We're excited about this new fantasy f/f romance from debut author Bambo Deen. And we're sharing the full prologue for your reading pleasure. Check it out.
A LITTLE BIT OF LOVE'S MAGIC by BAMBO DEEN
A young woman finds the person her heart desires with the help of a bit of magic. Noura is a young I.T. consultant whose weak point is her family. She is at that age when the pressure to get married has hit a new high, but she is not in love with her current boyfriend of three years. After losing a bet, she has to pay a visit to a herbalist in order to obtain a love charm. Despite initial scepticism, Noura follows through with the bet and obtains a charm that is supposed to lead her to true love. The instructions are straightforward, “use this charm and the first person you encounter afterwards will be the love of your life”. The only issue is that the first person Noura sees is another woman. Bewaji has just moved back to her family home after almost a decade in the United Kingdom. She is looking for nothing more than a haven where she can relax, paint and not think about the row that was the reason she left in the first place. Of course nothing goes as planned, barely a week since Bewaji has returned and her father is trying to play matchmaker. There is also the matter of the gorgeous Noura who seems to believe that she is in love with Bewaji.
Who had heard of a native doctor living in Ikoyi? Apparently, Gigi had, and that alone was enough to convince Noura that there was little Gigi did not know.
It had all started out as a joke. Rokhaya had got married that afternoon, and the chaos surrounding the wedding was officially over. Noura sat surrounded by friends and family in the upstairs parlour of her mother’s house. Now that her younger sister had entered her marital home, inevitably, the topic of her unmarried status came up. As usual, someone had asked about Taofiq and why they were not married yet.
“It’s because I don’t love him,” Noura stated, then took a healthy gulp of red wine from her glass.
Several heads around the room moved left and right, shaking in disapproval.
“That’s a weak excuse, Nouratu,” her cousin Medina said.
Noura shrugged, silently hoping it would be left at that. Thanks to busybodies like Medina, she felt not only guilty for not only being unmarried but also for not loving her long-time boyfriend.
“Taofiq is such a nice guy,” Rokhaya’s best lady, Barakat, said. “And the both of you look so good together.”
Noura studied the wine swirling in the glass she held. There was just a little bit left, and she downed it.
“If only I loved him,” she murmured.
As wonderful as Taofiq was, she could not imagine herself waking up every morning to his face. She had won him over while in her last year at university, and over the years, their relationship had settled into something comfortable. Taofiq liked her, her family loved him, he was also not a jerk, and that was good enough for her.
“Love has little to do with marriage,” Medina stated.
“Abeg, leave Noura alone.” Older sister Aida wrapped an arm around Noura’s shoulders and pulled her in a tight hug.
Just then, Gigi spoke from her corner on the sofa. “What if you loved Taofiq?”
“Huh?” Noura cocked an eyebrow at their long-time family friend.
“I mean, if there was a way for you to love Taofiq. Would you marry him?” Gigi went on. “Because I know a reputable provider of love charms.”
A veil of silence settled over the room. One could hear a pin drop before laughter burst forth from all five women.
“Gigi! You are not serious.” Medina slapped her thigh as she shook with laughter.
“I am very serious o,” Gigi insisted, a huge grin on her face. “Noura, think about it. If you don’t want these people to know, talk to me in private.”
Noura giggled as Gigi winked at her. Just then, Maria entered the room with a newly opened bottle of wine, and the conversation changed focus. As the night wore on, the spotlight turned back to Noura.
“Aunty Noura,” Barakat started. “Would you really consider using a love charm on your boyfriend?”
“No,” she breathed out. She hated when her younger sister’s friends called her “aunty,” but she had long grown tired of telling them to stop.
“So you want to be single forever?” Medina’s tone was as harsh as her words.
Noura leaned back against the sofa and closed her eyes. Not this again. “I don’t want to force anyone to be in love with me.”
“Just as it should be,” Aida, her all-time supporter, remarked. “You’ll fall in love, Noura, and it will be like a slap in the face.”
She smirked at her big sister’s choice of words. Aida could always be counted on when it came to scoffing in the face of marriage pressure. Medina and Barakat had no idea that she and Aida had been scarred by the memory of Aunty Mulika. Rokhaya was the first of Alhaji Kanjuni’s many children to join in marriage even though she was the third-born. Most hope had been lost in the rebellious Aida, but the oversabi generally expected that Noura married first.
“The juju could help facilitate that slap,” Barakat joked.
“What if we made a bet?” Medina sat up. “I remember you like bets, Noura.”
She groaned. If it would make the marriage-mongers shut up ... “What are the stakes?”
“If you lose this, you’ll have to get that love charm ...” Medina’s eyes glowed as the gears in her head spun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bambo Deen is a romantic grew up not seeing herself in M&B books she loved reading as child. She always wanted to write about lovers crossing paths on a bus to Abuja or about hot Africans making love under the canopy of the forbidden forest. She writes fantastical and paranormal love stories.
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