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Craving Beauty

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Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman. Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him.Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they g Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman. Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him.Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they gave him an even more dangerous male air, enticing the feminine core of her to thoughts that shocked her.What did a man's face matter anyway? She had no use for handsome men.But for a man with a heart? For such a man...she might risk everything.

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Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman. Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him.Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they g Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman. Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him.Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they gave him an even more dangerous male air, enticing the feminine core of her to thoughts that shocked her.What did a man's face matter anyway? She had no use for handsome men.But for a man with a heart? For such a man...she might risk everything.

30 review for Craving Beauty

  1. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    Once again, Nalini Singh worked her magic on me. At first, I wasn't sure what to think. Hira was so mercurial, frigid ice princess one moment, vulnerable, exotic girl-child another, saying hurtful things to Marc. I was thinking I would be disappointed with this story. However, I began to see that Hira was protecting her heart from more damage like what had been inflicted over many years by a father who was a real misogynist, who treated her mother terribly, and restricted Hira's life severely, d Once again, Nalini Singh worked her magic on me. At first, I wasn't sure what to think. Hira was so mercurial, frigid ice princess one moment, vulnerable, exotic girl-child another, saying hurtful things to Marc. I was thinking I would be disappointed with this story. However, I began to see that Hira was protecting her heart from more damage like what had been inflicted over many years by a father who was a real misogynist, who treated her mother terribly, and restricted Hira's life severely, despite maintaining the appearance of being a loving husband and father. She had been treated like she had nothing to offer besides her beautiful looks and gorgeously-curved body. Her father used her as a business pawn, forcing Marc to marry her if he wanted to court her. Of course, she didn’t know that Marc wanted a real relationship with her. She thought he just wanted a sexy trophy wife. As the book unfolded, I could see why she kept Marc at such a distance, and was so icy to him, although I hurt as Marc did. By the end of the story, I loved Hira, and I admired her for the strong woman that she was. As for Marc, I loved him pretty much from the beginning. In fact, I wanted to take him and give him a long, fierce hug. He has a lot of the traits I just adore in a hero. He was a fierce, strong man, a real survivor, but with a gentle loving heart that hid behind steely, cold armor. He'd been abused really badly by his lousy alcoholic parents, who sold him to a thief. He lived on the streets, and was wounded grievously more than once, which was why he had scars on his face and body. I adored this man. Like Hira, his scars were badges of honor to me. This man worked his way up from nothing. Truly, he did have a chip on his shoulder against beautiful women. A stupid rich girl played a cruel joke on him, teaching him he wasn’t good enough without his money and power. Since then, he kept his heart protected. He felt inadequate because of his scars and his ignoble Bayou origins. But, like Hira, being a man who pulls himself up by his bootstraps and makes something of himself, being a strong, powerfully magnetic man spoke highly to me. She called him her fierce desert chieftain, and I felt this was a fair assessment from her viewpoint of admirable men (unlike her father). Also he is very possessive. Another plus in a hero. It gives me tingles! Golden boys born with silver spoons in their mouths don’t resonate with me the same way. If you like Lisa Kleypas's self-made heroes, you would probably like Marc. He definitely gave me that vibe, which always have the power to turn me into a melted pile of hormonal goo. Marc really was the perfect package for a hero to this reader. Initially, this seemed a little melodramatic, (which ain't necessarily a bad thing since I like drama), but I wasn't sure what to make of it. Hira's innocence and unwordliness seemed too over the top. I had to readjust my worldview and consider how truly inexperienced and sheltered Hira was. Once I got my vantage point straight, I was all in. The intense, honest emotions and the heart-wrenching angst of Marc and Hira's pasts, and how they reach out to orphaned children to give them love (I cried on those scenes and the ones about Marc’s tortured past), and the fiery passion between them (which had me fanning myself as I read), well this was an irresistible package that won me over! I can't say that all people would enjoy this book. Even those who are fans of Nalini Singh’s newer works, the Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter books, might not necessarily love this book. However, I believe that the elements that make her a favorite, auto-buy author to me are very apparent in this lovely romance morsel. I’m very glad I got the chance to read this one. It’s going on my keeper shelf with my other Nalini Singh books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aberforth

