Title: The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh
Author: Ros Clarke
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
May Contain Spoilers
His duty, her dreams, undone by their desire…
In the male-dominated oil industry, executive Olivia McInnes plays a careful game – she’s cold, uncompromising, and ambitious as hell. Once she seals the deal to drill in the clear waters of Saqat, she’ll finally prove herself worthy to take the reins of her father’s oil company. Her only obstacle is marine biologist – and Saqat’s royal heir – Sheikh Khaled Ibm Saqat al Mayim, who’s determined to protect both his people and his country from environmental devastation…
It’s not long before Olivia’s icy cool exterior is shattered by the intelligent and wickedly hot sheikh, and business is surpassed by sweet, stolen pleasures. But outside the bedroom, there’s reality to be faced. Soon Khaled must return to his obligations – and his betrothed – in Saqat.
Caught between duty and ambition, can an oil tycoon and a sexy sheikh find room for love… or will this business deal spell disaster for them both?
I wanted to read The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh because I was curious to see how the conflict between the characters would be portrayed. Olivia is an executive at a successful oil company, and in order to ensure that she will take her father’s place when he retires, she needs to land the contract to drill for oil in the waters off of Saqat. Khaled is next in line to rule the country, but he is also a marine biologist. He has studied the long term effects of oil spills on marine life, and what he has learned is discouraging. It takes far longer than originally thought for the aquatic ecosystem to recover from the devastating consequences of a spill, and he is reluctant to allow any corporation to set up shop in his coastal waters. He doesn’t believe that safety precautions go far enough, and he thinks that the cleanup efforts outlined in the contract are also lacking. But tempering his reluctance to open up Saqat to oil investors is the need to alleviate the poverty of his people. The money from oil production would help bring education and improvements in medical care, and it is very difficult for him to turn that down. I enjoyed this conflict between these two driven people. Olivia is gung-ho to prove herself to the naysayers at her father’s company, and Khaled wants what’s best for both his country and his people. This puts them at odds with each other, and it is a heavy weight on Khaled’s shoulders. Does he allow these foreigners into the pristine waters, when there is a potential that they will bring ruin to the fragile ecosystem?
While I found the business negotiations interesting, I was not convinced about the romantic conflict between Khaled and Olivia. They are instantly attracted to each other, but because Khaled is next in line to inherit the throne, he tries to put the brakes on their budding relationship. It just can’t work out for them, because he has a duty to his people. Their relationship can’t go anywhere, because he is expected to marry a quiet, respectable Muslim girl from Saqat, and Olivia just doesn’t fit into the mold he has imagined his future wife must fit into. I didn’t buy into this conflict because the only person who had a problem with them being a couple was Khaled. Once Olivia arrived in his country, almost everyone was open and friendly with her. Everyone seemed to accept her. There was no opposition to her being in the palace, other than the opposition that Khaled brought into their relationship, so I didn’t feel that there was a sense of tension or suspense about their romance. I was a little dismayed that it took Khaled so long to question his own concerns, because he is certainly smarter than that, and as a scientist, it should have been in his nature to re-evaluate his conclusions.
Despite that complaint, I found The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh a quick, satisfying read. I gobbled this one up, was annoyed by Olivia’s distant, clueless father, and cheered her on as she sought to find a purpose in life beyond the one she had envisioned for herself. Olivia, like Khaled, put pressure on herself to be something that she thought other people expected of her. She wanted to succeed in her father’s business so much because she sought his approval, something that she never felt he had given to her. Until she meet Khaled and traveled to Saqat, she never questioned her life goals. Once she met him, though, she was forced to admit that maybe the career path she was pursuing wasn’t really the one she wanted. The final resolution ties up all of the loose ends, and finds happiness and a new purpose for both protagonists and the citizens of Saqat.
Review copy provided by publisher