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Panther's Legacy #1

The Panther And The Pearl

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The American Beauty...

When an innocent excursion to Constantinople took an unexpected twist, Sarah Woolcott found herself a prisoner in the harem of young and virile Kalid Shah. Headstrong and courageous, Sarah was determined to resist the handsome foreigner whose arrogance outraged her - even as his tantalizing touch promised exotic nights of fiery sensuality.

The Turkish Prince: Never had he encountered a woman who inflamed his desire like the blonde Westerner with the independent spirit. Although she spurned his passionate overtures, Kalid vowed to tempt her with his masterful skills until she became a willing companion on their journey of exquisite ecstasy!

448 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 1994

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About the author

Doreen Owens Malek

79 books65 followers
aka Faye Morgan

{From Amazon} "I am Doreen Owens Malek, author of over forty books and lifelong fan of romantic fiction. I live in PA with my husband and college student daughter, a mini dachshund and a sun conyer parrot. I would like to tell you a little about myself.

I came to writing by a circuitous route, starting out as an avid reader of JANE EYRE and WUTHERING HEIGHTS and GONE WITH THE WIND and REBECCA and any other similarly themed books I could find. I first worked as a teacher and then graduated from law school when I desired a more lucrative and independent career. I had always been discouraged from pursuing a writing career by the volatile nature of the business and the relatively poor chance for success. But the realization that I needed a focus for the future encouraged me to do what I had always wanted to do. I sold my fledgling novel to the first editor who read it, and I have been writing ever since. I have written all types of books for all types of people, but my favorite literary pursuit is and always has been romance. Nothing is as rewarding as hearing from my readers, so please use my website to communicate your thoughts and criticisms, as I am always eager to learn from you.

A romance novel rarely disappoints me: in an uncertain world filled with tragedy and sadness, reading about an appealing woman finding a strong man to love her and share her life is the perfect escape. I like to read and write stories in which the main characters overcome obstacles to get together, and then stay together because their mutual devotion cannot be denied no matter what else is happening around them. They always HELP each other and reinforce the quaint but enduring notion that love conquers all - at least in the fictional universe of my imagination. So pull up a chair and take down a book- or pick up a Kindle- and join me in a world where the heroes are tough and headstrong but never boorish and the heroines are feminine and sympathetic but never helpless."

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5 stars
166 (29%)
4 stars
178 (31%)
3 stars
152 (27%)
2 stars
43 (7%)
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20 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews
Profile Image for MelissaB.
725 reviews326 followers
August 2, 2009
The Panther and the Pearl was a fun book to read, I loved the exotic setting of 1800's Persia. The book starts with the hero, Kalid, buying Sarah, an American woman from the Sultan after he sees her just once in her role as a teacher to the Sultan's daughter. Sarah is of course not happy to have been sold to someone she doesn't know even if he is handsome and rich. Kalid knew that Sarah was the woman for him at first sight, so he did what he needed to do to have her as his own. After she is brought to his palace, she is placed in his harem as the new favorite. Kalid wants Sarah to come to him willingly, so he sets out to seduce her. But alas Kalid underestimates just how stubborn Sarah will be because although she is very attracted to him, she cannot get over his buying her and placing her as a prisoner in the harem.

The book goes through the very tempestuous courtship of Kalid and Sarah after their unusual start of him buying her. I really enjoyed this story, the setting was very interesting and I felt Kalid acted as a man in his position would have but he never abuses her in any way or forces her - he wants her to fall in love with him and stay with him of her own accord. Sarah manages to stand up for herself and show Kalid what she needs from him if they are going to make a relationship work, which is great to see because Kalid has such a strong will that he would have run over someone who wasn't as strong as Sarah. If you like exotic settings or sheikh books, I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Kristen.
834 reviews4,768 followers
September 11, 2011
This book is what I'd call a HOT MESS! The writing borders on complete disarray but there's still that undeniable element that makes the story very appealing.  

Over all, I enjoyed this book. And one thing for sure, I really love Sheikh type romance books! Very fun escape.

