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Everlasting [Mass Market Paperback]

Iris Johansen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 28 2009 Sedikhan
New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen delivers a powerful novel of romantic suspense that proves no price is too high, no risk too great, for love....

Knowing she’d have only one chance to enlist his help, Kira Rubinoff plotted her approach carefully. Formidable, seductive, handsome to the point of dangerous, Zack Damon didn’t suffer fools gladly, but Kira was no one’s fool. In this day and age, even a bona fide princess had to be more than just a pretty face. But from the moment of their first encounter at his mountaintop lodge, Kira's well-laid plans—and her life—were turned inside out. For the self-made international financier had been watching her for as long as she'd been watching him.

Together they will embark on an adventure to a country as exotic as it is treacherous, linked by a shared destiny and a secret Zack has been keeping until the time is right. And with danger closing in on all sides, the time to reveal it could be now...or never.

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Product Description

About the Author

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.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One


"There he is! That's Zack Damon's car!"

With a nearly inaudible swoosh the Silver Shadow Rolls Royce drew to a halt before the auditorium. Photographers and reporters converged on the car with an eagerness they hadn't displayed for either the rock star who had just gone into the lobby or for the governor, who was still lingering outside to shake hands with his constituents.

The reaction of the press was perfectly understandable, Kira Rubinoff thought as she carefully drew the hood of her black velvet cloak forward to shadow her face. Both the star and the politician constantly made themselves available to the media, while Zack Damon was almost as publicity shy as Howard Hughes had been. Perhaps wariness of the media was a trait shared by billionaires in America, where as much attention was paid to self-made tycoons as it was to royalty in Europe. Yet Damon was known to be exceptionally reclusive in that elite set of the reclusive. The only public functions he had attended this year were selected benefits and special fund-raisers for various American Indian welfare groups. By poring over newspaper and magazine articles in The New York Public Library reference room, Kira had learned a great deal about him, including the fact that he'd be attending this benefit. The Damon Foundation was a sponsor of the Indian Heritage Center; the Center had used Zack Damon's name and clout to pull in the galaxy of stars who were to perform tonight.

As the door of the Rolls was being opened by a uniformed chauffeur, Kira quickly stepped back into the shadowy mouth of the alley leading to the stage door. It was highly unlikely that Damon could spot her even if he were looking for her... which, most definitely, he was not. After all, he didn't even know her. Still, it didn't hurt to be cautious. In this, her first glimpse of the flesh-and-blood man, she definitely wanted to see, yet remain unseen.

Power. The word struck her like a blow as she watched him get out of the car. Quiet, effortless power. She knew from the articles she'd read that he was in his thirties, but he could well have been any age. He was tall and broad shouldered. Long, sleek muscles lent grace to the movements of his big body. By contrast, his face seemed brutal: black brows slashed across his forehead to frame eyes as night-black as his hair, and broad Slavic cheekbones ran parallel to a jawline that was firm and determined. That face, that composed, strong face revealed a man who had endured and waited, gathering about him forces only he could control.

He wore a black tuxedo with the casualness of one accustomed to evening wear, but who was still impatient with its necessity. And, she thought, he was handling questions from the reporters with much the same attitude he displayed toward the wearing of the tuxedo: accustomed, but impatient. Kira listened closely, not really interested in Damon's answers so much as the manner in which he gave them.

"You're not with Mallory Thane this evening. Does that mean your liaison is over?"

"I have no liaisons."

"It was reported that she stayed the weekend with you in Acapulco."

"I have no liaisons."

Blunt, impassive, soft-spoken.

"Is it true that the AirFlow merger is being fought by the unions?"

"You'll have to ask them."

"Are you half or quarter Apache, Mr. Damon?"

"Half. My grandfather was shaman of his tribe."

"You're also illegitimate. Right?"

That question obviously struck a nerve. Damon's gaze fastened on the reporter who'd asked the question. The man took a hasty step backward. "Yes, I'm both a bastard and a half-breed," he said softly. "Considering what I've made of myself, I'd say that speaks well for being both. And just what have you made of your life to date, Mr... ." He looked at the man's press badge. "Carter?"

The reporter didn't answer. He bent his head hastily over his notebook. Kira didn't blame him for avoiding Damon's challenging stare. She wasn't sure she would have had the courage to look Damon in the eye at that moment. How unnerving to experience the lethal swiftness with which he could change from neutrality to attack.

Another reporter spoke up. "You've been fighting for better education and employment opportunities for Indians for the last twelve years. Though I'm sure it's very laudable, don't you believe that a lot of what the American Indian experiences today is due to resentment of his savagery in the past?"

"No," Damon responded quietly. "I think his present situation is due to the fact that he wasn't savage enough."

But he would have been savage enough to hold what was his, Kira thought. She shivered. Oh lord, what had Marna gotten her into?

A small, graying man with a wide smile on his plump face had gotten out of the front seat of the Rolls. He was also dressed in a tuxedo, and he spoke as he stepped between Damon and the reporters. "Mr. Damon will give you a statement about his involvement with the Indian Heritage Center during the intermission. I'm afraid you'll have to excuse him now. It's time for him to go to his box."

He plowed ahead, running interference for Damon with the media, fending questions as fast as they were fired. As they entered the lobby the crowd closed around them, hiding Damon from Kira's view.

