Not your average damsel in distress!
Sheikh Prince Amir has vowed to redeem his scandalous family name – so the last thing he needs on a tour of his desert kingdom is to have a sensuous blonde with more spirit than clothes presented for his harem.
Fiery Cassie might have been kidnapped by bandits and dolled up as the Sheikh’s love-slave, but she refuses to be any man’s plaything. Yet spending a week in Amir’s desert tent pretending to be his mistress would get under any girl’s skin. Especially when she is under his sheets…Read an Excerpt Behind the Book
“The desert comes alive in this tender romance.” ~ 4 stars, Romantic Times
“Alluringly exotic, GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT by best-selling author Annie West beguiles readers with its sumptuous love story, compelling characters and dream-worthy plot. Annie West is quickly becoming the Queen of Desert Sheikh Romance, with her charismatically handsome heroes that are able to seduce even the coolest heroines and her opulent settings straight from the Arabian Nights. GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT is pure escapism, making readers wonder and definitely envy the possible research done for this sensuous book.” ~ 5 stars, CataRomance
“Annie West more than fulfilled my expectations with her newest book GIRL IN THE BEDOUIN TENT. Amir and Cassie mesh in a way that’s wonderfully captivating because both have such strong personalities and are haunted by family scandal. Of course, the sexual tension between them definitely amps up the ‘gotta read’ factor but it’s their genuine love for each other that made me smile and made me sigh in longing.” ~ 5 blue ribbons from Chrissy Dionne, Romance Junkies
“What a wonderful story this is! I love Annie West’s take on the classic romance. This is like The Sheikh for the 21st century. Cassie’s brave and smart and full of heart. Amir is a delicious hero. Honorable and perceptive and torn between the demands of his roles as a ruler and as a man. The scenes when Cassie and Amir are trapped in the tent, fighting their attraction, sizzle with sexual tension. Another winner from Annie West! ” ~ romancelover, Amazon
“Spectacular is the only way to describe the perfect ending … of this royal desert romance. Simply, it was brilliant!” ~ Marilyn from Romancing the Desert Blogspot
Gravel crunched under Amir’s boots as he strode across the starlit compound to the tent provided for him. It had been a tedious evening in poor company. Playing guest to a renegade leader was not how Amir chose to spend his time. Especially since he had important personal business to conclude when he returned to his own country.
‘Highness,’ Faruq hurried after him, ‘we need to consult before the negotiations begin.’
‘No.’ Amir shook his head. ‘Get your sleep. Tomorrow will be a long day.’
‘But Highness…’ The protest died as Amir gestured to Mustafa’s guards stationed around the tent. Ostensibly for Amir’s protection, but undoubtedly to spy if possible.
Faruq ducked his head then murmured, ‘There’s also the girl.’
Amir’s pace slowed as he recalled the woman Mustafa had given him tonight with such ostentation. Blond hair that shimmered in the lamplight like fluid silk framing a pale face. Luminous violet eyes that had stared boldly back, holding Amir’s gaze in a way few men and no women in this region of traditional values would dare.
The unexpected combination of beauty and defiance had for an instant stalled the air in his lungs.
Until he’d remembered his taste ran to sophisticated women. Not dancing girls or whores in gaudy makeup presented by their master to pleasure a visiting dignitary.
Amir had his pick of gorgeous women on six continents. He chose his own bed partners.
And yet…something about her had snared his interest. Perhaps the haughty way she’d arched her delicate blond eyebrows in a look that would have done an empress proud.
Fleetingly that had intrigued.
‘You doubt my capacity to handle her?’
Faruq smothered a chuckle. ‘Of course not, Sire. But there’s something…unusual there.’
Unusual was right. In Monte Carlo, Moscow or Stockholm her colouring wouldn’t warrant a second glance. As for those eyes – coloured contact lenses. But here in rough border country inhabited by nomads, brigands and subsistence farmers?
‘Don’t concern yourself, Faruq. I’m sure she and I will come to some…accommodation.’
Amir nodded dismissal and entered the tent. He removed his boots in the small anteroom, his feet sinking into layered carpets.
