Truthfully, not the worst thing I have ever ready but many of the smutty pamphlets reviewed by this blog have set the bar high on that account. On the one hand, I’m thinking: “Wow, that wasn’t as terrible as I had anticipated” but on the other hand I’m going: “Jesus Buttery Christ, that was stupid!” And that is what is wrong with running a blog like this. Eventually, you read enough shitty, smutty, drivel that anything with decent sentence structure makes you rejoice.
Set in modern Egypt, Gemma and Josslyn Haliday set out to find their “missing” sister, Gillian. Gillian has run off with Sheikh Charming, or so they think. Gemma is inexplicably drawn to the tall, dark and rugged stranger who delivered her sister’s letter to them. She is also plagued by an uneasiness that they do not know the whole story. In a weak attempt at a plot, Gemma sets out to find tall, dark and alluring in the hopes of being taken to her sister.
Soon, she comes across this ridiculously attractive man and his cohort and is lead to an oasis. His oasis. Upon further questioning, Gemma discovers that this stranger is the mythical Sheikh Shahin Aswadi – The Black Hawk. He is said to have mystical powers and the ability to change his form into that of a black hawk. He is an immortal shape-shifter charged with serving the ancient Egyptian god Set-Sutekh.
In an unimaginative sub-plot, it would seem that Gillian, a.k.a. Jelly Bean has not fallen for Sheikh Charming but rather run off with one of Seth-Aziz’s most trusted men. Seth-Aziz is a vampiric demigod, who must feed once a year to retain his immortality and youth. His adoptive sister, Nephtys, is a seer and predicted that her brother would fall for and mate with Gillian. In light of Gillian’s betrayal, Seth decided to take the other sister, Josslyn, in her stead. All the while, Nephtys is plagued by dreams of her ex-lover and Seth’s greatest military rival, Haru-Re.
It’s a Mills & Boon for goodness sake. That’s exactly how it reads. It’s well edited but mickey mouse in terms of literature.
“For the hundredth time that hour, Gemma gazed down at the gorgeous engagement ring on her finger.”
“Hot shame sliced through his chest hearing his own heartless words flung back at him. Which melted his icy rage. And calmed the tremors thundering through the tent.”
“In all his years as a warrior, he’d never been this afraid.”
So, you can see the general idea of the book. The strong warrior, who has locked his heart away for hundreds of years because one woman jilted him, falls for the soft, caring, beautiful, damsel. He rejects her countless times, while she demolishes all his defences, and in the wise worse of Ke$ha: “blah blah blah”.
I cannot begin to describe just how frustratingly lame this book is but at the same time, it is a Mills & Boon and no-one has the right to expect a literary masterpiece from them. The story was average, the characters stereotyped and clearly written for lonely stay-at-home mom’s who wish they could be whisked away to a mysterious fantasy land.
The author, very obviously, has zero understanding of ancient religions of the ancient near east and Egypt but uses complicated plot devices and stupid pseudo-Egyptian names for characters that have no greater meaning to the story. Plus, I really don’t see the Egyptian government allowing two lone women to study a temple in the middle of nowhere. Or maybe that’s the masochist in me speaking. This is a great example of extremely western writing on eastern matters and culture. It is glaringly apparent that the author has no idea how modern nor ancient Egypt functioned.
My rating: 1.5/5
Buy Shadow of the Sheikh at Amazon.com
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