Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wed- Hired: The Sheikh's Secretary Mistress

Well, I’m glad to say that I have returned to the Lucy Monroe office and I have all kinds of news to share with you. First on the list, I have not one but two great new excerpts to share with you today. The first will be from Lucy’s new release Hired: The Sheikh's Secretary Mistress and the second will be from another re-release Willing. I do also have prizes to give away. Nathalie, you are the winner of the Lucy Monroe Princess Pack mini-prize (really not all that mini!). If you are the winner will you please send me an email to lucymonroe.promo@gmail.com with your information on where to send the prize. Be sure to include the prize in the subject line. Also, some of you had been mentioning Lucy’s granddaughter. Well, the birth happened a couple of days ago and everyone is doing fantastic. From what Lucy told me, labor was very quick and the mom is recovering great. You should see the baby! She is so small and cute (Guys like babies too!). Lucy also wanted me to tell you that she is so thankful for all the blessings and prayers in the delivery. Have a good one out there and enjoy the excerpts!


{Excerpt}


Amir brought the gumia down in a sweeping arc, part of a thousand year old pattern the men in his family had learned generation after generation. The perfectly balanced, curved sword fit his hand as if it had been made for it. Which in fact, it had.

However, as satisfying as the sword practice was in a general sense, it was not doing what he most needed at the moment. Helping him to forget his reaction to Grace's naked body. It made no sense. He could accept that he was attracted to his assistant, after all sexual desire did not follow rhyme or reason. But he found it intolerable that he had been so paralyzed by the sight of her lying in the bath that he had been unable to leave the room immediately.

He had made a complete pratt of himself and she had asked him if he'd gotten too much sun. He almost missed a step as he shook his head in amazement. Absolutely clueless to her own appeal.

"Would you like a practice partner?" Zahir's voice interrupted Amir's troubled musings.

He turned to face his brother, who like him was dressed in a pair of loose fitting pants and nothing else. Obviously, he wanted to work out as well.

"Definitely."

Without any further discussion, Zahir brought his own sword up into the beginning stance. They sparred for thirty minutes, both of them working up a sweat as they fought for dominance. But though his brother topped him by an inch and seven years of life, Amir refused to yield the field. With silent understanding, they both dropped their gubias at the same time and bowed their heads to one another in acknowledgement of the other's prowess.

"Did you work out your demons?" Zahir asked.

"Why do you think I was doing that?"

"I recognize the expression in your eyes because I've seen it in my own."

Amir's own worries went to the back of his mind immediately. "Anything you wish to talk about?"

Zahir shook his head, but because Amir was looking he saw the flicker of unhappiness quickly hidden.

"Is everything all right between you and our father?" Amir probed.

His brother shrugged. "As all right as it can be between two headstrong men bent on getting their own way."

"Does he pull the sovereign card on you often?"

"No, he respects me too much for that, but..." Zahir let his words trail off with another shrug.

"I do not envy you."

Zahir dried his face, chest and arms with a small towel. "I know. You and Khalil are too smart for that kind of stuff."

"We love you," Amir said wiping away his own sweat.

Zahir almost smiled. "I love you both as well."

"Even when you have to travel half a world away to give a message of disappointment from our father?"

A look of understanding flashed across Zahir's features. "Maybe especially then. I felt badly for you and I cannot say I regret that Princess Lina refusesd to submit to the contract between our fathers."

"Thank you." Maybe Grace had been right. Given the correct set of circumstances, his brothers might actually support him if he chose a path divergent from their father's wishes. Then again relief was not the same thing as righteous indignation on his behalf. "A man wants to choose his own wife."

"Yes."

"What about you? Any plans to set up a royal nursery?"

"I would need a wife first."

"And?"

"There is no one." But something about how he said it made Amir know there was a story here even if his brother was clearly not ready to share it.

"I want Grace." He could not believe he had said the words aloud.

But his brother did not look shocked. "Naturally, you have done nothing about it."

"She is in my employ."

"Under your protection." Grace might not understand that concept but his brother did.

"Exactly."

"Not marriage material?"

The question shocked Amir into stillness. "She is hardly a princess."

"And you are not heir to the throne – that does come with some benefits. The expectations concerning your spouse are one of them."

