RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge Review: Breaking the Sheikh’s Rules by Abby Green


Title: Breaking the Sheikh's Rules
Author: Abby Green
Publication Info: Harlequin 2010
ISBN: 9780373528134
Genre: Contemporary Romance

RITA®, and the RITA statuette are service marks of Romance Writers of America, Inc.Runswithscissors reviewed this book for the RITA® Reader Challenge. It finaled in the Contemporary Series romance category.

Book CoverPlot Summary: The huge imposing castle and the barren terrain of Merkazad are a far cry from the modest farm and the emerald fields that horsewoman Iseult calls home. Or used to, until Sheikh Nadim bought her family’s stud farm. As part of the deal, she must work at his royal stables.

Nadim enrages Iseultbut he also inspires a more unwelcome, unfamiliar feeling: desire. Drawn into Nadim’s sensual world, Iseult feels like a beautiful, confident woman for the first time.

But she must remember the sheikh’s cast-iron rule.

And here is runswithscissors’ review:

I thought Abby Green’s Bride in a Gilded Cage was excellent so I approached this optimistically.

Iseult follows the rules of Romanceland for Irish heroines, with oodles of red hair and feistiness.  Plus she is a horse whisperer, charming horsies by murmuring to them in Gaelic.

Nadim’s jeans strain over his thighs, his voice is deep and sexy, he’s masterful, he’s a sheikh.

I found them both excessively annoying.

They spend half the book squabbling, usually because her naivety has created the perfect situation for him to jump to conclusions about. During one row, he says to her, ‘Still as impudent as ever.  So much for hoping that passion might tame that tongue of yours.’  She snaps back, ‘I’m not some animal that can be tamed, Sheikh.’  Oh dear God.  It was at this point I decided that I loathed them both.

It’s hard to like a book when you don’t like the main characters, but there were some redeeming features. I thought the best part was the backstory explaining why Iseult’s so clueless when it comes to men –  I confess to feeling a pang of remorse when she tells Nadim she’s never felt beautiful.

As a devoted M&B Modern reader, I usually have no problems suspending my disbelief, but with this book the nagging voice of WTF just couldn’t be silenced. That said, if old school masterful sheikhs who dole out punishing kisses are your idea of a good time, then Breaking The Sheikh’s Rules is a safe bet.

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Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Tracey says:

    If the book is as half as funny as the review, then it must be a winner.

  2. 2
    RebeccaJ says:

    It’s hard to like a book when you don’t like the main characters

    That’s so right. I started to read a book last night in which the hero kicked the heroine out shortly after their marriage and she SWORE she would NEVER contact the hero again for anything, but a few pages later when she “found out about her sick niece” she sent him a letter asking him for money. No, no and NO! That book went right into the trash.

    I think my biggest gripe with the sheikh books though are that all the women are treated with the greatest of reverence in the hero’s county. Oh, it doesn’t matter that they’re treated like second class citizens in other Arab countries, in HIS country they’re revered. Yeah, right. Oh and he NEVER wants a harem. Uh huh, I know if I could only be with one hunk, I certainly wouldn’t want a whole stable of hunks at my beck and call. No, sirree bob! Because ya know, constantly being sexed up by a new hott guy every night gets soooo boring. Puhleeze. I’d take two harems of men if I could get away with it and I’m not even of their culture!

  3. 3

    LOL @ RebeccaJ.
    Never been a big fan of the sheikh books- just never got into them, maybe some weird religious hang up of mine, idk. Much prefer my English historicals.

  4. 4
    Susan says:

    What is with the working in the sheikh’s stables trope?

    RebeccaJ, I for one am only up to 1 harem of hot men.  I mean, really, ya gotta sleep sometime, and I’m just not as young as I used to be.  However, I’m broadminded, so if you get the chance, go for it!

  5. 5
    Suzannah says:

    I liked this one, more than Bride in a Gilded Cage.  Maybe I have a weakness for jeans straining over thighs, and those punishing kisses ;-)  What annoyed me about it was that here in the UK it came out as part of an anthology, so I had to buy two books I didn’t want just to get it.  I know that’s not the author’s fault, but M&B seem to do it quite a bit.  I’d much rather things came out as individual titles.  There is a second one, about Nadim’s brother, which recently came out in the UK as Secrets of the Oasis, and then a third one coming out later in the year, which I think is about the Sultan they visit in this one.

  6. 6
    Melissa says:

    Breaking the Shiekh’s rules was just okay for me. The writing wasn’t bad but I didn’t like the hero, he was too cold and mean for almost the entire book. I also bought the Summer Sheikhs anthology that this was part of in the UK but I was really glad because the third story, Innocent in the Sheikh’s Harem by Margueite Kaye, was wonderful! I really enjoyed the story, it’s a historical which was a nice change. Innocent in the Sheikh’s Harem just came out in paper (with a cover I love), I would definitely recommend it to Sheikh story fans.

  7. 7
    thatsnotmyname says:

    I avoid these types of books like the plague because of the orientalism. The fetishizing really makes me uncomfortable but what I find even more disturbing is that, on another blog which I won’t name, when this topic is discussed you would see all sorts of comments saying that all or most muslim men or all arab men or all goverments in majority muslim countries treat women badly.

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