Update 1/18/2012: Pocket Books contacted me thanking me for my review and participating in their blog tour of this novel. hahahaha So now I know why the book showed up on my doorstep.Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!I read this a few weeks back but I decided to take some time to sort my thoughts so that this may actually make some sense rather than having me come across as some crazed silly lunatic fan-girl.The StorylineClarinda and Ashton were childhood friends but as the years progressed, so did their feelings for each other. One night, Ashton sets out to leave his home and Clarinda behind but she catches him in a nearby meadow and the feelings that they had kept restrained for so long were finally let loose.’...the spark of animosity between them had finally flared into something so combustible it had threatened to incinerate them both.’Ashton inevitably still leaves her behind and Clarinda is heartbroken beyond all reason. As time passes and stories of Ashton are heard at home, it becomes apparent to Clarinda that he's not coming back for her so she becomes engaged to his brother, Max. Clarinda and her best friend Poppy set sail to meet up with Max for their wedding when their ship is boarded and the two women are captured by the Corsairs. Fearing the worst, the two end up being bought by the sultan Farouk and they are taken to his palace in the desert as his 'guests'. Despite the fact that he is incredibly kind to both of them, they are still not allowed to leave. Max hires his brother Ashton to rescue Clarinda from the sultan not knowing the position he's putting Ashton and Clarinda both in.ThoughtsTeresa Medeiros books were the first romance books I ever read and inevitably got me hooked from that point on. I have yet to be disappointed by her; her books never lack in originality and are always entertaining. Considering this is a 500+ book I think that says a lot for her writing. I loved the exotic Middle East setting and that the majority of the storyline was spent there.Her characters are always vibrant and full of life. You couldn’t help but love Ashton, even though there were times that you really wanted to hate him. It was painfully obvious how much Ashton and Clarinda cared for each other but he was a fool and left her and never returned. ’No matter how much it galled him, Clarinda belonged to his brother now. He had promised to return her to Max, and that was exactly what he was going to do. With any luck, Max would never find out what had transpired between Ash and Max’s bride-to-be in the meadow that morning.’On top of loving the main characters, her secondary characters were just as fabulous. Poppy was definitely my favorite character and I loved not only the friendship between her and Clarinda but her infatuation with Farouk (and vice-versa!) was simply adorable. If you enjoy romance novels, this one definitely needs to be on your list. You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, and you may even shed a tear. (I know I did!) There was a sneak peek at the end of the next book in this series (yes! A series! yay!) featuring Max. I can't wait. :DOne final note: I received a copy of this book in the mail from Simon & Schuster a week before release with no note or anything. I have no idea who to thank for this, I don't recall entering any contests for it, but I’ll have you know I was so excited I did a little dance. And giggled. A lot. So whoever you are, book fairy at Simon & Schuster, thank you.