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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 wh
Ros Clarke is visiting the Café today to chat about her new release, The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh. After the interview, Ros brought along a digital copy of her book for one of you to win!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Hi, Ros! Thanks for dropping in!
[Ros Clarke] Hello and thanks for welcoming me to the Manga Maniac Cafe today!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Ros Clarke] Fun, fat, fabulous, happy, British, clever, silly, creative, colourful, addicted to adverbs, chocolate, romance novels and daytime TV.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Oil Tycoon and Her Sexy Sheikh?
[Ros Clarke] It’s a traditional category romance, with truly twenty-first century characters. The Oil Tycoon is Olivia McInnes, a fiercely determined career woman who intends to take over the running of her father’s oil company. And Her Sexy Sheikh is Khaled Saqat, a marine biologist and expert on the long-term effects of oil spills. The problem is that there is oil in Saqat waters and Olivia wants the contract to drill. Khaled can’t think of anything worse – but his country needs the money, so he has to find a way to negotiate with Olivia to come up with a solution that works for them both. Their romance is just as complicated to negotiate as their business partnership but of course there is a happy ever after – eventually!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Ros Clarke] I love a good sheikh story, but most of them seem to bear absolutely no resemblance to the real world of the Middle East. I wanted to try to write something a bit more realistic. Oil was the obvious place to start. And if you’ve got oil, then you’ve got environmentalists protesting about it. The lightbulb moment for me was when I realised that the sheikh could be the environmentalist which let the heroine be the oil executive. Everything else followed from there.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Olivia?
[Ros Clarke] Ambitious, independent, lonely
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Khaled would never have in his bedroom?
[Ros Clarke] A hot water bottle, a cute picture of a baby dugong, a cat. Actually, I don’t know about the cat, but I wouldn’t have one, so I am projecting.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Khaled had a theme song, what would it be?
[Ros Clarke] Whale Song, Pearl Jam
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Ros Clarke] I suppose it’s the authors I’ve read most: Dorothy L Sayers, Dick Francis, Georgette Heyer. They all wrote genre fiction but they all wrote intelligent, interesting books with believable characters and realistic settings. They are books you can fall into and inhabit. I don’t think my writing is anywhere like as good, but that’s what I’m aiming for.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Ros Clarke] Time, lack of stress, laptop
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Ros Clarke] Kate Hewitt’s The Darkest of Secrets. I loved the way she explored the taboo subject of adultery in romance and I really loved the way she made the hero work for his happy ending. I don’t want to say any more because it will spoil the story, but if you haven’t already, go read it!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned y
Elvin Lim is Assistant Professor of Government at Wesleyan University and author of The Anti-intellectual Presidency, which draws on interviews with more than 40 presidential speechwriters to investigate this relentless qualitative decline, over the course of 200 years, in our presidents’ ability to communicate with the public. He also blogs at www.elvinlim.com. In the article below, he examines our nation’s concepts of vengeance and justice in light of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s forthcoming trial in New York City. See Lim’s previous OUPblogs here.
There are four reasons which have been supplied to suggest that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) does not deserve a civilian trial in New York:
1. This is what KSM wants – a show trial, and he should not get what he desires.
2. The trial will increase the risks of a terrorist attack in New York.
3. Classified information will be released in a civilian court trial, to the benefit of potential future terrorists.
4. The injury KSM has inflicted is a war crime, and not a domestic criminal matter.
1-3 are unverifiable predictions, sub-points to the main point, 4, which is the motive force behind the considerable agitation behind Attorney General, Eric Holder’s decision. Those who oppose a civilian trial for KSM want vengeance more than they want justice. This is exactly what Michael Goodwin has argued:
“Either try the detainees in military courts on secure bases or, best of all, give them death now. Mohammed and some others already acknowledged guilt and said they were ready to die.
I say we take yes for an answer.”
Well, there we have it. Goodwin wants vengeance primarily, and justice only incidentally. Now, vengeance and justice are not unrelated. Vengeance presumes the existence of guilt, so the pursuit of vengeance can lead to justice. Indeed, in an anarchic, godless world of all against all, vengeance is the closest thing there is to justice. To speak of justice would be a categorical mistake because without the apparatus of sovereignty and law, it is a standard that stands on stilts. We say “Justice under the Law” because without law, justice is a meaningless concept.
Goodwin and others like Mayor Rudy Giuliani who want to deny KSM a civilian trial believe, though they have not fully articulated their reasons, that the international milieu exists as a state of nature in which there is no universal law and no universally accepted sovereign law-giver, and therefore, the pursuit of justice is folly and the pursuit of vengeance necessary. If there is neither legality nor illegality, then there is only strength and weakness. Vengeance will have to do. This is why Rudy Giuliani insists on the frame that we are a nation at war, that we are dealing with terrorists or “enemy combatants” and not what John Yoo called “garden-variety criminals.”
To be sure, in a government of laws such as in a liberal democracy, justice takes on higher attributes that vengeance does not (and cannot). While justice is about law; vengeance is about necessity because it privileges immediate judgment over the process that would deliver such a judgment. While vengeance gives specific solace to those who were injured, justice assures all citizens that the system in which they conduct themselves works, – i.e., while vengeance is pointed, justice is blind, and while vengeance is preponderant, justice is proportionate.
Well and good. But as we consider whether or not KSM should have been granted a civilian trial, we need to determine the context in which we make this judgment: is terrorism a domestic criminal matter or an act of war? If the context is the former, then the Constitution takes precedence and it makes sense to speak of justice and that is what KSM deserves. If it is the latter, then because there is neither universal law nor a sovereign law-giver in the international milieu, KSM will have to suffer our vengeance because justice is not an alternative.
We have not settled on an answer to this question of whether or not terrorism is a criminal or a war crime because our historical definition of war has not caught up with its modern incarnation in which deterritorialized non-state actors perpetrate acts of violence. Our discussion over what KSM deserves is a footnote to this larger debate.