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The Sheikh's Redemption (Desert Knights) Kindle Edition

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Length: 182 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Olivia Gates has published over twenty-five books in contemporary, action/adventure and paranormal romance. She currently writes exotic and passionate modern-day fairy tales for Silhouette Desire and dark and erotic paranormals set in complex new worlds for Harlequin Nocturne. She would love to hear from readers at For her latest projects and contests please visit

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

It wasn't every day a man was offered a throne.

When that man was Haidar, it should have been a matter of never.

But the people of Azmahar—at least, the clans that made up a good percentage of the kingdom's population—had offered just that.

They'd sent their best-spoken representatives to demand, cajole, plead for him to be their candidate in the race for the vacant throne of Azmahar. He'd thought they were kidding.

He'd kept his straightest face on to match their earnest efforts, pretending to accept, to brainstorm his campaign and the policy direction for a kingdom that was coming apart at the seams.

When he'd realized they were serious—then he'd gotten angry.

Were they out of their minds, offering him the throne of the kingdom that his closest maternal kin had almost destroyed, and his paternal ones had just dealt the killing blow? Who in Azmahar would want him to set foot there again, let alone rule the damn place?

They'd insisted they represented those who saw him as the savior Azmahar needed.

One thing Haidar had never imagined himself as was a savior. It was a genetic impossibility.

How could he be a savior when he was demon spawn?

According to his estranged twin, he amalgamated the worst of his colorful gene pool in a new brand of bad. His recruiters had countered that he mixed the best of the lofty bloodlines running through his veins, would be Azmahar's perfect king.

"King Haidar ben Atef Aal Shalaan."

He tried the words out loud.

They sounded like a premium load of bull. Not only the "king" part. The names themselves sounded—felt—like lies. They no longer felt as if they indicated him. Belonged to him.

Had they ever?

He wasn't an Aal Shalaan, after all. Not a real one like his older brothers. Without the incontrovertible proof of their heritage stamped all over Jalal, he'd bet cries would have risen that he didn't belong to King Atef. From all evidence, he belonged, flesh, blood and spirit, to the Aal Munsoori family. To his mother. The Demon Queen.

The ex-Demon Queen.

Too bad he could never be ex-demon spawn.

His mother had besieged him from birth with her fear that her abhorred enemy, the Aal Shalaans, starting with her husband and his older sons, would taint him, the "true part" of her. She'd made sure they had no part of him. Starting with his name.

From the moment she'd laid eyes on her newborn sons, she'd seen that he was the one who was a replica of her, hadn't bothered thinking of a name for his twin. Their father had named Jalal, proclaiming him the "grandeur" of the Aal Shalaans.

Jalal was doing a bang-up job proving their father's ambitious claims right.

She'd named him. Haidar, the lion, one type of king. She'd been plotting to make him one that far back. When she'd known it was impossible. Through non-insurrectionist means, that was.

As a princess of Azmahar, she'd entered into the marriage of state with the king of Zohayd knowing her half-Azmaharian sons would not be in line to the throne. As per succession rules, only purely Zohaydan princes could play the game of thrones.

So she'd plotted, apparently from day one, to take Zohayd apart, then put it back together with herself in charge. She would have then been able to dictate new laws that would make her sons the only ones eligible for the throne, with him being first in line.

Two years after her conspiracy had been discovered and aborted, he still had moments when denial choked him up.

She could have caused a war. She would have, gladly, if it had gained her her objective.

She'd stolen the Pride of Zohayd jewels that conferred the right to rule the kingdom. She'd planned to give them to Prince Yusuf Aal Waaked, ruling prince of Ossaylan, so that he could dethrone her husband and claim the throne. Having only a daughter and being unable to sire another child, he would have named her sons his successors.

Haidar imagined she would have gone all black widow on Yusuf right after his sitting on the throne in the joloos, intimidated her brother—the newly abdicated king of Azmahar—into abdicating then, and put him, her firstborn by seven minutes, on the throne of a new superkingdom comprising Zohayd, Azmahar and Ossaylan.

She'd had such heartfelt convictions for such a heartlessly ambitious plan. When he'd pleaded with her to tell him where she'd hidden the jewels, to save Zohayd from chaos and herself from a traitor's fate, she'd calmly, lovingly, stated those convictions as facts.

After heavy initial damage, her plans were for the ultimate good. For who better than he to unite these kingdoms, lead them to a future of power and prosperity instead of the ruin they were heading for under the infirm hands of old fools and their deficient successors? He, the embodiment of the best of the Aal Munsooris? She was certain he'd one day surpass even her in everything.

