Today, I’m sharing my abode with three brilliantly wonderful writers: Nana Prah, Empi Baryeh, and Kiru Taye as they introduce their stunning princesses from the Royal House of Saene..
welcome to the sovereign kingdom of bagumi
The Kingdom of Bagumi is one of the last intact African monarch states. Treaties and alliances over several centuries have ensured their continued dominance in the region.
Each generation of the powerful and proud Royal House of Saene is bound by loyalty to their family and duty to protecting their nation.
However, soon, long-trusted traditions come under attack and change becomes inevitable, especially when love clashes with duty.
The long-standing, distinguished Royal House of Saene is about to be rocked by three sexy, determined interlopers. Princesses Amira, India and Isha may have to choose between sacrificing their hearts or their kingdom.
A spoilt princess and a commoner…a match made online.
A widowed princess and a reluctant king…a match shrouded in suspicion.
A crusading princess and a freedom fighter…a match built on conflict.
meet the royal house of saene: the princesses
Princess Amira Saene has always done the right thing when it came to her beloved Kingdom of Bagumi. Yet her unorthodox online relationship with a man across the sea has derailed her from cultural norms. After a year of communicating, the man she’s developed feelings for comes to visit.
Jake Pettersen never thought he’d meet the woman of his dreams, much less online. Flying thousands of miles to West Africa to meet her verifies that the feelings he’s developed are real. Too bad her family doesn’t think he’s worthy of her.
When Jake learns that Amira has been betrothed, he must decide whether to fight for her or accept the loss for the sake of her homeland. Is their happiness worth the devastation of her country?
Read on for an excerpt:
Amira Saene paced in her eldest brother’s office. Zawadi, the next king of Bagumi watched her for a moment, shook his head with a deep frown, and returned his attention to his computer.
Adrenaline wouldn’t allow her to sit as she waited for Jake to arrive. When had her stomach ever been tied in such knots? As a princess, she’d been trained to remain cool and composed at all times. It would’ve been ideal for her nerves to remember that as she gnawed on her manicured nails.
Why hadn’t she broken protocol and gone to the airport to meet him? Resisting her favourite treat of peanut brittle had been easier than forcing herself to stay in the palace to receive her guest as decorum demanded. It also might’ve made things easier if she’d told Jake who she really was, but she hadn’t. The way he’d treated her like a regular person had kept her lips sealed about her status as a princess of one of the most prominent countries in Africa.
She glared at Zareb, the youngest of her older twin brothers and the chief of palace security. When she’d requested permission for Jake to visit, she’d pleaded with Zawadi not to tell anyone about her relationship with him. Meeting someone on the Internet these days wasn’t a crime, but she doubted her family would agree.
Zawadi had insisted on informing the hardest member of their family. She’d had to relent because of the current instability in Bagumi. The neighbouring kingdom of Ashani had become more violent with direct attacks on cattle herders over the past month. Disputes over the water rights of the river between their two countries would lead to war if her father didn’t defuse the situation soon. Although a smaller country, Ashani held a powerful army. Too many lives would be lost if they fought.
Zareb hadn’t been happy about Jake coming into the country in the first place, but not even he had ever been immune to her charms, or incessant whining. Sometimes, being the youngest and the only female in her mother’s line had its benefits.
“Amira, you will not speak during the questioning,” Zareb ordered.
Pinching her lips together kept her from arguing. He wouldn’t hesitate to fulfil his earlier threat of kicking her out of the office altogether. She gave a curt nod and strode to the window. Too bad Zawadi’s office faced the back portion of the palace’s extensive grounds instead of the front where the driver would drop off their guests. Maybe seeing him from afar would settle her racing heart.
She jumped as a knock sounded on the near-impenetrable Bubinga wood. Inhaling and then exhaling twice as long through her nose like she did while practicing yoga did absolutely nothing to calm her.
“Come in,” Zawadi said.
His secretary opened the door. “Your Highness, the two guests you were expecting have arrived.”
