9780553571820

The Treasure

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780553571820

  • ISBN10:

    0553571826

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2009-11-24
  • Publisher: Bantam
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Summary

Two unlikely treasure hunters. . . Lady Selene Ware was nothing more than a harem slave when reformed assassin Kadar Ben Arnaud helped her escape to her native Scotland. But she still wasn't safe from the sheikh who claimed her as his property--and who now forces her and Kadar on a quest to find the most powerful religious relic of all time. One perilous journey. . .So begins a dangerous odyssey that leads Selene and Kadar to an encounter with the reclusive Tarik, who now possesses the treasure. The closer they come to discovering its secret, however, the closer they will come to losing each other--and their lives. The stakes couldn't be higher. . .. The truth is far more explosive than the treasure hunters could ever have realized. Even as Selene grasps the key to this age-old mystery, Kadar is forced to step over the line separating the dark path from the light to save her from an unthinkable fate.

Author Biography

Iris Johansen, who has more than twenty-seven million copies of her books in print, has won many awards for her achievements in writing. The bestselling author of Killer Dreams, Blind Alley, Firestorm, Fatal Tide, Dead Aim, Body of Lies, The Search, and many other novels, she lives near Atlanta, Georgia, where she is currently at work on a new novel.


From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts

Chapter One


AUGUST 4, 1196
MONTDHU, SCOTLAND


"SHE'S BEING VERY FOOLISH." Thea frowned as she watched Selene across the great hall. "I don't like this, Ware."

"Neither does Kadar," Ware said cheerfully as he took a sip of his wine. "I'm rather enjoying it. It's interesting to see our cool Kadar disconcerted."

"Will it also be interesting if Kadar decides to slaughter that poor man at whom she's smiling?" Thea asked tartly. "Or Lord Kenneth, who she partnered in the last country dance?"

"Yes." He smiled teasingly at her. "It's been far too peaceful here for the last few years. I could use a little diversion."

"Blood and war are not diversions except to warriors like you." Her frown deepened. "And I thought you very happy here at Montdhu. You did not complain."

He lifted her hand and kissed the palm. "How would I dare with such a termagant of a wife."

"Don't tease. Have you been unhappy?"

"Only when you robbed me of craftsmen for my castle so that you could have them build a ship for your silk trade."

"I needed that ship. What good is it to produce fine silks if you can't sell them? It wasn't sensible to–" She shook her head. "You know I was right, and you have your castle now. It's as fine and strong as you could want. Everyone at the feast tonight has told you they have never seen a more secure fortress."

His smile faded. "And we might well have need of our fortress soon."

She frowned. "Have you heard news from the Holy Land?"

He shook his head. "But we walk a fine line, Thea. We've been lucky to have these years to prepare."

Ware was still looking over his shoulder, Thea thought sadly. Well, who could blame him? They had fled the wrath of the Knights Templar to come to this land, and if the Knights found out that Ware was not dead, as they thought, they would be unrelenting in their persecution. Ware and Thea had almost been captured before their journey started. It had been Kadar who had bargained with Sinan, the head of the assassins, to lend them a ship to take them to Scotland. But that was the past, and Thea would not have Ware moody tonight when he had so much to celebrate.

"We're not lucky, we're intelligent. And the Knights Templar are foolish beyond belief if they think you would betray them. It makes me angry every time I think of it. Now drink your wine and enjoy this evening. We've made a new life and everything is fine."

He lifted his cup. "Then why are you letting the fact that your sister is smiling prettily at Lord Douglas upset you?"

"Because Kadar hasn't taken his eyes off her all evening." Her gaze returned to her sister. Selene's pale-gold silk gown made her dark-red hair glow with hidden fires, and her green eyes shone with vitality–and recklessness. The little devil knew exactly what she was doing, Thea thought crossly. Selene was impulsive at times, but this was not such an occasion. Her every action tonight was meant to provoke Kadar. "And I didn't invite the entire countryside to see your splendid new castle so that she could expose them to mayhem."

"Tell her. Selene loves you. She won't want you unhappy."

"I will." She rose to her feet and strode down the hall toward the great hearth, before which Selene was holding court. Ware was right: Selene might be willful, but she had a tender heart. She would never intentionally hurt anyone she loved. All Thea had to do was confront her sister, express her distress, and the problem would be solved.

Maybe.

"Don't stop her, Thea."

She glanced over her shoulder to see Kadar behind her. He had been leaning against the far pillar only sec

Excerpted from The Treasure by Iris Johansen
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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