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Sheikh Without a Heart Mass Market Paperback – Large Print, March 20, 2012


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Mass Market Paperback, Large Print, March 20, 2012
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Lgr edition (March 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373238266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373238262
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,923,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sandra Marton is a best-selling author for Harlequin Presents. Her stories all feature the sexy, gorgeous, complex, tough on the outside but tender on the inside Alpha heroes she loves to create. A four-time RITA finalist, Sandra has  won eight Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards for Best Harlequin Presents of the Year and she’s been honored with Romantic Times’ Career Achievement Award for Series Romance. Sandra lives in Connecticut with her husband.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It was the kind of night that made a man long to ride his favorite stallion across a sea of desert sand.

Black silk sky. Stars as brilliant as bonfires. An ivory moon that cast a milky glow over the endless sea of sand.

But there was no horse beneath Sheikh Karim al Safir. Not on this night. His Royal Highness the Prince of Alcantar, heir to its Ancient and Honorable throne, was twenty-five thousand feet above the desert, soaring through the darkness in the cabin of his private jet. A rapidly-cooling cup of coffee stood on a small glass-topped table beside him; his leather attache case lay open on the next seat.

Minutes ago he'd started to go through its contents until he'd suddenly thought, what the hell was the point?

He knew what was in the case.

He'd gone through the contents endlessly during the last two weeks and then again tonight, flying from the British West Indies toward his final destination, as if doing so would somehow make more sense of things when he knew damned well that was not going to happen.

Karim reached for the cup of coffee and brought it to his lips. The black liquid had gone from cool to chilly.

He drank it anyway.

He needed it. The bitterness, the punch of caffeine. He needed something, God knew, to keep him going. He was exhausted. In body. In mind. In spirit.

If only he could walk to the cockpit, tell his pilot to put the plane down. Here. Right now. On the desert below. Crazy, of course.

It was just that he ached for the few moments of tranquility he might find if he could take only one long, deep breath of desert air.

Karim snorted. His head was full of crazy thoughts tonight.

For all he knew, there would never be a sense of peace to be drawn from this land.

This was not the desert of his childhood. Alcantar was thousands of miles away and its endless miles of gently undulating sand ended at the turquoise waters of the Persian Sea.

The desert over which his plane was flying ended at the eye-popping neon lights of Las Vegas. Karim drank more cold coffee. Las Vegas.

He had been there once. An acquaintance had tried to convince him to invest in a hotel being built there. He'd flown to McCarran field early in the morning—

And flown back to New York that same night.

He had not put his money into the hotel—or, rather, his fund's money. And he'd never returned to Vegas.

He'd found the city tawdry. Seedy. Even its much-hyped glamour had struck him as false, like a whore trying to pass herself off as a courtesan by applying garish layers of makeup.

So, no. Las Vegas was not a city for him—but it had been one for his brother.

Rami had spent almost three months there, longer than he'd spent anywhere else the past few years. He'd have been drawn to it like a moth to flame.

Karim sat back in his leather seat.

Knowing all he now knew about his brother, that came as no surprise.

He'd finally had to face the truth about him. Tying up the loose ends of his dead brother's life had torn away the final illusions.

Tying up loose ends, Karim thought. His mouth twisted.

That was his father's phrase. What he was really doing was cleaning up the messes Rami had left behind, but then, his father didn't know about those. The King believed his younger son had simply been unable or unwilling to settle down, that he'd traveled from place to place in an endless search to find himself.

The first time his father had said those words Karim had almost pointed out that finding oneself was a luxury denied princes. They had duties to assume, obligations to keep from childhood on.

Except Rami had been exempted from such things. He'd always had a wild streak, always found ways to evade responsibility.

"You're the heir, brother," he used to tell Karim, a grin on his handsome face. "I'm only the spare."

Perhaps adherence to a code of duty and honor would have kept Rami from such an early and ugly death, but it was too late for speculation. He was gone, his throat slit on a frigid Moscow street.

When the news had come, Karim had felt an almost unbearable grief. He'd hoped that "tying up the loose ends" of his brother's life would provide some kind of meaning to it and, thus, closure.

He drew a long breath, then let it out.

Now, the best he could do was hope that he had somehow removed the stain from his brother's name, that those Rami had cheated would no longer speak that name with disgust..

Cheated?

Karim almost laughed.

His brother had gambled. Whored. He'd ingested a pharmacopoeia's worth of illicit drugs. He'd borrowed money and never repaid it. He'd given chits to casinos around the world, walked out on huge hotel bills.

The bottom line was that he'd left behind staggering debts in half a dozen cities. Singapore. Moscow. Paris. Rio. Jamaica. Las Vegas.

All those debts had to be settled—if not for legal reasons then for moral ones.

