Men of Valor 2
When a warrior seeks to claim a free-spirited woman, he soon discovers a tigress unwilling to be caged.
As a young widow, Nneka yearns to be released from the obligations to her late husband’s family, and live as an independent woman. With a past colored by a brutal father, she’ll never yield to another man willingly, and will do just about anything to attain that freedom, including flouting the laws of the land.
Ikem was unable to claim Nneka once because his lineage meant he wasn’t good enough. Now fate has given him another chance, but he quickly discovers that claiming this unpredictable wildcat is easier said than done. Will he be able to convince her that succumbing to their passion is the key to her freedom?
Ikem leaned against the cashew tree, waiting.
It was early evening; the sun had begun its slow descent into the horizon, creating long shadows against the heat-baked red soil underneath his feet. It hadn't rained for a few days, leaving a feeling in the air reminiscent of the harmattan, the dry and dusty season, though the period was still a few full moons away. A gentle breeze swirled around him, lifting the dried leaves from the ground, turning them into a mini-vortex before sending them falling gently back down to earth.
This was now a daily routine. Recently he'd taken to standing by this tree, watching his quarry as she walked along the footpath on her way back from the stream. She always carried her ite full of water balanced confidently on her head. So far he'd been unobserved. At least he thought she hadn't noticed. He'd not made himself known or said anything to her.
As if on cue, he heard the sound of approaching footsteps. Pushing off the tree, he stood straight and waited. Anticipation thrummed in his blood. He flexed his shoulders, seeking to quell the adrenaline pumping through his veins.
Then she came into view, the vision that kept him awake several nights. His heart rammed into his rib cage with a heavy thud. Expectantly, he licked his dry lips. He was a grown man in his prime, one of the best wrestlers in the land, but the sight of this woman reduced his body to that of a boy who'd only recently discovered the pleasures of a maiden.
Petite, compared to his tall frame, her skin was dark and gleamed in the sunlight. The gentle lines of her face bore a hint of ethereal beauty. The rounded curves of her body were hidden beneath the loose, drab gray of her mourning clothes. Yet, this didn't diminish her beauty. It made him crave her even more, evidenced by his stirring manhood. He watched the gentle sway of her hips when she walked past. The need to touch her overtook him.
"Nneka," he called out from behind the tall, green grasses now covered in a layer of brown dust. He took a step forward so she could see him better.
With measured ease she turned around, looked left and right along the empty footpath before staring straight at him.
"Ikem, what are you doing here?"
The softness of her voice traveled through him, igniting his already sparking desire. His heart increased its pounding. The blood in his veins rushed downward, leaving him feeling light-headed. Such was her effect on him. Yet, he schooled his expression as he watched her.
Her hair was a mass of short, tight curls. As tradition dictated, her head had been shaved clean at the death of her husband. It drew his attention to her unadorned face, wide eyes, pert nose, and full lips. Her body didn't have any of the decorative uli marking other women wore; neither did she wear any beads or ornaments. Her appearance was designed to deter notice.
Except he noticed her. All of her.
As a teenager and young adult, I read a lot of books. Mostly, I loved the romantic fantasies of being swept away by dashing heroes to exotic locations. Though my reading tastes have matured since then, I still love reading romance novels. Having always dreamt of writing novels, I finally 'bit the bullet' in 2010. I wrote my first contemporary romance novel and submitted the first chapter as an entry to New Voices writing contest in September 2010. It was shortlisted for ‘call-back’. Since then, I’ve completed two other contemporary romance novels. I’ve also completed two books in a 3-book series of historical romance novellas. The first book in the series His Treasure is due out in December 2011 published by Breathless Press. My works-in-progress include a paranormal novel - book 1 of a paranormal series, a romantic suspense novel, a contemporary romance novel and a paranormal novella for an anthology, all at different stages. My stories feature dark, sexy, tortured heroes and smart, sassy, rebellious heroines that claim their hearts, with passions unleashed in hot exotic Africa. I was born in Nigeria, but currently live in the UK with my very own alpha-hero husband and two young children. You can reach me via my blog: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com I am also on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5444744-kiru-taye Facebook: