Bodyguard Sheik by Linda Conrad
Expert marksman Morgan Bell is one of the best in the world. She agreed to one last assignment, never expecting to find sexy Sheik Karin Kadir heating up the cold desert nights. It leaves her longing for more... much more than his protecting her life.
Sheik's Captive by Loreth Anne White
Kathleen Flaherty's desert search for her sister leads her into captivity by a terrorist cell. Her beauty doesn't go unnoticed by her captor, Sayeed Ali. Working undercover for the FBI, Sayeed never counted on discovering love in a land as wild and as untamed as his captive's heart. Will he be able to save her and her sister in time?
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May 31, 2011
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Excerpt from Desert Knights by Linda Conrad
Death, in all its facets, troubled Morgan Bell's mind as she rode to her destiny in the back of a Sikorsky helicopter.
For over half her adult life she'd concentrated her talents on killing. She was good at what she did. An expert, they said.
But what kind of life did that make? It hadn't been enough for her to train as an expert marksman, one of the best in the world. No, sir, not good enough for rough and tough Morgan Bell. Her record 725-yard rifle shots no longer won awards in contests. She hadn't competed in nearly a decade. Over the last ten years, all her carefully contrived shots took out killers and madmen, not paper targets.
When said in a forthright tone of voice, even in her head, those words sounded almost righteous. Pure at heart.
In her mind and soul, though, Morgan knew she was no better than the butchers and murderers that her superiors sent her to dispatch. And that wasn't who she wanted to be anymore.
Running without lights no more than twenty feet off the desert sands, the copter pilot darted his craft in and out of blind canyons, staying in the moon's shadows. Morgan's fingers clung to her rifle case with a viselike grip as she studied the expert flyer through her NVGs, glowing eerily green against the black, night sky.
Suddenly struck with a bout of depression, caused by both the stark landscape out the open door at her side and by the thought of why she'd volunteered to be on this mission in the first place, Morgan trained her gaze on the men riding in the seats next to hers. Dark, brooding men, all of them. She'd spent the last three weeks in training with them. But now, the mere sight of the deadly determination in their postures was enough to give her a start.
She felt determined, too. The situation demanded it. But she couldn't help wondering how she had allowed her life to deteriorate into nothing more than a series of determined and dire situations like this one.
Morgan was almost finished with this kind of life. She'd recently taken early retirement from the CIA, and was ready to head back to her family's Wyoming ranch to find a new life. A different life. A decent life with people who cared, like the one she'd had as a girl.
Yet, as a favor to an old friend, here she was, taking a detour and flying to one last mission. A last mission with deadly consequences and grim implications.
Her headset clicked on. "Get set," the pilot informed the team. "Our target zone is about to be hit by a weather event. I won't be able to set it down. You'll have to unload on the fly."
Morgan didn't like unplanned events on a mission. A sniper must plan every last detail, right down to the wind direction. Nothing could ever be left to chance. Too tricky to go barging right into enemy territory without working out the thousands of calculations necessary for a successful shot. Any number of things could go wrong without flawless plans.
She turned her gaze to the open doorway beside her seat and drew in a harsh breath. Where there had been moonlight and rock cliffs zooming past only moments ago, now a ground-to-sky, dense fog loomed in its place. Slinging the straps for her pack and rifle case over her head, she tensed in her seat, ready to abort the mission.
"What...?" Morgan didn't manage to get the question out of her mouth.
"Sandstorm! Go!" The pilot fought to steady his copter, hovering it over a tiny stretch of clear ground.
From the seat behind her, one of the team members reached out and grabbed her arm. "I'll go first. You're next. I'll act as your descent partner."
Petrified, she said nothing. Just stared at him as though he were speaking a foreign...