Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Book Review ~ HIS DESERT BRIDE BY DEMAND by Lela May Wight

His Desert Bride by Demand
by: Lela May Wight
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 26, 2022
Publisher: Harlequin Presents

The desert prince will finally make her his bride in this dramatic reunion romance by debut author Lela May Wight!

He asked for a night
Now he requires her hand!

Newly orphaned Charlotte Hegarty is ready to start living her life. She’s determined a reckless encounter with her first love, Prince Akeem, will free her from the past. Maybe then she’ll be able to forget him…

Akeem wants to show Charlotte what she gave up when she turned her back on him. So he sweeps her away to his desert kingdom, intent on seduction. Yet when their secret tryst threatens to become a scandal, duty-bound Akeem makes an outrageous demand: Charlotte will be his queen!

From Harlequin Presents: Escape to exotic locations where passion knows no bounds.

You know how you can read an excerpt of a book and know without a shadow of a doubt that it’s going to be special, and you just have to read it? That was me with debut author Lela May Wight’s His Desert Bride by Demand. I’m not necessarily a Harlequin Presents reader but I have loved the ones I’ve read. Lela May is awe-inspiring as I found her writing to be on par with authors who have written ten-plus books for the line. If this is what her debut is like, I can’t wait to read her next book.

His Desert Bride by Demand is a story with several romantic tropes meshed together. This is a marriage of convenience, royal romance with betrayal and revenge thrown in, but ultimately this is a second chance romance.

At the age of sixteen, Charlotte Hegarty found herself in the foster care system, after it was discovered her father was a drunk and couldn’t take care of her properly. While in a group home, Charlotte met almost 18-year-old Akeem Ali who for over ten years had bounced between foster families and group homes. Akeem quickly became Charlotte’s first friend and first everything. Charlotte was shy and closed off, having learned to keep quiet about her home life. Akeem was a loving and caring simple guy, hiding behind a gruff exterior. Together they found peace and love. With the money Akeem was to receive from aging out of the system, the two planned to elope and spend the rest of their lives together.

Unfortunately, the dream of young love going the distance didn’t pan out. Charlotte remained in London, giving up the art she loved so much and taking care of her father. Akeem was whisked away to Taliedaa, a small up-and-coming desert kingdom, where he was named Crown Prince and the only blood heir to the throne. Ten years have passed, and Akeem is poised to take the throne and become king. Before he’s forced to give up his basic wants to give and live his life for his people, he wants to get revenge on Charlotte for turning her back on him, while showing her how sad and pathetic her life is. When Akeem comes to her, Charlotte is at a crossroads in her life, having just buried her father. She agrees to one night with him, in order to close out their past. But things don’t go according to plan. The result is an in-name-only, marriage of convenience.

His Desert Bride by Demand has so much more going on than what I’ve mentioned. Akeem is a misguided, conflicted man who at times will make you despise him. At other times, your heart will break for him. The same can be said for Charlotte. These two are so similar at times, but also polar opposites. Charlotte is so full of kindness and this incredible light. She has every right to be upset and blame the world, but she doesn’t.

Fairy tales teach us that the prince rescues the fair maiden and turns her into his princess. Akeem might have rescued Charlotte from being alone in this world and given her the courage to stand tall and follow her dreams, but she did so much more for him. She made him remember who he truly was and understand that he didn't have to forget his past to embrace his future.

Trigger warnings: Alcoholism, abuse (mental/emotional, physical parent to child, historical)


“I have never known anything easy.”

“I am worthy of more.”

“Your past isn’t the enemy.”

“Your feelings are valid. They make you strong.”

“Everybody deserves love.”

“You should have broken, but you didn’t even bend.”

“Life can be hard sometimes, and then at other times it can be…magical.”

“It’s okay to be afraid when everything is changing.”

**Received a copy of the book from the author and voluntarily read and reviewed.**

Rating: 4.5

Purchase His Desert Bride by Demand from:

👑 You can read my interview for Lela May here. Plus, there's an opportunity to win a paperback copy of the book. 👑

Lela May Wight grew up with seven brothers and sisters. Yes, it was noisy, and she often found escape in romance books. She now hopes she can offer readers the same escapism when the world is a little too loud.
Places to find Lela May Wight:

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