    My summary of the book: Heroine: "Oh noes, I'm so beautiful that no one will ever love me for me instead of being just a hot piece of ass!" Hero: "Ohnoes, no one will ever love me because of my oh-so-hideous scar. I'll show everyone by forcing the most beautiful woman I can find into marriage." I seriously rolled my eyes through most of the book. It was only towards the end when they started to get to know each other that any redeeming qualities came through. Mostly though, I just wanted to stab t My summary of the book: Heroine: "Oh noes, I'm so beautiful that no one will ever love me for me instead of being just a hot piece of ass!" Hero: "Ohnoes, no one will ever love me because of my oh-so-hideous scar. I'll show everyone by forcing the most beautiful woman I can find into marriage." I seriously rolled my eyes through most of the book. It was only towards the end when they started to get to know each other that any redeeming qualities came through. Mostly though, I just wanted to stab them though.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    Note: There isn't an official series connecting the books, but Desert Warrior can be considered a prequel to Craving Beauty. The stories aren't connected by plot, only by the fact that Tariq, the hero in the first book, and Hira, the heroine in the second book, know each other.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I love marriage of convenience stories. Hero was the most romantic loving husband ever! Lucky heroine is lucky! Yes I am jealous of a fictional heroine lol

  5. 5 out of 5

    PT

    This was my first book by Nalini Singh, so it holds a special place in my heart. It's a take on the classic beauty and the beast theme. It's not a lot of people's cup of tea, but I really enjoy the many variations on this theme. Of course, there is the usual insecurity on the parts of our hero and heroine, but I can relate. She's not sure that any one could love her for anything other than her beauty and worries about finding her place in the world other than as some man's trophy wife. He is pla This was my first book by Nalini Singh, so it holds a special place in my heart. It's a take on the classic beauty and the beast theme. It's not a lot of people's cup of tea, but I really enjoy the many variations on this theme. Of course, there is the usual insecurity on the parts of our hero and heroine, but I can relate. She's not sure that any one could love her for anything other than her beauty and worries about finding her place in the world other than as some man's trophy wife. He is plagued with doubts that his wife could love him in spite of his physical deformity. Overall, a delightful quick read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chitra *CJ*

    "Craving Beauty" is the story of Hira and Marc. Basically, our heroine Hira is from Zulheina and comes from an uber conservative family where women are treated like sh!t and denied any choice. Her father has always treated her mother like a wastebin, and her own heart is broken when she is rejected by her suitor. Hope ignites when a foreigner Marc comes to their kingdom, but is soon shattered when she is traded in marriage to him. Hence becomes a tumultuous start of a courtship in which the heroine "Craving Beauty" is the story of Hira and Marc. Basically, our heroine Hira is from Zulheina and comes from an uber conservative family where women are treated like sh!t and denied any choice. Her father has always treated her mother like a wastebin, and her own heart is broken when she is rejected by her suitor. Hope ignites when a foreigner Marc comes to their kingdom, but is soon shattered when she is traded in marriage to him. Hence becomes a tumultuous start of a courtship in which the heroine has a million preconceptions and throws them all at the hero at the speed of ninja stars. The hero on the other hand is also an orphan with a traumatic past and a scarred body- hoping to find love in the heroine, who immediately confesses her love for OM and starts acting like a shrew. 50% of the book is the heroine being a giant whiny d!ck, and the hero losing his temper and walking away. Things change a little when she realizes her error and starts to give in- the lovemaking scenes which take place then as well as the scenes at the orphanage were heart wrenching-ly good. Then again some drama takes place and we are back to square one. In the end it was like two scarred, scared cats slowly pawing at each other's defenses.. What I did like apart from the sex and angst was the adorable way the heroine spoke in broken english, her zest for education but the ending was a mess as nothing was resolved and things ended abruptly. (view spoiler)[ Did they ever adopt the nine kids as the twins got taken away? Did they have their own ones? Did she ever study? Did he support her mother? (hide spoiler)] A lot of disappointed after the great book 1. Safe 2/5