Profile Image for Elle.
379 reviews
June 11, 2012
The theory of the story is as follows. Sarah Woolcott is visiting her cousin James and his wife. James is a businessman trading in Constantinople, 1885. Sarah is curious about the culture and James, seeing an opportunity to ingratiate himself with the Sultan, offers her as a tutor to the Sultan's daughter.

A visiting pasha, Kalid Shah of Bursa, sees Sarah and offers things of value to the sultan for her and the sultan accepts the deal. Sarah is drugged and finds herself ensconced in Kalid's harem, where she is now the ikbal.

Kalid's mother was an Englishwoman and he attended school in England, so he has some grasp of Western sensibilities. He wants Sarah to come to him willingly, but his first encounter with her runs totally counterintuitive to this wish. He basically has her dragged to his presence as a slave, naked, and humiliates her. Way to go, Kalid. He does eventually grasp her need to be free, but not before, IMO, he does pretty much every possible thing to assure that any sensible woman would want nothing more than to put distance between them.

Sarah, for her part, resists admirably, though her "willful body" sometimes has a mind of its own. Maybe I'm missing something but I always want to gag when I read stuff like this. In my experience, a normal woman's passions are not going to be engaged if she is frightened or furious, and Sarah is both.

I'm giving nothing away by saying that eventually the attraction wins the day. In this case the events of the story justify it, though I still think the hero should be whacked upside the head a few times just for his dumbassed behavior to that point. Anyway, decent story, though I did wonder occasionally how well researched the story was in terms of period and culture.
Profile Image for Katie(babs).
1,815 reviews536 followers
May 12, 2009
The overall plot of this story is a man who won't take no for an answer and the so called strong willed woman who falls in love with him anyway. Kalid Shah, a ruler in some mideastern country sees American Sarah and decides he wants her for himself. He kidnaps hers, threatens to beat his servants if she doesn't do what he says and constantly tries to seduce her. This fluffy story is not even a good fantasy. The reader will not understand even after Sarah escapes, why she would have any feelings for the hero. Even up to the last page he is obsessed to the point of madness.

The love scenes are so-so and not even the secondary romance had enough power to make this book interesting. Skip this one.
Profile Image for Tutti Dolci.
228 reviews36 followers
May 14, 2012
Similar to Johanna Lindsey's Silver Angel, but I enjoyed Ms. Owens Malek's heroine far more.

Not so much a bodice ripper as much as it is a story of people of different backgrounds and cultures. But the romance, sensuality, and excitement is all there in a very worthwhile read. A must-read for lovers of Harem romances, for sure.
Profile Image for Tiblu.
1,251 reviews45 followers
August 12, 2016
Boring and tedious....

