THE SHEIKH'S CLAIM Olivia Gates
Desert Knights Miniseries , Book 2
Harlequin Desire #2183
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-73196-1
September 2012
Series Romance

Kingdom of Azmahar Present Day

Prince Jalal Aal Shalaan is competing against his twin brother, Rajid, for the throne of Azmahar, and he means to have it, no matter what. But when the woman who walked out on him to marry another man appears back in his country, Jalal's focus changes. Lujayn Morgan stirs his blood in more ways than one. A little over two years ago they shared one night of passion after Lyjayn's husband had died, and now she brings with her a child who is clearly Jalal's.

Jalal has a choice. He wants Lujayn and the child, which means marriage. But he also wants the throne of Azmahar. Add to the mix his mother, the ex-queen of Azmahar, who's been banished for treason. Even though this evil ex-queen no longer has power, she is not happy that Jalal and Lujayn are together again. Meanwhile, Lujayn has no intention of settling down with Jalal at all. And finally, as all of these threads come together, Lujayn and Jalal reignite their passions. But paradise is not something that comes to this pair of lovers as they stand off against each other. Jalal refuses to allow Lujayn to raise his child alone, and Lujayn wants nothing to do with the court of Azmahar. They are surely at an impasse, and one that is not easily overcome.

THE SHEIKH'S CLAIM is the second book in the Desert Knights miniseries, following THE SHEIKH'S REDEMPTION (November 2011). Jalal is still struggling to overcome his mother's treason and win the competition for the throne. Political intrigue, coupled with passion, brings us a story pulsing with life. The characters are dynamic, and the story is fraught with emotional tension. Even so, I feel that less anger and more romance in Jalal and Lujayn's interactions would have made this a better story. That aside, Jalal and Lujayn do find a path to happiness.

Diana Risso