Feature book: The Desert King’s Secret Heir
The Desert King’s Secret Heir by Annie West
Is this really the same woman he had the holiday fling with? He wonders.
Is he the man she spent the week with in Santorini? She wonders.
The following day they both discover the truth. Yes.
Idris has since become king of his country and at an embassy function, he sees Arden again. He is jealous that his cousin is in a relationship with Arden but the next day discovers more than this relationship. He discovers a child, one that might be his. This scandal is played out on the front page of the papers, and Idris must find a way out of his prospective engagement to another woman so he can marry Arden, and make the child, Dawud, legitimate.
Idris overcomes these barriers, and he and Arden marry. It is then that the negotiations as to how their relationship will move forward happen. It is not a traditional marriage of convenience as the couple sleep in the same bed; it is the emotional part they have decided to leave unspoken. As Arden learns her new role, and in many ways reshapes the role, she often feels she is making a hash of the job of Sheikha. Idris does all he can to assure her that she is doing fine but again their emotional connection is still not there.
When Arden decides to leave the main palace and set herself up in the Dower house, it is then that Idris lays his emotional cards at Arden’s feet. He is stunned when she reciprocates.
Love never seems to run smoothly for kings and queens (and also for many other groups in society) when there are political expectations and traditions. Firstly, they have to break those traditions to ensure their future. This story is no exception. Idris seems more the ‘softer’ king than some of the rather hard men we see in some stories which is a nice change. This makes him realise earlier how he feels which is again nice to read.
Arden and Idris make a great couple, who have pined for each other during the four years apart. I really enjoyed reading about Idris and Arden and how they were able to reconnect emotionally to make their future.
Reviewed by Heather
A review copy of this book was provided by the author. ARRA members who leave a comment by 22 March 2017 will go into the draw to win a copy of the book.