Pub Date: December 1, 2013
Length: 190 pages
FTC: Was a free promo on Kindle
Despite interacting with the author on Twitter, this is the very first book of hers that I have read. I was waiting for the book with the heroine named Amber *ahem* but this one happened to be free, so there ya go.
Full disclosure: I'm not normally an HP reader. I'm not normally a category romance reader when it comes down to it. So there are probably things that regular readers of this line would notice that I did not.
Hajar's Hidden Legacy is pretty much a straight forward Beauty and the Beast book. It's even part of the "Beasts of the Desert" series, which means it's not trying to be subtle about it. Since it's been so long since I've read a Harlequin Presents novel, I wasn't sure what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of story Yates manages to squeeze into such a short page count.
Princess Katharine has arrived in Hajar ready to argue for a political marriage with the "Beast of Hajar." Although previously promised to Zahir's now-deceased brother, Katharine is determined to make an alliance for the benefit of her home country. Zahir, haunted by the terrorist attack that maimed him and killed his family, has avoided public appearances and is used to being alone. Katharine's bold steps to drag him into the light are unexpected, and the political marriage he agrees to soon turns into something much more.
This book hits all of the Presents notes it should, but it allows itself to be a little more serious (and the hero a little less of an ass) than many in the line. Unlike some of the standard Presents heroes, Zahir has legitimate reasons for being authoritarian, rude, etc. And we get to see serious emotional pain on his part throughout the book. From the Presents I've read since finishing this one, that is a bit unusual.
Vivid, emotionally moving writing help elevate this book from the sea of other offerings in this line. Fantastic characters, believable conflict, and an attention to setting all help transform this book into something special.
Overall, this was memorable (something even full length novels have failed to be recently) AND it was compelling enough to send me down a HP rabbit hole/reading glom. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.
My Grade: B+
Princess Katharine has always been destined for a political marriage. Her heart heavy, she prepares to meet her future husband—the man whisperers in his royal kingdom call the Beast of Hajar.…
Concealing his disfigurement from public scrutiny, Sheikh Zahir rules his country from within the castle walls, allowing no one in. Until duty demands he carry on the Hajar family dynasty, and allow his new bride to cross the threshold.
Zahir expects Katharine to flee at first sight. Yet her unflinching gaze fires Zahir's blood, their attraction burning hotter than the scorching desert sands.…