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The Desert King, by Olivia Gatesthe-desert-king

The conclusion to Ms Gates’ Throne of Judar trilogy, The Desert King tells the story of Kamal, the youngest Aal Masood brother. While reading the first two novels is not indispensable to enjoying this one, I strongly recommend it, as it gives some background to the political pressures and maneuvers that push the protagonists together. (For the short version, read my review of the second title, The Desert Lord’s Bride, here.)

Basically, however, the peace of a rather large section of the Middle East hinges on a marriage of state between about-to-be-crowned Kamal and reluctant princess Aliyah. Getting these two married is not easy to begin with, what with this being the twenty-first century and all, but the situation is further complicated by the history between them. (more…)

The Desert Lord’s Bride, by Olivia Gates


Second in Ms Gates’ Throne of Judar trilogy, The Desert Lord’s Bride tells the story of Shehab, the second oldest Aal Massod brother. He and Kamal, the third and youngest brother, were introduced briefly in The Desert Lord’s Baby, Farooq’s story (review here).

Once again, this is a short novel-not quite 200 pages long-and it contains a number of category romance tropes and clichés that most usually put me off. We have deception on a grand scale on the part of the hero, fueled by a false image of the heroine. We have a heroine whose singular previous sexual and relationship experience has convinced her she’s frigid. We have love at first sight.

And, amazingly, it works. Not without caveats (yes, I do have quibbles), but it does work.

Here is the back cover blurb, which happens to be better than most: (more…)

The Desert Lord’s Baby, by Olivia Gates

First book in the Throne of Judar trilogy, The Desert Lord’s Baby tells the story of Farooq Aal Masood, heir to the throne of this small but rich Middle East kingdom, and Carmen McArthur, who specialises in organizing international events, both diplomatic and for businesses.

This short novel (shy of 200 pages, in fact) is chock full of many of the category romance elements that, usually, put me off: secret baby; incredibly attractive, arrogant, rich and powerful guy from exotic background; comparatively powerless and average (in every way from looks to fortune) woman with more emotional baggage than freighter container; villainous relative; political intrigue; the fate of the world as we know it hanging in the balance; and, to top the cake, the inevitable big misunderstanding.

It would seem like a recipe for disaster, would it not? Particularly when you read the blurb: (more…)