Book Two in The Diamond Inheritance Series
FROM ONE NIGHT TO DESERT QUEEN
Read on for an exclusive excerpt…
Clenching his jaw and ordering himself to behave, Khalif made his way out onto the balcony. He loved the large, deep green palms potted either side of the doors. The ornate, detailed carvings in the red stone balcony were almost as familiar to him as his reflection. Off to the left was a cream awning, under which were a table and chairs, but he knew that Star had seen none of it, her gaze instead glued to the whole of the capitol city of Duratra stretched out before her, beneath a sky that was turning the beautiful deep blue of early night and littered with stars more dazzling than any diamond.
‘Burami?’ she asked him without looking away from it.
‘A very large part of it, yes.’
It was absolutely the height of insanity to bring a woman to his palace quarters. It was something the old Khalif had never done. Had he deprived himself of so much that he was at risk of recklessness? And then he remembered the look in her eyes as she’d sat on the steps and knew that he’d have done it all over again just to see her eyes sparkle. Star was looking out at the desert, but her shawl had come loose and now hung from her shoulders, leaving her hair…
Thick streams of long, lazily curling fire danced on the wind, a riot of golds, deep reds and every imaginable shade of umber, flooding his tongue with the taste of turmeric, paprika and cinnamon.
She had removed her denim jacket and the long-sleeved top slashed across her neck, leaving her collarbone and delicate neck exposed to his desire. The blue cotton, regal and powerful, strong and bright enough to stand beside the glory of her hair, made him think of an ancient astrological chart he’d once seen, created from the deepest of blues and golds, rich with circles, lines, arrows and stars, all working to prove some mystical assertion.
Mystical. That was what Star made him feel. And it hit him like a hammer, as if this moment was something they’d stolen from ancient gods. Something that was just for them.
Star felt him return to the balcony behind her. As if his presence had the power to pull at her like the tide. He was giving her the time she needed. And she did need it. She was in the private rooms of a palace looking out at the desert. She’d had to pinch herself literally, she thought as she rubbed the pink flesh on her forearm, to know that this wasn’t a dream she’d conjured from her imagination.
She knew that she should feel danger, or at least a very real sense of concern. She barely knew Kal, but that felt wrong. She didn’t feel as if he were a stranger. He was physically imposing, that was true, but, rather than making her scared, it made her want—want in a way that she’d only ever read about before. She had waited all her adult years to find someone who made her feel the things she’d only ever read about and she was leaving tomorrow.
Star might be very used to daydreams, but she wasn’t naïve. She knew in reality that there was nothing past tomorrow for her, for them. But did that mean she should walk away from the possibility of what tonight held? She wanted to laugh at herself for being presumptuous, but… Her tongue ran over her lip, where his thumb had pressed so gently to such great effect. A tremor shivered over her skin and down her spine. Surely she wasn’t the only one affected by this?
Don’t miss the chance for two royal romances in one book! From One Night to Desert Queen is paired with Kali Anthony's thrilling book, Off Limits to the Crown Prince available in August in the UK
An oasis of escape
In a life of duty…
Star Soames has one week in Duratra to track down her family’s long-lost diamonds. Facing a fruitless quest, she allows herself an encounter with a gorgeous stranger in the royal palace. But “Kal” turns out to be Sheikh Khalif Al Azhar!
Star awakens a curiosity Khalif hasn’t felt since a tragic accident made him heir to the throne. But surrendering to their attraction is risky when duty decrees he always choose country over their chemistry…