Duty. Obligation. Responsibility.

All the things Rami had scoffed at were now Karim's burden.

So he had embarked on a pilgrimage, if you could use such a word to describe this unholy journey. He had handed over checks to bankers, to casino managers, to boutique owners. He'd paid out obscene amounts of cash to oily men in grimy rooms. He'd heard things about his brother, seen things that he suspected he would never forget, no matter how he tried.

Now, with most of the "loose ends" gone, his ugly journey through Rami's life was almost over.

Two days in Vegas. Three at the most. It was why he was flying in at night. Why waste part of tomorrow on travel when he could, instead, spend it doing the remaining cleanup chores?

After that he would return to Alcantar, assure his father that Rami's affairs were all in order without ever divulging the details. Then, at last, he could go back to his own life, to New York, to his responsibilities as head of the Alcantar Foundation.

He could put all this behind him, the reminders of a brother he'd once loved, a brother who'd lost his way—"Your Highness?"

Karim bit back a groan. His flight crew was small and efficient. Two pilots, one flight attendant—but this attendant was new and still visibly thrilled to be on the royal staff.

She knew only what everyone else knew: that the duty of settling his brother's affairs had fallen to him. He assumed she misread his tight-lipped silence for grief when the truth was that his pain warred with rage.

It was difficult to know which emotion had the upper hand.

"Sir?"

As if all that weren't enough, she couldn't seem to absorb the fact that he hated being hovered over. "Yes, Miss Sterling?"

"It's Moira, sir, and we'll be landing within the hour."

"Thank you," he said politely.

"Is there anything I can do for you before then?"

Could she turn back the calendar and return his brother to life so he could shake some sense into him?

Better still, could she bring back the carefree, laughing Rami from their childhood?

"Thank you, I'm fine."

"Yes, Your Highness—but if you should change your mind—"

"I'll ring."

The girl did a little knee-bob that was not quite the curtsy he was sure his chief of staff had warned her against.

"Most certainly, Your Highness."

Another dip of the knee and then, mercifully, she walked back up the aisle and disappeared into the galley.

He'd have to remember to have his chief of staff remind her that the world was long past the time when people bowed to royalty. Hell.

Karim laid his head back against the head-rest.

The girl was only doing what she saw as her duty. He, better than anyone, understood that.

He had been raised to honor his obligations. His father and mother had instilled that in him from childhood on.

His father had been and still was a stern man, a king first and a father second.

His mother had been a sometime movie-star-cum-Boston-debutante with great beauty, impeccable manners and, ultimately, a burning need to spend her life as far from her husband and sons as possible.

She'd hated Alcantar. The hot days, the cool nights, the wind that could whip the sea of sand into a blinding froth…

She'd despised it all.

In some of his earliest memories of her he stood clutching a nanny's hand, holding back tears because a prince was not permitted to cry, watching as his beautiful mother drove off in a limousine.

Rami had looked just like her. Tall. Fair-haired. Intense blue eyes.

Karim, on the other hand, was an amalgam of both his parents.

In him, his mother's blue eyes and his father's brown ones had somehow morphed into ice-gray. He had her high cheekbones and firmly-sculpted mouth, but his build—broad shoulders, long legs, hard, leanly muscled body—he owed to his father.

Rami had favored her in other ways. He hadn't hated Alcantar but he'd always preferred places of sybaritic comfort.

Karim, on the other hand, could not remember a time he had not loved his desert homeland.

He'd grown up in his father's palace, built on a huge oasis at the foot of the Great Wilderness Mountains. His companions were Rami and the sons of his father's ministers and advisors.

By the age of seven he'd been able to ride a horse bareback, start a fire with kindling and flint, sleep as contentedly under the cold fire of the stars as if he were in the elaborate palace nursery.

Even then, twenty-six years ago, only a handful of Alcantaran tribesmen had still lived that kind of life, but the King had deemed it vital to understand and respect it.

"One day," he would say to Karim, "you will rule our people and they must know that you understand the old ways." Always there would be a pause, and then he would look at Rami and say, not unkindly, "You must respect the people and the old ways as well, my son, even though you will not sit on the throne."

Had that been the turning point for his brother? Karim wondered. ...


More About the Author

Sandra Marton, a USA Today Bestselling author, lives in Connecticut with her husband, who was her childhood sweetheart. It's no surprise that Sandra is a true believer in romance. She believes, too, that the passion that can blaze between a strong, protective man and a smart, independent woman is hotter than any other kind.

Sandra's books are loved by readers all around the world. Her fans adore her family sagas. PRIDE, book one of her new series, In Wilde Country, delivers all the heat, heart, emotion and humor Sandra is known for. You won't want to miss meeting Luca Bellini and Cheyenne McKenna, but be careful---this one is HOT!

