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  Intense, International RomanceKate Hewitt Romance Author  

Behind the Scenes:The Sheikh’s Love-Child

This story is part of the International Billionaires series, which is a joint effort with the English Rugby Union and features rugby in some way. Now I have to confess I know very little about rugby, so I started my research with learning the basic rules and terms (pitch instead of field, match instead of game). I also created my own fictional kingdom of Biryal, based loosely on the gorgeous, rugged island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea. I wanted a place that was harsh and austere and yet ultimately beautiful; a place where the heroine, London physiotherapist Lucy Banks, would be out of her element—a place where she could find herself, as well as love with my hero ex-rugby player Khaled, who is injured both emotionally and physically.

It’s always a challenge to create a fictional country that has its own integrity, added to the challenge of writing characters who have a shared—and painful—history. Yet I also love the possibilities both of these ideas present… so I hope you enjoy Lucy and Khaled’s journey to love and healing as much as I did.

 

This is the desert island of Socotra, which Biryal is based on

scootra

 

This is the famed Dragon’s Blood tree, where Lucy and Khaled have a sunset picnic

dragon's blood tree

 

Here is a recipe I’ve tried from Yemen, which is close to Socotra, the island Biryal is based on:

Yemenite Roast Chicken with Cumin:

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 lb chicken
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tb vegetable oil or olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400'

Trim off excess fat from chicken. Mix together, the salt, pepper,
cumin, turmeric and oil. Rub chicken all over with mixture.

Set chicken in a roasting pan and roast 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting
occasionally if desired. Pierce the thickest part of a leg with a
skewer or sharp knife. When the juices run clear, the chicken is
ready.

January 2008