Title: Our Kingdom: Arabian Nights
Author: Naduki Koujima
May Contain Spoilers
Brokenhearted when the love of his life rejects him, Raoul heads on a trip overseas to soothe his ruffled feathers. He is promptly kidnapped by Ashif, the 3rd prince of a small Arabian kingdom. Raoul discovers that Ashif is sweet and naive, and he quickly loses his heart to him. Can Raoul overcome his fear of being hurt and convince Ashif that his love is for real?
Our Kingdom: Arabian Nights pushes the envelope of believability, in a fun and refreshing way. I haven’t read Our Kingdom, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of this title. Raoul is the star here, and he ends up in a desert kingdom after fleeing first Akira, the boy he loves, and then his annoying little sisters. Ashif is interested in him because Raoul once helped his sister, and the prince wants to repay his kindness. I’m not sure how kidnapping qualifies as a gesture of appreciation, but since Ashif is so beautiful and kindhearted, Raoul quickly forgives him and falls head over heels for him.
This is a fast read, and once you pick it up, it is very, very tough to put down. Raoul and Ashif make a charismatic couple, and the book is packed with amusing personalities that make you want to learn more about them. The courtship between the leads is like a sandstorm, sudden, wild, and intense, and with the exotic setting, they even get to partake in some exciting activities, like falcon hunting and horseback riding. How cool is that?
I liked Raoul, and his lack of confidence from competing with his rival Rei made him more likeable. Raoul is very competitive, and it irks him to no end that Rei usually comes out with the upper hand. Now that he’s met Ashif, Raoul is determined to never let him go, and his controlling attitude causes friction between them.
Ashif is gentle and kind, and he really has no clue about anything. He is very naive, so Raoul has an uphill battle to win. First, Raoul has to make him understand how he feels about him, and then he has to coax him into accepting his feelings. I enjoyed the interaction between them, and was quickly convinced that they cared for each other.
Our Kingdom: Arabian Nights plays up the fantasy of being held captive by a rich and handsome desert prince, and add to the visual appeal, the illustrations are rich and detailed. This is an enjoyable and satisfying read, peopled with a wonderful cast of diverse characters.
Review copy provided by June