Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Sheikh's Christmas Conquest & Q&A with author Sharon Kendrick

1.) Can you bring us up to speed on The Sheikh’s Christmas Conquest

 It’s a shamelessly emotional story about a powerful Sheikh whose heart is empty because of something awful which happened in his past, and Olivia – a woman with demons of her own. Saladin needs something from Olivia - something she doesn’t want to give. Marooned in the snowy English countryside, the Sheikh’s most persuasive weapon is his sexual mastery and he sweeps Olivia off to his scorching desert kingdom. The trouble starts when a straightforward seduction becomes so much more...

2.) What was the first romance novel that you ever read? 

That would be PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jane Austen (I still love it)

3.) What is one thing that you absolutely need when writing? 

My imagination! And coffee...

4.) What’s the best interaction you’ve ever had with a fan? 

 Once I wrote a trilogy centered on a single wedding dress and a woman in her eighties sent me a lovely long letter telling me about a similar wedding dress in her own family, and all the different people who had worn it.

5.) Who would you fan cast for Sheikh Saladin and Olivia? 

 The delicious Aiden Turner (who plays Poldark in popular UK TV drama) and Isla Fisher - for her red hair (just like Olivia’s) and her wonderful humor.

6.) Why do readers love Sheikh romances so much? 

 Ah. For me, that’s simple. Because a Sheikh symbolizes many of our secret fantasies about men. He’s dark. Powerful. Masterful. And he’s irresistibly sexy. What woman wouldn’t want to be taken by horseback across the burning sands to be ravished by a gorgeous desert king? My Sheikhs often appear sophisticated and can be found in Paris, or New York – but beneath their urbane exterior beats the indomitable heart of the true alpha male.

7.) Where have you traveled to and how has this informed your novels? 

 When I was a student nurse I travelled to the Middle East, which has been invaluable for my Sheikh books. Subsequently, I’ve taken in Australia, parts of the US and lots of Europe (especially Italy). I love to be immersed in countries and culture which are different from my own. When you’re on the outside looking in, that’s when your imagination is most on fire.

8.) Without giving away too much, what’s your favorite scene from The Sheikh’s Christmas Conquest

 Well, a reader has described the epilogue as “heartwarming” and I tend to agree with her, but I love the part where Saladin reveals to Olivia what happened in his past. Yet after he opens up, he immediately kills off any hope that there’s some kind of future for them.

9.) Do you have any conferences/book signings/events coming up? 

I’m going to several UK-based author gatherings and I’m very excited to be attending the buzzy RWA conference in San Diego in 2016 where I’ll be signing books for Harlequin. Hope to see you there!

10.) What are you working on next? 

I’m currently writing a story about a Prince who visits his ex-lover one last time, mainly to prove to himself that he’s finally gotten her out of his system. Only, guess what? He hasn’t! Fireworks erupt and all kinds of consequences follow. Oh, and I’ve got an unbelievably sexy Irish hero coming up in THE BILLIONAIRE’S DEFIANT ACQUISITION, which is out in April, 2016.

About the author:

SHARON KENDRICK is a popular British writer of over 75 romance novels. Kendrick’s books regularly top the sales charts for romance fiction on both sides of the Atlantic. Kendrick began writing for Harlequin because (a) she loved the books, and, (b) they were the only publishers she knew which would accept unsolicited manuscripts. Her first book was published without a single change which was a bit like throwing an extra dollop of fairy-dust into the mixture, which was magical enough already because now, to her surprise and delight: she was a writer!

Praise for Sharon Kendrick:

“Kendrick’s narrative brings her impeccably decadent settings to life as she switches from palatial sandscapes to urban London.” –RT Book Reviews

“Sharon Kendrick does a great job putting in the right plot twists to keep you turning the pages.” –Amazon Reviewer

"Kendrick's final Qurhah romance is a tearjerker starring a doomed, arrogant king and unsinkable heroine. The love story is commanding, the lush settings superb, the dialogue richly enhancing and the lovemaking blazing in this desert fairy tale.” –RT Book Reviews

“This story had more than a few tug-at-your-heartstrings moments, a brooding hero, and a heroine I adored.” –Goodreads Reviewer

Title:  The Sheikh's Christmas Conquest
Series:  The Bond of Billionaires #2
Author:   Sharon Kendrick
Publication Date:  October 20/15 by Harlequin
Length:  192pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Summoned by the sheikh!

Sheikh Saladin Al Mektala isn't used to being disobeyed. Incomprehensibly, the woman he summoned to help his favorite mare, the best horse whisperer in the world, turned his generous offer down! So he takes matters into his own hands.

The snow is falling, the fire is roaring and the mince pies are in the oven when innocent Olivia Miller finds a darkly handsome and physically compelling man on her doorstep. The sheikh she dared to refuse is here to whisk her off to his kingdom, and this time he won't take no for an answer!

A passionate read for Christmas nights!

My Review:

I loved the way that Kendrick combines horses with people, loss with recovery, and intimacy with friendship. The convergence of these different aspects created an intricate and fulfilling tale. The lives of her characters really filled out this as well. The contrast between their personalities and personal circumstances made getting to know them even more fun. The small moments of role reversal interspersed throughout kept me on my toes and allowed me to get to know them even better. The romance building between them was all the stronger and more compelling because of it.

This was a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas read. It was my first novel by this author, but I’ll definitely be looking for more of her work in the future.

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