north america

 MARCH 2011

 

 

BECOMING THE TYCOON’S BRIDE

 

paperback

ebook ~ kindle

 


 

This novella was written by Liz to celebrate Mills & Boon’s Centenary!

 

 

 

 

 


 

australia/nz

 

MARCH 2009

 

 

 


 

 

 

BUY THE BOOK

 

paperback

ebook ~ kindle

 

 

 


 

REVIEWS

 

 

"BECOMING THE TYCOON’S BRIDE (4*) by Patricia Thayer & Liz Fielding:. In “Chosen as the Sheikh’s Wife” by Fielding, Violet Hamilton discovers that she is a Middle Eastern princess. She is in serious danger as political factions fight for a historically significant dagger in her possession. Sheikh Fayad must work quickly to save the both Violet and his country. These novellas feature dynamic heroes, independent heroines and fun, fast-paced plots."

 

Roseann Marlett,

Romantic Times BOOKclub

 

 

 

"The family history of Violet and Fayad is a love that spans generations and oceans! CHOSEN AS THE SHEIKH'S WIFE … will transport readers with its mesmerizing romance and compelling characters."
 

Merrimom Book Reviews


 

 

"This was a really delightful book. Throughout the gentle humourous Englishness of Violet is juxtaposed with the dashing determined Sheikh who has never quite met anyone like her. And it turns into a genuine love story as in the end, the Sheikh proves he is prepared to sacrifice everything to protect her. Thoroughly recommended."

 

Mills and Boon Fan Blog

 

 

 

"The romance and passion between Violet and Fayad is encompassed with humour, warmth and a mutual respect from both parties that only a Liz Fielding novel can aspire to."

 

Romance Reviewed

 


 

 

meet the hero

 

 

Sheikh Fayad al Kuwani

 

 

 

meet the heroine

 

 

Violet Hamilton

 


 

 

 


to be found in the collection entitled...
 

 

"BECOMING THE TYCOON'S BRIDE"

"The Tycoon's Marriage  Bid" by Patricia Thayer

Hugh McCutcheon is renowned for getting what he wants, and he wants Ellie Flanagan's business! But when Hugh meets flame-haired, kind Ellie, suddenly a strictly business bid is the last thing on his mind. His new proposal aims toward the altar…!

 "Chosen as the Sheikh's Wife" by Liz Fielding

After a mysterious object that Violet Hamilton found under a floorboard is valued by a TV expert, Sheikh Fayad al Khalifa comes to find Violet. Thanks to her discovery of his long-lost heirloom, the only way he can keep her safe is to put her on his private jet, take her to his desert kingdom and...marry her!


 

VIOLET had been waiting for what seemed like hours but eventually it was her turn and she limped forward with the object she’d bought along to the “Trash or Treasure” Roadshow.

She’d already been through the junk/interesting/wow! “triage” at the entrance and since the object she’d brought along for assessment had received a unanimous “wow!”, and been red-stickered to indicate its status, a television camera zoomed in to film the expert’s reaction.

She was not carried away on a tide of excitement by all this enthusiasm.  It only meant that her piece of “trash” was unusual enough to arouse interest – and not necessarily of the kindly variety.  This show was, after all, primarily “entertainment” and if you set yourself up as an “Aunt Sally”, you had to expect the knocks.

She hadn’t wanted to come.  It was Sarah, her next door neighbour, who’d insisted on dragging her reluctant bones along to the town hall so that she could be publicly humiliated for the amusement of several million Sunday night viewers.  Sarah who, just at the moment when she needed her for moral support, had disappeared in search of a loo. 

Pregnancy was no excuse…

‘What have we got here?’  The “expert”,  permanently tanned, silver-haired, a darling of the blue-rinse brigade, was familiar from the many evenings she’d sat watching this programme with her grandmother.

