A Valentine Challenge by Kiru Taye

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thanks for dropping in. I'm happy to be hosting Kiru Taye, a fabulous romance writer, as she launches a book promo and giveaway for her new release, A Valentine Challenge. 
Hi everyone! Today I want to introduce you to my newly released contemporary romance novella A Valentine Challenge. It’s set in Enugu, a city in Nigeria, which is where I grew up before coming to live in the UK. Enugu is a major city, the capital of Iboland, a major cultural group of people. It is named for its topography and translates to ‘Hilltop’ in English. Residents fondly refer to it as the Coal city because of it coal mines.

The idea for this story came when I’d thought about writing a story for a Valentine anthology. The question in my head was: what would happen if a powerful millionaire played at being a poor man to win a rich woman? And even better still, how would he cope with the challenge knowing that another woman had rejected him in the past when he’d been poor?

From that initial idea, Michael Ede the hero, made his appearance on page one and A Valentine Challenge was born.

Book Blurb:
Book 1 of the contemporary romance Challenge series set in Nigeria. Three friends. Three challenges. Are they willing to risk everything for love? 

Ex-soldier Michael Ede’s spent his time building his life exactly the way he wants it. Life is good. Or so he thinks. So when his friends set him a challenge to exorcise the memory of a woman from his past, he expects it to be a walk in the park. 

Socialite Kasie Bosa is spitting fire at men. Her long-term boyfriend has asked for a break via text message of all things. How dare he? She’s told him to go take a dive into the River Niger. And not so politely too. So the next man who dares to cross her path is at risk of getting shredded with her spa manicured nails. 

Bad news for Michael who has chosen her as the object of his challenge. But neither of them can deny the sizzling chemistry between them nor control their responses, it seems. It’s the season of love. Can either of them escape unscathed?

Book excerpt:
Chapter One

He knew trouble when he saw it.

A man accustomed to dealing with danger in all guises, he’d come across its varied forms from the killing fields of Sierra Leone to the marshy jungle of the Niger Delta. Danger came in the form of men with machetes or AK47s and explosives packed into cars in crowded markets. Though scarred, he’d dealt with trouble and survived.

Yet, standing outside the front entrance of Park Hotel Enugu that morning, a light breeze fanning his face, Michael Ede knew he’d never seen trouble like this. Today, danger came at him as a woman. A stunningly beautiful woman. Like no woman he’d ever seen previously. Sure, she had the poise and elegance of a well-bred woman. Dressed in a white shirt and high-waist black trouser suit that enhanced as well as hid her curvy figure, feet encased in black peep-toe high-heeled pumps, jet-black hair pulled back in a chignon, blood-red lips that matched her toe nails, she exuded sophistication and class.

Beneath all that exterior elegance, there was something about her that connected with a part of him—the part of him buried under the rubble of a demolished heart. Stirring yearning he didn’t even want to contemplate. Danger signals resounded within him, his stomach churning with adrenaline, his senses focused on the object coming his way like a missile. His instincts told him to run, get out of there. Still he stood his ground. He was a born fighter. He never ran from danger.

Sashaying toward him, her lips in a glorious pout, her eyes amber-brown and captivating, she came to a halt a few feet from him. As if she knew that if she came any closer he might not be able to keep his hands off her. He clenched and unclenched his hands at his sides, his heart rate rivalling the drumbeats that heralded Obiagu masquerades. Hot blood flooded his body. It had nothing to do with the heat of the early morning African sun beating down on his back.
And everything to do with the woman standing before him. Trouble!

“Who are you? Where is Jonah?” she queried, her soft voice laced with annoyance, a frown creasing her otherwise unblemished oval face. Her not-amused eyes squinted in the sun as they moved from scanning him to surveying the hotel car park as if expecting the elusive Jonah to appear any minute.

Strange, in the short time her gaze left his body, he missed its warming effect on his blood. How was that possible? Reminding himself he was here on a mission, he straightened up leisurely. He moved away from the car toward her, rolling his shoulders while telling himself she didn’t have an adverse effect on him.

“You must be Kasie Bosa,” he said it in a matter-of-fact way. In a power play, confidence was key. Moreover, he wasn’t going to bow and scrape for her...for anyone. He needed to start their encounter the way he meant to proceed.

She reared back; possibly surprised he’d addressed her directly. Tough. She’d have to learn to live with it. His stare caught her suspicious eyes and held them. He raised his eyebrows in a challenge. Her eyes flashed with irritation.

“Yes, I’m Kasie,” she said, her voice hardened.

“My name is Michael. I’m your replacement driver. Jonah is not available today.”

She appraised him from head to toe, her eyes widened with disbelief. “You are my new driver? What joke is this? I’m calling the car service. I requested the same driver for the week. You—you stay right there.”

Bristling at her command, he took a step forward. No one spoke to him in that manner—like he was at their beck and call. He came and went as he chose and didn’t dance to anyone’s tunes. Before he could reach her, he remembered the reason he was there in the first place. 

His baby was at stake. He wasn’t going to lose Cessie for any woman.

Author Bio:

Kiru Taye writes steamy contemporary, historical and paranormal romance. Her debut historical romance novella His Treasure is a Love Romances Cafe Best Book of 2011 award-winner and an All Romance eBooks bestseller in Historical Ancient romance category.
When she’s not writing, she’s reading, hanging out with family or travelling. You can reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

His Treasure is available now on Amazon US, Amazon UK, All Romance eBooks and other online retailers.

A Valentine Challenge is available now on Amazon US, Amazon UK and All Romance eBooks.