by Victoria Vane & E.M. Hull
The Desert Was Never Hotter!
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…
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
When first published in 1919, E.M. Hulls’ The Sheik was an overnight bestseller with more than fifty printings the first two years of release. The book was also made into a silent film that catapulted its leading man, Rudolph Valentino, to superstardom. Given its huge success in its time, I knew it was a risky move to re-write this romance classic. Nevertheless it was something I was compelled to do. While I have taken a number of liberties in my re-telling, I have also kept everything I loved about the original. At its heart The Sheik is the story of the heroine’s sexual awakening, so it was only appropriate in my retelling to throw the bedroom door wide open.
While I believe The Sheik Retold will compare favorably to E.M. Hull’s original story, readers of this book will be the ultimate judge.
Restless, I moved about the tent, listlessly examining objects that I already knew by heart, and flirting over the pages of some French magazines. I should have been elated at his unexpected absence, yet in my perversity, I was strangely unstrung with anticipation of his return. Now the utter silence only oppressed me.
Where was Gaston? Even the servant’s company would be preferable to my own. I guessed he must have gone with his master or perhaps he was long retired. I went to the flap of the tent and gazed out into the night. The camp, large and spread out was covered mostly in a blanket of blackness, broken by the occasional glimmer of a sparking fire.
I had dreamt for years of this experience, of a month spent in the desert and now here I was. I had longed for adventure. It is what I had sought, so why could I not turn this tragedy to my advantage? I had food and shelter that was far superior to any I could have provided for myself. And I was surrounded by hundreds of armed men. Whether I viewed them as my captors or my protectors was only a matter of perception—a matter of choice.
I knew I was safe. I had seen the depths of deference, the authority of the Sheik’s command. Any man outside of himself who dared to touch me would suffer death. Of that I had no doubt. The only thing stopping me from enjoying my adventure in this vast oasis and my freedom in the Sheik’s camp, was my own desperate desire to cling to a state of chastity I truly cared nothing about. It was only my pride that stood in the way of my pleasure, and my refusal to allow him to take it from me.
I chewed my lip as I gazed up upon the stars glimmering in the heaven like countless brilliant diamonds shimmering against a backdrop of black velvet. I wondered if in the great scheme of things, my pride was a bit over-rated.
This entire evening I had bucked with resentment against the pretense that I was a willing guest here, but had I met this same Sheik in Biskrah, in more conventional circumstances, if I had only been properly introduced, would I not have willing, even gratefully accepted an invitation to his camp? Only a week ago I would have jumped at the chance. What now prevented me from embracing that role? From enjoying that status— for as long as I had planned? I smiled to myself. Yes, it was all just a matter of perception—except for the bartering of my body— the Sheik’s expectation in return for his hospitality.
My smiled dimmed.
I could enjoy my month of holiday as planned, as long as I would willing serve his needs—and all that implied— in his bed.
Pride and passion vie for supremacy between a haughty young heiress and a savage son of the Sahara in this steamy retelling of E.M. Hull’s romance classic.
Available now in E-book and trade paperback
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