I'm soo very,very glad wasn't just some to stupid to live doormat type of h, that she basically told him that no matter how much she loved him she refused to just bow to his will and allow him to treat her like a piece of property just because of said love and how beautiful she thought he was... But there was no chemistry here and the near constant conflicts because ants to treated like a person w/dignity and respect and like a piece of property were quite honestly boring and tedious ( for me at least) I loved how Sarah saw his manipulations for what they were and wasn't afraid to stand up to the arrogant prick,but they were just arguments plain and simple not the kind that actually feel like foreplay and help build tension and intrigue and hopefully excitement though most the book everyone acted ( especially Khalid) like she was crazy to not just fall at him feet and just into his bed,because he's soo powerful and wealthy and handsome again especially Khalid... Even though supposedly he hadn't wanted any of the other women because they did do just that ( fell at his feet and into his bed) .. Honestly at times it was hard to know wha Khald really wanted ( other his cake and to eat it too) Western Mother and schooling or he ( was confusing) wanted to be able to buy this Western woman he fell in lust w/have her be some sorta challenge and ye be ok w/being bought and drugged and kidnapped and ordered around like a pet animal or child and yet not be easy peasy lemon squeezy like all the other women already on offer to him.. WTH ?!?!? Right ?!?! On one hand I was all for Sarah coz for me it's a HUGE ,HELL NO!!! On being treated like a piece of property ( parents can be like that) but honestly after a while it just felt like stubbornness on both their parts,I mean if Khalid truly came running love her m he should gotten to know her and knew all these stupid games he was playing were just gonna bite him in the end and just be honest w/her,No by the time he was proposing to her he should loved her enough to grow up some and tried to give the woman he supposedly loves what she needs and not just want he wants... Ending was drug out w a y too l o n g it felt just to lengthen the story... And honestly between Khalid's prickish/dickish Ways I stopped being truly interested or caring long before things got sexual between them ,I finished out pure curiosity and nothing more...
To me Khalid was an arrogant jerk blind to his actions and consequences to almost the very end, all he had to ever do was apologize and beg forgiveness for being the arrogant fool that he was but he never said he was sorry for anything especially not buying her... I guess courting her and trying to get to know would be too easy and not in his control... Sadly he wasn't as bad as 1/2 the jerks in today's contemporary romances,who seconds after meeting h are thinking about how to "train" them to service THEIR needs but still not an H for me.. No thanks, why talk when you can order.. Glad this was KU .. Soo only time was lost not money ;(
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,989 reviews869 followers
March 28, 2013
When Sarah visits her cousin and his wife in Persia, she is intrigued by the culture, and volunteers to teach at the Sultan's Harem. But then she catches the eye of Kalid, a Prince. So Kalid buys her from the Sultan, because she intrigues him in a way that no woman has. Sarah is shocked to discover she belongs to Kalid, and even though he is gorgeous and mesmerizing, but she refuses to give in to his seduction, because she is a person not a possession...but when he kisses her all her common sense and revolve goes out the window, and she feels herself opening up to him despite her inner protests and knows that she is falling in love with him...This was the first novel that I have read from this author, and I just fell in love with this story. It starts out a little slow but eventually the story really kicks into gear, and I found myself not able to put it down. I have always had a weakness for Sheikh's love stories, and this is probably at the top of my favorites now....Kalid is very arrogant and holds power in his hands....but as the story progressed you start to just fall in love with him as the hero. Sarah is very strong willed and determined and I just loved how she stands up to Kalid with no fear....and I just enjoyed seeing these two fall for each other....it was a heartwarming romance, that will tickle your toes as you read...and warm your heart!!! A beautiful story set in a exotic place!!! Definitely looking forward to reading more from this breathtaking author who creates wonderful stories to capture the heart!!
November 27, 2014
American teacher Sarah Woolcott is visiting family in Constantinople where she catches the eye of Kalid Shah. He whisks her away to his palace (without Sarah's permission) and holds her in his harem. Eventually Kalid learns that drugging, kidnapping and holding a woman prisoner is not a successful equation for love and lets Sarah go.

CON: The story was set in the 19th century but Sarah sometimes came off as a more modern character. She just didn't really fit. The end felt too long as Kalid was trying to catch up with Sarah before she left for America. There was a secondary love story that was simply dropped. You never learn what happens to the other couple and as far as I know they don't get their own book. The love scenes were of the Fade To Black variety.

PRO: If reading descriptive details of what someone is wearing makes you horny, baby, then you'll like this book. It was an easy read if you're looking for something to kill the weekend with.
September 28, 2017

3 stars for effort not as good as I thought it would be just ok different from any book that I have read but just fair
Profile Image for Shannon.
62 reviews11 followers
April 19, 2019
I didn’t DNF because it was decently written for what it was, but I didn’t like the story and it wasn’t written in such a way that wove a convincing love story that overcomes it’s terrible premise.

It must be challenging in the age of #metoo as a writer to craft a love story that is trying to fulfill some sheik/western captive fantasy and not be super problematic. It was no rapey 80s bodice ripper, but I don’t think this book managed it. At all.

Pro and Cons below:

The writing itself was well done and the rich details about clothing and setting were intriguing. I really love a book that describes the crap out of an outfit.

