Temptation in Istanbul by Hana Sheik

Escape to Istanbul, where a nanny may just tempt a bruised billionaire to give love a second chance in this heartwarming romance by Hana Sheik.

A single dad’s greatest temptation? The nanny on his doorstep! Billionaire Faisal is anxiously awaiting custody of his little girl, who’s been living miles away with her mother. First he must win the approval of her nanny, Maryan, who has traveled with her to Istanbul. While he shows Maryan the delights of his city, the instant attraction between them is hard to ignore. But Maryan leaves in two weeks, so Faisal must decide how much of his bruised heart he is prepared to risk…

Dear Ms. Sheik,

The yummy model on this cover plus the title (Istanbul!) caught my attention. I enjoyed the hero’s sweet daughter plus her relationship with both her dad and her nanny. The sights of Istanbul were interesting to read about but I got a touch impatient with Maryan and Faisel not talking. Well, yes they do talk but it’s more about Zara (which is, granted, a great thing) rather than discussing how they feel about each other.

Faisel and Maryan initially have solid reasons for not being interested in any kind of relationship other than as people who care about and want the best for Zara. Faisel and Zara’s mother never married (neither wanted to) but they both love their little girl. However Salma’s movie career is taking off and she wants Zara to be either her parents or Faisel. Not wanting to drag Zara through a custody dispute, Faisel had not fought when Salma announced she was moving to LA four years ago but now he wants his daughter with him. In the intervening years, he’s had plenty of dates and short relationships but in the back of his mind, he’s always been wondering if these women want him or the perks his billions can get for them.

Maryan was sent by her Somali parents to her aunt and uncle in the US when she was only twelve as money was tight in her household. Stung by not even being asked if she wanted to go, she’s lived through being uprooted, getting to know a new country, language, and making friends. So she’s determined to help Zara through this similar change in the girl’s life. Maryan also loved unwisely and was betrayed by a recent boyfriend. Faisel is good looking but initially he is late to pick them up at the airport and an important business deal keeps him busy neither of which impress Maryan. Yet he’s also wonderful with Zara and listens to Maryan’s suggestions and concerns.

As he takes them around Istanbul, each sees much more in the other than they did at first. But are Faisel and Maryan ready to risk themselves again?

To answer that last question would involve asking another one. Do they ever actually tell the other what they’re feeling once they start having deeper emotions? To that my answer is no, they don’t. Sure they have good reasons not to dive into anything but once they do begin to feel love, most of what they do is think and wonder why the other gives no indication about how they feel. There’s also some wishing that the other would give some indication about how they feel but beyond that, they stuff their feelings inside and appear ready to let already made plans (she to return to the US and he to stay in Istanbul) continue. I wanted to shake them.

As I mentioned, both love Zara and I liked the scenes with her and them. Zara isn’t a plot moppet and has some moments when she’s tired and a teensy bit cranky. She also misses her friends. I was a bit surprised that Faisel’s family wasn’t there to see her but later on plans were being made to visit them in Somalia. The tour guide of Istanbul was also enjoyable, being just enough information to pique my interest without turning into a bore. But Faisel and Maryan need to work on opening up just a bit more and being willing to actually say something rather than just wondering what the other is thinking. B-/C+


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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 25 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there’s no TSTL characters and is currently reading more fantasy and SciFi.

→ Jayne

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