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    2.5 stars Didn't work for me at all. I think this is the first Silhouette Desire book I have ever read and perhaps the formatting calls for a certain type of story. The main couple said and did hurtful and mean things to each other the first 60% of the book. Then, they still had several misunderstandings and miscommunications after that, but at least there were a handful of actual romantic scenes. Another thing that didn't work for me in Craving Beauty was the putting together of a man with lots o 2.5 stars Didn't work for me at all. I think this is the first Silhouette Desire book I have ever read and perhaps the formatting calls for a certain type of story. The main couple said and did hurtful and mean things to each other the first 60% of the book. Then, they still had several misunderstandings and miscommunications after that, but at least there were a handful of actual romantic scenes. Another thing that didn't work for me in Craving Beauty was the putting together of a man with lots of sexual experience with a VERY naive and innocent heroine. Just made me keep thinking about all the women he had been with sexually in the past; he had to to reign in what he normally did with women before because he was worried about shocking her with his usual intensity and demands. Ah well, on the plus side, this was quick!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynsey A

    3.5 stars I am a huge fan of Nalini Singh so of course, grab anything she's written. These Silhouette books were written earlier in her career. This was a good book and written well but so many times I wanted to hit the hero upside the head, hence his addition to my "hero needs a slap upside his head" shelf. He certainly had a tough childhood and had reasons to distrust rich, beautiful women but after the first couple of times he was cruel to Hira and later learned he was wrong, I thought that w 3.5 stars I am a huge fan of Nalini Singh so of course, grab anything she's written. These Silhouette books were written earlier in her career. This was a good book and written well but so many times I wanted to hit the hero upside the head, hence his addition to my "hero needs a slap upside his head" shelf. He certainly had a tough childhood and had reasons to distrust rich, beautiful women but after the first couple of times he was cruel to Hira and later learned he was wrong, I thought that was enough. But it continued to happen a couple of more times. It got annoying. Hira was cute at times, when she didn't understand the English slang, but at times she seemed just a bit too perfect. However, having written all of that it was still a good book to read and a sweet love story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Netanella

    Contemporary beauty and the beast story set in the same fictional country as Nalini's earlier Desert Warrior. Although the characters' motivations are somewhat cliched - the beauty who wants to be loved for her mind, the beast who believes no one loves him and overcompensates - Nalini's writing overcomes these stereotypes and the characters become real. The beast, Marc, is a Louisiana bayou poor boy who pulled himself up by the bootstraps and made something of himself as a business mogul. The be Contemporary beauty and the beast story set in the same fictional country as Nalini's earlier Desert Warrior. Although the characters' motivations are somewhat cliched - the beauty who wants to be loved for her mind, the beast who believes no one loves him and overcompensates - Nalini's writing overcomes these stereotypes and the characters become real. The beast, Marc, is a Louisiana bayou poor boy who pulled himself up by the bootstraps and made something of himself as a business mogul. The beauty, Hira, is a trophy daughter who is bartered by her sexist father to further his business dealings. The two agree to marriage to seal a business deal, and then deal with the fall out of their emotions. I found this to be a beautiful story, and would recommend it to fans of the genre.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shxrxn

    You were better than the alternative. - Hira But for a man with a heart? For such a man.. .she might risk everything. - Hira Sometimes those closest to you promised the least safety. - Hira She didn't know if she loved him, but she did know she felt things for him she'd never felt for any other man. - Hira It is said that the child will show you the man. - Hira Love of a kind that's rare in this world. Love that will not stop or dampen when I am old and have wrinkles, when I'm no longer the beautiful woma You were better than the alternative. - Hira But for a man with a heart? For such a man.. .she might risk everything. - Hira Sometimes those closest to you promised the least safety. - Hira She didn't know if she loved him, but she did know she felt things for him she'd never felt for any other man. - Hira It is said that the child will show you the man. - Hira Love of a kind that's rare in this world. Love that will not stop or dampen when I am old and have wrinkles, when I'm no longer the beautiful woman men covet. Love that will cherish me though I may become ill or hurt. That is what I most desire. - Hira