Customer Reviews

I enjoy Sandra Marton's books and would recommend them.
Kellie
He hurt her by not believing her and even though he was hurt too, he did not need to treat her like he did.
Amazon Customer
I have never written this in a review but this is, hands-down, the worst Harlequin I have ever read.
Proud Texan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Minicheerios on April 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this particular story. both characters were strong and likeable. I understood their relationship, thanks to the author who portrayed them and their feelings realistic enough. I would definetly read more stories from Sandra Marton, she almost never dissapoints. The reason I gave this book a 4 star is because I was a bit mystified as why Rachel kept the lies for so long. There was a point, after she found out how he really felt, she should have open up to him, otherwise I cannot help but think that if "the final visitor had never arrived" ( I wont mention names for spoiling purposes) then she would have gone ahead and married without ever telling the truth. Overall great story.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jolu on April 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Look im really bad at writing reviews and giving spoilers so all im gonna say is the plot was predictable but I gave it five stars because the relationship between H and h was so good. He wasnt used to being treating with such disdain and she wasnt used to treating anyone, especially a man she hated with deferece. This book had the arrogant sheihk, the feisty woman , hot sex and angst. Person to hate,the h sister Suki, fave person was Roberta the nanny. I wanted to hit The H when he found out the truth but his initial reaction was understandable, he wasnt thinking straight. Buy this book it was a good read.
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By Blue Note on May 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I had downloading issues with this book on Kindle app, but the parts I was able to read just didn't make sense. Why would a Sheikh educated and intelligent fall for a bimbo working as a waitress in Las Vegas dressed like a stripper? And this bimbo lied and lied and lied. She could have told the Sheikh that she was the baby's aunt, but she refused because although she'd never admit it, she wanted the life the Sheikh provided. She was no better than her sister. I hate when Harlequin tries to paint the heroine as some self sacrificing martyr who can come up with all kinds of excuses as to why they fail to be honest and the heroes fall for them anyway. I guess the old adage is true, A man's brains truly lies south when faced with a beautiful woman.
BAD BOOK!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The opening chapter shows Karim as very honourable and doggedly loyal to his family responsibilities but starting to wear down under the tremendous pressure to clean up the ugly mess and debts left behind his useless, hard living younger brother, Rami, who died in a cocaine-related incident. He meets Rachel dressed in her skimpky,sequin bikini for her Las Vegas waitressing job when his mission is to locate and secure his newly discovered nephew Ethan, born to Rachel's sister and Rami. This first impression naturally leaves Karim with a bias assessment of Rachel's character. Rachel mistakes Karim as an intruder and fights him off with her wickedly sharp stilletto and has the gumption to try and do a runner from Karim's obnoxious arrogance. And that's when the story takes a dive.

Instead of the feisty, strong heroine being able to assert her rights as the owner of the apartment, and sort Karim out as to the unsavoury relationship of Rami and Suki, Rachel instead puts herself into the lowlife relationship and passes herself off as Ethan's mother. Unbelievably, author writes that Karim's reaction is that he wants to eat Rachel's nipples because he had little sex lately. Puhlease!!

But from this point on, his disrespect and threatens to take Ethan from Rachel and coerces her into falling into his high-handed arrangements which eventually morphs into being abducted to the royal palace. His horrible put downs are unjustified and hard to stomach.

Very little to save this novel after, as layer after layer of misunderstandings pile up and the inevitable falling into bed. The ugly betrayal by Rachel's sister Suki, who is also Ethan's slag of a mother, is not pleasant to get through and neither is fall out with the Sheikh's gloating malice.
Read more ›
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By Proud Texan on December 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never written this in a review but this is, hands-down, the worst Harlequin I have ever read.
The writing is terrible but Karim was a total and complete jerk. All he said in his head was about getting the girl in bed. It was over and over and over. Then instantly! Bam! She is the complete love of his life- then just as quickly he basically completely turns on her to the extreme then......you guessed it.... back to be 100% in love. HUH??? Who in the world is supposed to fall for this??
She was an exmely scantily casino cocktail waitress in Las Vegas. Not exactly your usual heroine for sure.
Just a horrible book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OH WOW...it was SO,SO,SO good. The only thing I would have changed would be the amount of begging he needed to do. He hurt her by not believing her and even though he was hurt too, he did not need to treat her like he did. He definitely needed to grovel and maybe have the plane have taken off to where he needed to take flight after her!?! I don't know but I did adore him and I loved her and together, they were one of the best couples I have read about. They were so in love and it showed through from the first time they met. Every time he wanted to shut her up or stop any argument, he would kiss her and she would kiss him back and things would either be fine or they would still fight and end up kissing again. It was really fun to read this book and I am glad I bought this!!!
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