He'd heard that before. According to Jalal, he already had.

But no matter what he'd thought her capable of, what she'd done had surpassed his worst predictions. And as usual, without obtaining his consent, let alone his approval, she'd executed her plans with seamless precision to force his "deserved greatness" on him. She'd been positive he'd come to appreciate what she'd done, embrace the role she'd tailored for him.

And she could have so easily succeeded.

Even Amjad, his oldest brother and now king of Zohayd, who suspected everything that moved, hadn't suspected her. As queen of Zohayd, she had seemed to have as much to lose as anyone if her husband was deposed. Ingenious.

He recognized that convoluted, long-term premeditation in his own mind and methods. But he consciously confined it to business, driving himself to the top of his tech-development and investment field in record-breaking time. His mother used her intricate intelligence with every breath.

"Please, fasten your seat belt, Your Highness."

He swept his gaze up to the flight attendant. He'd almost forgotten he was on board his private jet.

The beautiful brunette could have said, Please, unfasten me, for all the invitation in her eyes. She'd jump on the least measure of response in his attitude.

He regarded her with his signature impassiveness, which had frozen hardened tycoons and brazen media people in their tracks.

Her color heightened. "We are landing."

He clicked his seat belt into place. "As I gathered."

She tried again. "Will you be needing anything?"

"La, Shokrun." He looked away, dismissing her.

Once she'd turned, he watched her undulate away, sighed.

He would order Khaleel to assign her a desk job. And to confine his immediate personnel to men, or women at least twenty years his senior.

He exhaled again, peered from his window at Durrat Al Sahel—the Pearl of the Coast—Azmahar's capital. From up here he had an eagle-eye view of the crisis he'd been called upon to wrestle with.

He'd thought he'd seen the worst of it in the oil spill off the coast. The ominous blackness tainting the emerald waters was terrible enough. But seeing the disorganization and deterioration even from this altitude was a candid demonstration of how deep the problem ran. How hard it would be to fix.

His heart tightened as the pilot started the final descent, bringing more details into sharper focus.

Azmahar. The other half of his heritage. Decaying.

What a crushing pity.

He hadn't thought he'd ever see this place again. The day Roxanne had walked out on him, he'd left Azmahar swearing he'd never return.

He wasn't only returning—he'd promised to consider the kingship candidacy. He'd made the proviso that his return would be unannounced, that he'd make his own covert investigations and reach a decision uninfluenced by more sales pitches or pleas.

He was still stunned he'd conceded that much. From all evidence, this was one catastrophic mistake in the making.

Life really had a way of giving a man reason to commit the unreasonable.

After his fatherland had rejected him, his motherland claimed to be desperate for his intervention. Investigating if he could be the one to offer it salvation was near irresistible.

He also had to admit, the idea of redeeming himself was too powerful a lure. No matter that logic separated him from his mother's treachery, the fact remained. Her actions had skewered into his very identity, which had already been compromised from birth by her influence. Her most outrageous transgression had tarnished his honor and image, no matter what his family said. Most of them, anyway.

Jalal had less favorable views. Of course.

Jalal. Another reason he was considering this.

His twin was another candidate for the throne, after all.

Then there was Rashid. His and Jalal's best friend turned bitterest rival. And yet another candidate.

Was it any wonder he was tempted?

Trouncing those two blowhards was an end unto itself.

So whether it was duty, redemption or rivalry that drove him, each reason was imperative on its own.

But none of them was the true catalyst that had him Azmahar-bound now.

Roxanne was.

She was back in Azmahar.

He took it as the fates nudging him to stop trying not to think of her. As he'd done for eight years. Eight years.

Way past high time he ended her occupation of his memories, her near monopoly of his bitterness. He had enough unfinishable business. He would lay the ghost of her share of it to rest.

He would damn well exorcise it.

"…repercussions and resolutions, Ms. Gleeson?" Roxanne blinked at the distinguished, silver-haired man looking expectantly at her.

Sheikh Aasem Al-Qadi had been her liaison to the interim government since she'd started this post two months ago. And she had to concentrate to remember who he was, and what he—h...

Product Details

  • File Size: 499 KB
  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Desire (June 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: June 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JK5FJU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,136 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Desert Knights miniseries is off to a captivating start with a story overflowing with profoundly affecting emotions between its engaging couple. Olivia Gates is a master when it comes to portraying feelings backed by genuine reactions, and THE SHEIKH'S REDEMPTION adeptly showcases her gifted talent.