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline J

    Another made up middle eastern kingdom. The difference here is that it is the heroine, Hira, who is from the made up country. She enters an arranged marriage with Marc, a self made Cajun millionaire. This was quite melodramatic in a good way with overwrought feelings, flowery love language etc. NS's writing was smooth as always and the book flew by.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Irene Kiew

    I was undecided what to rate this. This book is partly set in a country which doesn't exist (Zulheina), which the heroine is from. The whole conflict stems from the fact that Marc didn't court Hina before the marriage so she is disappointed because she thinks he chose her only based on her appearance, while she wants to be known and loved for who she is inside; meanwhile, Marc carries scars both physical and emotional, and thinks rich beautiful women are cold and heartless (so it makes no sense I was undecided what to rate this. This book is partly set in a country which doesn't exist (Zulheina), which the heroine is from. The whole conflict stems from the fact that Marc didn't court Hina before the marriage so she is disappointed because she thinks he chose her only based on her appearance, while she wants to be known and loved for who she is inside; meanwhile, Marc carries scars both physical and emotional, and thinks rich beautiful women are cold and heartless (so it makes no sense that he chooses her, because he has dreams of what he wants out of marriage). They have a lot of misunderstandings because both jump to conclusions about each other and Hida in particular is not honest about how she feels. Marc was dumb and apparently didn't bother to find out much about her culture or clan prior to the marriage, despite supposedly being a hot-shot international businessman. He keeps misjudging her and causing hurt, and to protect herself she withdraws and replies curtly, which makes him think she is an ice princess and sort of cements the misjudgement. Granted, when he finally starts figuring out that she is fearful and insecure he starts to be more gentle and careful with her, but I think I got impatient with all the misunderstandings and wrong signals they gave each other. It is a good portrayal of the pitfalls of inter-cultural marriage, but the story fell flat for me. It felt contrived and unnatural.

