I recently finished reading Merchant's Pearl by Amie O'Brien, which is the first book of hers I have read. I was very impressed with Ms. O'Brien's writing skills and the very interesting story-line.
Here is the description as written in Amazon:
As a missionary's daughter, Sarai was taught that love and faith conquer all. But when her parents are murdered, she quickly learns that the world doesn't stop for love.
As a teen, Sarai—now called Leila—is enslaved, a palace concubine for the Ottoman Sultan Aziz. Though she does her best to elude him, she's forced out of her shell when his son, Prince , claims her for his own. Tossed into competition with the other girls in his harem, Leila must face the lavish attention of her young master and the resulting retaliation from his prior favorite, Aster. But it's an unexpected gift and a glimpse inside his family's struggles that collide headfirst with Leila's upbringing. Soon, despite her better judgment, she finds her heart has a mind of its own.
Can she subject her faith and independent spirit to such a future—a future in which the best she can hope for is to be his favorite? How will she stand sharing him with the other girls in the harem? As the sultan's fragile kingdom unravels around them, will it even matter?
Some of the reviews from Amazon:
Terry M. Couldn't put it down!!!!! Completely captivated my attention and held it until I finished every last page!
Daniel: This book was a great read. The characters were believable. The story was riveting and very well paced. I can't wait for more from her.
Tammy: Intriguing,sad,sweet and wonderful read!!
"The Merchant’s Pearl [...] is beautifully told, and detail oriented so you’re transported back to the late nineteenth century beside Leila. O’Brien gives the reader the downside of life as a commodity and it is jarring and disturbing, but oh so real. A fantastic read from a new author."
~ Readers' Favorite Reviews
My Review: A very well-written love story between a Prince and his concubine. Their genuine and unconditional love is beautifully described. I could not put the book down and was "disappointed" that it is part of a saga. Anxious to read the next book in this series.
There is history, culture, and intimacy.
This was Saga Book 1, so I am looking forward to the second book.