The Lost Prince [NOOK Book]

Overview

Aide worker Katy McMann was tending to the wounded in a war-torn country when she stumbled upon the cause of the conflict--the king of Baraq. The enigmatic Nikolas Ramsey hid among imprisoned men until he could find a way to restore himself to the throne. In the confines of the prison their chemistry sizzled, and Katy wished circumstances were different. She kept his dangerous secret, but then he asked her to make a sacrifice for the Baraqi people--have his child for the future of his kingdom. Fulfilling his ...
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The Lost Prince

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Overview

Aide worker Katy McMann was tending to the wounded in a war-torn country when she stumbled upon the cause of the conflict--the king of Baraq. The enigmatic Nikolas Ramsey hid among imprisoned men until he could find a way to restore himself to the throne. In the confines of the prison their chemistry sizzled, and Katy wished circumstances were different. She kept his dangerous secret, but then he asked her to make a sacrifice for the Baraqi people--have his child for the future of his kingdom. Fulfilling his request might save the country and Nick, but would it cost Katy her heart?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426858246
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 3/15/2010
  • Series: Silhouette Intimate Moments Series , #1441
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 298,418
  • File size: 467 KB

Meet the Author

Cindy Dees started flying airplanes while sitting in her dad's lap at the age of three and got a pilot's license before she got her driver's license. At age 15, she dropped out of high school and left the horse farm in Michigan where she grew up to attend the University of Michigan.

After earning a degree in Russian and East European studies, she joined the U.S. Air Force and became the youngest female pilot in the history of the Air Force. She flew supersonic jets, VIP airlift, and the C-5 Galaxy, the world's largest airplane. She also worked part-time gathering intelligence. During her military career, she traveled to 42 countries on five continents, was detained by the KGB and East German secret police, got shot at, flew in the first Gulf War, met her husband and amassed a lifetime's worth of war stories.

