Review: Princess of Barrakesch
QUEEN OF BARRAKESCH - Delaney Diamond
Garden Avenue Press
BUY
April 2020
Contemporary Romance
REVIEWER: Cheryl McNeil | RATING: A
REVIEW:  QUEEN OF BARRAKESCH is the third and final book in The Royal Brides Series. Prince Wasim, heir to the throne of Barrakesch and Imani, the Country’s Zamidian ambassador, are mentioned in previous books and the reader is eager to learn more about them.

Ms. Diamond aptly describes the setting in the opening scene.  There is a perfect visual of Wasim, looking up at the beautiful night sky as he is interacting with his family. He has a sense of calm that is short lived when he finds out his father has called for him.

Wasim develops a friendship with Imani that starts when Prince Kofi asks Wasim to keep an eye on his cousin. They have a playful relationship, which includes flirting and the occasional touch outside of the conservative country. Something changes after they share an unexpected encounter. Wasim has fallen hard. Imani has feelings too, but they have yet to be explored. Their inner thoughts about each other are totally different from how they interact in public. However increasingly difficult, they both remain true to traditions and maintain a level of professionalism. Ms. Diamond has crafted a story that explores courting, while staying true to the beliefs of the Country. It was interesting to learn about marriage practices in other cultures.

Imani and Wasim are both at pivotal moments in their lives. Imani refuses to have an arranged marriage. Her time as Ambassador is winding down and she’s worked hard for her home country, but has also kept Woman’s issues at the forefront. She’s more interested in her passions than getting married. Wasim has to get married in order to become King. The fake engagement is far-fetched until the layers are pulled back: They are physically attracted to each other, they share a similar sense of humor and they are both independent, focused and rebellious.

Ms. Diamond explores customs in the royal world and how women and men are treated different.  Imani felt she would suffocate under a domineering man like Wasim. Things get tricky as the King and his fiercely independent Queen try to navigate this new world together.

Ms. Diamond takes a detour from the path to HEA that keeps the reader engaged. With
QUEEN OF BARRAKESCH, Ms. Diamond has saved the best for last.

27th April 2020 | romcol@caribsurf.com
(A)