Mollie Mathews


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Happy Independence Day

Date: 4th July 2023, Posted by mollie

Dear friends,

Happy Independence dear friends in America. Although we don’t officially celebrate your special day in New Zealand, I do love to cheer alongside you. I thought it would fun to write a wee prequel to my upcoming release Stolen by the Sheikh where they share a kiss (and more) on Independence Day. I hope you enjoy it.

Stolen By the Sheikh…

The scorching desert sun beat down relentlessly on the golden sands, creating a mirage-like illusion in the distance. Lucy Ford wiped the sweat from her brow and adjusted her wide-brimmed hat, shielding her from the intense heat. She had been summoned by Sheikh Anwar na Hassir to accompany him on a journey to acquire a rare piece of art, amidst the barren beauty of this unforgiving landscape.

Lucy had been working with the enigmatic billionaire for months, carefully studying various art collections and auctions around the world. Anwar’s taste was refined and his demands were exacting; he sought only the most extraordinary masterpieces for his private collection. As they ventured deeper into the desert, Lucy couldn’t help but feel a mix of excitement and trepidation.

The caravan of vehicles came to a halt at a secluded oasis, a hidden gem in the heart of the desert. Anwar’s entourage quickly set up a makeshift camp, while Lucy surveyed the surroundings. The oasis was a stark contrast to the barren desert, with lush palm trees and a sparkling pool of water that seemed like a mirage in this desolate expanse.

As dusk settled upon the desert, Lucy and Anwar sat beneath the star-studded sky, their gazes fixed on the painting she had secured for him. It was a remarkable piece, depicting the vastness of the desert with a haunting beauty. The colours danced off the canvas, capturing the essence of the landscape they now found themselves in.

Anwar’s eyes sparkled as he studied the painting. “Lucy, you have outdone yourself,” he said, his voice filled with admiration. “This painting captures the very soul of this desert.”

Lucy couldn’t help but feel a surge of pride. The Sheikh’s approval meant the world to her, and she had strived to find a piece that would truly resonate with him. As they sat side by side, their shoulders almost touching, Lucy felt a growing connection with the Sheikh. The vastness of the desert seemed to mirror the depths of their souls.

Days turned into weeks, and Lucy found herself accompanying Sheikh Anwar na Hassir on various expeditions, seeking more extraordinary art pieces to add to his collection. The desert became their backdrop, a silent witness to their shared passion for art. With each passing day, their bond grew stronger, and Lucy found herself captivated by the Sheikh’s charisma and profound knowledge.

Then, on the eve of the 4th of July, Sheikh Anwar na Hassir invited Lucy to join him for a special celebration in the heart of the desert. A team of chefs prepared a sumptuous feast, and a group of musicians serenaded them with melodic tunes under the moonlit sky. As the night grew darker, fireworks burst into the air, illuminating the vast expanse of sand.

Lucy stood by Anwar’s side, both mesmerized by the spectacle above them. The explosions of color and light reflected in their eyes, creating a magical aura around them. In that moment, the Sheikh turned to Lucy, a mixture of longing and vulnerability in his gaze. Without uttering a word, he leaned in, his lips meeting hers in a gentle, passionate kiss.

Time seemed to stand still as their connection deepened, the desert whispering its approval. The setting sun glowed indolently, a giant fiery-red and violet blaze in the dusty haze.  The alluring scent of jasmine, amber, musk, and oud perfumed the air. His firm lips seared her mouth with his hot urgency, his kiss sure and confident.  She was barely aware of being lifted in his arms, as an explosion of sensation blazed through her.

Her mind went blank. Emptied of everything but the promise of him as Anwar carried her to the royal tent. Laying her on the bed, he wrenched his long white robe over his head. His muscular chest glistened with sweat, and the flickering candlelight washed him in a golden glow. He undressed her and lowered himself upon her, his weight pressing her into the softness of the luxury sheets. He slid his leg along her thigh so that she felt the roughness of his skin against the smoothness of hers. She gazed into his beautifully rugged face; her body aching with hunger as the most private part of him entered her.