But it was not believable that upon being drugged and kidnapped, waking up in a strange place as a harem slave and presented to her kidnapper as a tasty morsel for his consumption - no matter how good looking this stranger is - that she was be struck with LUST and/or be white girl defiant. And I need to bring that up - from their first conversation about American slavery - her rich white privilege is just nauseating. It was the 1880s. Steeped in Jim Crow, segregation, racism. It is 130 years later and is STILL a problem with half of society masking racist hate in claims of false equality and capitalism. She flaunts that people are kept as slaves in America - which he dryly points out was a technical change a mere 20 years ago at best. And then she tries #butnotinBoston!! Girrrrll. You sure you’re from Boston?! Gah. From that passage forward, I just couldn’t really like the heroine. She was NOT remotely self aware with her hypocrisy and ignorance.

Beyond the basic problematic premise, which is brushed off as - oh the hero is just a privileged rich guy brought up in a social construct where slavery and kidnapping is morally sound, thus it’s not his fault he thinks abduction is the best wooing technique, the story was not crafted in such a way that I could see where they “fell in love”. Any sort of connection that was forged must have occurred in the meetings and interactions the author breezed over as boring. And the hero apparently loves her because she defies his autocratic behaviors and dislikes being kidnapped and enslaved - this is not a recipe for a lasting marriage, guys.

Also the heroine had like zero backstory. Totally flat character. I was super confused about her family and friends beyond the cousin. If there was no one, what happened to them? She was a teacher in Boston but she basically NEVER even thinks about home or friends or her life up until now. I guess she’s taking to heart sentiments about living the NOW. Too much pinterest and mindfulness mumbo jumbo, girl. She literally spent the entire book only thinking about the hero. All inner dialogue was about him.

The hero also never changes his controlling, deceitful ways - which is the primary “conflict” in the book. Like a controlling, abusive partner he makes some token apology and promise to change for the third time at the end and finally she is like “oh, okay, since you took your buckets of money and hunted me down again, you must really mean it this time.”

Profile Image for Nessa.
3,113 reviews41 followers
March 6, 2018

OUR HERO is a Pasha, a tyrant ruler who holds quite an amount of power besides the Sultan. He's British educated, and slightly out of place being Turkish but not exactly English as well. When he encounters the foreign beauty in the Sultan's home, he wagers for her with the King and bought her like chattel. Sarah was not the least bit pleased and fights him all the way until FINALLY she succumbs. Kalid reminded me of a child who wants something desperately but doesn't know how to go about it. So I don't blame him for the blunders, since no one is around to advise him how to treat an American Woman properly and respecting her as an adult. Boy did he have his work cut out for him to win her affections, and a man like him has little patience, not when he can have anything he wants with a snap of his fingers or with money.

OUR HEROINE is an educated American woman who followed her cousin to the exotic country of Turkey and wants to experience their enriching and different culture, so with some help she becomes a teacher to the Sultan's eldest Princess and to her dismay, caught the eye of the handsome Pasha and became his reluctant addition to the harem. She fights the attraction between them, although she doesn't really want to but she wants him to love her first before all else.

OVERALL it was rather enjoyable except those moments where they fight. They make up for it in the sheets but I do wish they could have talked more adequately instead of throwing fits about everything.
Profile Image for Monica.
12 reviews
June 12, 2020
The h is very annoying. All the while she accepts and rejects the protagonist, repeatedly and meaninglessly. Nor have I felt the connection between the main characters. For me it is an entertaining but forgettable book.
Profile Image for Dendera.
100 reviews10 followers
December 1, 2019
I remember reading this way back then but I still recall enough to know it wasn't of my favourite novels to read. all i can say is it was a cheaply written book. i don't think the writing is correct. and the author is severely lacking in history & the time period. she should've researched first. the dialogue between characters is like a bunch of teenagers in 2018, not 1800s.
Profile Image for Jan.
25 reviews2 followers
June 17, 2013
Creative twist for title and plot, doesn't quite make a gem of a read.

