Amani Bantish has been passed over five times for marriage. She fears she has no hope for a husband until finally, the Spider Prince accepts her as his bride. Not for love, but to bear him an heir.
Two years ago, Ziyad Bihar lost his first wife, Karis, and their unborn son under the hooves of a raider’s horse. No one else could possibly compare to the woman he’d once loved, therefore his new bride will not be his princess.
But Ziyad cannot deny that the more he gets to know Amani, the more he fantasizes about his minx of a wife. Yet his loyalty to Karis pulls him deeper into his despair. When Amani’s life is threatened by the very man responsible for Karis’s death, Ziyad realizes he must fight for the woman he loves, or risk losing it all again.
I have mixed feelings about this book.
The first half of the book was beautiful. The writing was poignant and sad but powerful. I found myself crying for the couple’s plight. Ziyad felt he was betraying his first wife’s memory and Amari only wanted him to love her. The pacing was great and I really felt both sides of the struggle – though I really thought that Ziyad was (more than) a bit of an asshat. The way he treated Amari was rather disgraceful but the author does a good job of making sure that the reader doesn’t completely dislike Ziyad. It’s clear to the reader that Ziyad had not really let go of his first wife but he had no real idea how much he was hurting Amari.
Just as we start getting to what I think should have been the climax of the book – it felt as if a different writer takes over. I felt as if the author had a list of things she wanted to do so she dumped a bunch of unnecessary things in the pot. Suddenly the pace picks up dramatically, the tone changes and the story rushes off in a different direction.
The entire plot line dealing with the Cobra Prince felt rushed and badly paced. The section with the Cobra strangling his wife to death while masturbating on her face was so very unnecessary (and super gross) – as well as the scene when the Cobra tries to rape Amari.
4 stars for the first half
2 stars for the second half