Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Series: The Ladies of the Aristocracy #2
Publication Date: 1/6/23
Period: 1841 – Victorian – Ottoman Empire
Number of Pages: 332
This book was a delightful surprise! While I always enjoy Linda Rae Sande’s books, this one was a departure from her usual locations and circumstances and I thoroughly enjoyed her departure. Heavens – we have honest-to-goodness (or badness) pirates, a Sultan, a Duchess, a rescue (or is it?)! What more could you ask for? A sizzling romance, you say? Well – you definitely get one – and then another for good measure.
Charlotte, Duchess of Chichester, has just completed her year of ‘official’ mourning for her husband and is contemplating her future. She’ll never marry again because she has already loved and now lost the love of her life. Her son is now the new duke and he has a perfectly lovely and capable new duchess, so he doesn’t need her. With the encouragement of several of her friends, she decides to take a couple of years to travel. What a momentous decision that turns out to be!
Do pirates still ply the waters of the Mediterranean? Evidently, they do, because the ship on which Charlotte and her lady’s maid, Parma, are traveling is attacked, boarded, and overtaken by pirates. They are a nasty bunch and take Charlotte and Parma to the Ottoman Empire to sell them into slavery.
Sultan Ziyaeddin is also contemplating his life – past and future. He is still mourning the loss of his one true love even after more than twenty years. Yes, he is a Sultan and has many concubines, but none of those bring him joy. They don’t even slake his lust anymore. Then, there is his empire. He wants to end all the wars, build universities, create a banking system, and generally modernize everything. He’s made a start, but how much can he accomplish in his remaining lifetime?
Ziyaeddin is both enraged and enthralled when a pirate offers to sell him a beautiful woman – for his harem or as a slave. He is enraged by the pirate – but captivated by the woman with the snapping eyes. While he would never purchase her, or force her, he would be very happy should she choose to join his household.
Ziyaeddin and Charlotte are both instantly drawn to each other, but their worlds are so far apart. Could they actually forge a loving, lasting relationship? You’ll just have to read the book to see.
We always get two romances in this author’s books and this one is no exception. Ziyaeddin and Charlotte each have a child who finds their match as well. Ah! Love is in the Mediterranean air.
I really do appreciate that this book features two middle-aged people who are both seeking to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. It does often get tiring reading about very young women finding their HEAs. Those stories are always lively and entertaining, but there is just something sigh-worthy about an older couple finding that the best is not all behind them.
I hope you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did should you choose to read it. Oh – and by the way – if you’d like to read the story of Charlotte’s first romance, it is in The Grace of A Duke from the Daughters of the Aristocracy series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
2 thoughts on “The Lady of a Sultan by Linda Rae Sande”
Thanks so much for your review!
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Your books are always lovely – thank you for sharing them with me.