  13. 5 out of 5

    3 things you should never do when reading a Nalini Singh book: 1) Never rush it. Take your time and let the words sing in your blood and rest in your bones. She's so incredibly talented, you can only spectate in awe and savour her genius. 2) Never focus solely on one aspect of her writing. Nalini can do so much, so well. She's awesome at setting, at characterisation, at plot etc. but to get caught up in one is to allow a whole lot of creativity to go to waste. She has the wonderful and unique abi 3 things you should never do when reading a Nalini Singh book: 1) Never rush it. Take your time and let the words sing in your blood and rest in your bones. She's so incredibly talented, you can only spectate in awe and savour her genius. 2) Never focus solely on one aspect of her writing. Nalini can do so much, so well. She's awesome at setting, at characterisation, at plot etc. but to get caught up in one is to allow a whole lot of creativity to go to waste. She has the wonderful and unique ability of masterfully weaving every minuscule piece of a story together. So delicately in fact, that before you know it, you're caught up in her world and don't want to leave. She makes her imagination, a reality. Crazy respect for her. 3) Never ever underestimate her. Nalini Singh is one of my favourite authors and even when she's got you questioning and confused, even a little mad that things aren't going smoothly, have faith that she'll blindside you and pull off the most wonderful, spectacular novel. This book in particular began with a lot of misunderstandings- the bane of my life. But she handled them with such grace and wisdom of the human psyche, that I was with the characters the whole way. I understood and I empathised. And as a reader, that's all I can ask. So before I begin this review properly, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Nalini Singh, for sharing your magic with the world. This was a short story set between Zulheil (a fictional desert) and Louisiana. Such starkly different places like the two characters of this book. On one hand, we have Hira - as beautiful, complex and fiery as the desert she loves. And we have Marc - a man hardened by his childhood, strong and sure, with a heart as big as the world. This was an interesting take on instalove. A more realistic approach I think. Hira and Marc met when Marc was in Zulheil for business with her wealthy father. It's a classic- eyes meeting, smiles shared and destiny put in motion. I loved it. However, affairs of the heart are never so simple. Whilst there was an immediate awareness from Hira and a responsive possession within Marc, the way events progressed left both under false illusions. The future was suddenly so unsure for these soon-to-be lovers who can't release the past enough to grab hold of love. The misunderstandings were rife, especially at the start. I hated it. But logically, I knew it had to happen. Both were so guarded, each catching glimpses of the true person under their barriers. Not willing to give up on a dream, a dream that was born the moment they locked eyes. That one smile they shared was a memory cradled in their hearts. The reason I knocked off a star was simply because at times, I found them infuriating. I understand broken people. I've read enough, I've met enough, to understand that people who have been hurt don't want to experience the same again. In this case, both characters had been hurt. But no good comes from keeping that pain fresh (I found Hira mostly peeved me off). It's a safety mechanism, push people away so you're protected. So you're not so vulnerable. But it hurts to see two people you're rooting for, two soul mates, hurting each other. Ughhhhhhh. One of my favourite things about this book was Marc. I adored Marc. He was magnetic and dominant. The very epitome of an alpha male. Not the silly, OTT kind (though there's a time and place for every kind), but the protective, caring and passionate kind. Absolutely the highlight of this book. Very tempted to read it all over again, just for him. He was so domineering, so blatantly male but also gentle and capable of giving so much for those he cares about. The little orphan boys who he supported and cared for, and who he planned to adopt, bore testament to his devotion and loyalty. He was passion and logic. He was fire and ice. The most intriguing and alluring of temptations. In short, he had me all frazzled. Also, on a side note, how in the hell can Nalini Singh bring so much depth and complexity to a novel and to her characters in a short story?!. Wow. But moving on from that, I loved watching the slow warming, the understanding, develop. Nalini Singh really gets human nature. She always displays startling perceptions and writes so exquisitely. There were ups and downs, for sure. But there was tenderness, passion and above all, love. This was an excellent read :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    ML Blair

    Not my favorite Nalini Singh book. Happy ending yes, but the ride there was bumpy. 'Meh', take it or leave it.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    This story annoyed me a little. I was really optimistic about it because it starts in the same location as Desert Warrior, but this story didn’t leave me hopeful like Desert Warrior. I don’t usually feel bad for both characters in romance novels but this is one full of so much miscommunication that I can’t help but feel sorry for them. The both have been hurt so bad that they are trying to protect themselves from more hurt. Both are traumatized from a rough youth and abuse from people who should This story annoyed me a little. I was really optimistic about it because it starts in the same location as Desert Warrior, but this story didn’t leave me hopeful like Desert Warrior. I don’t usually feel bad for both characters in romance novels but this is one full of so much miscommunication that I can’t help but feel sorry for them. The both have been hurt so bad that they are trying to protect themselves from more hurt. Both are traumatized from a rough youth and abuse from people who should have loved and provided for them. Their other problem is that they keep making assumptions about the other person’s life based of what they have seen of each other’s worlds. I wanted them to be together because I could see that they were so wrong about each other. Definitely not what I was expecting but I really like seeing how an author experimented with their writing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nadeschda

    It almost became an "ok" read.. I think I never read something as cheasy as this book. I had to cringe everytime I read the words "husband" or "wife" to just name two of many other. But since I adore Nalini's newer books I wanted to read the older ones as well. It's impressive how much her style changed over the years!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lady Jaye

    this is probably the best silhouette romance from Nalini Singh that I've read so far. The hero was yummy, and the heroine made me smile throughout. I enjoyed seeing how vulnerable they both were with each other because of hurts from their past. goo book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    July

    I loved this book. This is a small book, but packs a punch. This author is one to have on your bookshelf.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)

    oh this is ridiculous

  20. 5 out of 5

    MissKitty

    I found it very boring. Too beautiful for words heroine, from a desert kingdom is forced to marry the Hero, a scared, tough billionaire who pulled himself up by his bootstraps. It was a good premise and sex was hot, but I couldn’t connect with the characters. Nothing really happened, they keep having sex until they realise they have deeper feelings for each other. The end.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Morganaa