“Thank you. Please escort them in.”
Amira swallowed the nothingness drying her throat. Every cell in her body vibrated at a higher frequency, and she swore she could’ve evaporated.
She pivoted her head towards the voice of her eldest brother. When had he gotten up to stand beside her?
With stiff legs, she toddled to one of the gold and maroon armchairs across the room. As taught in her multitudes of etiquette classes, she lowered herself onto the seat and crossed her legs at the ankles.
The door opened again, and all composure bolted as she leapt to her feet. The man she’d gotten to know over the past year entered, sucking all the air out of the room.
India Saene, Princess of Bagumi, must enter a marriage alliance to save her kingdom from an economic crisis. Tragedy strikes when her husband of a few hours is killed in an accident on the way to their honeymoon. She recovers from a coma two weeks later to discover she has been inherited by her husband’s younger brother!
Sheikh Omar El Dansuri has never wanted to be king, nor does he desire a wife. However, when his older brother dies, he not only becomes the future king of Sudar, but he also inherits his brother’s bride through an age-old tradition. Falling for the headstrong India is out of the question especially when evidence points to her as his brother’s killer.
Neither India nor Omar wanted this marriage, but the passion that burns between them cannot be denied. When India’s secret is revealed, will either of them survive the consequences?
Read on for more:
She pushed aside the thoughts, focusing on her present need for answers. What was Omar doing here? Had Majid sent him?
“Is she in a lot of pain, Doctor?” Omar asked, his gaze directed at someone on the other side of the bed.
“She shouldn’t be in unbearable pain, Your Royal Highness. In fact, we’ve reduced the dosage of her pain medication.”
“Why are they calling you Your Royal Highness?”
As she’d been made to understand, there were three formal styles used in addressing members of the royal family in Sudar. ‘Majesty’ for the king, ‘Royal Highness’ for the Queen and the presumptive heir, and ‘Highness’ for everyone else.
Her voice grated against her dry throat. Worry snaked up her spine. Something was wrong. She felt it in her bones.
Omar looked at her, and she found herself trapped in his gaze.
“How much do you remember?”
She frowned. “Remember?”
As if his rich voice had unlocked a door, it came to her all at once. She and Majid had been in the car, discussing the protocols to be observed for his coronation. Funny, since he’d apparently already broken one rule by travelling in the same car with her. She remembered the relief with which she’d latched on to the topic, glad to take her mind off how they’d approach their first night as husband and wife.
It sounded like a gunshot or maybe a canon. The car careened to the left. Everything happened so fast. The driver swore, maintaining an iron grip on the steering wheel, but the car kept speeding.
“Watch out!” Majid yelled.
Screeching tires, then another bang! Something had hit them. She only remembered seeing headlights at the window before they were airborne. The car may have flipped over before crashing to the ground. Then, everything went black.
She shut her eyes as if it would somehow turn off the faucet of memories. Warmth engulfed her, and she realized Omar had taken her hand as he sat on the bed.
“You and Majid had an accident,” he said softly.
Dread clutched her gut, telling her she knew the answer. Prince Majid didn’t make it.
“Majid fought bravely, but eventually succumbed to his injuries.”
“No,” she whispered, tears filling her eyes.
For several seconds, she hoped this was a nightmare. She’d wake up and find Majid lying by her side, and they’d laugh about this weird dream. Because if this wasn’t happening in her head, then it meant Majid was dead; she was a widow. What did it mean for the alliance between their two nations?
Her mind was in no position to process matters of such enormity. She refocused on what Omar had said.
One word stuck in her mind.
“Eventually? How long have I been here?”
“Two weeks,” he answered. “Since you’re awake now, you’ll be coming home soon.”
Coming home. Why did that sound off? She frowned as something else occurred.
“You called me your wife.”
He stared at her for a long moment as though trying to decide whether to answer.
“In accordance with our tradition, I inherited my brother’s widow.”
