Saturday, February 21, 2009

Book Review: The Nanny and the Sheikh

The Nanny and the Sheikh (The Brides of Bella Lucia) by Barbara McMahon HR 3928 Jan 07

After not reading a ‘sheikh’ romance for years, this book was a great one to show what I’ve been missing. A sweet romance, it’s a modern version of those Harlequins I used to read as a teen but much better. Very believable.

You could say Melissa Fox is the latest ‘acquisition’ to the Valentine family since her mum has just become Wife #4 (Her father did divorce the others first.). In between jobs as a professional nanny, Melissa has a couple months before her new nanny job starts in Boston, so she accepts a job as assistant to her new step-brother who’s in charge of the Bella Lucia restaurant chain. The business is expanding into a French speaking Arabic country on the Persian gulf and Melissa’s job entails translating the French documents into English. As a treat for a job well done, her boss/step-brother invites her to accompany him to the small country of Qu’Arim while he checks out the site of the new restaurant.

Melissa is taken by the warm country and its inhabitants. Especially 3 small wards of the Sheikh with whom she’s staying since he’s the reason they’re there. In fact, sheikh or not, the first time she sees the kids, she lets out a blast of indignation for their treatment while in his house. She even says she’ll report him which is so western until she realizes he controls the country.

Sheikh Surim Al-Thani doesn’t know what to make of this modern woman whom his good friend brought over. He notices her as an efficient and knowledgeable translator but she really makes her mark when she bursts out her threat to report him. Him! The absurdity of the ludicrous remark wakes him to the fact that the children, orphans of his close cousin, fear him. Instead of berating Melissa, he asks for her help caring for the sorrowful children thrust upon him. At least until he could send them to boarding school. Surely there were boarding schools for 2 yrs olds.

An added dimension to this story is Surim’s pressure to find a suitable bride. He needs to provide an heir as soon as possible to avoid total anarchy if he dies since he’s the last in line. He doesn’t believe in love but he’s drawn to Melissa. However, Melissa isn’t suitable and they both know it. And even if she was, she wouldn’t settle for anything less than love. No matter how much oil his country produced.

This is the 7th book in The Brides of Bella Lucia series. For the complete listing, go here:

Heat Level: Romantic

My Rating: Great - 4 stars

2009 Harlequin 100,000 Book Challenge: 16 books read

Harlequin Imprint: 16, Others: 0

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