I was only seven when my parents died, and the royal family took me in as their ward. I grew up with a loving princess for a foster mother and two handsome sheikhs as honorary big brothers.
Everyone thinks I'm lucky.
And I used to think so, too...until I realized that my feelings for Sheikh Malik had changed, and I wanted him in ways that could only be forbidden.
When reading the summary, I can tell it will be a childhood love story but having the story being told my Malik most of the time makes it a great book. There are always parts where they are funny and parts that you never get to see from different romance books. I love the different short love story that is also part of this book. I also love that the entire royal family knows that they were meant for each other and don't care about while the world doesn't think like the old days just because these two were raised like family and look like family from the outside.
- Amazon 5-star review
“Rayyan, now!” The command came from Khalil, and his blue-eyed cousin whirled around, taking the opponents behind him by surprise. His sword came into contact with the soldiers’ vest, and the pair immediately bowed out of the fight.
Ten more minutes passed, and their enemies – which had started at a mere number of thirty – were now down to ten. Khalil’s gaze scanned his surroundings like surveying a battlefield and wasted no time making his decision. “Cover for Malik.” In war, every second was vital. “Now!”
He and the others cleared the path for their youngest brother in blood---
One by one, their opponents fell to the ground and tapped out of the fight.
That was to be expected.
But the manner in which Malik executed their strategy was not, and it had everyone in the fighting hall silent and stunned, the other sheikhs included. The speed with which Malik delivered his attack, the daredevil risks he was taking, the barely leashed violence in every strike of his sword---
When Malik suddenly swung to face them, the four sheikhs involuntarily tensed, their hands poised above the swords they had already sheathed. Malik stared at them, breathing hard, and the four sheikhs looked back at him. All of them shared the same unspoken and utterly discomfiting thought.
Had jealousy turned Malik batshit crazy?
Sanity gradually returned to Malik, and he said tightly, “I’m okay.”
The four continued to look at him. Malik might think he was okay, only he looked anything but. Right now, their youngest brother looked no different from a beast about to go on a rampage.
“I’ve been thinking,” Malik muttered. “What do you think of attending Kyrillos Gazis’ weekend cruise?”
It was midnight by the time the royal helicopters carrying the five sheikhs landed on the yacht’s helipad, and as soon as they descended, several long-legged beauties in uniform moved forward to welcome them with sexy smiles and non-alcoholic cocktails. That the staff knew better than to offer the sheikhs liquor was testament to their employer’s exacting standards on hospitality, and even Rayyan was grudgingly impressed. “Smart move.” As the kingdom’s future head of finance, he had to acknowledge the subtle excellence of their host’s marketing strategy. With just a simple act of service, the Greek billionaire had let his young guests know that he was the man to consider when it came to business ventures in the recreational industry.
“Careful, brother,” Tarif said with a smirk as they went to join the other guests in the yacht’s upper deck. “The euros in your eyes are starting to shine.”
His cousin only shrugged. “Fucking bimbos can only keep me entertained for so long.” Making money was his favorite pastime, and he saw no shame in it. “Besides---” His knowing gaze slid to their youngest cousin. “I’m determined to make the most out of this emergency trip.”
Malik frowned when he saw that the other sheikhs were looking at him. “What?”
“Feeling better now?” Altair asked politely.
He started to ask what the hell Altair meant when he saw their cousins turn to him again, their expressions guarded, and in a flash, he realized that they had all seen through him. No wonder they had been so quick to accept his invitation to attend Kyrillos Gazis’ party.
As they had willingly flown out of Ramil to keep him company, Malik knew he owed them the truth at the very least. Shaking his head, he heard himself say flatly, “No.” His lips twisted. “I don’t feel better. I still feel fucked, and it’s been so long that I can no longer remember what normal feels like.”
A pained expression crossed Tarif’s face. “That bad, eh?” He tried imagining himself in Malik’s shoes. How would it feel if the young girl he had forbidden feelings for were about to go to prom with another boy? He supposed he would want to smash his fist into the boy’s face---
Tarif glanced at his cousin, and the harsh lines of ill-suppressed violence outlining Malik’s face told him that was exactly what the other sheikh was feeling. And probably more than that, too, Tarif thought, discomfited. The truth was, the word ‘love’ had no meaning for him beyond the filial sense. He could try to imagine how Malik was feeling, but he knew no matter what his imagination was able to conjure---
It would be nothing like whatever Malik was feeling and had been struggling with for years.
“Why don’t you just marry her?” he asked finally. “In the eyes of our law, sixteen is of marriageable age as long as you have the parents’ consent---”
“Even if my own mother were to agree,” Malik said flatly, “I wouldn’t want to do that to her.”
“Eighteen then?” Khalil suggested pragmatically.
Malik shook his head. “She’d still be too young---”
“She’ll always be too young, Malik,” Rayyan pointed out. “You’re ten years older. No matter how much time passes, that will never change.”
“I just can’t do that to her,” Malik gritted out under his breath. “Okay?” His dark gaze swung to his brother. “You at least understand that, don’t you?”
“I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t.” Altair loathed seeing his younger brother suffer, but since Kyria was also his sister, he couldn’t help agreeing with what Malik was saying. Eighteen was still too young, but…how much waiting should Malik condemn himself to?
Looking at Malik, he said with a shake of his head, “You’ve always had a knack for making trouble, but this…” Sardonic humor flashed in Altair’s eyes. “I have to hand it to you, Malik. You could have any girl in the world throw herself at your feet, and yet you just had to pick the one girl you can’t have.”
Malik raised his glass in a mock toast, saying, “And since the five of us are supposedly bound by the same fate, may all of us want the girl we can never have.”
Everyone sputtered and cursed as they realized what they were toasting to, none of them taking it lightly since there was a Ramilian myth about a king and his four vassals that revolved around the five men sharing the same fate.