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Irish author ABBY GREEN ended a very glamorous career in film and TV—which really consisted of a lot of standing in the rain outside actors’ trailers—to pursue her love of romance. After she’d bombarded Mills & Boon with manuscripts they kindly accepted one, and an author was born. She lives in Dublin, Ireland, and loves any excuse for distraction. Visit abby-green.com or email abbygreenauthor@gmail.com.

Also by Abby Green

An Innocent, A Seduction, A Secret

Awakened by the Scarred Italian

The Greek’s Unknown Bride

Rival Spanish Brothers miniseries

Confessions of a Pregnant Cinderella

Redeemed by His Stolen Bride

The Marchetti Dynasty miniseries

The Maid’s Best Kept Secret

The Innocent Behind the Scandal

Discover more at millsandboon.co.uk.

Bride Behind the Desert Veil

Abby Green

www.millsandboon.co.uk

ISBN: 978-0-008-91386-1

BRIDE BEHIND THE DESERT VEIL

© 2021 Abby Green

Published in Great Britain 2021

by Mills & Boon, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF

All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. This edition is published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, locations and incidents are purely fictional and bear no relationship to any real life individuals, living or dead, or to any actual places, business establishments, locations, events or incidents. Any resemblance is entirely coincidental.

By payment of the required fees, you are granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right and licence to download and install this e-book on your personal computer, tablet computer, smart phone or other electronic reading device only (each a “Licensed Device”) and to access, display and read the text of this e-book on-screen on your Licensed Device. Except to the extent any of these acts shall be permitted pursuant to any mandatory provision of applicable law but no further, no part of this e-book or its text or images may be reproduced, transmitted, distributed, translated, converted or adapted for use on another file format, communicated to the public, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of publisher.

® and ™ are trademarks owned and used by the trademark owner and/or its licensee. Trademarks marked with ® are registered with the United Kingdom Patent Office and/or the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market and in other countries.

www.millsandboon.co.uk

Note to Readers

This ebook contains the following accessibility features which, if supported by your device, can be accessed via your ereader/accessibility settings:

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Text to speech

This is for Ellen Walsh.

We’ve been best friends since we were

skinny little nippers running around the back fields

and cliff ways of Ballybunion.

I treasure our friendship

and the roots from which it came.

Love you lots, always.

Contents

Cover

About the Author

Booklist

Title Page

Copyright

Note to Readers

Dedication

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

EPILOGUE

Extract

About the Publisher

PROLOGUE

‘YOUR WIFE MAY now reveal her face.’

Sheikh Sharif Bin Noor Al Nazar waited with bated breath as his new wife’s attendants came forward to unhook the elaborate face mask that had covered her face for the duration of the wedding ceremony.

Not even her eyes had been visible.

Sharif couldn’t care less what she looked like—he had no intention of consummating this marriage; it was to be in name only for as short amount of time as possible—but if she was at least passably attractive that would certainly make things easier for him.

The delicate chains and gold medallions of the face covering clinked as it was removed and her face was revealed.

The first thing Sharif noted somewhat dispassionately was that he didn’t have to worry about her being passably attractive—because she was stunningly beautiful.

The second thing was more of a visceral reaction. Shock, followed quickly by anger. Because his new wife, far from being the stranger he’d expected, was not in fact a stranger.

Not at all. In fact he knew her intimately.

One word resounded in Sharif’s head. He wasn’t even sure if he uttered it out loud. ‘You!’

CHAPTER ONE

Two weeks ago

‘YOU’RE SAYING YOU don’t even know what your bride-to-be looks like?’

The horrified expression on Nikos Marchetti’s face was almost comical. Sharif Marchetti’s younger half-brother was on a video call from his home in Ireland, where Sharif could see his wife, Maggie, pregnant again, pottering in the background with their eight-month-old baby son, Daniel, on one arm. For some strange reason Sharif found the domestic scene presented before him...distracting.

Because it was catching at something inside him. A place it shouldn’t be catching. Because he found such domesticity utterly alien and unwelcome.

He focused on his brother. ‘No, I don’t know what she looks like. I know nothing about her and I’m not interested. I’m marrying her because of a diplomatic agreement between Al-Murja and Taraq that has to be honoured. And,’ he tacked on with studied nonchalance, ‘because settling down appears to be good for business.’

That was an understatement. Since both his younger half-brothers had recently taken wives—Maks, their youngest brother, had married his wife in a private civil ceremony in London just before Christmas—the Marchetti Group’s stock value had gone through the roof.

But Sharif knew it could go even higher, reaching a stability and value that would finally bring him close to achieving all he’d set out to achieve when his father had died. When the old man had finally relinquished his control over the company that had been built off the backs of the fortunes of others. Namely, each one of his three wives—Sharif’s mother, and the mothers of Nikos and Maks.

Maggie’s face, and Daniel’s cherubic one, appeared over Nikos’s shoulder. ‘Al-Murja and Taraq? An arranged marriage? It all sounds so exotic!’

Sharif wrangled his focus back to the present moment. Nikos was reaching for his son, tucking him competently against his chest while commenting drily to his wife, who had come to perch on his knee, ‘Sharif doesn’t operate at the level of mere mortals.

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