But just as quickly as the moment had arrived, it faded away, leaving a bittersweet taste in their mouths. They pulled away, their eyes locked in a shared understanding. Their ill-fated romance was destined to remain a beautiful memory forever etched in the sands of time.

As the fireworks crescendoed to their finale, Lucy and Sheikh Anwar exchanged a knowing smile, silently acknowledging the complexities of their situation. The desert had witnessed their fleeting connection, but the reality of their worlds would ultimately tear them apart.

In the following days, Lucy and Anwar continued their pursuit of art, their shared passion still burning brightly. Yet, a subtle shift had occurred. The stolen kiss and brief intimacy had awakened a longing within them, a desire to explore the depths of their connection. But they knew that the boundaries of their relationship were defined by duty and circumstance.

Amidst the vast desert, Lucy found solace in her work. Each new art acquisition brought a sense of accomplishment, a distraction from the unspoken yearning that lingered between her and Sheikh Anwar. They shared stolen glances when no one was looking, their eyes speaking volumes.

One evening, as they stood in front of a breathtaking sunset, Anwar broke the silence. “Lucy,” he began, his voice tinged with a mixture of regret and longing, “our paths were destined to cross, but our destinies are meant to remain separate.”

Lucy’s heart sank, but she understood the truth in his words. Their worlds were worlds apart, and the responsibilities they carried were heavy burdens. She nodded, her eyes filling with unshed tears. “I know,” she whispered softly, her voice barely audible over the desert winds.

They stood there, absorbing the beauty of the desert one last time, knowing that their time together had reached its inevitable end. With a heavy heart, Lucy turned away, her footsteps carrying her back towards the oasis, and eventually, back to her own life in New York.

Months passed, and Lucy threw herself into her work, burying the memories of the desert and the ill-fated romance deep within her heart. Anwar’s collection grew, his desire for art unwavering. But within the recesses of his mind, he couldn’t help but think of the art adviser who had ignited a flame within him, even if it had to be extinguished.

Then, one day, a package arrived at Lucy’s doorstep. Opening it cautiously, she discovered a small envelope with a handwritten note from Anwar. “Dear Lucy,” it read, “The desert may have separated us, but the art we shared will always be a reminder of our connection. Thank you for showing me a world beyond wealth and power. With gratitude, Sheikh Anwar na Hassir.”

Tears filled Lucy’s eyes as she gazed at the note, realizing the impact their brief encounter had on both their lives. The memory of their stolen kiss in the desert would forever be etched in her heart, a symbol of a love that was never meant to be.

Lucy continued to work in the art world, her experiences with Sheikh Anwar shaping her perspective. The ill-fated romance became a story she shared with close friends, a testament to the power of art and the complexities of the human heart.

And as the desert winds whispered their secrets, Lucy found solace in the knowledge that she had once shared a connection with a billionaire sheikh amidst the golden sands, where art and passion collided under the watchful eye of the unforgiving desert sun.

She rubbed the small mound of her growing belly, sending skyrockets of sparks tingling through her, awakening the dangerous sense of excitement and anticipation that had once seduced her into making love with Anwar beneath the desert stars. She swallowed hard, aching need and fear building in her chest. Liberation. Freedom. Escape. She owed it to her unborn child to keep her secret safe.

Lucy swallowed hard, her throat as dry as the desert sands. What vengeance would he seek when he learned the truth of her deception?

I hope you enjoyed reading this excerpt and meeting some of the characters and images of the beautiful desert settings which inspired this romance. 

If you’ve read Claimed by The Sheikh, you’ll remember Anwar from the first chapters of this full length love story.

You’ll also meet Issy Riley, the art therapist who had encouraged Lucy to paint in Stolen By The Sheikh. Read Issy and Massimilliano Balforni’s love story in The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride

Claimed by The Sheikh, remains one of my favourite love stories.

I hope you enjoy the audio excerpt and video:

To enjoy your copy from Amazon:

To enjoy your copy from iBooks, Barnes & Noble and other great bookstores:

To enjoy your copy from Kobo:








testimonial Claimed by the Sheikh

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