Her hobbies include professional Middle Eastern dancing, Japanese gardening and medieval reenacting. She started writing on a one-dollar bet with her mother and was thrilled to win that bet with the publication of her first book in 2001. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at cindydees.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Katy McMann ached from head to foot. But then, twelve hours and counting in an airplane seat had a way of doing that. Thankfully this was the last leg of her journey from Washington, D.C. to North Africa and a postage-stamp kingdom called Baraq. Near Morocco somewhere.
She'd tried to sleep on the flight from D.C. to London, but her nerves pretty much shot that plan. This was her first mission as a humanitarian relief worker with InterAid, and she was terrified that she was going to blow it. Every newbie to the organization probably felt that way. But not every newbie lived with paparazzi camped on her doorstep, ready and waiting to catch the tiniest screwup on her part and splash it across the tabloid headlines.
It wasn't that she'd ever done anything the slightest bit newsworthy in her twenty-six years to date. But her brothers had. The McMann clan had burst onto the legal scene a few years back as the spectacularly successful lawyers to the rich and guilty. And ever since, the press had been laying in wait for them, sniffing like bloodhounds after any morsel of dirt to smear on her brothers' names--including the private life of their little sister.
The InterAid team leader, Don Ford, a marathon runner and all-around intense personality, stood up in front of the clustered team with a clipboard in hand, effectively distracting her from disparaging thoughts of her brothers and their lack of moral spine.
Ford read off a list of assignments for when they arrived in the country. She would be working on prisoner interviews with a guy named Larry Grayson. She'd met him briefly last night. He was a barrel-chested man with short, gray crew-cut hair, a fleshy face, small eyesbehind wire-rimmed glasses and no lips to speak of. Rather, a white line of habitually compressed flesh marked his mouth. He'd struck her as a pompous ass who could probably quote large chunks of the Geneva Convention from memory and who took as his personal responsibility enforcing it down to the last t crossed and i dotted.
She caught a few smirks around her. Yup, she'd been stuck with Grayson intentionally. Note to self: Don Ford wasn't above putting the notorious rookie in her place. She sighed.
Prisoner interviews, eh? She pulled out her training manual and reviewed what it had to say on the subject. The job mostly involved verifying identities, ascertaining the prisoner's state of health, examining living conditions, delivering letters and care packages to prisoners and making sure no illegal interrogation methods were being employed. None of it sounded too hard.
A flight attendant came around to collect the last trash and check that everyone's seats and trays were in their upright and locked positions. Katy's ears popped gently as the plane began its descent into Baraq. She looked out the window at the barren mountains below, brick red beneath a beige layer of haze. A few pockets of green dotted the rocky landscape, but for the most part the forbidding terrain looked startlingly like Mars. And human beings lived in that? Ugh.
The plane planted itself hard on terra firma at Baraq International Airport and taxied up to a modern glass-and-chrome terminal. The ramp was conspicuously deserted. Theirs was the only plane visible on the entire field, in fact. Not exactly a teeming metropolis of activity. Of course, a coup d'├ętat no doubt put a severe cramp on travel-related activity.
A commotion outside caught Katy's attention. She leaned forward to look out her window and saw a line of soldiers run up, surrounding the airplane. They all had machine guns at the ready, pointed at the plane. Whoa. Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore.
What sort of idiot escaped an enemy by putting himself into that very enemy's hands? An idiot with no other options, apparently. Kareem's plan was audacious. Certainly unexpected. Arguably insane. Doomed to failure. And here Nick was, going along with it like a lamb to the slaughter. Even his natural optimism was stretched to the breaking point on this one. For the first time in his life his family's money, power, prestige and sheer fame weren't going to buy him out of this mess. He was utterly without defenses or resources other than his own brains and guts. Lord, he felt naked.
Nick hitched up his bloodied khaki pants and took the machine gun Kareem handed him. "Okay. Let's do it."
The advisor nodded solemnly and started to move forward but then froze, looking over Nick's shoulder. Nick registered some sort of commotion behind him. Not good. Their plan wasn't in place yet. He opened his mouth to urge Kareem to hurry.
He never saw the blow coming. One moment he was looking into the eyes of his father's friend and the next pain exploded in his head like a starburst. The marble floor rushed up to slam into him, and then his world went black.
Their plane sat on the ramp with no one entering or leaving it for long enough that Katy finally dozed off. How long she slept, she didn't know. But it was morning when she woke up to the sounds of a commotion. A portable staircase had arrived and the front door of the jet had just opened.
A scowling soldier boarded the aircraft as if he owned it. "Everybody out!" he shouted.
The team disembarked onto the tarmac while machine guns followed their every movement. Surely this wasn't a typical welcome for relief agencies! She glanced around, and even the team's veterans had their shoulders up around their ears and looked tense. Not good.
They were herded down the stairs and into a tight group, with soldiers pressing in on them from all sides with those darned weapons. Katy didn't know about anybody else, but she was intimidated.
And then they stood there and waited some more. The tension built like a Beethoven symphony, rising higher and higher until she felt as if it might explode any second. If her brothers had been here orchestrating this confrontation, she'd accuse them of intentionally creating a crisis atmosphere in order to throw their opponents off balance.
Something incongruous struck her as she stood there. The smell of orange blossoms. It hung in the air, light and sweet, perfuming every breath she drew. And then something else struck her. The blinding blue of the sky overhead. This was actually a lovely little corner of the world. The sun already shone with an equatorial intensity that promised to burn her fair skin when it got a little higher in the sky. She sincerely hoped she lived long enough for that to be a problem.
