The Desert Prince's Proposal

Nicola Marsh
July 2008, Series Romance
Harl Rom # 4037, $3.99, 178 pages, Amazon ASIN 0373175272

Grade: B+
Sensuality: Kisses

Every now and again I'm in the mood for a quick, breezy read and a well-written series romance fills the bill quite nicely. The Desert Prince's Proposal is a delightful fairy tale, and does a near perfect job of whisking one away from the everyday.

Bria Green grew up in wealthy Australian society, but she longs to find fame for her architectural skills rather than merely trade on her father's name and influence. As the book opens, Bria, who travels the world at the behest of her clients, has returned to Australia for a conference and arrives to find infuriating reminders of her father's intent to subtly control her actions. A dashing gentleman from London named Sam rescues her from the awkward situation and while Bria feels a bit wary, she also feels attracted to Sam from the moment they share a cab together.

Though at first determined to end their acquaintance, Bria finds herself agreeing to dinner with Sam. The two then end up spending a magical time together, ending in a kiss which she cannot forget even as she realizes that she has a career built around Australian clients while (she believes) Sam must return to London. It appears that the few hours they spent together will only end up as a cherished memory.

However, when they parted, Sam told Bria that this was not destined to be goodbye. To her amazement, they do indeed meet again while she is on a business trip when Bria learns that Sam the businessman is in fact Samman, a Middle Eastern prince. Needless to say, this discovery rather overwhelms her, but he is determined to win her heart and he does go out of his way to do it.

At times Sam can be a bit heavyhanded and Bria can be a touch prickly, but for the most part these two are a good match. Even at his most heavy-handed, Sam does not lack the ability to learn from his mistakes or to appreciate Bria's talent and intelligence, and he is determined to love her and for her to love him in return. In its slightly over-the-top way, the story manages to be quite romantic.

Whether you're in the mood for a quick read or you just need a sweet love story rather than a hot, lusty tale, The Desert Prince's Proposal makes for a wonderful modern-day fairy tale. Though it has the occasional weak moment, the best parts of this book reminded me of afternoons spent watching old romantic movies. My advice? Avoid the spoiler-laden back blurb on this book and just let yourself get swept away in the fantasy.

-- Lynn Spencer

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