“It was like he had some sort of power over her, drawing her to the edge of the cliff when all her instincts were telling her to keep away. That blatant, raw masculinity made her keep coming back for more punishment. Annalina had never thought of herself as a masochist. Now she was beginning to wonder.”
Yes, I was wondering that, too. Annalina’s first meeting with Prince Zahir is terrifying in the extreme. Having been forced by her father to agree to an arranged marriage with Zahir’s brother Rashid, she balks. There’s something creepy about Rashid that unnerves her and she runs away from her engagement party to throw her new ring into the river. Then Zahir assaults her by knocking her down before she can complete her impulsive act. Unable to move because his grip is too strong, she bites him. Hard. Good for her!
But matters swiftly go downhill from there. A compromising photo has Zahir demanding that Annalina accept him instead of his brother. Zahir is one of those brutal alpha males who’s all sweat, arrogance, coiled violence and furious temper. He’s given to roaring or bellowing when he’s in a rage, glaring with hostile intent or shrugging off Annalina when he doesn’t want to engage with her.
Incredibly, Annalina’s first terror of him is swiftly tempered by her own raging lusts whenever she contemplates Zahir’s rugged masculinity. He’s a hot Eastern stud, all right, having had many previous women. She’s a quivering maiden who longs to lose her virginity to his rough, sensuous caresses. (Does any intelligent person in the 21st century still think virginity is something you can LOSE?) She shows her own temper but she’s all too easily cowed or swayed by his commands…and he’s always commanding.
She’s the one who pleads, begs or whispers when they’re finally in bed together. She’s the one who strips off her clothing at his specific demands while he remains clothed and bends her into position like the compliant Barbie doll that she is. Annalina is one weak little kitten and Zahir the vicious beast who can’t control his temper around her.
All of their focus is on the other person’s looks. Annalina can’t resist his mesmerizing stare, his hard masculine presence that forces her to march at his bidding. To Zahir, Annalina is a lovely bewitching siren whose exotic blond hair and blue eyes have him losing control and yearning to hump her until she’s screaming his name. There’s really nothing else tying them together except the arranged marriage and that is a pathetic proposition. Zahir vacillates so much between wanting Annalina and wanting to get rid of her that you wonder what was the urgency about their getting married in the first place.
Her lust tips into love and his lust…well, we’re supposed to believe that she coaxes him into admitting his tenderer feelings but I’m not buying it. It’s way too little, way too late. This Arabian night fantasy can lose itself in the desert sands for all I care.
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