The Sheik & The Princess Bride

The Sheik & The Princess Bride

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by Susan Mallery

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Prince Jefri of Bahania had just been a woman! And not just any female, but Billie Van Horn, his gorgeous, take-no-prisoners flight instructor who was more than a match for this ultramasculine male.

Well, she might be an ace in the air, but when it came to romance Billie was determined to



Prince Jefri of Bahania had just been a woman! And not just any female, but Billie Van Horn, his gorgeous, take-no-prisoners flight instructor who was more than a match for this ultramasculine male.

Well, she might be an ace in the air, but when it came to romance Billie was determined to keep both feet on the ground. So why did the sexy sheik make her feel as if she were soaring high above the clouds? She knew that when royal honor called, her high-born lover would fly from her side forever...unless Jefri defied his destiny and chose love....

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Desert Rogues , #1647
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The Sheik & The Princess Bride

By Susan Mallery

Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.

Copyright © 2004 Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-373-24647-1

Chapter One

Prince Jefri of Bahania refused to believe he could be beaten by a woman. It was simply not possible. Yet here he sat in the cockpit of his F15, going over five hundred miles an hour and staring into the sun where he'd last seen the other plane soar out of sight.

"You'd better get moving, big guy."

The amused female voice came through his headset and caused him to grind his teeth.

Where was she? He turned his head, searching for a glimmer of sunlight on metal. Something. Anything that would give him a clue as to her whereabouts. He saw nothing.

Jefri had been flying since he was a teenager and in all that time, he'd never once been anything but confident. For the first time in his life, he felt a cold sweat trickle down his back. Seconds later a high-pitched warning tone sounded in the cockpit. She'd locked on to him. Had this been a real combat situation, he would be dead.

"Bang, bang," the woman said and then chuckled.

"You lasted all of two minutes. Not bad for a rookie. Okay. Follow me down."

Suddenly her jet swooped in from his left. The machine turned gracefully, then moved in front of his. Even at this speed, she was close enough for him to read the call sign painted on the fuselage.

Girly Girl.

Jefri groaned. This could not be happening. He was a prince, a sheik, heir to untold wealth and land. He was the youngest son of the king of Bahania. He did not get shot out of the sky by a woman!

"I know what you're thinking," she said. "You're upset and humiliated. You men always are. Console yourself with the fact that no one's beaten me in a dogfight for six or seven years. This is war, not personal. My job is to make you better. Your job is to learn. Nothing more."

"I am aware of my responsibilities," he said curtly.

"You're going to hold a grudge, aren't you? I can already tell." She sighed. "Some guys are like that. Oh, well. It's your ulcer."

With that, her jet rotated as gracefully as a ballerina, then streaked across the sky. Jefri stared at the space where it had been just a heartbeat ago. How the hell had she done that?

He shook his head and keyed in the code for the recently installed military air traffic control tower. After giving his number and approximate position in the desert, he requested permission to return to the base. When it was granted, he turned his plane to the correct coordinates and headed south.

Twenty minutes later, he landed and taxied his jet toward the large, newly constructed hangars. When he'd stopped the plane and opened the hatch, he heard someone call his name.

"Two minutes," Doyle Van Horn yelled from the tarmac. "That's the record so far. Good for you."

Good? Jefri gritted his teeth and climbed down the ladder. "It was a disaster."

When he reached the ground, Doyle slapped him on the shoulder. "You can't take it personally. Nobody beats Billie."

"That's what she said." Jefri stared at the blond man. "How long has she been with your firm?"

Doyle grinned. "Technically, all her life. She's my sister. Dad had her driving tanks by the time she was twelve. She soloed in a jet on her sixteenth birthday. You said you wanted to be trained by the best, and that's what we provided, Your Highness."

"Call me Jefri. I've told you, no formalities. It will be easier that way."

Doyle nodded. "Just checking. I thought you might be touchy after being shot down and all. Some guys are."

Jefri didn't doubt it. He watched as a second aircraft came in for landing. The jet moved lightly, barely raising any dust when the wheels touched down.

