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NEW BOOK ALERT: Pristine by Emem Bassey #Nigerian #fantasyromance @ememjamesbassey

The long awaited instalment in A Ridiculous Royal Tale series is here! The past will have its say with visions of a forbidden love story. But does it hold the key to saving the future of Atam Kingdom? Pristine by Emem Bassey is out now. Keep reading for details:


Princess Nkoyo is twenty months into a happy and loving marriage to her soulmate, Prince Onen of Atam Kingdom. Then she begins having nightmares of wars in the wild era of slave eradication, connected to the vintage ring traditionally handed down to all first sons of Atam Kingdom for their wives. The ring has chosen Nkoyo to reveal what was and should be. The past will have its say with visions of a forbidden love story between Nnanke and Okoi—a priestess meant only for the gods and an escaped slave simply seeking a way home to his motherland. But does it hold the key to saving the future of Atam Kingdom?



My spectral legs were dangling when Nkoyo woke with a petrified gasp from her horrible, reoccurring nightmare. As usual, nausea from the gory sights attacked her. Who wouldn’t be sick after so much blood, urrg! I’m a spirit, yet I gagged a little every night she described such horrors. I pitied Nkoyo as she repeatedly wondered what she’d done to deserve this unusual punishment. Could it be her past as a painfully entitled individual? However, I agree with her it wasn’t worth this daily plague.

The princess couldn’t understand why she kept seeing wars and soldiers eating their slain contenders. Quite scary, indeed, especially as she’d never thought about such things or even read macabre books, nor watched such movies.

There was nothing I, Gossip, could do as the couple of months’ old situation bothered Nkoyo and her husband, the Crown Prince and heir of Atam kingdom. At the beginning, Nkoyo had thought it a rare case of typhoid and she’d treated herself accordingly, but it hadn’t stopped.

I wish I could tell them it wouldn’t stop as this was a spiritual matter. But then, they would ask for a solution, which I didn’t have. Besides, not like they could even see me.

Nkoyo rolled from the huge bed she shared with her ever-loving husband, Onen. Usually, she was so terrified, she woke him to stay with her while the jitters of fear subsided. However, today, the sight of his innocent face in deep sleep tugged at the strings of her heart.

Aww, I do love love. Additionally, I understood why she felt that way. After a full day of work at the mill, which had been expanded over the twenty months she’d been married to him, plus his kingdom responsibilities, Nkoyo surely wouldn’t have the heart to wake him. The man needed his full night’s rest and some.

Hurrying from the room, I floated behind her, just in time to witness her lower her head into the ceramic toilet bowl before vomit exploded from her mouth. She expelled what she’d had for dinner until she had nothing left in her stomach, yet, the heaves wouldn’t stop.

“Jesus Christ! Nk! Sweetheart!”

My spectral heart melted as Onen rushed in looking distraught. Usually, he was awake with her. Despite being so tired he hadn’t heard her wake, guilt suffused his heart, struggling for space with worry at the unknown problem bothering his wife.

Onen slammed to his knees beside her, his hand immediately rubbing her back in a circular motion. The stench of vomit or the sight didn’t bother him, but it troubled Nkoyo that he saw her this way. So, when she pushed him off slightly, he didn’t argue, and left to get her chilled water to calm her upset stomach.

I hung back and watched her flush her mess, brush her teeth, wash her face, and sit on the edge of their massive bed by the time her husband returned. Close to her, he could perceive the scent of mint from their toothpaste. He smiled through his worry, admiring how she was strong and unnecessarily independent sometimes. Onen understood she was still fighting to erase the image she’d created around herself, before she’d met him, a time she’d been regarded as a lazy, self-indulgent princess.

Hmm, I recalled how arrogant Nkoyo had been, so much that her parents, the monarchs of Efik kingdom, best friends with Onen’s parents, had conspired to send her over to Atam to be tamed. His sister, Wofai, had also had complex issues and had, in turn, been sent over to Nkoyo’s parents to be healed in kind. Oh, I’d loved telling that complication!

Everything had turned out good after all the drama that followed—like Wofai falling in love with Nkoyo’s fiancé. A long story, but I know Onen was glad his parents had made the ridiculous decision that had brought him the love of his life.

In the silence, his eyes didn’t leave her face until she finished the glass of chilled water. After, he gathered her into his arms and held her wholesome figure to him. Nkoyo’s head nestled on his massive, muscular chest, the thumps of his heart slowed from its worry and comforting her as it reverberated through her body, her own heart aligning and beating with his.

“You should have called me,” he whispered into her hair, and kissed her temple tenderly.

The love in that room, in any room these two were, was stifling. Yet, I wouldn’t be anywhere else in this moment.

“I didn’t want to disturb you,” she whispered back.