‘I don’t know,’ she said, truthfully, putting the brown padded envelope which she’d been clutching to her chest on the baize covered table in front of him.  ‘To be honest I feel a bit of a fool bringing it here --’ ... she felt better for getting that out, disassociating herself from any pretence to have found “treasure” ... ‘-- but my neighbour lived in the Middle East for a while and she thought it was … interesting.’ 

Oh, lame, Violet Hamilton.  Pathetic to blame someone not here to defend herself.  

   ‘Well, let’s have a look at it shall we?’  He tipped a rag-wrapped bundle out onto the table in front of him.

‘That’s just how I found it,’ Violet said, quickly, not wanting him to think she routinely kept her valuables wrapped in rotted black silk.  Not that she had any valuables.  ‘This morning,’ she added.  ‘When I put my foot through the floorboards.’  The cameraman pointed his lens at her strapped up ankle.  Terrific...  This was her “fifteen minutes of fame” and already her ankle was more interesting.  ‘It must have been there for years,’ she said.

Without a word he carefully unfolded the rotted silk to reveal an ornately decorated dagger.  Around them people crowded in to get a closer look.

That it was old was not in doubt.  The handle had the patina of hard-use and, inset in the top was a large, smoothly polished red stone the size of a pigeon’s egg.  The sheath wasn’t straight, but sharply curved and adorned with fancy silver and gold-coloured filigree work into which were set three similar, tear-shaped red stones, decreasing in size as they reached the curved point and looking for all the world as if the stone on the handle was bleeding along its length.

The man said nothing for so long that Violet said, ‘If I’d seen it on a market stall, I’d had sworn it was a pantomime prop.  Something the genie might wear in Aladdin.’  The crowd, obligingly, laughed.  ‘All glass beads and plastic handle,’ she added.

Then, as he eased the knife out of the sheath and the lights glinted off the blade, the laughter died.

‘It’s not a theatrical prop,’ he said, unnecessarily. 

‘No.’  And belatedly Violet wondered exactly how many laws she’d broken simply by carrying the thing in public. 

‘You found it under the floorboards you said?’ he prompted, with a keen, assessing glance.  ‘And which floorboards would they be?’ 

My floorboards,’ she replied a touch defensively, although now that the equity release people had done their sums the floorboards – along with most of the structure – were apparently theirs. 

‘I’m the fourth generation of my family to live there,’ she added.  And the last.  

‘Then it’s likely that someone in your family hid it?’

‘Unless burglars have started breaking in and leaving loot instead of taking it,’ she agreed, and raised another laugh from the people crowded round to listen to what he had to say.  Maybe she should consider a career in “stand-up”…

‘Indeed,’ he agreed, his smile as fake as his tan.  It was his job to make the humorous remarks.  ‘Maybe we can come back to that.’  Then, turning back to the knife, ‘The Arab world has always been famous for its weapons and this is a khanjar, mostly worn now as a ceremonial piece in the same way as swords are worn with dress uniforms.’

He talked about the blade, about how the sharply curved scabbard was made, the skills being passed on from one generation of craftsmen to the next.  He knew his stuff and the crowd around them was quiet now, intent.  They knew that when he took this amount of time it was because he’d found something a bit special.

‘This knife is exceptional,’ he continued.  ‘Not only is the blade of the very highest quality, but the handle is made from rare, much-prized rhino horn.’

‘Eeeuw...’  Violet sat back, instinctively distancing herself from it.

‘It’s more than a hundred years old,’ he said, reassuringly. 

‘Does that make a difference?’ she asked.  ‘The rhino still died just to furnish some man with a handle for his knife.’

‘The transference of power had a potent appeal.  It was a different world…’

‘Not that different.’

‘No.’  Then, turning to a safer subject, he went on, ‘The filigree work is fine gold and silver and the use of rubies...’

‘Rubies!’ Violet exclaimed, forgetting all about the poor rhino who’d given up his horn just so that some dumb man would feel invincible when he wielded this blade.  Forgetting everything in her shock.  ‘They can’t possibly be rubies!’

This time his smile was genuine.  It was finds like this, reactions like hers, that made the programme compulsive viewing.

