It's Tuesday again--time for more LIE TO ME.  If you're just joining us here this week, you're viewing an excerpt from my July 3rd release as Tori St. Claire.

You can read the previous installments here:

Prologue, Part 1
Prologue, Part 2
Chapter One, Part 1

Warning: The following material is suitable for mature audiences only. It may contain graphic content that is offensive to some. It is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

A man of action…

After helping to break up a Russian human trafficking ring as part of the CIA’s elite Black Opal team, Alexei Nikanova’s newest assignment is to rescue one of the stolen women and return her to her father. When he arrives in Dubai, he discovers his target is Sasha Zablosky—a woman he knows all too well, and who has haunted him ever since their unforgettable nights spent together in Moscow, two years earlier. But he finds Sasha reluctant to leave her Sheik, the only true friend she’s ever known. Only Alexei can’t give her a choice.

A woman of deception…

With their yearning roused by intrigue, Alexei and Sasha can no longer resist and spend night after night in forbidden pleasure. Soon Alexei finds himself falling for her even as he battles a shadowy menace to protect her. But Sasha is no innocent. She has a past darker than she could ever admit or that Alexei could ever forgive. And it is about to explode into her life once more. Now, as the lies they tell themselves—and each other—pull them deeper into a perilous desire, what began as simple passion becomes a love certain to destroy them and end the lives of countless innocents.


Chapter One (Continued)

Saeed stopped in the hall and leaned his forehead against the cool white wall. He felt as if every portion of his being were locked in conflict. The secrets surrounding his father’s death, the weight and undesired responsibility of stepping into leading the family, the deep affection he felt for Sasha—none of this he had wanted. He’d been perfectly content traveling the world, reveling in the Western traditions he enjoyed—along with the freedom of taking the women he desired—until he’d been asked to protect one of his father’s slaves. Saeed had taken one look at her malnourished figure, the emptiness in her blue eyes, and instantly known he’d devote his life to fulfilling his promise.

Now he put her safety in danger to protect the other half of his responsibilities. And he knew that though Sasha had said she understood, in time, when enough women had been trafficked through his hands, this would become a wedge between them.

He took a deep breath as voices drifted from his front hall where his staff was handling Vasily’s arrival. If it weren’t for the man’s years of service in China and his contacts, which Saeed had verified, he would never risk something like this. But even Saeed, who had done all he could to stay away from the corruption of wealth, had recognized Vasily’s name. Men like Vasily had a reputation that rumbled through the quieter circles of the elite who didn’t share Saeed’s moral convictions.

“He will join you in a few moments. Please make yourself comfortable,” Saeed’s man directed.

Footsteps echoed across the marble flooring beyond the door that separated off Saeed’s personal quarters, signaling Vasily had entered the front room.

Just for a moment, Saeed wished the fabricated argument between Alexei and his father had occurred, and that his father had killed the agent. If Amir had, Saeed would be free of the despicable compromises he had been forced to make. But he hadn’t, and though the agent had seemingly dropped off the face of the earth—as would be expected— that man still possessed the ability to destroy Saeed’s family no matter what Saeed agreed to tonight. Alexei Nikanova knew, more than anyone, that he had not assassinated Amir. If he chose to speak of it, if he still monitored the activities here, the resulting nightmare would never end.

Saeed pulled in a deep, fortifying breath and pushed away from the wall. He could not worry about Alexei now, nor the concessions he’d made both to his own beliefs and to Sasha. He must see this through. He knew no other way to protect the ones he loved. Including Sasha, who had entrusted him with her dark past, and who he had sworn to protect with his life.

(Continued Next Week with Chapter 2 in full)


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(History Channel International)



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