Title: Cairo Connection (Book #4)
Author: Carol Henry
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Megan Holloway is startled when Professor Jordan Kaine informs her she must travel with him to Cairo to collaborate on a proposed contract for the Egyptian Agricultural Ministry. Sole provider for her ill mother, Megan can’t leave her side. But Megan’s probationary period at Wild and Wonderful Corp is up in two weeks. She can't afford to refuse the attractive Professor’s request and risk her job.
Jordan Kaine, up for tenure, MUST win the Cairo contract. He doesn’t want his growing affections for Megan to jeopardize his career. But when a student who filed bogus sexual harassment charges against him shows up at the Cairo conference vying for the contract and him, chances of obtaining tenure becomes tenuous.
With unexplained mishaps, smuggling rumors, and a dead body linked to his father’s dig in Luxor, will Jordan and Megan make their own Cairo connection?
The basket tethered to the hot air balloon was larger than Megan had anticipated. Up close, it resembled a giant picnic basket divided into twenty sections big enough to hold two to three people in each sector, depending on their size. Climbing into the contraption was awkward. Hitching her right leg over the edge, she lost her footing, the depth of the inside pocket deeper than her short legs, and causing her body to slam into the back of the first section. The narrow walls kept her from falling and becoming wedged on the floor. Jordan leaned over the edge, hands gripping the frame of the basket, his eyebrows raised as if she was the clumsiest woman in the entire world.
“Are you okay? You should have waited and let me go first. I would have helped you over.”
“A bit late for that now. But yes, I’m okay. I didn’t realize how deep these compartments were—they resembled a honeycomb.” The top of the basket came to her armpits. She swung her arms over the side and clung to the corded roped edges until her legs stopped shaking. Jordan, on the other hand, practically jumped over and landed next to her in one swift smooth motion. No surprise, really. With his well-toned physique he probably could jump tall buildings with a single bound.
Megan remained silent and moved aside in order to accommodate his seductive bulk. Her body temperature rose, her heart thumped, she gazed out over the field and initiated a few breathing exercises to still her inner nerves that at this point had nothing to do with her fear of heights or floating over the Nile with nothing more than a fire induced hot air balloon lifting them and keeping them in the air.
“Relax. It’s perfectly safe,” Jordan said. “You’ll be amazed at how quiet and peaceful it is once we lift off. You’ll be floating on thin air.”
Good heavens, how would she survive being enclosed in a 2 X 2 compartment where every inch of the left side of her body was supported by every inch of the right side of his? Good Lord, they hadn’t even left the ground and she was so light-headed there was no way she was going to be able to concentrate on the task ahead. Which was…? Oh, yes—observing farming practices along the Nile far below.
A strong hot puff of heat hissed in the center of the basket as flames shot up into the monstrous balloon. Heat hit Megan’s backside. She jumped and clung to Jordan’s arm, mouth open, as fire continued to spit upward. The men on the ground released the tethered ropes. The balloon and basket full of people shifted and then ascended into the early morning mist.
Megan swung around, clutched the side of the basket and gazed out over the lush Nile River Basin, surprised to find she was no longer worried about heights as they floated high over the ground. The breathtaking panoramic view was just as seductive as being held in Jordan Kaine’s arms. Or standing next to him, where he was now leaning over and looking at the scenery as well. The silence was close to deafening. It had all the trappings of a real live magic carpet ride with a handsome prince. Talk about a time warp.
The bright orange sun rose behind a tall, imposing minaret in the distance, the mist lifting as it washed upward and flowed along with the Nile toward the other side of the valley. They continued to drift high above the Nile. As they turned inland, someone spotted an object hovering over the Valley of the Kings.
“Look! A drone,” one of the passengers shouted, as the balloon drifted toward their landing sight. The object picked up speed and headed their way.
“More than likely they’re taking pictures of the area,” Jorden said. “Salah mentioned a slide presentation at tomorrow morning’s wind down meeting before we fly back to Cairo.”
The drone drew closer. People in the basket smiled and waved, thinking they were being filmed. The contraption made a sharp turn, then suddenly zoomed toward them at a reckless speed. Everyone started waving and smiling more excitedly when they spotted the camera attached to the front of the drone. Then without warning, the drone flew directly into the ropes connecting the balloon to the basket. The jarring impact against the basket sent passengers tumbling sideways in shock, as the basket tilted. Megan fell against Jordan. Jordan’s arms circled her protectively, catching her before she fell to her knees, or over the edge.
“What the hell!” Jordan exclaimed as he took in the situation. The mid-sized drone’s spinnerets were tangled in the ropes, cutting through at a frenzied pace, and tore through several of the lines. The basket rocked, and then tilted again. The man at the controls quickly reduced the amount of flames shooting upward into the balloon and the basket took an immediate dive. Several of the ropes caught fire.
“Hang on,” Jordan ordered. “Sit on my lap and tuck your head against my chest. Keep your arms and legs bent.”
Megan didn’t question him; if there was half a chance she’d get out of this alive, it would be due to Jordan’s level-headedness.
The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/authors/carol-henry
Why is your featured book a must-read?
Cairo Connection has it all: from Cairo to Luxor and in between, this fast-paced romantic suspense adventure has the hero and heroine looking for answers to obtain a contract for their university. But no matter how innocent their quest begins, they become embroiled in intrigue, deception, murder, and romance. Yet another Connection episode that is a page-turner, keeping you on the edge of your seat at every turn. Have you ever had the pleasure of riding a camel near the pyramids, or visiting an actual archeological site, or ridden in a hot air balloon as it drifts over the Nile? Megan has. Check it out.
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Carol Henry is an award winning and #1 Amazon Best Selling author who writes contemporary romance, as well as Destination: Romance—Exotic, Romantic Suspense Adventures. Carol lives with her husband in the beautiful New York State Finger Lakes area where they are surrounded by family, friends, and wildlife. World travelers, Carol writes about her international adventures for major cruise lines' deluxe in-cabin books and magazines, and takes pleasure in sharing her adventures with her readers in her ‘Connection’ series. A local NYS historian, Carol has written several books on her town's history. For more information visit her website at: http://www.carolhenry.org
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