Friday, October 4, 2013

The Sheik Retold: An Interview with Victoria Vane

Please join me in welcoming author Victoria Vane back to Let Them Read Books! You may remember how much I enjoyed her Devil DeVere series of erotic historical romance novellas--check out my reviews of A Wild Night's Bride, The Virgin Huntress, and my double review of The Devil You Know and The Devil's Match. And if you missed Victoria's guest post on the Feast of Venus, you must click here now! Victoria has a new novel out, The Sheik Retold, her spin on the classic romance by E.M. Hull. Check out the trailer and my interview with Victoria, and then enter to win an ebook from Victoria's backlist!

Hey Victoria! When did you first read The Sheik

The Sheik by E.M. Hull has been on my TBR since I first heard about it three years ago after I stumbled on to a few friend reviews of it on Goodreads. My curiosity was piqued, but given that I despise the "forced seduction" trope, I was in no hurry to read it. I once more stumbled upon the book about six months ago while looking for free classics on Amazon. This time I downloaded it and began reading. I was captivated by the story and pretty much read it straight through.

What inspired you to take it to the next level?

The Sheik was definitely a wall-banger for me as I would have thrown it against the wall at least half a dozen times it if wasn't on my Kindle! There was so much to love about it but just as much that I hated. I was most troubled by the rape-to-love scenario and the sheik's genuine cruel streak. I also couldn't see him as hero-worthy even after his past was explained. As for Diana, I mostly wanted to throttle her. I loved her character initially, but the author did not stay true to her at all. There were several TSTL moments and too much whining and wallowing in self-pity for me to respect her.

After I finished the book I began envisioning how I would have liked for this story to play out, especially the relationship between Ahmed and Diana. When I began dreaming scenes and dialogue, I knew I had to rewrite the story the way I imagined it. At its heart, The Sheik is the story of a woman's sexual awakening, but E.M. Hull was constrained in so many ways by the era she lived in. She could only hint at the kind of things that I describe freely and in great detail. I can't help wondering what her book would have been like had she lived in our time, so that is the version that I set out to write.

What was the most challenging aspect of undertaking a project like this?

It was risky because the story is so well known. I also did not know how readers would accept my retelling. I knew I had to make a lot of changes to make it my own, to put my personal stamp on it, but I also wanted to keep the essence of E.M. Hull's original desert romance. In the end, I feel that I struck a good balance with it.

If you could go back in time and ask E.M. Hull one question, what would it be?

I have such an affinity for this courageous lady. Although constrained by the era in which she lived, Ms. Hull was a huge risk taker. In The Sheik, she dealt with abduction and rape, and in Shadow of the East, she portrayed the hero in an incestuous relationship, albeit unknowingly. I have not yet read The Desert Healer but believe this story features some domestic abuse. I would love to know what inspired her to address these taboo subjects in her books, and if there was anything else that she desired to write about but was afraid to.

What do you hope readers take away from The Sheik Retold?

I hope readers will enjoy a fantastic and titillating romantic escape.

Thanks, Victoria!
And now for the Giveaway!

One lucky reader will win their choice of these ebooks from Victoria's library: A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE or A BREACH OF PROMISE! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me which book you'd like to win! Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you're the winner! This giveaway is open internationally and closes at 11:59pm Thursday, October 17, 2013. Winner will be selected at random.
Thanks, and good luck!

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected. Check my sidebar for more great giveaways!


About the Author:

Victoria Vane is an award-winning romance novelist, cowboy addict and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. Look for Victoria's Contemporary Cowboy Series coming summer 2014 from Sourcebooks. Learn more about Victoria and her books on her website.


  1. I would like 'A Wild Night's Bride.' Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  2. Ooooh, interesting! I really am intrigued now -- I'd never have picked up The Sheik but I'm rather taken with Vane's comments on why she wasn't wild about the original and how she reframed her take. Will have to get it! Thanks for the giveaway -- both sound steamy and fun, but I think I'm leaning toward A Breach of Promise. I think...! :) Will share this on social media, too!

  3. I would love to read this book!! TY for the chance to win a copy!

  4. I hope I don't seem greedy, but this sounds like a fun book I never would have picked without reading your review, nor would I like have read the original (well maybe at 13).

    It _is_ random pick right? Fair enough :-)


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