One of the things I look forward to reading in romance novels is the first kiss between the couple.
This week, I’ll be sharing the first kiss between Ikenna and Adaora’s from Melodies of Love.
On the drive back to Adaora’s place, they carefully continued to dance around the issue of their past relationship, choosing instead to talk about more general topics.
“I enjoyed myself tremendously, Ikenna,” Adaora said, turning to face him at the door to her apartment. He had insisted on walking her up to her apartment.
“Me too. It was the most fun I’ve had in years,” Ikenna replied with a smile, his full lips parting to expose even white teeth. They were so close she could smell his spicy cologne.
Adaora waited at the door holding the keys to her apartment door, her heart hammering in her chest. She was not sure that she wanted him to come in, but she did not want the night to end just yet. She could hear the rapid beating of his heart as they stood there staring into each other’s eyes.
His pupils darkened and his nostrils flared.
Her eyes dropped down to his lips, and she subconsciously licked hers. Ikenna’s gaze followed the trail of her tongue around her lips and lost all control.
Before he could stop himself, his hand was around her neck and he groaned deeply when his lips found hers.
Adaora moaned. Her lips parted to receive his tongue without hesitation, and she found herself standing on her tiptoes as she wrapped her hands around him, enjoying the feel of his broad shoulders. Ikenna’s tongue mated with hers, tasting wine and sweetness.
He heard her moan again when he deepened the kiss. Encouraged by her urging, he pressed his lips to her throat. His blood was boiling with a deep need. Adaora arched her neck to give him better access, running her fingers through his afro.
The little throaty sounds she made drove him crazy, spurred him on.
This week, I’ll be sharing the first encounter between Vincent Mba and Yemi Okeke from Unexpected Love, one of the stories from the anthology, Be My Valentine published by @LoveAfricaPress.
A sound at the door jarred her from her musings. She turned towards the entrance, and her heart lurched.
A good-looking, athletic man dressed in an impeccable black blazer walked in. His skin was smooth toffee brown, his head shaved bald, and a well-groomed beard and moustache surrounded perfectly shaped full lips.
Embarrassed to be focusing on his mouth, she jerked her attention up to his eyes, and her breath trapped in her chest. Stunning intense dark eyes. No man had the right to have such thick and curly eye lashes without using a mascara, or wonderfully carved eyebrows that should be on a woman.
“Yemi Okeke? You are the orthopaedic surgeon, Yemi Okeke?”
The man’s deep baritone voice flooded the room. Such a sexy sound. Her throat went dry, screaming hoarsely from a sudden need for water.
“Yes, I am.” She nodded, surprised to see the spark of recognition reflected in the man’s eyes. She hadn’t met him before. Had she? Although there was something vaguely familiar about him, she couldn’t quite place it. “I have a meeting with the board of directors … or Mr. Mba.”
“I am Mr. Mba,” he said with a smile. “Vincent Mba.”
“Oh, hello, sir.”
Butterflies skittered all over her tummy, making her even more nervous now that she realised he was indeed the man she was here to meet. What a stunning male specimen. And young, too. Probably less than thirty. He was certainly nothing like what she’d expected a hospital manager to look like.
“Vincent. I hate people calling me ‘sir’.”
He lowered his eyes to her left hand briefly and then held her gaze.
“Hmm … Seems like the fool still didn’t man up and wife you?” he said, broadening his grin.
“What?” Her forehead furrowed in confusion, unsure she had heard properly.
“Oh … I was there in the restaurant … you know, when you proposed to your boyfriend of six years.”
Blood drained from her brain, making her feel lightheaded. She quickly pulled out a seat and slumped on it.
So much for having a fresh start in Lagos.
I hope you enjoyed reading. Please leave a comment.
This week, I’m sharing a bit from the scene of the first encounter between Onome and Nnamdi from Starting Over Again.
They met at a job interview where Nnamdi was one of the interviewers for a job Onome desperately wanted.
This encounter didn’t go well at all, but I enjoyed writing the tension between them.
It was about four in the afternoon when the tall lady called Onome in. She was the last person to be interviewed. Typical. The only female in the cohort, yet the last person to be interviewed. These people knew nothing about the concept ‘ladies first’. Now she would be late picking up Fejiro from Madam Bisi’s place.
As she rose, clutching her folder tightly, she held her breath. She followed the lady into a spacious room. The tall lady announced Onome’s presence and exited the room.
Three men occupied executive seats across from where she now stood nervously. The fourth executive seat was empty. Onome briefly wondered who had occupied that seat and where he or she was. She was yet again the only woman in the room.