The Panther and The Pearl, by Doreen Owens Malek

Historical romances are a fav of mine, so when I had the chance to review this book I jumped at it. And while there is no mention of any specific historical events within the timespan of this story, it does take place in Persia’s 1800’s when harems were in and women had absolutely no choice …in anything. I feel this book was overzealous in its attempt to include an impressionable young American woman from Boston, with a newly Oxford-educated young Persian man who had become a prince ruler after the death of his father, who also married an American woman.

Yes, the story was well told, the characters were convincing, and the individual elements of the storyline were mostly believable; girl visits cousin in far-off lands, girl curious and pays for it by being bought by boy for his harem, girl becomes reluctant and rebellious to thwart boy and causes some very exasperating and emotional complexity, girl and boy grow up after she finds herself pregnant, they and make up and…THE END.

However, the writer had pluck and was determined to see the story have a happy ending. For all the trials and tribulations the couple went through the story had an abrupt but inevitably happy ending, yet nothing was promised for a second book. With such a dramatic beginning, which cultivated a very complex main story, I expected a grander closing and was seriously left wanting. My own historical research of this book is that it’s a re-print, which makes me wonder if the years which span between had anything to do with the influx of more modern thinking of the girl than the 1800s would have afforded her. Don’t read it for its history, but enjoy it for the simple story it is.
Profile Image for Natalija.
1,030 reviews14 followers
July 11, 2022
Let me start by saying that I try to avoid books set in exotic locations mainly due to the amount of foreign words and strange names they include. The Panther and the Pearl is no exception and it took me nearly 3 days to finish it, but I'm glad that I read it because this book is definitely worth picking up.

While the Ottoman Empire setting and the cultural details play an important role throughout the book, author does a great job of giving just the right amount of information and description that it does not distract from the main plot line.

As far as characters go, I liked them, but I didn't love them enough to re-read this book in the future. Both of them were likeable and made a great couple, but they also were a little too bland for the harem setting.

To summarize, The Panther and the Pearl is a beautiful love story that I would recommend to anyone looking for something different than a traditional Regency romance.
Profile Image for Nikki Wilde.
371 reviews4 followers
March 28, 2013
Ok, so it's 1885 and Sarah is visiting her cousin in Turkey on a holiday. She is curious about harem life and he offers her a visit to the princess to teach her some American ways. While there the Pasha of Bursa happens to get a glance of her and must have her for himself. Since he's the Pasha and used to getting everything he wants she's drugged and taken to his harem to live.

Apparently, this is lust at first sight on both counts. As mad as Sarah is for the way she was purchased by the Pasha, Kalid, she still can't get over her attraction for him. I found it difficult keeping everyone straight. The Kosem, Kalid, khislar, so many K's I had a difficult time remembering who's who and what's what.

I did enjoy that I learned a bit about Constantinople and what harem life was like. I wish we learned more about Roxalena and lover. I was nervous for them. It sort of skimmed around what might be in store for them but we never really learn for sure.

I found Sarah and Kalid to both be very stubborn. I don't want to give anything away but I thought more would have happened with the Bedouins.

I'm not disappointed I read this one. I did receive a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Profile Image for Cathy.
492 reviews3 followers
June 22, 2013
I received a free eBook in exchange for an honest review.