Isha Saene has perfected the act of balancing her life—a celebrated corporate negotiator spearheading an international trade deal that could catapult her country to one of the fastest growing mid-sized economies in Africa, and a loyal First Princess of Bagumi Kingdom set to seal ties with a neighbouring nation through marriage.
Until one careless moment knocks her carefully choreographed life into chaos.
Zain Bassong has always fought for the underdog—a patriot dedicated to fighting against the oppression of his people by the country’s elite. He believes the pen is mightier than the sword and chooses the diplomatic route, no matter how many times he is arrested by the repressive regime.
Until devastating news triggers a chain reaction.
Isha and Zain are thrown together and their lives change. For better or worse? They will have to figure that out before it’s too late.
Take a peek…
“Mr Bassong, if you will, please arrange for a phone to be sent to me. I would like to rest now. You are dismissed.”
He burst out laughing, a cold, echoing mirth that didn’t reach his eyes and chilled her to the bones.
As quickly as it started the laughter died and he took a step in her direction.
Her impulse was to step back but she hadn’t done anything impulsive in years. She stayed where she stood as he advanced.
“First Princess Isha Ruby—”
“Don’t call me that!” Isha couldn’t stop the visceral response or the vehemence in her voice when he used her middle name. Her gut wrenched and the throbbing returned to her temple.
He jerked back and raised one dark brow.
“Is that not your name, Ruby Bagumi?” The tone of his voice baited her and his rigid posture mocked her.
She stiffened her spine and squared her shoulders. “You know very well that I am the First Princess of Bagumi Kingdom and my given name is Isha Saene. You can address me as Your Highness or Princess Isha.”
“Oh.” He tilted his head and scratched the hair on his chin. “Ten years ago, I met a student in London. She was beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, or at least I’d thought she was at the time. She had these brilliant ideas that could change the world. She told me her name was Ruby Bagumi. But I found out it was a lie.”
He cut her open with his words, a thousand paper-cuts, making her bleed from her soul.
She closed her eyes tight and balled her fists.
She would not go there, would not bleed for him to see.
I am First Princess Isha Saene,she recited in her mind. Isha Saene.
“I am First Princess Isha Saene,” she said out loud and took a deep breath as she opened her eyes.
He stood close. If she reached out she could place her palm on this chest. Was his heart thumping as hard as hers? His scent clung in the air, sandalwood and citrus, tantalising her with each breath.
Memories she’d locked away hovered, threatening to break free.
Nails biting into her palms, she took a step back. “I demand a phone call.”
“So that’s the way you want to play it.” He nodded, moving away as he made his proclamation. “First Princess Isha Saene of the Kingdom of Bagumi, you are now a captive of the MLG group. You will remain in our custody until our demands are met. As for your demand—” he spat out the word as if it was offensive “—you have no power and no rights here. This is Wanai where the supreme power remains with the supreme leader and in this region, I am the supreme leader. You will do as you are told while you are here.”
“I will not,” she retorted, bristling that he dared to make such a declaration. “I do not submit to your leadership. The only authorities I recognise are my father, His Majesty the King of Bagumi and Almighty God.”
He gave that cold laughter again, the one that sent shivers down her spine.
“You are engaged to a Wanaian man. What do you think will happen after you are wedded? In Wanai, your husband will have total authority over you.”
Her chin jutted as she glared at him. “Kweku and anyone else will be out of their freaking minds if they think I’m going to abide by that antiquated edict.”
Her mother would blanch in horror if she had heard Isha speak in this manner. Language suited only to commoners. Still, this man made her forget herself and her upbringing every time.
“There she is.There is the woman I once knew as Ruby Bagumi.” For the first time, a small smile tugged the corner of his lips. “Welcome to Wanai. Make yourself comfortable, well, as comfortable as you can under the circumstances. I’ll see you again soon.”
He whirled around and was gone before she could respond.
Her chest heaved as she tried to catch her breath and make sense of what just happened.
Why was Zain doing this to her? Why was he set on resurrecting the past?
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