A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Review: The Jeweled Caftan by Margaret Pargeter

on November 9, 2013

What Tickled My Fancy: I guess it was kind of stereotypically funny that the asshole Moroccan hero turned out to really be French?

What Ticked Me Off: Nigh on everything.

Who Might Like It: Serious sheik fans. Except he’s not really a sheik. But the kind of sheik fans I mean wouldn’t care, right?

A watered down rip-off of The Sheik that has all the sexism and racism with none of the excitement. (Surely you could take out the rape without taking out all the zing?) The heroine Ross manages to both be a wet rag and obnoxiously feisty, generally whichever is most inappropriate at the time. (The one exception is that she does call Armel out for sexually humiliating her — one of the times he does it –so good on ya for that, Ross.)

Armel is equally free of redeeming qualities, and Ross just adores him for it. For example, right after he ruthlessly kisses her and then brutally wrenches her away, exclaiming “You don’t have to act like a little animal!” she thinks “He might have his faults, but in many ways he was wiser than herself.” The twenty year age difference and the fact that she’s been his prisoner for weeks probably helped form that point of view.

To make it worse, the whole “she’s a virgin but he thinks she’s a whore” thing is never even resolved. Chekov’s law, people. I suffered through all the times he called her “girl” and “my small, enraged prisoner,” I’m due some payback. For that reason, I can’t even give it trainwreck points.

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