Sexy Sheikhs

Over at the Guardian, Brian Whitaker wonders about the bizarre and continuing appeal of “desert sheikh” romance novels:

She is a slender blonde from a western country, with long, flowing hair. He is a mysterious dark-eyed sheikh from the east – and fabulously rich. When their paths cross he is smitten by her beauty, and by fate or trickery she is whisked off to his desert kingdom, with little prospect of escape.

While he declares his undying love for her, she remains unsure about him. In the end, though, he proves his worth by fending off his jealous brothers and other foes. After surviving a few terrorist attacks, robberies, kidnappings and that sort of thing, the couple finally turn their attention to perfumed baths and nights of unbridled passion.

Excuse me while I go barf.