Virginia's Reviews > The Sheik and the Virgin Secretary

The Sheik and the Virgin Secretary by Susan Mallery
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's review
Jun 28, 2012

really liked it

Kiley Hendrick had worked for Prince Rafiq of Lucia-Serrat as his personal assistant for years in Los Angeles, watching beautiful women drift in and out of his life. When she discovers on the day before her wedding that her fiance has been sleeping around like it's an Olympic sport, she decides she needs revenge in order to get on with her life. Said fiance always seemed exceptionally jealous of Rafiq, so the obvious (to her) solution is to initiate an affair with her boss.

Kiley is certainly not his usual type, but Rafiq enjoys her company in the office and is intrigued by her honesty about her motives. He had always thought her attractive, in the abstract, but when he learns that she's a virgin he is stunned by the intensity of his desire to claim her. They agree to a three-month affair, but it's not a surprise that unusual circumstances have unusual results.

I swear, I'm a feminist, but I love it when the hero gets possessive. To be clear, that's not the same as controlling, and it doesn't work if there isn't exclusivity (but we're safe from that in Harlequin Land). This book has some seriously sexy scenes. The set-up is pretty interesting - it's unusual for the woman to initiate, and even more so for her to be unaware of her attraction to her boss. Her reaction to the the typical prince speech ("I'm a prince. I honor you with my proposal, but I will never love you because that would make me weak. blah blah...") is different, and I admire her ability to stand up for herself to her ex and Rafiq's mother. It makes her perfect for Rafiq, but I kind of have a hard to time believing she's real.

The epilogue was a nice thought, but the name-dropping from other books in the series felt sort of forced. It didn't really add anything, but it wasn't annoying enough to ruin the book for me.

*note, The Prince & The Pregnant Princess mentions that the crown prince of Lucia-Serrat is a handsome widower with 4 sons and King Hassan's cousin. Apparently this is Rafiq's father, but it seems strange that Sabrina would try to hook Cleo up with someone with sons that close to her age. Also this book has him being married to the mother of most of his children for 15 years, so I'm going to attribute this to another series inconsistency*

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