Onen pulled her face from his chest so they could really look at each other. He wanted her to see the sincerity in his eyes. “You could never disturb me, darling. I love you with every beat of my heart, and I want to share in this struggle with you. I want to help…I will help you,” he concluded determinedly.

Aww, dear God, the romance in this room proved too much.

It didn’t help that they’d decided to keep this strange phenomenon to themselves. I wonder why. However, thankfully, Onen thought it time to speak to his father about it. He thought the nightmares were obviously something from the past since his wife had described the soldiers as having nothing more on except loin cloths and weapons of machetes and spears.

Obviously, he couldn’t wrap his head around the cannibal part. Onen knew of the history of his people—of parts that had eaten human flesh as meat. Despite getting rumours of such a thing happening in recent times, his father, the king, had done some investigations with no success. Those must be things that had occurred centuries ago.

Yet, none of us could explain why his wife was having nightmares about eras past.

Back to the romance.

Nkoyo’s eyes softened at the love shining from her husband’s gaze, and she didn’t miss the determined glint either. She had reached her wits’ end, and she wouldn’t argue over whatever method he deemed fit to help her.

“Besides, if I had waited to wake you, I would have expelled everything on the bed,” she joked, her palm cupping his cheek. She loved the feel of his one-day-old beard scratching her palm softly.

I would love that, too, if Trouble—my crush—bothered to keep a beard. Cue eyeroll.

Onen chuckled and drew her close, settling his lips on hers and convincing himself she was okay. Her fingers grazed his naked chest and went round his neck, effectively aligning her lace-covered bosom on the expanse of his chest as they embraced passionately.

His arm rounded her silk-covered waist and drew her closer, a groan of pleasure slipping. But then, he recalled she’d woken from a nightmare, and he had to hear what she’d dreamt this time.

Thank God, my eyes rolling again. I needed to hear, too, even though I knew the general idea of it; I needed specifics. Daily, I catalogued her nightmares, making sure to check for any changes.

Slowing the kiss to pecks around her face, he settled her in his arms as they lay side by side, facing each other, but without much space between them. His semi erection brushed her stomach, but he ignored it, concern for her taking precedence over his base desires.

Onen was sometimes shocked at the purely innocent things that could spark passion between them. He felt lucky and blessed to have found his soul mate, the one he would love forever and had to protect from whatever disturbed her. When she hurt, he hurt right along, and he wouldn’t survive if something were to happen to her.

With a little breezy nudge, I helped him squash the morbid thought as he smoothed tendrils of hair from Nkoyo’s face.

“Same dream?”

“Yes.” She shivered in what could only be described as fear spasms upon recalling the gruesome images.

I sighed wearily, wondering what the plans of the spirits were if they were only giving Nkoyo the same recurring nightmare. That was just boring. Would I have to visit the spirit of Dream to get a heads up on what came next on this story? I grimaced—I’d been banned from Dream’s floaty abode. Urrg! I was stuck getting this tale the hard way.

Stuck with these lovebirds for the foreseeable future.

“I’m here with you, Nk, nothing can hurt you. We will figure this out together,” he assured while gathering her closer in a bid to protect her from even the spasms of fear.

I nodded at Onen’s assurance because, truly, we’d be figuring this tale out together.

Nkoyo nodded, wrapping her arms around him and holding tight for dear life. Even though the situation was unknown, and therefore solutions might be impossible, she still believed her super husband. If anything could solve her issues, he would go to the ends of the earth to find it.

“I love you, my man of steel.” She placed a soft kiss on his chin, grazing it a bit with her teeth. He groaned as pleasure thrilled through him and tightened his hold on her. In the silence of the room, they fell asleep in each other’s arms.

Hmm, their marriage of almost two years had been bliss until a few months back. There was something of utmost importance unfurling here. It might not be pleasant, but processes for a better future hardly ever were. I knew this from swirling around in eternity.

In case you were wondering—and also to inject a lighter note into the tale, for I feel it’s too early for gloom; there’s time for that later—Ekong and Wofai, Nkoyo’s former fiancé and Onen’s sister, had of course welcomed their ‘premature’ baby boy, who at almost five pounds was anything but premature.

This memory made me giggle into my palm as the happy parents maintained their child had been conceived in wedlock. Who were we to counter that?

Everybody agreed and ignored the very obvious time of birth five months after the wedding. Nobody told them it would be a medical miracle for a baby as healthy as theirs to have spent only five months in the womb.

Anyway, Ubongabasi Ekong was going on two years, and his parents were already expecting, hopefully, not another premature baby.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “I love love this book. I know I will be re-reading this again.” ~ Smashwords reviewer

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “This story was entertaining, spicy and a page turner with some mystery.” ~ Amazon reviewer



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