I'm a bit torn on this one. The basic plot was solid, but there were times where this historical romance felt very much like a contemporary story. The dialogue, references to a cold shower, and editing hiccups all kept giving me little jolts that would take me out of the referenced time period. I have a hard time believing that a woman of Olivia's stature in the early 1900's would have allowed Khalid the access to her body that he had on the very first night of them meeting. Olivia is a young, freshly educated, middle class black woman living under the protection and care of her older brother and it was hard for me to swallow that initial scene. Maybe if she had been married before and had sexual experience before meeting Khalid it would have been a bit more believable. I have no problem with lust at first sight and instant attraction, especially in a contemporary romance. However, immediate physical contact is a bit harder to accept in a historical romance, especially when it goes as far as this scene did. Yes, I realize that this is fiction therefore pure fantasy, but it just didn't feel "right" to me.
The characters of Olivia and Khalid were well developed and played well off of each other, but there was always the feeling of the story not fitting in with the era in which it was set. I can't quite articulate what was so off for me, there were several little things that added up to the overall disconnect. If this had been set now, or even in the 1950's the story would probably have felt better for me. This was not a complete miss for me it just wasn't a home run either. Koko Brown is undoubtedly a talented writer and I will be reading more from her down the line.
Khalid Francois Duïs is a man who isn’t afraid to take what he wants. And what he wants is Olivia Bryant. His best friend’s sister, she was supposed to be off limits but Olivia quickly becomes a fever in his blood he simply can’t shake. He will do whatever it takes to have her with him and underneath him, even if it means kidnapping.
The independent woman…
Olivia Bryant vows to never marry, instead choosing to focus on her career. But a clandestine encounter with Khalid threatens her resolve. Though her mind says no, her body screams yes! Her only option is to reject the arrogant industrialist who believes a woman’s place is in his bed.
When Olivia rejects Khalid’s advances, he takes matters in his own hands and whisks her away to placate his obsession. From the tempestuous passion of their first encounter, across stormy seas, to a beautiful oasis in Africa, Olivia becomes his prisoner and a slave to Khalid’s all-consuming seduction.(