Great, she thought, dismayed. Do I really stand a chance?
With her heart pounding ferociously, she took the leather seat opposite the six peering eyes. This was it. Her chance to dazzle these people. She could do it. She had the qualifications. A second-class upper degree in banking and finance from the University of Benin, a master’s degree in finance from the University of Lagos. Yes, she could do it. After all, what a man can do, a woman can do also, if not better.
One man cleared his throat, indicating that the interview was about to begin.
“Good afternoon,” Onome said, trying not to sound nervous.
All three men nodded in response.
“Tell me about yourself,” the man sitting beside the empty seat, said. His name and position were written in front of him on a small wooden desk wedge. Mr. Rotimi Falade. General manager, finance division.
“My name is Onome Odafe. I graduated from—”
“I can see you have started without me,” a baritone voice interrupted her words, causing Onome to turn her head sharply towards the entrance of the room. Her heart almost stopped.
The most handsome man she had ever seen in her life had just walked into the room. He was tall with broad shoulders encased nicely into a perfectly tailored black suit and silver tie. He had light brown skin. Onome was not usually attracted to light-skinned guys, but his skin was evenly smooth, like butter. And his face—almost pretty. Thick curly hair, thick eyebrows, long lashes, dark brown eyes, a strong long nose and full pink lips. He was beautiful. Not handsome. Beautiful. Yet, there was no denying that he was all man. A firm strong jaw, a strong neck and large hands and feet. Yes, he was all man.
“So, Onome, continue telling us about yourself,” Mr. Pretty said, a small smile playing on his lips.
It was obvious that he knew he was stunning and was used to rendering women speechless by his beauty. He took the empty executive seat and Onome quickly glanced at the desk wedge in front of him. It read, Mr. Nnamdi Obi, CEO. She was face-to-face with the owner of this establishment. Now, she knew she did not stand a chance.
When applying for this job, her research into Zenith investment and mortgage firm had revealed a little bit about him. She had read from a few gossip blogs about his total lack of respect for women. His social media pages depicted him as a relentless womanizer and a brutal heartbreaker. In fact, she found his twitter post following his latest breakup with a prominent socialite very distasteful. He had tweeted, “another “hoe” bites the dust.”
Sighing inwardly, Onome turned her attention to the other interviewers.
“I’m a graduate from the University of Benin—” she resumed, her pulse rate quickening.
This man’s presence had increased her anxiety a thousand-fold. She never expected the CEO to be carrying out interviews himself. She couldn’t afford to let herself get overwhelmed by this man. She needed this job badly.
“We know who you are, we can read,” Mr. Pretty CEO interrupted again, quite rudely.
Onome immediately disliked him. Although he was attractive, he was rude and obnoxious.
“Tell us why you think you will suit this role?” he continued, rolling his pen between his fingers and reclining in his seat.
“I’m passionate about banking. Especially mortgage banking. I know how difficult it is to own a home or any property for that matter. Mortgage banking has transformed the way Nigerians view home ownership.” Onome paused, focusing her attention on the other interviewers’ expressions for a clue on how she was performing. Their bland expressions gave nothing away. “During my youth service, I got a few farmers at Irrua to mortgage farming land so they could own the lands they had been borrowing for farming—”
“Impressive, but we have seen all that. You dropped your CV with us, Onome,” Mr. Pretty CEO cut in, shaking his head. Onome turned towards him fighting the irritation creeping up her spine. “Tell us things about you that will convince us you can work with this firm, the best mortgage bank in Lagos and, soon, in Nigeria.”
Onome hesitated, then looking boldly into his eyes, she said, “I don’t take no for an answer. I fight tooth and nail to get what I want and I won’t accept bullying of any kind from anyone.”
I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please leave a comment.
Two enchanting stories about loss and love: In Ere’s Secret, Ere has a life-changing decision to make. In 223 Bonny Street, Ikenna wakes to the joys and challenges of being a woman.
I have a secret. In three days, I’ll be turning forty, and I’m in love for the first time. Decades ago, I sacrificed my life for the good of my family. But tragedy struck too close to home, reminding me of the brevity of life. Now, I have a choice to make: continue living in the shadows, or allow my true self to emerge.
223 BONNY STREET
After an accident, waking up in another person’s body seems like a dream until Ikenna realizes that he is faced with the stark reality of Nkechi’s life, the woman whose body he occupies. He experiences the pains and joys, the strengths and sacrifices of a woman.
The two of them make a connection beyond the physical, but matters of the heart are delicate. When secrets from the past are revealed, will their connection be strong enough to survive?