    4.5 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Nalini's writing really matured over the years, that's for sure.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leyns

    Excellent depth and story for a mills n boon length read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rubina

    What I liked...... The characters were very distinct. Each had their own fears and insecurities. Both the characters were equal in terms of their insecurities and passion. I could relate to Hira very well, especially, when she was fighting for her rights as a woman. When she thought Marc was being patronizing, she stood up to him. When she thought that he was having a secret, she fought to know it and when she felt that Mac was being aloof she fought for her love. All in all, she was a complete w What I liked...... The characters were very distinct. Each had their own fears and insecurities. Both the characters were equal in terms of their insecurities and passion. I could relate to Hira very well, especially, when she was fighting for her rights as a woman. When she thought Marc was being patronizing, she stood up to him. When she thought that he was having a secret, she fought to know it and when she felt that Mac was being aloof she fought for her love. All in all, she was a complete woman who could overcome her insecurities, adjust to a new land and fight for her love. Marc, with all his scars and insecurities, was a lovable character when he was not being a pain in the neck. (Ahem!!) But what I loved about him was when he opened an account for his mother in law, understanding that she had to beg her husband for money. (That made me fall in love with Marc!!) What I didn't like...... Marc to some extend seemed pig headed and he seemed to solve all his anger, disagreement and sorrow by ‘romping’ on the bed. That characteristic of Marc makes him a bit shallow for me. The second thing which I found a bit off putting was Hira always acting without any flaws and being too good to be true. She went on calling March ‘Husband’ and the way she spoke English, though suited with her character, was a bit off-putting. Rating: **** On the whole I loved the story. The love and passion between them was palpable. I would give this story 4 out of 5 stars. The one star I am taking away for Marc’s pigheadedness.(Hmm. I can be stubborn too.....) The full review is in my blog: http://rubinaramesh.blogspot.com/

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sati Marie Frost

    Marc meets Hira while he's visiting her desert home, and instantly falls in lust. He has to have her. So, in accord with the customs of her country, he makes her his bride and takes her home to the southern United States. But as time goes by, Marc and Hira realise that they don't really know each other, and that in order to make their marriage work, they need to find some common ground. I'm cringing, because I have to say something that I rarely say on Goodreads, or in general. I hated this book. O Marc meets Hira while he's visiting her desert home, and instantly falls in lust. He has to have her. So, in accord with the customs of her country, he makes her his bride and takes her home to the southern United States. But as time goes by, Marc and Hira realise that they don't really know each other, and that in order to make their marriage work, they need to find some common ground. I'm cringing, because I have to say something that I rarely say on Goodreads, or in general. I hated this book. Ouch. I'm sorry, I really am, because a) Ms Singh seems like a nice lady; b) most other people have rated it highly; and c) I really don't like hating a book that someone has put a lot of effort into writing. But I can't lie. I loathed it. Marc I found tolerable, if a little flat, but Hira struck me as being arrogant, argumentative and temperamental at best, and often I found her cruel and vindictive. I can't imagine how I would handle her situation, and I have a lot of sympathy and pity for her, but absolutely no like. After the first forty pages I had to give up and skim-read the book (something I rarely do), and I did find one scene - the one where she's baking with a bunch of boys in foster care - where I found her not-entirely-intolerable, but by that time it was just too late for me to work up any kind of appreciation for her. I think it's best that I put this one in the to-sell pile, and don't think about it again. 1 star.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rhapsody

