First time encounters— Thorns and Roses

This week, I’m posting a snippet of the first time Chuma met Ifeoma from Thorns and Roses.

He’d been patronising her restaurant for months before actually meeting her. She’d been ogling him from behind the serving counter before they met.

This was one of my favourite first encounters between my main characters to write. 

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Feeling slightly irritated that a waiter hadn’t shown up yet, Chuma rose from his seat intending to find out why. However, before he could take a step forward, a slender light-skinned lady he’d never seen there before, rushed out from behind the partitioned serving counter.

“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, sir,” she muttered. “We are short staffed today.” She appeared nervous and fidgety. 

Chuma sat back down.

“What can I get you?” she asked, rubbing her hands on her apron. He couldn’t see her face clearly because of the way she had positioned her body while she talked to him. She appeared to be avoiding eye contact with him.

“Oha soup, please,” Chuma replied and then added, “some garri as well.”

She turned her face towards him abruptly as if his order had surprised her. A series of rapid emotions registered in her expressive eyes. First, surprise, then panic, and finally fear. She was afraid of him. He caught his breath, caught off guard by her reaction. He was sure that he had never met her before, so why was she frightened of him? Did she think he was upset about the delay in attending to him?

His need to assure her of his state of mind was immediate and unexplainable. He reached for her hand.

“I’m not upset—” he began, but she snatched her hand away swiftly. 

The dim lighting in the room made it difficult for him to see her facial features distinctively, but she looked young. A colourful scarf covered her hair, and baggy clothes and a faded blue apron enveloped her slim frame.

“I’m sorry for the delay again, I’ll get your food now, sir,” she replied, scurrying away.

Chuma shook his head swiftly to clear his mind of that strange encounter, although he did wonder about that expression of fear that he had seen in her eyes. He searched the inner recesses of his memory trying to recollect if there was any possibility that he had met her before today, but he kept coming up empty. No, he had certainly not met her before.

Maybe she thought I was someone else, he concluded within himself.

But soon, wondering led to intrigue, and he waited with anticipation for her to return with his meal

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I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please drop a comment.

Purchase links:

Thorns and Roses

Nook:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thorns-and-roses-amaka-azie/1125829381?ean=2940154019863

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/thorns-and-roses-1

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/ThornsandRoses-AmazonUK

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/ThornsandRoses-AmazonUS

Okadabooks: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/thorns_and_roses/13261

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/ThornsandRoses-Smashwords

iBooks: http://bit.ly/ThornsAndRosesApple

Bambooks: https://bambooks.io/Book/BookDetail/Thorns-And-Roses/905

RovingHeights (Paperback): http://rhbooks.com.ng/product/thorns-and-roses/S















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He intended just a quick kiss, but…

The butt (ass) grab is a common scene in romance fiction novels.

Depending on how it’s written, it could be either sexy or sleazy.

In this week’s #LAPLovenotes i’m sharing a butt grabbing scene from The Senator’s Daughter 

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“I’m having such a lovely time, Nosa. Thank you,” Rita whispered, her eyes shining. 

Unable to resist, Nosa lowered his head to her lips. He intended just a quick kiss, but when her tongue brushed over his lips, he needed more. 

Capturing her mouth with his own, he drew her closer, roaming his hands over her delicate back, grabbing and squeezing her bottom through her dress. The taste of her was a drug, powerful and addictive—he wanted all of her and would always come back for more. 

“Kissy-kissy people, get a room jor,” joked a group of teenage passersby.  

Their loud laughter jerked Nosa to reality. He pulled back, cradling Rita in his arms. “We…” He cleared his throat. “We probably should go home now.”

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Hope you enjoyed this snippet. What’s your verdict? Sexy or sleazy? Yay or nay? Please leave a comment.

Purchase links for The Senator’s Daughter

Okadabooks: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/the_senator_s_daughter/17711

Nook:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-senators-daughter-amaka-azie/1128062054?ean=2940155150718

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-senator-s-daughter-13

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/TheSenatorsDaughterAmazonUK

Amazon US : http://bit.ly/TheSenatorsDaughterAmazonUS

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/TheSenatorsDaughterSmashwords

iBooks: http://bit.ly/TheSenatorsDaughterApple

Bambooks: https://bambooks.io/Book/BookDetail/The-Senator’s-Daughter/11318

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Deleted scene- The Governor’s Wife

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.


Deleted scene

Chapter Two

Present…

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?
 


