Angele has longed for her betrothal to Crown Prince Zahir to be consummated within wedlock. She naively hoped her promised husband would wait for her, as she would him--but compromising paparazzi photos have dashed those youthful dreams....
She cannot become Zahir's wife out of duty and endure a loveless union; she must let him go free...but on one condition. Without taking Angele's hand in marriage, will the proud sheikh agree to give her the wedding night she has long dreamed of?
Excerpts: From the book
Heart heavy with guilt at his envy, Zahir listened to his youngest brother speak his wedding vows.
Amir's voice came close to breaking as he promised, not just simple fidelity, but also love to his bride. Grace's eyes glistened, but her smile grew as she gazed at her groom with rapt fascination. Her own voice trembled as she returned the promise of love.
Both his brothers had found it with women not altogether suitable. But as neither were heir to the throne, their choices were hardly world-shattering. It was not the same for him.
His choice of bride had been set by an agreement between Zohra and Jawhar a decade past. His gaze skimmed the guests nearest the bridal party, gliding past his beaming father, king of their small Middle Eastern country, and his teary-eyed mother, to the woman he would one day wed. Though they shared no blood relation, Angele bin Cemal was treated as a favored niece by his uncle, the King of Jawhar.
Their eyes met, but she broke the gaze immediately, firmly fixing her gaze on the couple saying their vows.
He felt the dismissal, but was not surprised by it. Not after the past months preparing for the royal wedding.
Shocking everyone, the woman both royal families acknowledged would one day be his wife had refused to be a member of the bridal party or to participate in any meaningful way in the wedding. Citing her lack of close relationship to either the bride or the groom as her excuse, Angele had stood firm against every attempt by his mother and even Grace to include her.
Zahir had taken her uncustomary intransigence for what it was: a demand that he formalize an engagement between the two of them. Clearly she was done waiting patiently for her own nuptials. And, after the events of the past month, he realized the time had come to do his duty.
Besides, her father had kept his part of the bargain; he'd long since cleaned up his behavior so that he no longer courted tabloid attention.
After Zahir's mother had told him how devastated Angele was by her father's string of infidelities and the fact she had not spoken to the man in more than a year, Zahir had decided the time had come to do something about it. He wasn't close to his future bride, but Cemal would one day be a member of his family and Zahir wasn't about to stand by while the older man embarrassed them with his lack of discretion.
So, Zahir had laid down the law to Cemal. He'd told the older man that he would not marry a woman whose father's tabloid fame rivaled that of a European rock star.
Cemal had believed him. He'd patched things up with his wife and had not been featured in a scandal rag for almost five years, proving he took his daughter's future more seriously than his own marriage vows. Zahir kept the grimace such thoughts brought from his face.
He would never be that man—loveless marriage, or not.
He suspected that, unlike her mother, Angele would never tolerate it. Her surprising streak of stubbornness gave him hope for the years ahead. He did not want to tie his life to a doormat.
Regardless of how intriguing Zahir found this new side of Angele, his patience grew thinner by the minute as the wedding festivities marched forward. She took her stubbornness to a new, inexplicable level. She repeatedly declined to be in any of the formal wedding photos.
"Come, my little princess, I believe your point has been made." King Malik of Jawhar patted Angele's shoulder, his words showing he had put the same interpretation on her actions as Zahir had done. "Do not be the camel that tries to drink with its tail."
Angele smiled at her honorary uncle, though the expression did not reach her too serious eyes, and shook...
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