The Sheik Retold by Victoria Vane and E. M. Hull

Cover_The Sheik

The Sheik Retold by Victoria Vane and E. M. Hull
Publisher: Self
Genre: Historical
Length: 276 pages
Other: M/F, Forced seduction, Anal play/intercourse
Rating: Best Book
Review by Honeysuckle

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 the sizzling Sahara nights…

The life of a pampered, albeit practically tomboyish, heiress suits Diana Mayo just fine. She desires the freedom to go and do at will that which men take for granted. When the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream to travel the Sahara dessert presents itself she doesn’t hesitate. While she had no way of knowing what awaited her in the vast barren land, that too becomes one more exciting adventure.

Diana is instantly likable as the headstrong, self-sufficient English heiress. She clearly knows her place in the world and walks headlong into adventure. She impressed me with her level of self-confidence that left no room for doubt that she could make the trip across the desert as well as, if not better than, any man. What she does seem to lack, in the beginning, is the ability to consider people’s motives. It occurred to me pretty early into the book that this would ultimately be her downfall. She’s a bit self-absorbed but she isn’t vain in the least and is therefore quite surprised by the attention she garners from a certain nomadic sheik. When she finally hears his story, I was shocked right along with her to realize how much they actually have in common.

Ahmed Ben Hassan is the anti-hero of girlish romantic dreams. I pictured Oded Fahr (Ardeth Bay of the The Mummy movies) when I heard his voice. He’s purely alpha male and like Diana, he doesn’t lack in the self-confidence department, in the least. He knows what he wants and he simply takes it because he can. That’s it. That’s his reasoning and he sees no reason to defend it. At one point he even tells Diana “I can make any woman love me when I choose.” Conceited much? Nope. Convinced of his right to dictate. I had to laugh at one point in the book when it becomes evident to Ahmed that even though he is THE SHEIK, it’s a lowly, albeit beautiful, woman who holds power over him. He doesn’t take that realization very well. Readers who enjoy a good capture fantasy are going to swoon over this one. The controlled arrogance he exuded was as exhilarating to me as a reader as it was to Diana as his unwilling (for a time) captive.

Told in first person, this was a fantastic fit for retelling of a 1920’s classic but with bedroom door fully open. Ms. Vane’s writing voice is one that lends itself to being reminiscent of the writing style of E M Hull. I’ve read several of her other historicals and she never fails to entertain. One of the things that I liked particularly about reading this retelling is that I didn’t feel that I had missed out by not having read the original book. The writing is true to the time period for both the period setting of the book as well as for when the original book was published.

This book is for readers who want a strong heroine and an even stronger hero. The story pulled me in from the first page and (not quite as literally as Diana’s dilemma) held me captive. There wasn’t ever a doubt that this was a romance but from the way it begins I kept reading to see if and how a mystery would be solved and how Diana would make her way back to her desert lover. For those who look for exciting capture themed books with just a dash of bodice ripper fantasy, The Sheik Retold is a must read.

Comments

  1. THANK YOU so much for the wonderful review. I’m so happy you enjoyed my retelling of The Sheik. 🙂
    Warmest regards,
    Victoria Vane

  2. I am fascinated with the Original novel, the Sheik by E. M. Hull. When I learned the Victoria Vane’s Sheik Retold published, I was curious how the story was elaborated so I purchased one.
    To my point of view, it is really between heaven and earth in terms of writing style, story telling, etc. Reading Hull’s version is like listening to ‘classic’ songs by great singers, such as Sting, Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra, Beatles, Barbra Streisands, Celine Dion, Coldplay….and the likes. Those songs reminisce you, they are classic and not boring. And most leave deep feeling in the heart.

    Whereas reading Vane’s version is like listening to songs by lady gaga, katy perry, miley cyrus, nick minaj… and the likes. They may entertain you but they are forgetable.

    I think it would be better the Sheik Retold credits Ms. Hull for the borrow words and ideas instead of ‘co-writer’ as the story of two novels, the Sheik  & the Sheik Retold, contradicts each other.

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