When Roxanne Gleeson shockingly walked away from Price Haidar Aal Shalaan eight years ago, he vowed to never let anyone get close to him or believe in others. When the Kingdom of Azmahar, the home country of his mother, needs a strong king to change its economic upheaval, Haidar is one of three candidates for the throne. While he is a very successful businessman, becoming the ruler of a country is a great challenge but he believes it is something he can do well is given the chance.

He arrives back in Azmahar ready to confront the woman in charge of organizing the political procedures that will ultimately pick the next king. Since the woman is Roxanne, he is unsure as to how she will respond to him. He quickly realizes there is still potent sexual awareness between them, but getting her to admit her feelings will take much careful planning, a task he will throw his whole heart into.

When I read a Harlequin Desire book by Olivia Gates featuring a sheikh, I know the hero will be larger than life and his storyline will be totally fascinating. In THE SHEIKH'S REDEMPTION, the male lead is someone who knows what he wants and is an expert at making his wishes successful. However, when it comes to personal connections, Haidar has failed time and again to keep anyone close if he actually cares about them. Misconceptions about himself and those dear to him have caused him much anguish, and my own heart ached for the distress he has suffered since childhood. Ms.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Sheikh's Redemption (Harlequin Desire)
The Sheikh's Redemption (Harlequin Desire)

THE SHEIKH'S REDEMPTION by USA Bestselling author Olivia Gates is a Harlequin Desire release for June 2012.

Roxanne was back in Azmahar after eight years. She had walked out of an intense relationship with Prince Haidar Aal Shalaan and had vowed never to come back. The economic instability of Azmahar brought her back. As a political and economic analyst, she was the best there was. But it also brought her face to face with Haidar. And she found out that the spark still flew between them! Now the question was, who would she support to the throne?

Haidar, along with his twin Jalal and a cousin were contenders for the vacant throne. He decides to visit Roxanne first when he visits Azmahar. When she opened her door to him, he felt the jolt of electricity and desire which had been dormant. Would he be able to bring the sensual woman he knew which lurked under the business exterior to the fore again?

THE SHEIKH'S REDEMPTION is a romance story amid the political power play. Filled with strong characters, snappy and witty dialogue, it also has tender sweet and exciting moments. Haidar is an emotionally tortured hero, who believes no one would ever love him. Roxanne is a sensual and strong heroine who knows what she wants and goes for it. How she manages to make Haidar open up to her emotionally is tenderly written. Olivia Gates made us visualize the story with her impeccable story telling. The emotional and sensory details are exquisitely done and the sensuality in the love scene just sizzles.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Hello, Olivia Gates!

Hello, Harlequin Presents series Desire!

I have a great many friends that read these books but the truck load. Always, I have been curious as to what draws them to the quick reads of Harlequin that seem to cookie cutter and perfect. So, I took a chance and requested for review a few books. Let me just say, that with Olivia Gates, I was not disappointed!

The Sheikh's Redemption is the story about one hell of a sexy Alpha male--well three that we see actually. Gates is so kind as to introduce us to three in this first installment. All I can say is yum and let me count the ways this story sexed me up and made me cry. I was moved, I cried, I laughed, I fell to my knees and nearly begged for Haider to tie up Foxy Roxy. For a woman that has sworn off men and all the intimate details the woman is a boiling over pot of smexy. I loved her as heroine! She was a strong, yet vulnerable female, without being annoyingly vulnerable. Did they need to just talk it out sometimes--yes. But don't all the H/h relationships in romance books?

Not only was this read well written, but it gave me a satisfying storyline that had me hunting down the next installment, which wasn't written at the time, to the Desert Nights Series. I would love to read more by Olivia. She gives me the hot Alphas I want, in a vanilla relationship, but it is so totally satisfying!

**I received this book for review via negalley**
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
We start with an abused child, brutally trained by his mother not to trust anyone, ever. So while it may be somewhat hard to relate to alpha male Haidar, at first, we can remember the hurt child.

Despite his conditioning, he'd fallen in love with Roxanne, and she with him. Thanks to Mommy Dearest, their romance ended, years back,but when she returned to the small desert kingdom of Azmahar, the sparks fly again. She's there to help Haidar's estranged twin brother, her best friend Jalal, press his claim to the throne of Azmahar.

This was a sexy, tasty, fast read.
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