The Sheikh's Destiny

By: Olivia Gates

The marriage seduction

He has found his destiny. But to claim the throne of Azmahar, Rashid Aal Munsoori needs Laylah Aal Shalaan. Seducing her into marriage will defeat his rivals—and if she becomes pregnant with his heir, his hold on his homeland will be complete.

Laylah has always secretly loved Rashid. Her sexy sheikh might be scarred inside and out, but that only makes her love him more…until she discovers his true motives. She may never again trust her lover, but how can she walk away from the father of her unborn child—a baby destined to ally their two desert kingdoms forever?

“Marriage!” The Word Rang Out Again Before She Could Hold It Back.

But who could blame her? Last morning, she’d woken up never expecting to see Rashid again. This morning, she woke up in his bed.

“Of course. I took your innocence.”

“You didn’t ‘take my innocence,’ I gave it to you. And will you stop being so archaic and so—so…Azmaharian?”

“You’re refusing to marry me?”

Her heartstrings shook at the darkness in his rumble. “I’m refusing to introduce the concept of ‘marriage’ at this point.”

And if displeasure could take form, it would wear just that face. “Marriage between us now is not a concept, it’s a necessity.”

Dear Reader,

When Rashid Aal Munsoori walked into the Desert Knights trilogy’s first book, The Sheikh’s Redemption, and hijacked the spotlight during his scenes, he intrigued me the most of all my Harlequin Desire heroes to date. With each glimpse he revealed of himself, I knew I had my darkest, most tormented, most ruthless Desire hero yet. I couldn’t wait for him to tell me his whole story. And for a heroine to undertake the seemingly impossible task of soothing this scarred beast and laying his demons to rest.

But I knew I had my work cut out for me. For what woman could see through his armor of disfigurement and distance, let alone persevere until she’d uncovered the passionate, forever-man he could be?

Then I discovered I had already created that heroine. Laylah Aal Shalaan had appeared in To Tame a Sheikh, the first book of my previous trilogy, Pride of Zohayd. And she told me she’d loved Rashid all her life. Did that turn the unapproachable Rashid inside out!

What followed was a roller coaster of emotions as Laylah unraveled the bonds around Rashid’s soul and replaced them with those of her love, only to discover at her happiest that their relationship had all been a lie. Or was it?

Read on and learn the truth behind the secrets that wrap up Desert Knights among the upheavals that the lovers have to survive to reach their happy ending. I hope you enjoy reading their story as much as I did writing it.

I love to hear from readers, so email me at [email protected] And please stay connected with me on Facebook at my fan page Olivia Gates Author, and on Twitter @OliviaGates.

Thanks for reading!



Laylah Aal Shalaan felt a shiver burn down her spine.

It wasn’t the below-zero Chicago December evening. That would have caused ice, not fire, to shudder through her veins.

This sensation had scalded through her so many times during the past few weeks, it was as if she were having hot flashes. Which would be some record at age twenty-seven. But then she held other unwelcome records. Like being the only female born to her family in forty years. Why not throw in premature menopause, too?

Not that she really thought abnormal hormones were at work here. An outside influence was. One she couldn’t detect when she’d tried to investigate it, though she’d been certain of its cause for some time.

Someone was watching her.

This felt nothing like having the security detail she’d once had breathing down her neck. Those men had never tried to hide themselves, and to hell with her personal space. Though she shouldn’t have resented them. They’d been doing their job. Of course, with her safety no longer among anyone’s priorities for the past two years, there were no more guards dogging her steps.

Not that she thought that she needed protection. She observed normal safety protocols, like anyone who lived in Chicago did. And since she’d exiled herself from Zohayd and come to live in the Windy City, she always had.

Until tonight.

Usually she would go home with Mira, her business partner and roommate. But Mira had left to see her father, who had been taken to the E.R. in another state. So here she was, alone at night for the first time in more than two years, leaving the deserted building from the back exit that opened onto an equally empty back street.

Not that that had anything to do with what she now felt.

She’d entered the building accompanied by the sensation of being enveloped in that watchful force field. She’d stepped out only to be caught in its electrifying embrace again.

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