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Marc is a very rich American from New Orleans who grew up in the slums, scarred both inside and out by his parents' abuse. Hira grew up somewhere in the Middle East to a very wealthy family. She's beautiful and treated as an ornament despite her intelligence. Betrayed and insulted by the man she thought she loved, she accepts Marc's marriage proposal six months later, even though he's basically buying her from her father along with the business deal they've drawn up. Marc has serious issues beca Marc is a very rich American from New Orleans who grew up in the slums, scarred both inside and out by his parents' abuse. Hira grew up somewhere in the Middle East to a very wealthy family. She's beautiful and treated as an ornament despite her intelligence. Betrayed and insulted by the man she thought she loved, she accepts Marc's marriage proposal six months later, even though he's basically buying her from her father along with the business deal they've drawn up. Marc has serious issues because he's insecure both about his past and his scars. Hira has issues because she's tired of being treated as a pretty thing instead of a person. Their first few day together in America are rocky before Hira makes an effort to bridge the gap between them. It was entertaining, probably the most entertaining romance novel I've read for a while. Compared to all the erotica crap I've sampled recently, it was incredible. Still, I sort of groan and roll my eyes when I see the heroine at the orphanage the gruff hero visits in secret, and even more so when she starts winning the kids over with her warmhearted tenderness. I mean...come on...talk about cheap cliches.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tonya Warner

    Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman. Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might just be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they gave him an even more dangerous male air, enticing the feminine core of her to thoughts that shocked her. What did a man's Marc was dangerous to her in the way that only a strong, sexy male could be to a woman. Even knowing that, she'd agreed to marry him Hope blossomed in Hira's heart. Perhaps she'd married a man with whom it might just be worth building a life. Her mother had worried that he was scarred, but the lines on his face did nothing to lessen his raw masculine appeal. If anything, they gave him an even more dangerous male air, enticing the feminine core of her to thoughts that shocked her. What did a man's face matter anyway? She had no use for handsome men. But for a man with a heart? For such a man...she might risk everything. A nice story. Slow in spots and never answers what happens to the rest of the boys in the orphanage.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Juana "Darkness" Duran

    I like how in the beginning it shows the human greed to it's perfection. With Hira's first boyfriend, it was the money he wanted but when she escaped from her father's tyrany he spurned her. She couldn't believe how dumb she was after ward. But with Marc, whom her father arranged the marriage, she had to go with. Hira wants so much to trust him, but she doesn't want her heart to be crushed again like with her first love. Marc just wants a chance to be good to her but since she has problems trust I like how in the beginning it shows the human greed to it's perfection. With Hira's first boyfriend, it was the money he wanted but when she escaped from her father's tyrany he spurned her. She couldn't believe how dumb she was after ward. But with Marc, whom her father arranged the marriage, she had to go with. Hira wants so much to trust him, but she doesn't want her heart to be crushed again like with her first love. Marc just wants a chance to be good to her but since she has problems trusting men he starts by wooing her first. Even though he has a scar on his face Hira starts believing in second chances at love and she finds that Marc is different. For once someone doesn't want to marry her for her money.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mollie *scoutrmom*

    Nalini Singh has written an excellent tale of two wounded souls who must learn to trust. They come from vastly differing cultures, with backgrounds that make them reluctant to communicate. She has been repressed, but her spirit burned deep within the self-protective shell. He had been neglected and abused, but is thirsting to be loved. This scenario was fairly well fleshed out, but not with the skill that Singh shows in her later work. Jasmine and Tariq of Desert Warrior make an appearance.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Speed

    This story was alright. It starts off with Marc marrying Hira. If you remember Hira was mentioned in another book by Singh called Desert Warrior. There is some mild angst and that's due to Hira's innocence and watching her Dad being a total douche bag to her Mom. It ended up in an HEA, however I felt a lot of the misunderstanding could've been avoided if they both understood that they really didn't know too much about each other and came together to learn about themselves rather than let doubt p This story was alright. It starts off with Marc marrying Hira. If you remember Hira was mentioned in another book by Singh called Desert Warrior. There is some mild angst and that's due to Hira's innocence and watching her Dad being a total douche bag to her Mom. It ended up in an HEA, however I felt a lot of the misunderstanding could've been avoided if they both understood that they really didn't know too much about each other and came together to learn about themselves rather than let doubt plant its seed. 3.5 stars!

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