Stumbling across a Mills and Boon-style site for romantic slush novels with a touch of Turkish Delight, Sonya and I are considering writing one of our own. Taking handy hints from novel-writing software, we figure it can’t be too hard. After all, the ingredients are simple: take one swarthy Arab, add one feisty Western female (no stereotype trolley dollies here), and throw in a few nights of passion – against her will at first – in a Bidouin tent.Take for example, a story particularly close to our heart. In his determination to save his desert land of Ras al Hajar, Prince Hassan al Rashid decides to attract the world’s attention by kidnapping the beautiful fiery-haired English journalist, Rose Fenton. Or what about this tale, which could almost be transposed to modern-day Dubai: public relations executive Genevieve Jordan travels to Kashkiri to plan an international conference and falls in love with brooding Lord Ali Ben Hari.
And here’s a dilemma for the modern working woman: to keep a lucrative account for her finance firm, Megan O’Connell travels to Suliyam with Sheikh Qasim, who tells her she must marry him in order to protect her from tribal leaders. For inspiration, the site lists the themes available in the series, and readers can choose from meddling family members, marriages of convenience, and quickie weddings which all sound just too TomKat (Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes) for words. But the stand-out offering comes from Laura Wright, in her book The Sultan’s Bed. Here’s the synopsis and an extract: Every day in court, divorce attorney Mariah Kennedy pits herself against rich, ruthless men…and usually wins. Her new neighbor, the Sultan of Emand, Zayad Al Nayhal, with his arrogance and air of command, is exactly the type she had learned not to trust. But his mesmerizing good looks and irresistible charm soon chips away at her best defenses. Excerpt from the book: He said, “Perhaps I was looking for you.” Her heart literally fluttered. Foolish, foolish girl. “And why would that be?”
“Perhaps I wish to know more about this–” he studied her with a lazy, hooded gaze “–fiery woman who lives beside me.” Fiery! She nearly blushed. Nearly.
“Well, there’s not much to tell,” she said, running her fork back and forth through the fig compote. Lord, he had extraordinary eyes–so black, but flecked with gold. A woman could get lost in those eyes if she wasn’t careful. Good thing Mariah was careful. With fig compote around, who said romance was dead?