Heart of Flame
And on the One-Thousand-and-Second night, Scheherazade told this story? By day, Taqla uses her forbidden sorcery to move freely about the city of Damascus in the guise of an old sage. Her true identity known only by her faithful servant woman, Taqla is content with the comfortable, if restrictive, life that keeps her safe from the control of any man. Until she lays eyes on a handsome merchant-traveler. Suddenly her magical disguise doesn't rest so easily on her shoulders. When long-time widower, Rafiq, hears that the Amir's beautiful daughter has been kidnapped by a scheming djinni--and that she will be given in marriage to her rescuer--he seeks the help of "Umar the Wise" to ensure he will be that man. Yet as he and the disguised Taqla set off, he senses that his prickly male companion is hiding something. In a moment of dire peril, all of Taqla's secrets are stripped bare--her fears, her sorcery and, worst of all, her love for Rafiq. Yet the princess's life hangs in the balance, and there is no running away or turning back. Even though passion may yet betray them all... Warning: Scary monsters and creepy ruins in the desert--check. Pagan gods that demand blood-sacrifices--double check. A handsome hero who looks good in a robe and even better out of it--oh yeah. Check, check and check. That's worth a heroine dropping a veil or two.