From the Author
When firstpublished in 1919, E.M. Hull's The Sheik was an overnightbestseller with over fifty printingswithin the first two years of release. The book was also made into a silentfilm that catapulted its leading man, Rudolph Valentino, to superstardom. Givenits huge success in its time, I have no doubt many readers will wonder at mymotive in re-writing this romance classic.
As a reader, I havealways found the "forced seduction"/rape-to-love trope appalling, andhave never had such mixed feelings about a book as I did after reading TheSheik. It had so much to offer with its strong characters and beautifuldescriptive prose, but it fell sadly short for me in so many other ways. Ifound the narrative too repetitive and the pace plodding. There was too muchnavel-gazing on the heroine's part, and far too little actual interactionbetween the hero and heroine for a romance. In sum, I loved and loathed it inequal measure.
Nevertheless, thisstory captured my imagination and even though I had a number of other writingprojects in progress, The Sheik held me hostage and absolutelyrefused to let me go. Once I began fantasizing about alternate scenarios,dialogue, and plot twists, I knew it was calling to me. I had no choice but tore-tell this story the way I envisioned it.
While I have takena number of liberties in my re-telling, the main plot, characters, anddescriptive passages are largely unchanged. I kept everything I loved and changedwhat I loathed. Although my version is not completely devoid of violence (toomit all of it would only have watered down Ahmed's powerful alpha character),I have taken out the rape and animal abuse which I abhorred in the original. Ihave also thrown the bedroom door wide open.
Most important, however,is my portrayal of Diana. Even though she falls deeply in love with her captor,my version of the character stays true to her strong and self-willed natureright to the end.
While I believe TheSheik Retold will compare favorably to E.M. Hull's The Sheik, readers of this book will be the ultimate judge.