Purchase Links

The Governor’s Wife 

OkadaBooks: https://okadabooks.com/book/about/the_governors_wife/24176

Amazon UK:  https://amzn.to/2R9E3Ol

Amazon USA: http://bit.ly/TheGovernorsWifeAmazonUS

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/TheGovernorsWifeSmashwords

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-governor-s-wife-10

ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-governors-wife/id1444922013?mt=11

Barnes and Noble : https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-governors-wife-amaka-azie/1129949624?type=eBook


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I made a book recommendation list! Yay!

I am so excited to share this: The Senator’s Daughter was listed amongst the recommended 28 billionaire romances for 2018 by bookriot.com! 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽

Now, this may not mean much for others, but for me, it’s very encouraging.

This is the first time any of my books has been recommended by a non-African book blog.

So, permit me to do cartwheels 🤸‍♂️ all day 😊

Click here to see the list.

The Senator’s Daughter is available on Amazon, Okadabooks and bambooks.

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The Governor’s Wife— Preview

Hello everyone

As promised, here is the preview of The Governor’s Wife.

Chapter One—Part 2

“I’m sorry, Phil, but I can’t wait for you any longer. Our plans just aren’t practical. It will take years. You have no job, and I’d be waiting for a dream that is totally unrealistic.” She took a deep breath, as if afraid to utter her next words. “Deputy Governor Uchendu is ready to marry me now. Not years from now, and it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.”

Like a play, her words came out with practiced clarity, as if she had repeated them to herself over and over and over again…as if trying to convince herself the explanation carried a scintilla of plausibility and absolved her of treachery.

She gathered in another breath, let it out and continued. “I’m the only daughter in my family and almost thirty. Almost past my expiration date. So, my family approved the wedding, the bride price has been paid, and the traditional rites done.”

Philip swallowed hard. Tiny spikes of pain tore at his heart with every word she uttered. Yet he couldn’t seem to overcome the cold shock that transfixed him. He stared at a complete stranger.

“I came down to tell you personally. I didn’t want you to hear it from someone else…because of our history. Our love.”

“Love…our love,” he repeated. “Osanobua! What a beautiful love story. Someone will surely compose a love song about us.” A harsh laugh rose up in Philip and spilled out like red hot magma from a volcano.

“How dare you even say the word. You know nothing about love.” He took a step back from her, quarantining himself from her and his feelings. “While I’ve been here, trailing from one interview to the next, practically begging anyone who would listen for a job, you’ve been securing your own future by selling yourself to the highest bidder.”

She sucked in her breath. Her eyes widened, and he could see the shadow of hurt in them, but he was too far gone to care.

“We both know the waiting isn’t the problem. It’s the money. He is a rich Deputy Governor and I’m not.” He clenched his jaw until it ached. “And we both know your age has nothing to do with this. You’re only twenty-five, a long way from thirty. Which even if you were, doesn’t justify rushing into marriage blindly. So, don’t tell me it’s about your age. It has never been a problem for us. Never!”

Philip strode slowly towards Ogonna again and halted right in front of her, pinning her with his eyes.

“If this isn’t about money, Ogonna, call off the wedding now. We’ll get married, if it’s marriage you want. Let’s do it. Call this rubbish off, and let’s go to court. We could live here in this BQ.” He waved his hand around the small self-contained, one-bedroom apartment he shared with a former classmate and friend. “I’ll ask Femi to move out. I have a job interview next week, and if I get it, the salary is enough to kickstart our future.”

His hopes came alive when he saw her eyes mist and spark with possibilities. Encouraged by this, he continued. “Call the wedding off, Ogonna, I’ll marry you today.”

Silence. For a brief moment, he thought he noticed the familiar tightening of her jaw…saw a rock-hard determination that always etched her features when they talked of their future plans, both personal and professional. They had talked constantly about their dreams of building a real-estate empire. And their four children, for whom they would create a legacy…together. While other couples lived moment to moment, he and Ogonna had been Mr. and Mrs. Power Couple in university. Philgonna, their friends had christened the pair, as if they were a celebrity couple.

Hope seemed to wrestle in her eyes for a few seconds. Then, a sob broke free. Confused, Philip took a step closer to her. She moved back, as though his nearness scorched her.

“Ogonna, please tell me. What’s going on?”

“I’m sorry, Phil. It’s too late.”

“Too late…what does that mean?” A sudden bout of nausea rose to his throat as a horrifying possibility popped into his head. He became very still.

