AUDIO REVIEW: The Sheik Retold by Victoria Vane and E.M Hull, narrated by Dawn Hyde

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A haughty young heiress for whom the world is a playground… A savage son of the Sahara who knows no law but his own…When pride and passion vie for supremacy, blistering desert days are nothing compared to sizzling Sahara nights…

“There will be inquiries.” I choked out. “I am not such a nonentity that nothing will be done when I am missed. You will pay dearly for what you have done.”

“Pay?” His amused look sent a cold feeling of dread through me. “I have already paid… in gold that matches your hair, my gazelle. Besides,” he continued, “the French have no jurisdiction over me. There is no law here above my own.”

My trepidation was growing by the minute. “Why have you done this? Why have you brought me here?”
“Why?” He repeated with a slow and heated appraisal that made me acutely, almost painfully, conscious of my sex. “Bon Dieu! Are you not woman enough to know?”

Pride and passion vie for supremacy in this fresh new telling of E.M. Hull’s romance classic.

Publisher and Release Date: Vane Publishing LLC, January 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and setting: Algiers, French Algeria 1920
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 3
Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Review by Vikki

Diana Mayo, an English heiress traveling with her much older brother, is now free to cast off the bindings of her brother’s tight control now that she’s come of age. She wants adventure and sets out with a camel caravan to experience the Sahara Desert.

Her guide leads her through the desert and toward the oasis that will serve as a resting place for the night. A band of mounted Arab men race toward them, cutting Diana off from her escort, and she watches as her guide is cut down before her eyes. Diana tries to evade capture, but when her horse is shot out from under her by the leader of the group, she realizes her wilful arrogance has led to her downfall.

Once they reach an encampment, she finds out she’s been captured by Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan and he tells her he’s bought her from her guide who had been paid by her brother to leave her for dead in the desert. At first she doesn’t believe him, but soon she realizes it is the truth. Now a captive of the powerful sheik, the struggle between them begins. Will the sheik subdue Diana, bending her to his will, or will she bring the walls around his heart crumbling down?

This is a story that needs to be savored and read one chapter at a time. Ms. Vane’s writing style is dynamic and thoroughly enchanting from the first page to the last. Her vivid description of the sheik’s tent and his traveling entourage is superior and beyond compare. While I don’t normally enjoy books about sheiks and the desert, this one engaged me, and I’m glad I accepted it for review.

Dawn Hyde does an excellent job in bringing this story to life. She differentiates well between characters by use of a variety of accents, and her performance of the Sheik himself was very good. She transitions easily between the different characters, and the secondary characters are all immediately recognisable. The emotion in her voice had me on the edge of my seat during the scenes filled with a lot of action and danger, making my heart pound and my pulse race as I felt the terror the heroine was experiencing. I could almost feel the heat from the blazing sun and the scorching, hot desert sand beneath my feet.

The Sheik Retold is a vivid re-telling of a classic given a modern twist. I recommend listening to the audio while reading the book to enrich your reading pleasure.

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