Clarinda Carew and her best friend, Poppy Montmorency, were traveling by ship to meet Clarinda's fianc‚, Maximillian, when the unthinkable happens. Their ship is attacked by notorious pirates known as the Corsairs and they are abducted with the intent to be sold into slavery. Three months later, Maximillian discovers that Clarinda and Poppy were sold to a powerful sultan and are now residing in the region of El Jadida. To rescue his fianc‚e, he enlists his brother, Ash, a military hero, to navigate the desert and retrieve Clarinda from the unthinkable horrors that she must be experiencing. Captain Ashton Burke agrees to help his brother but he also accepts this assignment because Clarinda was Ash's first love . He has never stopped thinking about her since he left her as a teenager, ten years ago, to find success in the military.
When Ash arrives to El Jadida he finds that Clarinda was sold to Zin-Al Farouk, who just happens to be an old school mate of Maximillian`s. He also discovers that Clarinda is safe and living carefree in the lap of luxury as Farouk's personal guest. Farouk reveals to Ash that he has plans to make Clarinda his wife in a special ceremony and celebrate that he will be the man to take her virginity. Ash finds this humorous because he knows for a fact that Clarinda isn't a virgin and isn't as young as everyone thinks.
Clarinda is surprised that Ash came to rescue her because she hasn't seen him for years when he left her brokenhearted. She has been secretly waiting for him to return and him resurfacing in El Jadida has brought back hopes of them rekindling their romance. Ash, on the other hand, has to get Clarinda away from Farouk before he discovers that Clarinda isn't so innocent as she pretends and kills them both. Ash and Clarinda find that they have a second chance at love but only if they can both escape Farouk's palace in one piece.
I am new to Teresa Medeiros' novels but she has now become one of my absolute favorites. This novel had everything for me. An exotic locale, well-developed characters, and a steamy romantic love story. I enjoyed all the secondary characters as well, especially the scenes between Poppy and Farouk. I would love to see an update on these characters in a future installment.
When Ash and Clarinda were reunited after all their years apart, it was entertaining to see their interaction with one another. They were both trying to kill each other with their words, but in reality, were hiding their true feelings for one another. There is one scene in this novel where a deep personal secret is revealed to Ash by Clarinda that almost had me in tears. These two people were destined to be together and circumstance as well as secrets had kept them apart for too long. The ending scene was wonderfully romantic and I still think about it to this day. This a great novel and one of my favorites for 2011.
Ashton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he's hired to rescue his brother's kidnapped fianc‚e from a sultan's harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.
The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan's court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.