Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Rating: 3
Newly-crowned Pharaoh Khai I is coerced by his Grand Vizier Azar to find a bride, but Khai has more important things to do, like practicing for his upcoming coronation. Azar and Khai’s mother, Queen Hathor, takes the matter out of his hands and secretly sends out private invitations to the young available princesses in the world to come and dance for the new Pharaoh’s hand in marriage.
Khai learns of the invitations after the dancers have performed for him, and he has to admit that there were some delightful candidates. But he considered none of them as beautiful as Princess Zuri of Nubia, who refused to dance for him. Azar considers the refusal an insult to the kingdom and an embarrassment to the new Pharaoh, so in order to save face, Khai orders Zuri to return to the palace and dance for him at his birthday party.
Headstrong and fiercely independent, Zuri Bassey did not want to dance for Khai, because she refuses to be put on display just to appease a man's ego. Her mother learns of the refusal and insists that Zuri fix what she has broken. Zuri has never disobeyed her mother before, so she returns to Egypt to dance for Khai. How did she know that she would turn on not only Khai, but every man in the room, except the former Vizier who was old enough to be her grandfather?
Azar has loved Princess Zuri since they were kids, but unfortunately Zuri hated his guts. So many years has passed since he’d seen her that he had no idea that she had grown into such a lovely young woman. Had he known, he would not have sent out those invitations. All it took was one steamy look from the beautiful African princess to make him lose his mind. He had to have her in his bed, no matter what the cost. Was one night with her worth breaking a friendship bond he and Khai shared for years?
Khai is the new Pharaoh upon the death of his father, the Pharaoh Kemosiri. He has misgivings about filling his father’s shoes. His best friend, Asar, is his new vizier who thrives in his role. When Khai’s mother, Queen Hathor, decides that it is time for her son to choose a bride, Asar schemes to get all of the single women within the kingdom to come and dance for the Pharaoh forcing Khai into making a decision.
Zuri, a Nubian princess from Khai and Asar’s childhood, comes into the picture and it is her utter defiance to obey the protocols that immediately snags their attention. Khai finds himself falling for her independent streak. Asar confesses to loving her from when they were children.
It went from the courtship between Khai and Zuri to a game of cat and mouse with Asar. Aware of Asar’s feelings and Zuri’s increasing attraction to Asar, Khai makes Zuri an offer that she has trouble refusing.
I like the fact that it was set during Egyptian times and the interaction with the characters flowed smoothly. I do admit to feeling like there was something missing when even though it was all tied up in the end. There were a lot of unanswered questions. Hopefully, the author will expand on this novel because some of the other characters deserve a story of their own.
3 ½ Tea Cups!