"I don't think our father has made it that far into the twenty-first century."

"Before Khalil married Jade, I would have said the same."

"Khalil loves Jade. He would have married her with or without our father's approval."

"And yet he humbled himself to get it."

"Love." Amir was fully aware he made the single word sound like a curse – because to him, it was.

"Inshallah."

As God wills it. "I suppose, but I do not want a wife that makes me that vulnerable."

"That is understandable." More than anyone, Zahir had seen what losing Yasmine had done to his youngest brother. "But it does not answer the question of Grace."

"I want her. I cannot have her. Something must be done."

"Not marriage?"

"Absolutely not."

"So, what will you do?"

"I have a plan."

"I hope it is a good one." This time the smile was complete. "You have not given me such a good workout in memory."

He hoped so too. Because his over the top reaction to the relatively tame circumstance of seeing Grace naked was not acceptable. He could not make love to her. Even if he didn't feel what she called his "ancestor instincts" to protect one of his own, there was the certainty that an affair between them would result in the loss of his perfect PA.

But there was another reason, one he was only now coming to admit to himself. It was the reason marriage to Grace was not an option. He already...cared for her. Even in his own thoughts, he was reluctant to admit that. If he married her, the friendship and lust he felt toward her might become something more. It might well become the one thing he did not want.

Of all the women in the world, Grace was the one who could never be his convenient wife.

Despite having no more concrete answers to his Grace problem, Amir felt better returning to his room ten minutes later. Whoever said it was lonely at the top, knew what he was talking about.

Look at Zahir. Clearly something was bothering the heir to the throne of Zorha, but who did he have to discuss it with? Amir would have to look for an opportunity to talk with his brother again, to see if there was anything he could do for him.

Amir was glad he had his brothers and part of him wished he could see them more frequently. Another, more logical part, recognized that to do so would test the boundaries of all their patience and perhaps even their love. They were too alike.

16 comments:

limecello said...

I'm so loving all these excerpts - and so many good books to choose from! Congratulations, Nathalie! What at wonderful prize!

Amy said...

Congratulations Lucy on the birth of your granddaughter!

Love the excerpts Andre.

Congrats Nathalie

Dina said...

Congrats Natalie.

Congrats Lucy on your granddaughter.

I also enjoy all the excerpts.

Cryna said...

Congratulations Lucy on the birth of your granddaughter. So glad everythig went well.

Andre, another great excerpt as usual. Thank you, and I am glad you are feeling better.

Congratulations Nathalie - enjoy the wonderful prize.

Michelle B said...

Congrats to Lucy and her family on the new baby!

lidia said...

Lucy,

Congratulations to your daughter and the family on the 'litle one's' arrival. Glad to hear that everyone is doing well.

Congratulations to Nathalie!

Andre, as usual you have a knack of picking great excerpts for us.

flchen1 said...

Congratulations to Lucy and her family on their latest addition! How exciting! So glad baby and her mom are doing well!

And congrats, Nathalie!

Thanks for the excerpt!

CrystalGB said...

Congratulations on the birth of Lucy's granddaughter.
I love the excerpt.

Jane said...

Congrats on the birth of your granddaughter, Lucy.

Sandra08081998 said...

Congratulations on the birth of your grandchild, Lucy.
Great excerpts and congrats to Nathalie as well.

Michele L. said...

Congratulations to Nathalie! How wonderful to welcome a little girl into the world!

Many congrats Lucy on your new granddaughter! How exciting!

As always Andre, you have provided another hot excerpt! Just love it!

Happy Friday to everyone!
Have a fantastic, fun weekend everybody!

Michele L.

Maureen said...

Congratulations to Lucy on her new grandbaby and it's a great excerpt.

Joyce said...

Great Excerpt. Looking forward to the book.

Nathalie said...

Thanks for the prize!

Congrats on that bundle of joy :-)

acdaisy95 said...

Congrats Lucy on your granddaughter. Thanks for the great excerpt!

Jodi said...

Congrats to Lucy and the rest of the family on the birth!

Congrats to Nathalie on her win!

I just finished reading Hired and wow! What another great book by Lucy! I can't read wait to get my hands on more books!