Firi has been an avid reader since she could read mostly because I caught the reading bug from my dad and mum. With reading Roots by Alex Harley and the Odessa file at 8, reading was her mode of escape.
Firi loves all fiction but enjoys being curled up under the duvet reading a hot sizzling romance novel when what being a mum, an adult, a wife, a sister and a daughter.
Writing this book has been a dream come true so I hope you’ll love it as much as I have love writing it. Please do not forget to leave a review on Amazon. You can follow me on for more updates on my incoming books.
Other interesting facts about Firi: she paints ceramic and glass mostly but everything can be her canvas so we would not be surprised seeing that she has painted a plane. You can find her paintings on her Instagram page.
Firi has always dreamt of becoming a pilot. Let’s see how this goes.
Love Africa Press presents Volume One of its Queer and Sexy Collections exploring queer sensuality.
In this debut edition of three Queer and Sexy interwoven stories written by Eniitan, we explore pleasure, desire, love, human nature and godhood. Follow the lives of Ufuoma, Larrie, Ariyike, Fausiat, Halimat and Uduak as they experience the magic that is the otherworldly Tara.
Ufuoma was the last off the plane. She had shunned her usual garb of comfortable jeans and tees and worn a cream skirt-suit that clung to her voluptuous figure like wet on water.
The cream showed off her dark skin, and to drive the point of her femininity home, she had the first three buttons of the white shirt open. Her bra pushed up the mounds of her breasts, leaving onlookers in no doubt of the gifts hidden underneath her clothes.
On her feet was a pair of heels, making her appear even taller.
She was determined to make the best of this long weekend away from her regular life.
This would be her first time at an all-female party, and although Loretta had assured her that it would be fun, she was still a little anxious, so she fell into the default of looking extraordinarily good to boost her spirits.
One of the best things, and the worst, was her ability to ‘pass’ and be taken for a heterosexual, cis-gendered woman, but it also made her invisible to other queer women. A blessing and a curse in a country like Nigeria. She remembered her university days with a shudder. Those years she’d spent listening to ‘godly advice’ from classmates and lecturers about how she should stop hanging out with her more masculine-presenting friends, the rumours they felt comfortable sharing with her about how these women were all a bunch of lesbians and that she should avoid being inducted into the ‘cult of lesbianism.’
To worsen her situation, bonding with women was not her strong suit, maybe because she was not primarily attracted to men, not sexually or emotionally. She’d never felt invested in them enough to mind their vagaries; she could take them or leave them, without a backward glance. But with women—she was always so scared, had always been, of the different ways loving women could drive you to a point of madness, of how invested she became in their lives, their well-being. But most importantly of the powerful way a woman could break you … but that hadn’t stopped her from wanting them, loving them.
Hello everyone. This week, I would like to share a deleted scene from The Governor’s Wife.
My editor and I debated a bit about the scene. We both loved it, but felt that it wasn’t necessary at the beginning of the story because it slowed the flow of romance between Ogonna and Philip.
Although it was sad to say goodbye, I eventually let go and allowed the information in this deleted scene to trickle down in chunks throughout the other chapters.
So, what do you think? It hasn’t been edited, so be gentle.
She had perfected this smile—an automatic stretching of her lips upwards to display dazzling white teeth and a half dimple. Everyone always complimented her smile.
“You should be the face of a toothpaste advert,” she had heard often, ever since she was little girl. She had recieved that praise repeatedly over the years, and believed it.
Smiling had become her way of coping with any ugliness life threw at her. As long as nobody else saw the pain inside, she could trudge on until things turned out fine.
Standing stiffly beside her husband, Ogonna tilted her lips into that impeccable grin as camera lights flashed around them, capturing the perfection.
“For he’s a jolly good fellow. For he’s a jolly good fellow. For he’s a jolly good fellow, which nobody can deny,” the gathering sang, cheering for her husband.
She smiled and clapped, joining the crowd as they congratulated the governor for refurbishing the Library at the only University in her hometown, Ebonyi State.
Grinning from ear to ear, Ogonna dutifully walked beside him, shaking hands, hugging people, making small talk with other wives of politicians, guests whom she knew attended not out of loyalty to the governor, but fear. For who dared cross him.
He whispered something unintelligible into her ear and she laughed in response, knowing that the cameramen covering the event were scrambling to capture every detail, even fighting amongst each other for space to get the right angle for the best shot.
She was great at this. After six years of practice, she had honed down the act of creating an illusion, the image of happiness for the public.
