helped to move the story along. Momentum was another problem here since the first third of the book dragged. Toward the end, I wanted to groan with every new dilemma introduced without solving the earlier ones first. The sheer amount of purple prose slowed the flow of the read as well.

Though the opulence, wealth, and power of The Desert Lordís Baby appealed to me (okay, maybe Iím somewhat materialistic), the sheer number of conflicts and the whiny heroine who wouldnít tell the whole truth annoyed me until the end. I donít think Iíll make it to book two of the Throne of Judar series.

-- Heather Brooks

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