Title: Confessions of a Sheba Queen
Author: Autumn Bardot
Genre: Historical Romance, Erotica
Publication date: March 10th, 2020
During a raging sandstorm along a riverbed in the ancient lands of Saba, a powerful jinni born of smokeless fire gives birth to a half-human daughter. Bilqis does not inherit her mother’s magical abilities, but the fire of her jinni blood does imbue her with other powerful gifts. As she undergoes her rites of womanhood and her insatiable sexual hunger is awakened, it becomes clear—this is the key to her “great destiny” prophesized at her birth. But it could also lead to her total undoing.
Bilqis comes to understand that her supernatural talents have the power to make men, and women, and nations prostrate themselves in utter devotion to her. When tragedy strikes, she leaves her home to seek revenge against the tyrannical god-king whose reign is a plague upon his land and people. Armed with only her body, courage, and wits, she quickly masters the art of seduction, all the while resisting the mind-consuming call to stay locked in an endless cycle of carnal passion.
Destiny soon intervenes, and what began as a quest for vengeance becomes a mission to heal the land of Saba from a twisted, corrupt regime and to see it become the wealthiest kingdom in all the land. Yet, it is only after meeting the already legendary and wildly attractive King Solomon that Bilqis discovers her greatest battle is not with others, but with herself.
Excerpt . . .
I stood on shaking legs and hid behind Momma.
“Ekene, at your service.” He flashed a wide, handsome grin of perfect white teeth.
Momma nudged me. “It’s time for your body to sing,” she whispered.
I stumbled forward, my feet heavy as rocks, my eyes darting from the ground to the beautiful man before me. “Momma...” My voice croaked like a frightened child’s.
Momma wrapped her comforting arms around my waist. “Like floating on a river.” Her breath tickled my ear. “Don’t tell him your name.” She gave me a quick squeeze before walking past him and taking the narrow path to the canyon beyond our house.
I watched Momma’s retreating figure until she disappeared around the bend.
“It’s okay to be nervous,” Ekene said when I stole a shy look at him.
“How long will it take?” I rasped, my voice dry as the desert.
The quick wince of disappointment passed so quickly over Ekene’s face, I might have imagined it.
“Pleasure is not measured in time.” Ekene held out his large hand. “Let’s sit together.”
I took his dark hand in mine. Warm. Dry. Confident. Solid as a walnut shell.
We walked through the doorway and into the mud-brick house where we sat on the rug. “Tell me about yourself, Young Woman With No Name.”
“I have a name—”
Ekene’s hand sprung out like a snake, his fingers sealing my lips. “Don’t tell me. Your momma did not want me to know either of your names. It’s a condition of the job.”
I was a job? A nameless job? I bristled and wrinkled my nose.
Ekene pressed his lips together in dismay. “Will you permit me to give you a name for today?” Ekene spoke with the deference of one addressing a queen. “I think it will be best for us both.”
“Um...” I stared at Ekene’s biceps. They were so large I thought his armband might pop off. Surely, they were twice as big as any of the men in the village. “Okay,” I said, my fingers impatient to run over his muscular curves. “Give me a beautiful name.”
“Mmmm...” Ekene scratched his beard. “I will call you Destiny.” His brown eyes dilated with warmth. “Because your momma said you have a great destiny.”
His peaceful manner eased my nervousness.
“That’s more portentous than beautiful,” I said.
Ekene’s brows lifted. “Gorgeous and clever.” He tucked fisted hands under his chin in thought. “A great destiny is beauty,” he said after a few moments.
My cheeks flamed, his studied gaze making me shy. I lowered my eyes, intent on the circles I drew on the carpet.
Ekene scooted close. Not close enough that our bodies touched, but close enough that I smelled his maleness and the mint on his breath.
“Do you have any questions?” He slid off the leather cord securing my braid and threaded his fingers through my tresses.
His intimate touch and ardent gaze set my body aflame. I burned from toe tip to head top. For the first time, I understood the heat of my smokeless fire heritage.
Questions? I had a thousand, yet I asked only one. “Is this your profession?”
“A small part of it.” With my hair now unbound, Ekene’s fingers massaged my scalp, sending pleasurable shivers down my neck. “I have a confession to make. I’ve never had the privilege of servicing a woman of your exquisiteness before.”
“I doubt that,” I said, despite leaning into his relaxing ministrations.
His fingers kneaded the base of my head. “I speak the truth. When I first laid eyes on you, my loins stirred and my heart quickened. The closer I got, the more charmed I became. There is a radiant destiny in your golden eyes, shining brighter than any star. I feel it in your presence...the glow of your inner strength. You have an exotic beauty, the smile of the sphinx, and a magical radiance that dazzles like a gem. There is nothing more captivating and dangerous than the perfect union of inner and outward beauty.”
I swayed farther into his caresses. “Dangerous?” Momma told me I was beautiful all the time, but that didn’t count.
With a featherlight touch that tickled my lips, Ekene traced the line of my jaw. “Men will swoon at your feet and do your bidding just to be in your presence. Jealous women will despise you for the power you have over men.” His lips whisked across my cheek.
I trembled with anticipation, the strange quivering in my body making me eager for more. I turned my cheek and my lips met his. Their soft warmth sent a thousand butterflies aflutter in my belly.
Ekene stroked my cheek, his lips and fingertips as light as a breeze. He parted his lips.
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