She would see the pictures in the papers tomorrow. They would probably make the front page of most local newspapers.
Magazines—online and printed, would comment on the beautiful sparkly green and gold off-shoulder traditional gown she wore that accentuated her slender but shapely figure, highlighting her smooth chestnut-brown skin.
Young girls would look longingly at those pictures. They would admire images of her standing beside the tall, dark and handsome governor and sigh with longing, wishing and praying that they would end up like her—Mrs Ogonna Uchendu. The first lady of Ebonyi state.
She lived in a large mansion, drove the latest cars, travelled all over the world—had everything. If only they could look beyond the photographs, see past her perfect smile. If only…
“Time to cut the cake,” the MC announced, crashing through her musings.
“A launching party is never complete without item 7.”
Loud cheering followed that comment. Ogonna laughed too, holding her husband’s hand as she accompanied him to the front of the Library hall and to the table where the five-layer cake stood.
“At the count of three, the ever-efficient governor will do the honours of cutting the cake and opening the celebration. For we are here to celebrate the excellence of our great leader.” The MC, a tall broad man with a protruding belly looked as if he kissed ass for a living, a man who waited on, and bowed to anyone offering money. Not loyal to anybody who wouldn’t benefit him. The kind of people her husband surrounded himself with.
A crowd of over 100 guests from all over Nigeria clapped as Governor Uchendu sliced through the cake with arrogant slowness, revelling in the attention he received. All eyes on him. What he lived for. To be worshiped by people. To be revered, even if not honestly.
Ogonna looked forward to the end of the ceremony eagerly. Lately, she’d been getting tired of all the pretence. She couldn’t wait for the entire nightmare of her life to be over. But she had to stick to this façade of the doting supportive wife, to persevere, so that she didn’t end up dead like the governor’s former wife. Ruled as death by natural causes from the Local coroner’s office—A heart attack. Although now, she suspected differently.
Since she couldn’t prove anything based on a hunch, Ogonna had kept her suspicions to herself. She had enough troubles on her own without stirring up more by digging into her husband’s past with no evidence.
Thanks for reading. Please leave your comments. Would this scene have added anything else to the story?
Here’s a little teaser from one of the stories, Unexpected Love by Amaka Azie. Enjoy.
Be My Valentine
He chuckled. Although amused, his interest piqued. He’d wondered that himself. “And why are you? Still single, I mean. You are beautiful and intelligent. Some man should have snagged you up by now.”
Silence. Her face fell, and she appeared disconcerted. He immediately remembered her botched marriage proposal at Enugu and felt like a heel.
“I am sorry—”
“Never mind. It’s been like ages ago …” she muttered, gulping her drink as though trying to flush down her mortification with alcohol.
“Do you still love him?” he asked, holding his breath.
Even though unsure why he’d enquired about her ex, he was now anxious for her response, desperately hoping to hear her say no.
Yemi hesitated, swirling the drink in her glass with concentration. It appeared she wasn’t going to answer, and his stomach tumbled. Worried he had offended her by asking such a personal question, he parted his lips to apologise again when he heard her husky voice.
“No,” she said. “Not anymore.”
A deep feeling of relief surged through his chest, so intense that he almost felt faint with it.
“I probably never really did,” she continued, her tone quiet and reflective. “I think I hung onto the idea of forever with him because he is the only man that ever paid any attention to me … I guess I wanted to have somebody to love so badly that I ignored all the warning signs that flashed in front of me while we dated.”
She chewed her lower lip, bringing his attention to the full lusciousness of her mouth. An almost overwhelming need to kiss her gripped him. He had to squeeze the stem of his glass tightly to keep himself from reaching for her and drawing her to him.
Her next words cut through his sensual thoughts.
“I mean, he never introduced me to his family, his friends. The relationship seemed all one-sided. And everyone could see it but me. I feel so foolish …”
Overwhelmed with the need to touch her, he gave in to the desire and reached for her hand. He squeezed her delicate soft palms in his large hands.
Her gaze jumped to his. They reflected surprise. But something else … a connection. She could feel what he felt, too. That strong pull. The chemistry.
Without a doubt, Vincent knew he wanted this woman to be his. Not in the casual way he usually related with women. He wanted her as his girlfriend.
As soon as he touched her, Philip realised he’d been lying to himself for the past seven years. Sharp shards of desire, hot and raw, cascaded all over his body, leaving him helpless. He wasn’t over her. Not yet. Maybe never.
The sensible thing would be to let her go immediately, remove his hands from her narrow waist and walk away. But sensible didn’t seem to be in his skill set anymore. Maybe never had been regarding Ogonna. Being this close to her, touching her, had scrambled his brain. All he could do was douse himself in her aura.
