Lust in the Dust

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Lucy Mannion’s troubles begin when she awakes in a dimly lit tent somewhere in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Dahman. The petite English secretary quickly realizes that she’s been drugged and kidnapped by Sheikh Hakim Bin Taimur Al Fulani, a man “so outrageously exotic and arrogantly masculine that his presence seemed to fill the tent and overpower her.”

This sizzling scene is taken from Stolen by the Sheik, one of a subset of romance novels in which Western women find love after being importuned by sexy Arab potentates. While publishers insist that the appeal of sheikh-themed romances (such as Harlequin’s The Sheik Who Loved Me, Expecting the Sheik’s Baby, and Hide-and-Sheikh) has no connection to our current entanglement in the Middle East, the popularity of the genre seems to be growing. For Erika Wittlieb, a Canadian fan who reads all 15 to 30 that are published each year, tales of seduction by oil-drenched oligarchs offer “a pleasant escape for a few hours with a guaranteed happy ending.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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