I'm pretty sure that by naming this "The Panther and the Pearl" the author was going retro-style, because in a lot of ways this is an old-fashioned novel. While a lot of the plot is unrealistic - sorry, but even with the Western education I'm pretty sure the pasha wouldn't have been as tolerant with Sarah as he was in this story - it's a refreshing departure from the trend of girl-falls-for-rapist stories that prevail in the romance genre, a trend I find disturbing on so many levels, quite frankly. Beyond that, it suffers from the standard plot devices of the genre: female must nurse her captor, showing deeper feeling than she knew she had; snubbed ex attempts revenge; big blowup happens when man withholds info from female and she finds out; etc....
Profile Image for LadyCalico.
1,977 reviews39 followers
May 5, 2012
I thought the plot sounded so silly and trite that I never would have downloaded this book if I hadn't noticed that it was written by Doreen Malek. For some odd reason, even if I find myself criticizing aspects of the story, I always really enjoy her books. Again, I must say the same thing about this one--imperfect but thoroughly and delightfully engrossing! There is just something about her characters and writing that make her stories so alive and well worth reading--at least for me. I just loved the well-drawn protagonists in this book. I loved how Malek drew the character of Khalid--well-intentioned but just too arrogant to even know he was being arrogant, so it worked so well when he had to humble himself to pursue his love.
Profile Image for Nubia Sanchez.
66 reviews5 followers
May 10, 2012
This book was exquisitely different from the past novel I read in the past. The setting take place in late 1800's in Turkey in which was in the past Persia. I love the scenery that taken place throughout the whole story. The character were simply amazing. I really like Kalid because he seems different from other male character. He is spoiled and stubborn prince who always get what he wants but his love and somewhat obsession for Sarah made his life all topsy turvy. Sarah is a very strong and determine character who has a heart of gold and shows Kalid the true meaning of love. I really love Kalid's grandmother because she is so funny and she want the best for her grandson especially for an heir. This book is really amazing and I really love reading it!! I totally recommend it!! :)
2,273 reviews9 followers
February 1, 2016
When Sarah Woolcott goes from Boston to spend some time with her cousin James in Constantinople, her curiosity about the harem and palace lifestyle of the country gets the better of her.
James arranges for her to take a post at the palace of the Sultan as teacher to the princess Roxalena but things go wrong when she is seen by Kalid Shah who arranges to have her drugged and kidnapped to live in his harem until she falls in love with him.
Can his audacious plan win out?
Will she overcome her aversion to his high handed and demanding antics and fall in love with someone the total opposite of her and her beliefs?
Exciting, dramatic and set in exotic places this is a romance that will appeal to anyone who loves a good yarn and historical settings.
A wonderful story that I could not put down.
Profile Image for Lisa.
154 reviews18 followers
June 4, 2013
When reading a romance novel, I think you can pick your battles, because what romance novel out there is completely serious

I liked this book, the setting was one that made me interested in reading it, because well you don't get to many books set in Turkey.

I didn't like the male character, way to arrogant for my taste, I think it was a little to over the top in the story. I know alpha males are suppose to be that way, but I rolled my eyes at him one to many times. And the female character even though she was stubborn, I also thought she was annoying.

The ending was blah...and fell way flat for me.

Profile Image for Amirah.
18 reviews39 followers
June 20, 2023
Oh wow. I would have never thought that I would have ended up loving this book so much. Oh gosh, I totally devoured it. I love it so much! This is by far one of my most favorite historical-romance ever and Doreen Owens Malek has just been added to the list of one of my most favorite HR authors of all time. Now I just can't get enough of Sheiks AHAHAH oh well, heard there's a sequel. All I've gotta do is to devour that one now.

Profile Image for D.S. Williams.
Author 18 books159 followers
September 5, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Dorren Owens Malek has created some delightful characters and I enjoyed the feistiness of the heroine and the continual frustration she caused the hero as they worked their way, bumpily, to a happily ever after. Whilst some of the situations didn't quite gel in the historical setting, the story overall made up for any inconsistensies. Highly recommended if you enjoy historical romance.
9 reviews
December 31, 2015
This was a great book! I couldn't put it down. The story was well written. I had never :) erotica read a book by this author, but I am definitely adding her to my favorite authors list.

This was a great book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The plot and characters were well developed. I had never read a book by this author before, but she is on my favorite authors list now.
Profile Image for Jessica.
429 reviews11 followers
May 28, 2012
I really liked this story, though I felt that at times the lingo was too modern for both Kalid and Sarah. And when Roxalena didn't know much English at first, then she was putting together complete sentences the next, that wasn't very believable.

In the e-book version, there were some minor grammatical errors, but not bad, and the story was definitely worth reading.

I really liked it.
Profile Image for Phoebe.
14 reviews
May 13, 2012
Not bad for a smut book. Reminded me of Bertrice Small, without her flair. I enjoyed the book, but it doesn't match up to books I have read, similar to it, previously. I would recommend it to a friend.
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