The Sheikh's Pregnant Prisoner

The Sheikh's Pregnant Prisoner

Paperback - 2016
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"You're not going anywhere, not until you give birth to my child."  

For Zafir Al Masood, the new sheikh of Behraat, abandoning fiery New Yorker Lauren Hamby was the hardest thing he had ever done. Bound by a life of honor, his sizzling whirlwind affair with Lauren was the only freedom Zafir had ever indulged in. 

But when he finds out that Lauren is carrying his child and intending to keep it a secret, Zafir imprisons his feisty fling in his palace. Unlike him, his baby will not be the illegitimate heir of a sheikh. And to ensure this, Zafir will make Lauren his wife...!

Publisher: Don Mills, ON : Harlequin Enterprise Limited, c2016
ISBN: 9780373134120
Branch Call Number: PAPERBACK
Characteristics: 187 pages : 17 cm

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FindingJane Jul 23, 2016

Ah, who can resist the tall, strong, powerful alpha male, he who is king over all, ruler of his domain, master of a hundred servants, who with a wave of his hand can pardon a man or condemn him to death? Well, Zafir Al Masood is just such a man, a man who is intrigued, stirred, mixed up, basted and thoroughly heated by the American Lauren Hamby. He adores her spunk and is bewitched by her tough, sassy, independent nature. None of which prevents him from taking her prisoner when he learns that she’s pregnant with his child. Oh, yeah, he likes him the feisty ones! Her prison is that most decadent of Disney dreams—a castle straight out of the Arabian nights, complete with a deep bath, silk sheets, cavernous rooms, sumptuous meals and servants to answer her every need. And just like a certain Disney belle, she’s not allowed to leave. Zafir’s care for her is strictly so that his child isn’t born a bastard. That’s where this whole story falls down. Lauren is outraged by her captivity. But she doesn’t fight too hard to escape and enjoys her prison just a little too much. You’d think she’d be trying every trick in the book to escape. But of course she’s fallen for Zafir. His golden eyes, his rampant masculinity, his sensual tones, etc., etc., etc., all have her practically wetting the floor every time he’s near her. Zafir also completes the picture of his smoldering lust with the history of a domineering father, a treacherous, scheming half-brother and a mother who died in childbirth. Yeah, he’s a meanie but just a quivering ball of Jell-O on the inside, isn’t he? Let’s ignore the fact that she’s probably experiencing Stockholm Syndrome in a big way. Zafir makes it clear at the beginning that she’s just a means to an end and that everything he’s doing is for the benefit of the baby. He offers her three alternatives: 1) She can have the child and then “disappear into the sands”, for all he cares 2) She can have the baby and be his concubine until the flame for each other burns out, at which point she will languish, abandoned and forgotten, in the castle as his ex-mistress or 3) She can marry him, secure the child as his next heir and bring unity to the kingdom. It’s not stated but it’s unlikely she’ll be allowed to leave once she marries but that’s the price of a royal marriage. If he gets bored with her after that, he’ll just send her into semi-exile in some fortress or palace elsewhere, the fate that happened to his stepmother after his brother Tariq died. What wretched choices for the powerful, independent woman Lauren is supposed to be! But as stated she doesn’t fight very hard for her freedom. She’s too happy to be with her sheikh even when she sees dangerous anger flaring in his expression. He never hits her or threatens her with violence (she’s carrying his brat, remember), but she finds herself occasionally afraid of him. Well, that’s all this “romance” needed, isn’t it--the threat of the abusive boyfriend. Zafir doesn’t want to be a monster like his tyrannical half-brother. Yet, time and again, he’s confronted with stories of his father’s egotistical behavior towards women and he still refuses to let Lauren go. Unbelievable. So Lauren gets a happily-ever-after ending with her prince, um, sheikh while the reader ignores all the resounding blows to modern feminism. Beast gets his Beauty along with her brat and all’s right with the world. Doesn’t it make you just want to retch? This fantasy is meant to appeal to all those out there who secretly dream of having a handsome son of the desert swoop down on his camel, toss them over the saddle and gallop away into the sunset. If that’s your cup of tea, by all means swill this down. Otherwise, give it a wide berth.

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