Would she be on the bed waiting for him, her skirts spread about her? Or perhaps she’d be naked. No doubt she’d offer herself with the finesse of a professional.
Despite his distaste, Amir’s pulse hummed at the memory of a lush, sultry mouth at odds with the fire in her blazing eyes. That mouth promised sensual pleasure enough to interest any man.
Amir thrust aside the heavy curtain.
One step in and he registered the dimmed lamp on the far side of the room.
No sign of the girl.
He checked, senses suddenly alert, his nape prickling.
An instant later he threw up a blocking arm as someone leapt at him out of the gloom. Something heavy hit him a glancing blow and he swung round, grabbing his assailant.
He caught at a voluminous cloak that fell as he clutched it. A jingle of clashing coins at her belt warned him of her identity just in time. He pulled back sharply rather than fell her with a single, knockout blow.
Amir caught her arm and twisted it behind her back. His movements were controlled, precise; despite the way she threshed and fought. He’d learned to wrestle with full-grown heavyweights. He couldn’t use those tactics on a woman, even a woman who ambushed him in his own chamber.
Still she fought. She was like a tigress, alternately trying to wrest herself free or disable him with vicious kicks to the groin.
‘Enough!’ His patience was at an end. He reached to grab her free arm. But before he could catch it she twisted, rose, and brought her arm down in a desperate slashing motion.
Instinct saved him. Instinct honed by years perfecting a warrior’s skills and others learning less honourable ways to survive. He pivoted and snapped an arm around her wrist, just as a blade pricked the base of his neck.
‘Wild cat!’ He squeezed and the knife clattered to the floor. Without compunction he hooked his foot around her legs and brought her down, slamming into her as she collapsed. She landed heavily on her back, his full weight on her, his legs surrounding hers.
An instant later he’d captured both her slender wrists and pinioned them on the carpet high above her head.
She was spent, so still that for a moment he even wondered if she breathed. Then he felt the tremulous rise of full breasts beneath him and heard a raw, shuddering gasp as she drew in air.
Slowly he raised his hand to his throat. A thin trail of wetness slid down from his collarbone.
She’d stabbed him!
How one story led to another…
Some time ago I wrote a book called THE DESERT KING’S PREGNANT BRIDE about an Australian horsewoman who fell in love with a dashing Arabian prince. In that book my heroine, Maggie, had been abandoned as a child by her mother who took Maggie’s younger sister with her, leaving Maggie to the cold comfort of her father’s care.
I’d planned a follow up book immediately – wanting to write the story of Cassie, Maggie’s younger sister who’d grown up not knowing she even had a sibling. But one thing led to another and that book wasn’t written. However, Cassie’s character was real in my mind, as was her difficult childhood, brought up by a mother who supported herself as a rich man’s mistress. Eventually, after working through and discarding several ideas where Cassie crossed the globe to be reunited with her sister, I took my editor’s advice and concentrated not on the reunion but on Cassie’s own love story.
The result is a story with not a sister in sight, but I hope you find it as satisfying as I do. Cassie is travelling in the Middle East because she’s re-evaluating her priorities and has volunteered to work as an English language teacher in a remote town. On the way she’s kidnapped by bandits from across the border and swept into a dangerous world completely beyond her experience.
I asked myself what a modern, independent woman would do if kidnapped and presented to a visiting sheikh as a love slave. It was a situation so fraught with dark emotion and danger that I couldn’t resist. Nor could I pass on the chance to explore some of the fantasy elements of the sheikh story.
The lure of the story was all the stronger because the man to whom she’s presented prides himself on his honour and his self control. Circumstances are such that he can’t simply reject the offer of a female companion, or leave the remote encampment for his own country. He has a mission to complete and it’s vital he remain. Which means Cassie and Amir must share his luxurious accommodation and his bed, till his business is complete. Yet pretending to be a kept woman is Cassie’s worst nightmare. Both Amir and Cassie are forced to face their demons, even as they find themselves drawn into a relationship unlike any they’ve ever had.
This story was one of the most intense I’ve written and was pure pleasure to write. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.