When the standoff had reached the breaking point, a Baraqi Army officer strolled out to the tarmac and perused them scornfully. In Arabic he gave his troops a short order to stand down. At least that's what Katy, with her rusty college grasp of that tongue, thought he said.
The machine guns finally rose up and away.Along with the whole InterAid team, she sighed in profound relief.
The officer snapped at them to get their bags. She filed over to the British Airways jet and duly took her place in the bag brigade that passed their gear from the belly of the plane to the big pile of suitcases beyond the wing.
A large, heavy-duty Army truck drove up. It could've pulled up right beside the luggage, but no. It parked far enough away to make them carry their gear over to it. Clearly the Baraqi Army wasn't thrilled to have InterAid here. Katy hefted her duffel bag, carried it to the open-bed truck and tossed it up to the team member standing there.
She fell into the line of InterAid workers headed for another truck, this one sporting wooden benches along its wood-slatted sides. She was about to climb up into the transport when a heavy hand landed on her shoulder, startling her.
"You do not go with men," a soldier growled behind her in heavily accented English.
Now what? Was this more random harassment? Or maybe these guys had heard of her brothers, too? Sheesh.
"Over there." The man nodded at a smaller truck with canvas sides and roof. Her internal alarm system jangled wildly at the idea of being separated from the rest of the team. But it wasn't as though the rough hand crushing her shoulder gave her any choice in the matter. The soldier propelled her toward the enclosed truck.
She caught sight of Phyllis Estevaz, one of the team's other females, already seated inside the truck, wearing a head scarf and a shapeless black dress of some kind. Aah. An abaya. The black, concealing overgarment worn by women throughout the Middle East. Her guidebook had said that although the majority of the Baraqi population was Muslim, there was no official state religion in the secularly governed principality. None of the pictures of this region had indicated that women were expected to wear traditional garb.
Another soldier emerged from the far side of the truck and shoved a wad of black fabric at her. "Cover body."
She could swear he muttered the word for harlot in French as she took the pile of cloth from him. It smelled of sweat and dust and smoke and maybe a hint of some cooking spice she couldn't identify. She held up the abaya, turning it in several different directions, trying to make sense of its voluminous folds.
A female voice from behind her startled her. Hazel Whittaker, the team's third female member. "Find the neck hole and put it over your head. The opening goes in the front and ties shut. Once you've got it on, I'll show you how to put on the hijab--the head scarf and veil--so they don't drive you crazy."
In no time, Katy was swathed in what turned out to be some sort of polyester georgette fabric. It actually wasn't nearly as hot or uncomfortable as she'd expected. It looked like an oversize choir gown, with long loose sleeves and a baggy fit over her clothes. However, it was a royal pain in the rear trying to climb up the narrow metal steps into the back of the truck with it swirling around her legs. She collected the fabric in big handfuls, hiking it up as far as she could, but still she couldn't see her feet. A soldier snarled something at her in Arabic. As best as she could tell, he was growling at her for showing too much of her ankles. Something about being a lewd American. Tough. He could just look away if her ankles were so offensive. She had no intention of breaking her neck on these stupid steps.
The interior of the truck was airless and close. Were it not a cool, pleasant day outside, it would have been sweltering. Katy looked over enviously at the men in their open truck.
The caravan of trucks set out. They drove for nearly two hours up into the mountains, where people still lived as if it were the twelfth century. The one constant of the trip was that every woman she spied looked scared.
Finally square white-stucco structures began to cluster more and more closely together. They were coming into a large city. It must be Akuba. The capital of Baraq. Seat of the Ramsey dynasty for a thousand years, according to Katy's guidebook.
The streets were narrow and crowded. Nasal shouts of Arabic mingled with car horns. Turbaned men, young and old, stared suspiciously at them as the trucks rolled by. Women peeked fearfully from shadowed doorways, and Katy caught occasional glimpses past them into gated courtyards with colorful mosaic paving and dancing fountains. Heavily carved wood decorated the shop fronts, and a dusty smell of cumin hung in the air. She identified cinnamon and allspice, pepper and a hint of the rare and expensive spice saffron seasoning the smoke rising from pots over open-air cooking fires.
The truck turned a corner, and she caught her first glimpse of the royal palace, called Il Leone, towering over the city on its nearby mountain peak. It was an imposing pile of gray granite perched over Akuba like a hulking sentinel. Its walls were high and thick, topped by crenellated teeth of stone. A huge drawbridge was pulled shut, a medieval iron portcullis crisscrossing in front of it.
Circular towers rose up from each corner of the fortress, and striped red, black and green flags fluttered above them. The Baraqi flag pictured in her guidebook was white with the crossed swords and lions of the Ramsey family crest emblazoned upon it. She assumed what hung now were improvised flags from the Army regime that currently held the country.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    Great read

    This book is one of my favorites! It is a thrilling page turner. I could not put it down once I started!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2006

    Thrilling!!

    I usually don't read novels from the Intimate Moments line, but when I read the description for The Lost Prince I just had to check it out. Silhouette decided to amp up the line and make the books 'Romantic Suspense' books (much like the Intrigue line). Anyway, I was SO glad I bought it. From page one you're sucked into another world. I absolutely devoured it. The author did such a great job of making the characters come to life, and the story line was perfect. I was very sorry when the book ended.

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    Posted October 31, 2010

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    Posted September 7, 2010

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    Posted January 26, 2012

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    Posted November 16, 2010

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