A 1Night Stand Story
Leila Hassan Al-Nadir spent ten years in a forced, abusive marriage in the United Arab Emirates, before her husband divorced her...and another man stepped into his place to make her his wife. But before she can look at a future with this new man, he abandons her, dropping her off on the island of Mauritius in the care of his stepmother.
Khalid Al-Nadir wants nothing more than to be with Leila, his wife. But he hides a deep, dark secret—his intentions when he made her his weren’t noble. Despite falling in love with her in the end, he knows she will be better off without him.
Leila craves answers; Khalid desires salvation. Fate, in the form of Khalid’s stepmother, intervenes and sets this estranged couple up for a one night stand date with Madame Eve’s agency.
Can Leila and Khalid have a second chance, once they both face the truth that brought them together?
Genre: Contemporary, interracial/multicultural, inspirational romance
Heat level: 3
Word count – 12k
Cover art by Tibbs Design
A snort escaped her. Her home. More like her prison, the place she went after her father had sold her off to be a fifty-five-year-old man’s broodmare. Thank goodness she’d been barren and the old bastard never got what he sought from her—a male heir. She’d suffered beatings every month when she failed to get pregnant, his almost-nightly visits to her bed just one step short of rape…. Ten years and her “husband” hadn’t accepted the fact she would never give him a child, male or female. He’d made sure to buy her from her father as a virgin, assured of her being untainted by any other before him, unlike his two other wives who’d been married previously. The women who should have given him his heir, since they’d born offspring for their previous husbands.
“Chérie? What’s the matter?”
Leila tore her thoughts from the dark memories and stared at the woman who had welcomed her into her home three months earlier. Before meeting Carole, she had never believed compassion existed, or peace thrived on a small island called Mauritius in the southern Indian Ocean. She’d known a life of fear and paranoia in her Arab father’s house in London, and then the United Arab Emirates household of Bashir Al-Arif, the man who had bought her virginity.
A sliver of remembrance sliced through her. She did recall something else. Tenderness, caring, gentleness—all of which she’d found one magical night with the man who saved her from her painful existence, when her first husband divorced her out of the blue.
The man who made her his wife…then drugged her before morning came and transported her all the way from Abu Dhabi to Mauritius, where he dropped her, still unconscious, into Carole’s care, before he vanished.
Don’t think of him. If she did, the tears would threaten to fall, the anguish would come back, as well as the desperation of knowing he’d saved her only to leave her even more alone than before.
“Ma chérie?” Carole raised a dainty porcelain cup in her direction.
Tea. The solution to all woes. The British thought so, and on their former colony of Mauritius, even French-origin natives needed their three o’clock fix.
Leila sighed and dumped her tote on a sofa before she stepped out onto the wide terrace facing the clear blue waters of the Grand Baie lagoon. In what was dubbed the Côte d’Azur of the island, on the northwest coastal tip, she didn’t stand out with her fair skin and flaxen hair. She passed for a tourist or even a member of the white descendants of French rulers who’d stayed despite the British seizing power over two centuries earlier. She shouldn’t feel like the odd one out here, like the pale foreigner she’d been in the UAE, but she did.
Leila was on temporary reprieve before the questions came. Carole poured her a cuppa.
No sooner was the drink in front of her than the inquisition began.
Stories about love, life, relationships... in a melting-pot of culture.
Zee is an author who grew up on a fence - on one side there was modernity and the global world, on the other there was culture and traditions. Putting up with the culture for half of her life, one day she decided she'd stand tall on her wall and dip toes every now and then into both sides of her non-conventional upbringing.
From this resolution spanned a world of adaptation and learning to live on said wall. The realization also came that many other young women of the world were on their own fence.
This particular position became her favorite when she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing - her heroines all sit 'on a fence', whether cultural or societal, in today's world or in times past, and face dilemmas about life and love.
Hailing from the multicultural island of Mauritius, Zee is a degree holder in Communications Science. She is married, mum to a tween son, & stepmum to a teenage lad.
To learn more about our 1Night Stand Series, click here.