“Are you pregnant?” The question came out in a low growl.

“No!” she denied sharply. “No!”

“Then why…why are you doing this? Nothing makes sense. I have been faithful to you. Never once strayed. And I know you have been faithful to me, too. Until now. Why? Why this governor? Why now?” He paused, his chest heaving with the emotions charging through him. Nothing was adding up.

He half expected her to break into a laugh. To shout April fools! before pulling him into her arms and assuring him it was all a joke. But it wasn’t April. And even a bat could see the tears in her eyes were real. And the engraved invitation card lying on the floor…frighteningly real, too.

“Because he can offer me and my family stability,” she muttered. Tears streamed down her cheeks in a sad trail. “And I need that.”

And here he was, right back to the beginning—unable to believe what he was hearing from the woman he loved.

“Need it more than you need me…more than you need our love?” he asked in a low voice, afraid to hear her answer.

“Yes, yes, yes,” she screamed, the words seeming to come from the bowels of hell. “More than I need you or our love.”

And then, without warning, Ogonna turned and fled from the room as though the hounds of hell pursued her.

Philip stood staring at the door for long seconds after it slammed shut in his face. Tears he’d been holding back fell freely from his eyes, and he made no attempt to wipe them away.

Slowly, he walked over to the corner of the room and picked up the elegantly designed white and gold wedding invitation off the floor. He stared intently at the words typed in bold italics as though the more he looked, the sooner the nightmare would end.

             The families of Chief and Lolo Moneke and Chief and Lolo Uchendu,
invite you to the holy matrimony of their daughter, Ogonna Moneke
and son, Deputy Governor Kene Uchendu
on Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Three weeks away. The wedding was only three weeks away. He stood there in utter disbelief.

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The Governor’s Wife — Preview

Hello everyone.

I’m releasing 2 parts of chapter one of The Governor’s Wife this week in preparation for the upcoming book release.

Here’s the first part. Enjoy 😊

Chapter One (Part 1)

Seven years ago

His fingers trembled so badly that the small white card almost slipped through them. His eyes moved from it to the woman who’d just handed it to him.

“This…it’s a joke, right?” Philip asked. He couldn’t believe what he’d just read. Icy chills twined with a volcanic heat to run up and down the nerves of his body.

“No, Phil, I’m sorry, but…”

A loud grunt unbound itself from deep within him, and Philip flung the card across the room. He leapt from his chair and cuffed each of her arms with his hands. “Please, Ogonna. You can’t. How can you do this to me…to us? How can you marry this man?”

Her muscles stiffened at his touch, and she shifted her eyes from him.

“Thirteen years, Ogonna. You’ve been my girlfriend over thirteen years. We have a plan…you and me—”

“Exactly, Phil. Thirteen years a girlfriend. A big difference between that and wife,” she retorted.

“Is that what you want? For us to marry…now? When I have no way to support us?” Philip asked, his eyes wide with disbelief. “You’re still in university. I’ve only just graduated. You know I’m here in Abuja looking for a job. Trying to better myself…for our future.”

“This isn’t about you…”

“Not about me?” He tightened his grip, his eyes flashing and his nostrils flaring. “My girlfriend just hands me an invitation to watch her marry another man, and it’s not about me?”

“Phil, let me go,” she said, trying to shake herself free of his grip.

“No!” he growled. “You are mine. If you think I’m going to let you marry anyone else…”

She let out a low cry, more of a whimper. She sniffled, and then slowly turned her head back towards him. Her eyes, brimming with tears, released large glistening drops from their corners to stream in a trail down her cheeks.

Those tears where his undoing. Philip loosened his grip on her arms and forced himself to let her go. He took a step back, his muscles tense with conflicting emotions. Shock, anger, and fear battled in his chest, each fighting for dominance.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered. Pushing back his anger, trying to understand what was happening, he reached up and gently brushed her tears away with the pads of his thumbs.

“I’m sorry,” he repeated.

Slowly, he tilted her tear-stained face upwards. “But why, Ogonna? Why are you doing this?” He searched her face anxiously. “Please tell me.”

Her expression darkened with uncertainty. Her shoulders bowed, almost turning in on themselves. And her lips trembled as if she were chilled to the bone. Her usual self-assurance seemed to have been snatched from her, leaving a broken shell—a stranger— standing before him.

The girl he had dated for almost fourteen years had disappeared, like she’d gone up in smoke. And Philip didn’t know how to get her back.