"I wish to meet her," he said firmly.

"I figured you would. They always do."

Jefri raised his eyebrows. "Do they?"

"Yup. No one can believe it. Things only get worse when they get a look at her."

"In what way?"

Doyle laughed and held up his hands in a gesture of surrender. "You go find out for yourself. Just one warning. You might be a prince and the guy who hired us, but Billie is off-limits. To everyone. Even you."

Jefri was not used to being given orders, but he didn't argue with Doyle. He wasn't interested in Billie Van Horn as anything but a resource. If she was the best, he wanted to learn from her. Then he would take her on again, and this time he would win.

Billie climbed out of the cockpit and tugged on the zipper of her flight suit. No matter how many times she sent the manufacturer her measurements, they always got the fit wrong. Whoever designed the stupid things seemed to forget women had parts men didn't.

She jumped the last couple of feet to the ground and removed her helmet. As she did, she saw a tall man striding toward her. She recognized the determined pace, the stubborn set of the shoulders. Oh, yeah, this would be Prince Jefri. No doubt Bahanian royalty weren't used to losing. Well, he'd better get used to it. She didn't plan to treat him any differently than any other client, which meant he was going to keep on hearing that tone-lock for the rest of her time here.

Men always hated being beaten by her. They couldn't seem to accept that a woman could be good in a dogfight. In her experience the men she trained fell into two camps. The first got angry and aggressive, often attempting to take out their frustrations in the air by bullying and intimidating her on the ground. The second kind ignored her. Outside of the classroom or an airplane, she simply didn't exist.

A few men - a very few - saw her as an actual person and were pleasant.

But no one she'd ever trained had bothered to see her as a woman. She supposed it was asking too much to find a man who could accept that she could whip his butt in the air and still want to go dancing on Saturday night.


Excerpted from The Sheik & The Princess Bride by Susan Mallery Copyright © 2004 by Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women. Publishers Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Susan lives in Seattle with her husband and her tiny but intrepid toy poodle. Visit her at

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Sheik and the Princess Bride 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
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Billie Van Horn¿s and Prince Jefri¿s story to me is probably the ¿spunkiest¿, if that¿s a word, of Susan Mallery¿s Desert Rogue series. It was so much fun to read and yet a little sad. Billie is the only girl in her family of men who travel all over the world training countries and pilots in the art of flying jets. Billie is an ace pilot and has never been beaten by a man. She is fun, beautiful, sexy, and spunky and longs to meet a man who accepts her for just being Billie. Prince Jefri is the youngest son of the King of Bahania and is in charge of setting up the air force for Bahania, El Bahar and The City of Thieves. He is a Cracker Jack pilot as well, a ladies man and just plain sexy and handsome. However, he has also agreed to accept a wife as arranged by his father. Little does he realize he will be so strongly attracted to Billie and later fall in love with her. However, his ¿arranged¿ bride-to-be arrives on the scene only to complicate matters. Enter one huge mess and to add to the mix, Billie¿s brother and the King interfering in their relationship. Again, Susan Mallery has written such an enjoyable story¿.love, lust and passion all in a desert setting. Back Cover Book Summary Lovely blonde Billie Van Horn is a gorgeous, take-no-prisoners flight instructor who has been assigned to train a number of pilots in Bahania, including the ultra-masculine Prince Jefri. At first Jefri is miffed at being bested by the beautiful super-pilot, but after he lays his eyes on her, he becomes hopelessly smitten. The prince invites Billie to stay at his family's palace during the duration of the flight training, an offer she eager accepts. With her dog Muffin and her brother Doyle, Billie settles into the luxurious suite and enjoys her close proximity to Jefri. But Billie is crestfallen when Jefri's future wife, the young and shy Tahira, arrives on the scene. Before meeting Billie, Jefri asked his father to find a suitable wife...and is dismayed when it seems to be too late to cancel his marriage plans. Billie is well aware that when royal honor calls, her high-born lover will have to fly from her side forever...unless he defies his destiny and chooses love