Slowly, he slid his palm from her waist, eyes fixated on hers. His hand glided up her back until it rested on the softness of her long graceful neck. With deliberate intent, he moved his thumb over the gentle angle between her ear and jaw. Deftly, he stroked the area with a light pressure and watched keenly for her response. Ogonna’s hot spot. Haunting memories of her whimpering restlessly against him when he touched her there filtered through his heated brain. Did it still turn her on?
Her breath hitched sharply. “Oooh,” she moaned. A primitive sound which caused his penis to throb, pushing against his unyielding black jeans. Apparently, it still did the trick—for both of them.
The knowledge stoked his arousal. Unable to resist, he lowered his eyes to her full parted lips…red, soft, tempting. God, he wanted to kiss her. Badly. A deep part of his subconscious rose up in protest. This was Ogonna, the woman who broke him by running off to marry someone else. He shouldn’t want to have anything to do with her, let alone kiss her. He needed to bring this madness to an end, turn and walk away.
But Philip remained rooted to the spot, deepening the pressure of his thumb instead, and then trailing it slowly across her full lower lip. Her tongue darted out, flickering lightly. A bold move. Unexpected.
His eyes swept to hers and he froze. They were wide as saucers, as if startled by her own boldness. It would have been easier for him to let her go if even an iota of repulsion or uncertainty registered in their dark depths. Instead, something primal flashed in her pupils. His breath trapped in his chest. Ogonna wanted him, too. The realisation sent a wave of need through him, weakening him.
Another soft moan came from her. His nostrils flared, and he let out a groan from deep within his throat. Almost roughly, he reached for her face, cradled it in both hands and brought his mouth down on hers.
I’m currently working on a romance fiction novella. I wrote a scene yesterday that made me chuckle. It reminded me of a horrible blind date I experienced in Enugu, where the nice looking thirty-three year old man I was set up with, told me in a very serious voice that he would never marry a woman his mother didn’t approve of.
Now, I get that people have little mental tick boxes of what they can or can not accept in a future partner, but it was a first date and I didn’t feel it was appropriate telling me that the very first time we met. To be honest, it was a deal breaker for me. I think it’s because I worry about guys whose mothers influence majority of their decisions.
Have you ever had a horrible blind date? Care to share?
Below is an excerpt of the scene I wrote. I hope you like it. (It’s not yet edited, so, be gentle.)
Gobsmacked, Yemi stared at the man in front of her, unable to believe what she just heard. Where does mum find these men?
“Pardon?” she asked, lowering her fork to her plate, her appetite suddenly diminished.
“I said, if a woman can’t cook a good pot of soup with a thousand Naira, she is not prepared to marry.”
Yemi laughed. “You are joking, right?” she said, lifting her cutlery piece again and digging into her plate of jollof rice. He had to be kidding. Surely, no person could say something so absurd without intending to be humorous.
“I am dead serious. I always set this test for women before I date them…to see if they are wife material,” Dare replied, smiling. His grin exposed perfectly shaped white teeth on a ruggedly handsome face. A shame. For someone so good-looking, his thinking process was gravely flawed.
Although she tried, Yemi couldn’t seem to muster any physical attraction to him. And his chauvinistic remarks didn’t help with the repulsion she felt. This latest comment was the final nail in the coffin. No Bueno. She would rather remain single than be forced to continue to listen to this.
“Since you aren’t married yet, I take it nobody has passed your test,” Yemi said, her brain working fast on the best escape plan she could come up with in this situation without appearing rude.
“Not one woman. And It’s a shame,” Dare said, shaking his head in earnest disappointment. “Women of nowadays know nothing about keeping a home. That is why there is so much divorce in our society today.”
Yemi shook her head, flabbergasted. “Hmmm…so, you believe that not being able to cook a pot of soup with a thousand Naira is the reason for the increased divorce rate?”
“That’s not what I mean,” he objected.
“What exactly do you mean, then?”
“A stable marriage depends on simple things like that, a woman being able to manage money. My future wife has to know how to do that.”
“Of course, being able to manage money is a good quality,” Yemi agreed. “My problem with that comment is that in your opinion, the responsibility rests on the woman alone.”
“Yes, it does. A woman is the pillar of every home.”
Oh, lord. I’ll kill mum for this. Yemi couldn’t believe that her mother had tried to convince her this man would be a perfect fit for her. “He is one of the most sought after bachelors in my church,” she had said. Sought after for what? To aggravate women?