Nights of Silk and Sapphire by Amber Jacobs is an erotic romance set in an exotic desert kingdom with a larger than life hero, a harem full of gorgeous and diverse women, and a simmering revolution about to erupt. Even better, it is an opposites attract romance as well.
Kidnapped from her privileged life of wealth and nobility, Dae is chained to a slaver’s caravan crossing the merciless Jaharri desert. This unforgiving land of blistering sun and rolling dunes is ruled by the Scion, the mysterious and powerful Zafirah Al’Intisar.
When Zafirah’s seductive sapphire eyes spot the helpless young woman, she and her Royal Guard easily liberate the caravan and Zafirah brings Dae to her harem where she can recuperate from her brutal journey. Dae is grateful to the Scion for saving her life, but when she finds out that she has been installed in Zafirah’s harem she worries that she will be dishonored by her savior. Zafirah is known for her legendary carnal appetite and the palace’s decadent world of sexual freedom is unlike anything that Dae has ever imagined. Dae grapples with desires that are foreign to her, but she is also drawn to the kind and charismatic Scion. When one woman begins to listen to her heart and the other to the call of her awakening body, can they find common ground where they can unite as equals?
Dae is beyond innocent. She has lived a practically cloistered life in a society that condemns love shared between members of the same sex. Her parents see it as unnatural and deviant. When Dae is placed in the palace harem she is shocked and embarrassed by the way the pleasure-servants openly express their sexual desires and most of all, she is overwhelmed by the brazen lust and confidence Zafirah exudes in all her actions. Over the course on the novel, Dae begins to weigh what she sees going on in the harem against the dogma she was raised to believe. Her sexual awakening is as pure as she is.
I loved watching her confidence build and see her claim her sexual liberation. The extra bonus? Dae slowly learns that she is the one dictating the pace and course of her relationship with Zafirah. Ultimately it is Dae who will determine if they are to have a future.
Zafirah is no doubt the perfect woman to initiate an innocent young woman to the pleasures of the body. She is strong and confident in the bedroom and on the battle field. She is also as sexy as she can be. While she acknowledges that she has an insatiable appetite for beautiful women, she does not casually bed them and dismiss them out of hand. She sees the pleasure-servants in her harem as individuals and holds all of them close to her heart. She values these women for more than their physical beauty.
Zafirah is also a fair and courageous leader. As the Scion of her empire she does not expect anything from her soldiers that she wouldn’t do herself and she looks at ruling her kingdom as an honor and a privilege. I loved how Zafirah was completely willing to court Dae with tenderness and patience.
The Writing Style
The book is written in the third person from both Dae and Zafirah’s points of view. I thought this was perfect for this story. Each of these women go through a profound change in how they view sex and love. Writing the book from one singular perspective would have deprived readers from deeply experiencing both of their character arcs.
When it comes to the sex scenes, Jacobs excels at heating things up. They are just, wow. There’s solo sex, group sex, some light BDSM, and roleplay. It is a veritable smorgasbord of sexual delights. None of the sex scenes felt gratuitous. Each scene progresses in intensity with Dae as an observer to many of them, highlighting her curiosity. I was glued to the pages wondering if and when Dae would finally give in to the passion she feels for Zafirah.
This novel was originally conceived as an Uber Xena Fanfic so this might be an added bonus for many readers. Within the pages, there’s definitely a warm familiarity with the iconic television characters and it’s clear that Jacobs is a true fan.
Do you need to be a fan of the popular television series Xena: Warrior Princess to relate to and enjoy this story? Absolutely not! It’s an engaging tale that is appealing on its own merits.
I think the way Jacobs examines the accepted, conventional view of monogamy is refreshing. It took me a while to step outside my own conditioned attitude, but once I did, the life and practices in the harem seemed natural and even enlightened.
This is not a conventional erotic romance where the two main characters commit to a time-honored, monogamous, happily ever after. I can see how this might be a con for some readers. All I can say is that for me, it was not an issue and the ending left me with the same dreamy glow that I would want from a more traditional romance.
Nights of Silk and Sapphire is an entertaining and sexy read. The sumptuous descriptions of life in the palace along with an action-packed skirmish set against the unforgiving Jaharri desert remind me of some of the classic, Hollywood B-movies about Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. Of course, this is all women and X-rated so it makes it all the better. This novel is pure escapist fun. After a long day of work, it was nice to put my feet up and think about being a harem girl for a few hours.
Excerpt from Nights of Silk and Sapphire by Amber Jacobs
“Inaya and I were about to retire for the evening. I wondered if perhaps you would care to join us?”
Surprised, Dae stared wide-eyed at the Scion, then over to where Inaya was watching their exchange with interest. “I-I-I…” She struggled to form a response, caught completely off guard by the offer. “I don’t…don’t think so, my Scion,” she managed to get out after a moment, letting her hair fall forward to hide her face. “I don’t like such things.” Those words had become her creed in this world.
“So you have said.” The tall woman shifted closer, and the conversation became suddenly more intimate. “You would not have to join our pleasure if you do not wish to. I thought perhaps you might simply like to…watch?” Zafirah raised an eyebrow. “It may prove to be an educational experience.”
Dae very nearly swallowed her own tongue. Images of naked flesh and tangled limbs flashed unbidden across her mind, and she hoped fervently for their dismissal. Seeing Zafirah watching for a response, she shook her head firmly. “I have no interest in such an education,” she insisted, wondering if tonight would be the night the Scion would abandon her sense of honor.
But Zafirah merely smiled mysteriously. “As you wish, my little Tahirah.” Leaning close, she ran a single finger along Dae’s collarbone, her breath a caress against her skin. “But I could promise you the lessons would be most thoroughly enjoyable.”
Rising again, giving Dae a last lingering once-over, Zafirah returned to her place beside Inaya, who regarded Dae with a curious expression for a long moment before turning her attention back to the Scion.
Left alone once more, Dae tried to reclaim her former peace of mind but found it had been shattered beyond repair. For some reason, every time Zafirah so much as glanced in her direction, she felt her stomach churn excitedly, her palms begin to sweat, and her blood grow warmer in her veins. Struggling to bring her body back under control, Dae considered the request carefully, wondering whether Inaya had known it was being offered. What did the pleasure-servant think about the idea? Watching Zafirah lead Inaya from the seraglio, Dae wondered for half a heartbeat what things she might have witnessed had she accepted the invitation. As soon as the thought entered her head, she stomped it to death immediately.
Gnawing her lower lip thoughtfully, Dae consigned herself to what she knew would be another restless night of troubling considerations.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955335113
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Amber Jacobs Online
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