Prince al Drac'ar al Karim, Sheikh of Dhurahn, must find a bride for his brother--and who better than Englishwoman Sadie Murray, who is stranded and jobless in the desert.
But Drax must make sure that Sadie is as virginal as she seems. While he has her in his power she's his to command, and he'll test her wife-worthiness at every opportunity.
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February 01, 2007
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Excerpt from Taken by the Sheikh by Penny Jordan
You are useless--totally and completely useless. I cannot imagine why I ever thought you were up to the demands of this job.You claim to have a degree, and an MBA, and yet you cannot do the simplest thing you are told."
On and on went the harsh, critical voice of her Lebanese employer, while Sadie dutifully bowed her head beneath the weight of the venom being directed towards her, all too aware that if she looked directly at Madame al Sawar now the other woman would see all too clearly the angry hostility in her own eyes. And Sadie could not afford to give madame the opportunity to threaten, as she had done many times already in the two months that Sadie had worked there, to withhold the wages still owing to her.
To be accused so unfairly and so vindictively was bad enough, but to have to stand here and be berated in a voice loud enough to carry to the rest of the al Sawar household a traditional Arab household, where loss of face was something to be dreaded and avoided at all costs made it even worse. It was typical of her employer, Sadie recognised, that she should choose to accost and accuse her while she was enjoying her legitimate lunch-break in the peace of the pretty courtyard garden of the al Sawars traditional Moorish-style Zuran home. Sadie knew perfectly well that, although she could not see them, most of household staff would be lingering in the shadows of the building, listening to their employer hectoring her assistant.
Not that they could avoid hearing what was going on, with madame screaming and shouting so loudly. The whole street could probably hear, Sadie reflected miserably. She wasn't the only recipient of her employer's vile temper. Scarcely a day went by without madame losing her temper with someone.
Sadie could have defended herself against her employer's unfair accusations, of course, and told her that she did indeed possess both a First Class Honours degree and an MBA. And she could have told her, too, that as much as Madame al Sawar regretted employing her it couldn't come close to her own regret at having taken the job. But the truth was that she simply couldn't afford to lose this job, not with madame having consistently refused to pay her since she came here.
"I have no use for such a deadweight as you in my business. You are dismissed."
"You can't do that!" Sadie burst out, panicked out of her determination not to be forced into a verbal battle.
"You think not? I assure you that I can. And don't think that you can walk out of here and get another job," madame screeched. "Because you can't. The Zurani authorities impose very harsh measures on illegals who try to take work from the locals."
Illegals! Now Sadie had to stand up for herself. "I am not an illegal," she protested. "You know that. You assured me yourself when I took this job that all the necessary formalities would be completed on my behalf. I remember signing the necessary forms Sadie was beginning to feel slightly sick with panic now, as well as from the heat burning down on her exposed head. She was being made to wait and listen to madame ranting in the full burn of the sunlight, whereas madame herself remained in the shade.
Sadie could see a smug look of satisfaction in the older woman's eyes as she affected nonchalance with a dismissive shrug.
"I do not remember saying any such thing. And if you try to claim as much now, it will be the worse for you."
Sadie could hardly believe what she was hearing. She had thought her situation bad enough, but that was nothing to what she was facing now.
With no job, no money, and no legal status here in Zuran her situation was dire indeed. And it had all seemed so promising at the time.
Six months into her first job as an MBA graduate with one of London's premier hedge funds, she had been made redundant to make way for the son of a very senior member of the bank's latest lover.