Since secondary school, Ogonna had been his support system. She’d been right there by his side through all the significant events from adolescence up till now. Like two peas in a pod, they had been inseparable. Whenever he needed her, she came through for him, no questions asked.  His entire world. Since the day he’d set eyes on her, there had never been anyone else. And the same for her—or so he’d thought, fool that he was.

They had plotted and planned their lives with the precision of a military operation. After graduation, he would move to Abuja to find a job. Once she’d completed her studies a year later, she would join him.

They were almost there—their end game in sight. He had a job interview scheduled for next week, and her final exams were only two months away. They’d executed the plan to the letter.

But now, here she stood dropping a bombshell in the middle of their lives.

Philip felt he’d been transported to an alternate universe—one where nothing added up. He’d just visited her two weeks ago, had spent the entire weekend in her off-campus flat. Everything had been as it always was between them. Perfect, normal, happy.
Absolutely no indication she had someone else. So, how the hell could she be getting married? And to the Deputy Governor of her home state. Where did she meet the guy? When? His eyes widened.

“How long have you been cheating on me?”

“Philip, I haven’t…it’s not what you think…” She sniffled again.

“Don’t lie to me!” he snapped. “How else can you explain a sudden engagement? Eh?”

“Philip…” she said, starting to say more, then closing her mouth. Her face fell to her feet again.

“Oh, my God!” Philip felt his throat close in. “How long?”

Again, she parted her full lips to reply, but shut them again. A strained silence stifled the atmosphere for a few seconds more until a new bout of frustration rose inside him.

“Answer me…now.” His voice came low and gravelly, delivering the command with a deadly calm that startled her.

Ogonna heaved a deep sigh of resignation, as though she could no longer hold back the truth from him. “I only met him a few weeks ago,” she responded, trailing a trembling finger over her upper lip.

A sign of anxiety. He knew that gesture all too well. He had on many occasions soothed her unease by simply lifting her finger to his lips. But now, he stood frozen. Her revelation rendering him speechless.

Yes, he’d heard her admission, but his subconscious couldn’t immediately process the information. This entire thing seemed like a distant scene unfolding before him. A scene he had no part in. Still immobilised by the shock of her betrayal, he didn’t respond.

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Teaser from Melodies of Love

Hello everyone

To usher in the weekend, here’s a little hot teaser from Melodies Of Love. Enjoy.

The car had stopped moving and the sound of the gate opening signalled to them that they had arrived at Adaora’s place. Adaora gathered her purse, and the moment the jeep came to a stop, she jumped out and ran.

Ikenna cursed under his breath and went after her. She ran up the stairs as fast as she could, forgetting to shut the main door to the apartment building’s main entrance. He caught up with her before she got to the final step, and pulled her into his arms.

“Leave me alone,” Adaora said, struggling to loosen his grip on her. The flight up the stairs had caused her to lose her breath and she was panting uncontrollably. “I can’t deal with all of this. You. All those women… Yet you left me.”

Ikenna put her down, his chest heaving as he struggled to catch his own breath.

“I can’t deal with this,” she said again, quietly this time.

“Can’t deal with this,” Ikenna repeated, shaking his head. His voice was rough. “Let’s start with what you can actually deal with Ada, eh!” he growled. “Can you deal with the fact that I want you so badly that I have not been able to sleep? Can you deal with the fact that all I can think about is holding you, kissing you, ripping your clothes off and being with you in the most intimate way possible?”

He paused, his golden eyes darkening with intense emotion. “Can you deal with that? Ada, can you deal with that?”

“Then do it!” she cried. “All you have ever done is tell me you want to do this and that! It’s been twelve years! Do it! Stop talking and do it!”

Ikenna became still. His golden eyes darkened even more that now he looked dangerous. Adaora’s heartbeat drummed rapidly. The look in his eyes reminded her of the lion head sitting at the top of his studio building; alert and ready to pounce. Ikenna closed the distance between them and lifted her into his arms.

“Open the door now!” he commanded in a hoarse voice.

Adaora’s hands shook terribly. She failed to get the door open on the first try. Ikenna grabbed the keys from her shaking fingers, opened the door and carried her inside.

Melodies Of Love can be purchased as ebooks and paper copies via the following links:

Amazon UK  

Amazon US

OkadaBooks

Nook

Kobo

iBooks

Smashwords

Order paper copies in Nigeria from Roving Heights

 

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Blind date disasters: Any deal breakers?

Hello everyone.

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?

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