Take A Very Short Ride To A Very Long Happily In "The Sheikh's Wife Arrangement"

Title:  The Sheikh's Wife Arrangement
Series:  (Safar Sheikhs Series #1)
Author:  Leslie North
Length:  157 pages
Rating:  3.5 Stars

Ancient law dictates that Sheikh Fatim Safar has to marry or be disinherited by his 30th birthday. Fatim isn’t worried—he married years earlier and had two children with his wife before she died. But there’s a catch: the law states he must be married at age 30. Two weeks from his 30th birthday, there’s no time to change it or fight it...it’s more expedient to marry.

Calla Clark is out to prove her parents wrong. Instead of marrying well like her mother wanted, Calla’s in the Middle East to prove her design prowess. And what better way to do that then becoming seamstress for the royal family and getting to drape fabric over the sexy Sheikh’s rock-hard body. She can’t act on her temptations, of course. She’s got goals to crush. Still, when she watches the way the Sheikh commands his tribe, and cares for his kids, she can’t help but feel an undeniable attraction.

Fatim has taken a liking to Calla, too. She’s smart, thoughtful, and good with his children. With his birthday right around the corner, Fatim offers her the position as his wife. It’s only temporary, and in return for marrying him and helping with his children, he’ll give her everything she needs for the upcoming Fashion Week. Calla agrees...so long as he helps keep her dream alive.

With so many differences between them, Fatim and Calla’s powerful pairing could raise the tribe up to modern heights, or send it to the bin like last season’s cast-offs.

This novel contains sexual content and profanity.

Please enjoy this excerpt of
The Sheikh's Wife Arrangement 

Calla Clark tipped her head back to look up at the King of Amatbah. His crotch was technically in her face, and this wasn’t the first time. As the royal seamstress, she was often on her knees in front of King Fatim.
“Hrmmghhgm,”she mumbled from around the pins jutting out of her mouth. “Come again?”
He didn’t look down at her as he scrolled on his phone. This was so routine for him he probably didn’t even care that a twenty-something woman of child-bearing age was in the classic, submissive pose, eye-level with the royal jewels.
But for Calla, it was all she could think about every time they met to tailor his outfits. She’d tailored countless men’s slacks, caftans, and robes—enough that she no longer had feeling in her thumbs from sticking herself so often with pins but Fatim threw her decade of professional experience out the window. She ripped the pins out of her mouth and sat back on her heels.
“Could you, uh…”She hated correcting the king. Or anyone from his family. Really anyone. “Stand up straighter?”
Fatim sniffed and straightened his posture. His dark chocolate eyes swept her way, and for a moment their gazes locked. Electricity snapped through her. It always did when she looked at this man, or thought too much about him, or got within a ten-foot radius.
“Thank you,”she said, returning to the seam she worked on. Today’s project was a new pair of traditional linen pants—not her own design yet, but soon. Calla had the king’s measurements, but many of the fabrics she worked with in the Amatbah tribal kingdom were slippery, diaphanous, and billowy. These slacks were no exception. As she returned to her task, the door to the sitting room clanged open. Footsteps stormed their way, and before Calla could turn around to see who it was, Fatim spoke.
“Nasser,”Fatim said with a sigh. The king’s younger brother, the youngest of the three. Calla had only been working at the palace for a handful of weeks, but she’d come to learn the quirks of the three brothers very quickly. Fatim had been exasperated with Nasser of late. “Don’t start with the tone.
”Nassar let a disgusted groan. “Always the tone, with you.”Calla rolled her lips inward, fiddling with a seam that didn’t need fiddled. Really, she could have been done already. But she loved these quiet visits with the king—even better if she got the scoop on some drama. As the palace’s newest employee, she wanted to gobble up everything.
To establish herself as the royal seamstress, sure, but her path didn’t end there. The goal posts stood much further away than that. Calla aimed for the esteemed position of royal designer, which would hopefully lead her to the ultimate goal within the next five years: showing her designs at the world-famous Amatbah Fashion Week for the first time in her life.
She just had to keep her head down, work hard, and do an amazing job. And don’t let the king’s naughty area distract you.

My Thoughts

Calla and Fatim's story is in all honesty, one worthy of a full length book.
Both leading man and lady present as thoughtful, hard working, responsible, and emotionally complex people.  That readers want to know more about.  Both separately, and as the couple they later become.
That being said.
One of the two biggest detractors from the story is that it was NOT expanded into the full length book that it should have been.

Its author instead choosing to provide readers with an abridged version of an otherwise well written and for the most part, flawlessly executed premise.

While the arrangement \ marriage part of the story is admittedly more than a bit on the "been there...done that" side of the plot toss up.
The thing that sets this story apart is something that can't really be considered anything other than a background detail.  In the grand scheme of things.  But a story element which never ceases to strike a resounding emotional chord nevertheless.
Fatim's relationship with his children!

Here is a man tasked not only with the governing of a small nation.  But also with the task of finding a suitable wife and mother for himself and said children.  Within two weeks.
But he never once misses dinner with them.
He forgoes meetings with his attorney and dignitaries just to talk to them about their days.
And he goes so far as to fire "on the spot".  A nanny, whom he felt had disrespected his daughter in his presence.
Nominations for father of the year?
I know right!
But I digress.
O.K. Back to the review.

It seems our monarch's tender heart extends to his people as well.
With him doing all that he can to bring his country, its people, and traditions into the modern age.  While maintaining the validity of all concerned.
And working to make every romantic and supportive gesture that he extends toward Calla all the more believable.

At least until...
We, or they as the case may be.  Hit the bedroom.
Then all bets are off.  Chivalry dies a brutal death at the door. And it's all about the P's and D's.
Things go from royalty to raunchy in 3.2 seconds or less.
And our go-getter of a girl in Calla is strictly a yes woman in the bedroom.  It seems.
Even though she has known Fatim less time than she has probably been aquainted with the produce in her fridge.

O.K. I do conceed that if the cover is any indication.  Our leading man does bear a rather striking resemblance to a rather tanned Jude Law.
And when he speaks, the purr of his words most like serve to caress the ears in much the same way of the most expensive Mercedes.
But there is just no preparation for the transition.
Making the whole affair seem more tawdry and over done.
Than the frenzied passion that the author is going for.
Giving rise to a rating of 3.5 stars.

On a lighter note.
Ms. North does grace her readers with excerpts from the two subsequent stories in this series.  And they sound wonderful.
Here's hoping for greener pastures.

Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy upon which this honest critique is based.

About Leslie
New reader? My readers suggest starting with 'The CEO's Pregnant Lover' (http://amzn.to/19hLOL6)

Or spend a wonderful weekend with SIX full-length, highly rated Leslie North novellas for FREE! Sign up for free books here: http://leslienorthbooks.com/sign-up-f...

Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women's contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.

The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren't afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.

Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.

She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don't hesitate to contact her on Goodreads.

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