The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling
(Christmas With the Yared Sheikhs, #1)
Publication date: December 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
It’s the Christmas season in the tiny Kingdom of Maatkare, and the royal family needs a chef. Desperate to prove herself after her first restaurant failed, Ana Rizzo jumps at this chance for redemption and nabs the high-paying, short-term job. The opportunity couldn’t be more perfect. Ana will be able to stretch her culinary skills, earn enough money to open another restaurant, and still be able to give her adopted daughter the attention she needs. Her biggest challenge will be winning over the family’s elderly cook and getting Noel Yared, the middle son, to give her food his stamp of approval. She only cares about Noel’s palate, not his soulful brown eyes, his gorgeous runner’s body, and his amazing kisses. An avid runner herself, Ana pushes herself to keep up with Noel during their daily runs. But she’s finding the biggest challenge is resisting Noel’s charm.
Noel finds Ana endlessly fascinating and incredibly sexy. With a bit of charming persuasion from him, the two begin what they both know is a short-term affair. No rules, no heartache, just great sex and a bit of fun. So when he believes Ana has betrayed his family’s trust, he’s glad his heart wasn’t involved. Glad she’s gone. Glad he’ll never see her again. Until he realizes a couple terrible truths too late: Ana was actually the one who was betrayed, and somehow he’s fallen hard for her. Now he needs a bit of Christmas magic to prove he’s worthy of her love.
I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand, I love Leslie North’s books and I love her stories with sheikhs and all this interesting land. However, for “The Sheikh’s Christmas Fling” it’s the short length that bothers me so much.
We have characters with potential and an interesting plot, but there is not much room for development. Ana is one of the most determined heroines I’ve encountered. She has faced a failed marriage, a ruined business and career. Now she starts over in a small country, where tradition is key and food customs are to be respected. Little did she expect to feel this attraction for her employer’s son – Sheikh Noel Yared. He shows her his country, with all its beauty, the spices that are at the heart of their culinary tradition and all she has to do is work her magic. However, not everybody is happy with the arrival of the new chef and she has to deal with a disgruntled employer, willing to do whatever it takes to see her out of the kitchen.
He knew he should stay away from Ana. The mother. The employee. The future complicated situation.
As I was mentioning, there is so much potential here. I wanted to see Ana explore more of the food, I wanted to see more traditions, just more of Maatkare. Noel knows he should stay away from a single mother, but this angle is not explored enough. As for Ana, she has adopted her daughter from a foreign country – cheers for that! But I wanted to know why. Charlie, Ana’s best friend is more like a shadow and for now I don’t see where he fits in the bigger picture.
With all my complains, we do have this intense attraction between the two and I loved to see Noel’s respect and pride for his country. They are a match for one another in terms of ambition and success.
“I’m a chef,” she went on. “I am a professional organizer of flavors. It’s more than just math. It’s not just carbs and proteins. It’s a beautiful dance that brings in emotion and memories. It’s a journey, and it’s one of the fine arts of life.”
All in all, I would never pass a Leslie North book. Even if this is not the great start I was expecting, I cannot wait to discover the other stories in the series. I saw that they are a little longer so I have high hopes.
Let me know in the comments below if you have read any of Leslie’s books and if not, try them! She is a prolific writer and you have plenty of stories to choose from 🙂
Leslie North is the pen name for a critically-acclaimed author of women’s contemporary romance and fiction. The anonymity gives her the perfect opportunity to paint with her full artistic palette, especially in the romance and erotic fantasy genres.
The truth of the matter is she loves her fictional persona, Leslie North, more than her normal, day-to-day persona! Her bestselling books focus on strong characters and particularly women who aren’t afraid to challenge an alpha male. Inspired after years of travel, her stories are set all over the world, from the tough streets of Russia to the beautiful beaches of the middle east.
Leslie fell in love with romance when she first picked up a scrappy, dog-eared romance book from her local library. She began writing soon after and the rest, as they say, was history. She now lives in a cozy cottage on the British coast and enjoys taking long walks with her two Dalmatians, George and Fergie.
She LOVES reader feedback, and if you have any comments, don’t hesitate to contact her via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.