by: Lela May Wight
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 26, 2022
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
The desert prince will finally make her his bride in this dramatic reunion romance by debut author Lela May Wight!
He asked for a night
Now he requires her hand!
Newly orphaned Charlotte Hegarty is ready to start living her life. She’s determined a reckless encounter with her first love, Prince Akeem, will free her from the past. Maybe then she’ll be able to forget him…
Akeem wants to show Charlotte what she gave up when she turned her back on him. So he sweeps her away to his desert kingdom, intent on seduction. Yet when their secret tryst threatens to become a scandal, duty-bound Akeem makes an outrageous demand: Charlotte will be his queen!
From Harlequin Presents: Escape to exotic locations where passion knows no bounds.
Hi Kim! I’m so excited to be on Read Your Writes Book Reviews! Thank you for having me. I’ve been filled with an excited nervous energy ever since I got ‘The call.’ I’m still pinching myself, but I’m very well, thank you. How are you?
I’m good. Thank you for asking. Congratulations on your first Harlequin Presents release, His Desert Bride by Demand. What can readers expect from it?
Thank You! Akeem and Charlotte’s story, described in three words, would be dramatic, passionate, and intense. It’s a second-chance romance, with first-loves and unfinished business they are both determined to resolve.
It’s a tasty tale of revenge and confronting past-mistakes, all tied up in a scrumptious marriage of convenience.
That’s a lot to take in. Tell me about Charlotte Hegarty and Prince Akeem.
Akeem and Charlotte met when they were teenagers, both thrust into the care-system where they found solace and friendship with each other.
They are both gloriously emotionally messy. (Aren’t we all?)
Charlotte is beyond loyal to those she loves at the cost of her own happiness. Her relationship with her father is complicated. He raised her after her mother’s death, and it was hard for them both, but she loves him deeply.
After her dad’s death, she has many emotions to navigate and I think my favourite character trait of Charlotte’s is her ability to find the light even in the darkest of places. It was a joy to watch her guide Akeem to see the light in the darkest parts of himself.
Akeem is very guarded and keeps his emotions in check for fear of people thinking he’s weak after a complicated relationship with his own dad, but he is also fiercely loyal to those he loves and it was a revelation to watch him realise he was allowed (thanks to Charlotte!) to love himself too.
Charlotte definitely guided Akeem. I liked that she did so in this loving way. I personally was ready to just rip the bandaid off and make him see himself. I’m always curious how authors decide to name their characters. How did you come up with the characters’ names?
Akeem and Charlotte came to me already named! I can’t remember an instance of trying to figure out what name would suit them. They were just always Akeem and Charlotte! Charlotte and Akeem!
What was your favorite part of His Desert Bride by Demand to write and why?
The bleak moment scene. I know those hard-hitting scenes are not for everyone, but I love them.
The moment the world stands still and Akeem and Charlotte are looking at each other, with their hearts on their sleeve, but one’s too scared to let the other hold it. Their heart. And it all comes tumbling down, so they can grow. And it’s the road to growth explored in Charlotte and Akeem’s dark moment that had me typing faster, because one wall at a time, they broke them down, and out of the rubble came a beautiful (in my opinion) HEA.
Can you tell me about one of your favorite scenes from the book, and why is it is a favorite?
Oh, brilliant question! I loved writing so many moments and scenes in Akeem and Charlotte’s story. But one of my favourites is the end of act one.
There is such a raw vulnerability when the past is exposed and truths are revealed.
It’s explosion after explosion of honest, unguarded sincerity, and the only way they can survive it is with a kiss. They find refuge in each other. A place to hide… I loved writing this scene so very much.
I’ve been vague, haven’t I? Sorry! But if I go any deeper, I’d be giving away a plot thrust I shouldn’t. But know when you read it, this was one of my favourites!
I’m pretty sure I know the exact scene you talking about. Just my opinion…Getting notified that you’re going to be a Harlequin author has to be beyond amazing. When you got that phone call or email, what was the first thing you did?
Beyond amazing! I’d spoken to my now fabulous editor a few times on the phone before and when she arranged this call, I was absolutely positive it was going to be a “not this time, but send me your next project” call.
When my editor said she’d like to offer me a contract, my first words were, “Are you saying those words to me?” And she was!
I ran through the house, telling all who would listen. It was the call and not a call. Now, when something exciting happens in my house, my children say it was the *insert exciting thing* not a *insert exciting thing. *
What can readers look forward to from you next?
Hopefully, lots more love stories of emotionally messy people, finding their light in the darkest of places and realising they are worthy of loving another human being, but are allowed to love themselves too.
Lela May, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me.
Thank you so much for having me and for the fantastic questions! I’ve had a great time chatting with you.
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