‘I mean they’re huge,’ she said.  Then, ‘I thought they were glass.’  And raised another laugh.  This time for her foolishness.  Everyone was an expert…

‘They might well have been,’ he agreed.  ‘All kinds of decoration can and has been used on this kind of knife, but these stones are the real thing.  Cabochon rubies – that is they have been polished rather than cut.’

Violet, aware that something more was expected, could only manage a slightly croaky, ‘Oh…’

Rubies… 

‘What we have here is the kind of weapon that would have been owned and worn by a chief.  A sheikh,’ he elaborated.  ‘Maybe even a sultan.  It has a certain Ottoman splendour.  It needs cleaning, of course, but even in this state I can’t remember when I’ve seen anything quite so fine.’

It was rare for anything to reduce Violet to silence, but he had managed it.

‘The really interesting a question is how it came to be hidden beneath your floorboards?’

Violet was well aware what it must look like.  What everyone must be thinking.  That it had been stolen and, too hot to fence, had been hidden away and eventually forgotten about but her family had enough of a history without adding larceny to the list, so she said, ‘I suppose it could have something to do with the family legend.’ 

‘Family legend?’

‘The one about my great-great grandmother being a blue-eyed Arabian princess who sewed her jewels into her clothes,’ she said, ‘and ran away from her husband with my great-great grandfather.’

It was, gratifyingly, Mr Smooth’s turn to be reduced to silence if only momentarily.   

‘An Arabian princess?’ he repeated, with a touch of uncertainty.  She could see from his expression that he wasn’t sure whether she was pulling his leg.

‘With blue eyes,’ she confirmed, beginning to see the possibilities for entertainment, herself.  ‘I’d always assumed it was just one of those tales that had grown in the telling.’  She shrugged, leaving him to make up his own mind.

‘Most stories have some element of truth in them,’ he suggested.  ‘Was he a soldier?  Your great-great-grandfather?’

‘He was in the army.  A bandsman.  A piper.  They were medics.  Stretcher bearers,’ she explained. 

‘Quite.’  Then,  ‘It’s more likely that he brought this back from the Middle East as a trophy,’ he said, apparently discounting the Arabian princess theory as pure fantasy.  ‘Possibly from Turkey.  This kind of elaborate decoration was favoured in the Ottoman dynasty.’

‘Actually,’ she said, refusing to allow him to dismiss her story in quite so casual a manner, ‘it was the “princess” and the “jewels” I always assumed were the tall stories.’  Her great-great-grandfather had braved artillery fire to carry wounded soldiers to safety, had a Military Medal to attest to his heroism, and she wasn’t having him publicly branded a thief.  ‘Great-great grandma Fatima was real enough.  I have a photograph of her.’ 

There was a stiffly-posed sepia-tinted photograph of a tall, exotically handsome woman, standing behind her seated husband in the “family gallery” on the kitchen dresser.

‘And a letter.  In Arabic…’

‘Well...’  For a moment he appeared lost for words – twice in one day had to be a record.  ‘Well, you have a real story.  And a rich treasure.  Knives like these are very much in demand and if you were to put it up for auction in a specialist sale...’ 

He mentioned some ridiculous sum of money and all around her she heard gasps.  And she was the one left struggling for words.

It was, Violet thought, numbly, a bit like a fairy tale.

She’d been in her grandmother’s bedroom, emptying her wardrobe, sorting out what was good enough to send to the charity shop, when she’d stepped back and gone through a floorboard that had creaked for as long as she could remember.  And then, having pulled out her foot, she’d seen the carefully wrapped black silk bundle.

Buried treasure. 

She was still in shock when the photographer from the local newspaper said “smile” and took her photograph.

 

CHOSEN AS THE SHEIKH'S WIFE by Liz Fielding

(C) Copyright 2008 ~ From the book 100 ARABIAN NIGHTS
ISBN 978-0263866780  (UK)
Imprint: Romance TM & Harlequin Romance (R)
(R) & TM are trademarks of the publisher

 

 

 

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