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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Zahir - Her Ruthless Sheikh: 50 Loving States, New Jersey

4/5 Stars
Pages: 220

Zahir is the second book of the Ruthless Tycoon’s series by Theodora Taylor. It gives us lawyer “Prin” Jones and King Zahir of a fictional country called Jahwar. The story begins where the first of the series, Holt, started – at a party. When the couple meets, Prin is a student who’s been invited by the prince of her young dreams who also happens to attend her school. Unfortunately, following a case of mistaken identity, she finds herself in the arms of her prince’s brother, Zahir. Although their encounter is a steamy one, it ends in insults, anger, and a seemingly intense dislike. Ten years later Prin, now a lawyer, arrives in the country of Jahwar to attend her best friend Sylvie’s wedding. A wedding that’s being hosted by the now King Zahir. The animosity between Prin and Zahir hasn’t died, particularly on Zahir’s side. He’s cold, rude, and dismissive. When Prin needs a favor things blow up. One argument and a kiss in anger and Prin finds herself marrying her enemy. Although it isn’t meant to last, the two must overcome their dislike and cultural differences for the length of their marriage.

I liked this book a lot. Prin had a hard time holding back her “Jersey” attitude and Zahir was often cold and controlling, however, it still worked for me. Prin was tough but wasn’t afraid to ask her husband for help when needed. It was a big plus for me when she continued to live her life even when things between her and Zahir seemed to be doomed. At the end of the day, she was a strong female character who was going to make it with or without her man. Her relationship with her sisters was another plus in my opinion, although I did feel that they were written a little too young and naive to be believable. They were entering college yet behaved like they were 13-year-olds or younger. The family bond and instinct to protect them were great and it was made apparent they loved her just as much as she loved them. 

As for Zahir. Ohhh, he was delicious. I think his antagonism was a little over the top at first, but I get it. Although the author doesn’t really attempt to explain it, you can easily assume the reason for his behavior. But true to form, when this writer writes an antagonistic male, she really writes an antagonistic a-hole of a male. What made me like Zahir were the moments that his vulnerability slipped through. This was so well written into his character that it wasn’t glaring but it made him more human and likable and it made their story more believable. There are several scenes where Zahir goes straight gangster and honestly, damn! Loved it!

Although I would have liked a little more in terms of the ending, I really enjoyed reading Zahir - Her Ruthless Sheikh. It was entertaining with characters that I liked. Some readers may be uncomfortable with or even dislike the way the two get to know each other. Personally, it didn’t bother me as it was meant to be erotic (and I think the author succeeded with the eroticism), but some may feel he was imposing his will a little too strongly. I took it for what it was and liked the story that grew from it. 

To be honest, I didn’t start this book with much optimism. Holt, which was the first in the series, didn’t really work for me and I was starting to get a little worried that the author was growing stagnant as a writer. Fortunately, Zahir renewed my faith in this author and, for now, I remain a fan.

I’m giving Zahir- Her Ruthless Sheikh 4 out of 5 stars.

* I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*

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