Book Title: An Engagement Challenge
Author: Kiru Taye
Series: Challenge series, book 2
Published: 27 April 2012 (eBook), 31 July 2012 (paperback)
Length: Novel (75,000 words)
Category: Inter-racial, contemporary romance, romantic suspense
Heat level: Sensual/Spicy
Tags: Adult romance, light bondage, erotic
Author blog: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com
Author Website: http://www.kirutaye.com
Book 2 of the contemporary romance Challenge series, set in Nigeria. Three friends. Three challenges. Are they willing to risk everything for love?
When the stakes are high, who’ll be left standing?
When savvy PR consultant Ijay Amadi meets successful Industrialist Paul Arinze, the only things on her mind are to forget the pain of her failed relationship and enjoy the delights his branding touch and soul-searing kiss promise. It’s a one-time only event. Perfect.
However, Paul is annoyed to wake up and find her gone the next morning. He isn’t ready to forget the dark-haired beauty or their scorching night together just yet. So he plans to have Ijay right where he wants her—in Abuja, working on his latest business project by day and enjoying the pleasure of his bed by night.
Except when Ijay arrives, she’s wearing another man’s engagement ring. With the explosive desire between them threatening their priorities and loyalties, the stakes get higher by the minute. Who’ll be left standing at the altar when Ijay walks down the aisle?
Paul let out a sigh as he took a sip of his drink. Perhaps it was time to call it a night. He was due to catch a flight out ofLondontomorrow afternoon. A good night’s sleep wouldn’t go amiss.
As he turned, the door to the balcony opened, letting out the noise from the bar and along with it, a sexy goddess.
Long dark tresses framed an oval face of flawless buttery cream, her curvaceous body in a beautiful navy lace dress that stopped just above the knees exposing satiny legs and feet in wedge sandals. For a moment she stood still, one leg paused over the threshold, the other already outside. In the pose she looked breathtaking with the dim lights from inside framing her in a silhouette.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you. I just wanted some fresh air. I’ll come back later,” she rattled out, the chant of her velvety voice set the blood in his veins alight.
She lowered her gaze, pulling the corner of her lower lip with her teeth in a nervous smile. Her diffident expression had his heart hammering in his chest, sending pulses of granite need down his body.
For the first time in weeks, his body responded to the sight of a woman with desire. An instant overwhelming craving. Perhaps he wasn’t fatigued. He just needed the right woman.
“No. Stay. There’s plenty of fresh air to share.” He straightened languorously and lifted his lips in a rapacious grin, all thought of leaving early, fizzled into the cool night air.
Stepping out fully, she closed the door behind her, leaving them in near silence. She moved to the end of the balcony away from him and put her hands against the railing.
“I love this view ofLondon. I love coming out here whenever I’m in this building,” she said, her tone conversational. Yet her soft voice sent spikes of heat into his veins.
“I have to say I like this view too. I don’t see much ofLondonwhen I’m here. So it’s great to see it all lit up at night,” Paul replied, glad that she was talking. For some reason he wanted to listen to sound of her voice.
He turned back to look out over the balcony, placing his palms on the cold metal. Even from the distance of about six feet, he could sense her heat. He pictured her leaning across to brush his hand with hers. A warm shiver travelled down his spine.
“You don’t live in the city?” she asked, turning to face him in the near darkness.
From this angle, her face was a contrast of light and shade. Still, he could make out the gentle contour of her almond-shaped eyes, staring at him with curiosity. He wondered at their colour. He wanted to find out.
“I guessed as much.”
“Why do you say that?” Paul leaned on the railing, turning his body and giving her his undivided attention. The pleasure of watching the bright city lights paled in comparison to the excitement in his blood at watching her luminous skin and graceful curves.
“I don’t know. There was just something about you that didn’t seem like a local.”
Her lips curved wider in a luscious smile. He fought the urge to taste her lips, tightening his grip on the railing instead. It was too soon. He didn’t want her skittering away in fright.
“You’re good then. I’m only inLondonfor tonight. Tomorrow, I’m off to Abuja.”
“Oh. That’s a shame.” Was that disappointment in her voice? Did she feel this flaming hunger he felt too? “You won’t get to see much of London in just one day.”
“I guess not.” The urge to touch her skin drew him closer. “I’m Paul Arinze.”
He stopped at arm’s length and extended his arm. Without hesitation, she placed her hand in his, her stare bold and holding his. On connection, a warm tingle spread from his hand down his back. Her hand was soft and warm. Yet she held his hand firmly. Confidently.
“I’m Ijay Amadi.” Her voice was sultry, like a soft caress on his skin.
The throbbing of his arousal increased. The heady mix of her timidity and trust made him want to crush her soft curves against his hardness. If she had this effect on him just holding his hand, what would it feel like on the rest of his body? He wanted to find out. Shame he only had tonight.
“So are you here as a guest?” Reluctantly, he released her hand, missing its heat already.
“No. I work for Havers & Child PR Agency. I organised the product launch event earlier and this party.”
Paul didn’t return to his original position. He stood close to Ijay. She didn’t move away. He took that as a good sign. “That’s great. Congratulations, you did a splendid job. If I ever want to plan a party, you’re the lady to know.”
“I sure am.” She laughed, dug in her purse, and handed him a business card. He took it and slipped it into his pocket. “And if you need to know the best places and people to have at your party, I’m the girl to know too.”
“I wonder, are you the girl to know if I need a personal guide to show me around the best spots in London tonight?”
His question hung in the air for a moment. She didn’t reply immediately. In the shadows of the balcony, he couldn’t read the expression on her face. He wondered if he’d pushed the boundaries too hard too quickly. There was something about this woman that soothed his edgy feeling. Somehow he knew she felt the combustible arc of desire between them.
“I could be.”
“No buts. Give me ten minutes to make sure someone covers for me and I’ll be all yours.” The suggestive, sensual tone of her voice got his blood fizzing out of control.
Damn, he wanted her. He’d never thought himself the one-night-stand kind of man. Yet he was impatient with anticipation. The rush of blood southward, swelling his already aching hardness.
He nodded. “I can’t wait.”
She walked to the door, paused and looked at him. “I’ll hurry.” She beamed him another sexy smile and disappeared through the door.
Copyright © Kiru Taye 2012
Kiru Taye is the award-winning author of His Treasure.
She writes historical, contemporary and paranormal romances. Her stories are sensual and steamy, her characters passionate and sassy and her settings atmospheric and exotic.
When she’s not writing, she’s reading, hanging out with family/friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and two children.