She drew a deep breath and tried to relax the muscles of her shoulders. Until Damon had vanished from sight, she hadn't realized how tense she'd become while observing him. Maybe it would have been better "to beard the lion in his den" without any prior knowledge of him. At least she wouldn't have been nervous. Heavens, how silly she was being. She'd been dealing with powerful people since she was a child, and shouldn't be intimidated at all by Zack Damon. But then, she had never been a supplicant before. Begging for help for the first time was bound to put butterflies in anyone's stomach, she reassured herself.

In a swift gesture of bravado, she tossed the hood of her cloak back. A mass of riotous auburn curls tumbled over her shoulders. She stepped quickly out of the alley and walked briskly down the street to where her taxi was waiting. The time for hiding in the shadows was over. It was time for her to act with her usual forthrightness and to accomplish her task.

Perry Bentley firmly closed the door of the box, shutting the reporters out. His genial smile vanishing, he turned to his employer and spoke rapidly. "Jansen called on the car phone just after you got out. Princess Rubinoff was in the crowd in front of this auditorium."

Damon's gaze flew to Bentley's face. "Here?"

"At the mouth of the alley. She was wearing a black velvet cloak, obviously trying to go unrecognized."

"You're sure?"

"Jansen followed her from her hotel. He couldn't be more sure."

Zack turned away to hide his expression from Perry, whose eyes revealed unabashed curiosity about this situation. It would take little encouragement, Zack knew, to cause Perry to unleash that curiosity in a barrage of questions. Perry wasn't at all intimidated by him, as most other people seemed to be, and most of the time Zack appreciated that quality in his assistant as much as his loyalty. But not in this particular matter. "How did she get here?"

"A taxi. She had it waiting for her around the corner from the thater."

"A taxi!" Zack muttered a brief, explicit curse that caused Perry to lift his brows in surprise. "What the hell is her brother thinking of to let her go running around the world without security?"

"Princess Rubinoff has the best security that money can buy," Perry reminded him mildly.

"But good King Stefan doesn't know that."

The savage tone of voice Zack used caused Perry's eyes to widen. He hadn't heard Zack speak so harshly in the seven years he had been working for him. Zack was usually quite soft-spoken. There was no need for a man to raise his voice when everyone was more than eager to listen.

"How stupid can the man be?" Zack snarled.

Perry shrugged. "I've heard he's not the most enlightened of monarchs, but then Tamrovia is so small, maybe he doesn't have to be."

"Get on the phone and call Jansen back. I want to know where she goes in that taxi."
Perry nodded and slipped out the door of the box.

The houselights went down; a spotlight was thrown on the velvet curtain at center stage. Zack sat down in a plushly padded chair in the rear of the box, his eyes fixed unseeingly on the master of ceremonies, who walked into the spot.

Why was Kira here? Zack wondered. She had been only a few yards from him and he hadn't even known it. After all these years she had finally been almost close enough to touch. He could have crossed the space between them in seconds. No, the space between them couldn't be measured by distances. Even if he had crossed those few physical yards, they would still have had a very long way to travel to meet each other. He mustn't get overeager just when it was most important to keep control. He knew about patience and control. Events could be shaped and worlds conquered by a man who possessed those two qualities. He drew a deep breath and concentrated hard to regain a sense of peace and tranquility. It took longer than usual to accomplish, but he had succeeded by the time Perry came back to the box.

"Well?" he asked his assistant.

"The taxi is heading north on the Santa Catalina Highway toward the Santa Catalina Mountains. If her destination is the one I think it is, she's going to have one hell of a taxi fare."

"My lodge." It was a statement, not a question.

Perry nodded. "It makes sense. According to the report, she flew into New York C...

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Princess Kira and Zack Damon to the rescue! Jan. 7 2014
By Sheila McVicar TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The setting is exotic involving royalty, a band of gypsies and a grandson of a Shaman and castles with secrets and a country on the brink of war. This book moves from one disaster to another. A book you want to read!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Everlasting by Iris Johansen May 29 2009
By jjmachshev - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Everlasting" was originally published in 1986 by Bantam Loveswept. It is part of a fairly extensive series of books connected with the fictional midEast kingdom of Sedikhan. Although reading the other books in the series isn't necessary, there are a few areas where some foreknowledge is helpful. And definitely keep in mind the time when this book was written...the world was quite different in 1986 and male-female relationships and interactions depicted bear out those differences!

Princess Kira needs a man--not just any man, she needs Zack Damon. Her beloved nanny/companion has been imprisoned in an effort to force Kira's compliance to her brother the King and his darkly mysterious 'advisor'. What Kira doesn't know is that Zack has been watching her for years...and waiting for just this opportunity to claim her.

If you didn't live through and read romance during the 80s, you will likely have many bad things to say about "Everlasting". For those of us who did both, it's a quick blast from the past that delivers a warm feeling and a fond smile--either a longing for how things were then, or gratitude for how they are now.
2.0 out of 5 stars Everlasting Review March 27 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was not what I was expecting. Too much emphasis on sexual tensions and not enough on the story line.
4.0 out of 5 stars Everlasting March 8 2014
By Susan J. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another gem by Iris Johansen. The Sedikhan books are all tied together and a stand alone story...kind of. There are still questions unanswered, and I still hate to be left dangling. However, Mira and Damon , with the help of gypsies, are two characters who find danger, betrayal and love in a very unique way.
3.0 out of 5 stars Everlasting June 6 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not too bad. Only just getting into Johansen's books. Will try a few more first. Had a hard time keeping track of all the characters.
1.0 out of 5 stars All Sex April 9 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great sex book not much in the way of interesting characters. The characters are so predictable. You know the ending before you ever get there.
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