Sasha Del Mar is an agent with the CIA.
Hers is a very unusual upbringing. She was either the illegitimate daughter of the Italian Countess Christina Del Mar or a waif adopted by the Countess at a very young age and raised as her own. The answer as to which really depends on which gossip-spreading acquaintance you talk to and really matters little. The fact is she was reared in an environment of plenty but as she grew into her early teen years, the indulgent lifestyle the Countess enjoyed had finally eaten away the financial reserves. As the Countess put it, referring to the now bare walls in their home, "the pictures are all gone".
That is when the Saudi Prince Yassar took note of her and her beauty and though he briefly contemplated a relationship himself, he decided instead to entice (buy) the young lady to move to Saudi Arabia to be a "companion" for his teenage son, Ibrahim.
That sets the stage for the mental attitude that Del Mar will adopt. If she were "sold" by her mother and "bought" to be a plaything for a rich brat, what was in it for Sasha?
Even more important to her development into an operative was the limitations on a female in the Saudi kingdom. What does one do with one's time when allowed so little freedom. As the years passed, one thing she learned was to watch and remember. Another was to notice.
She noticed Tom Goddard, 35-year-old CIA Station Chief in Riyadh. And he noticed her. It is hard to say who recruited who.
That all happened two decades before the main events told in the adventures but related in flashbacks that are important to understanding the present.