This time last year, I was releasing my HENDERSON sisters trilogy … a story of family, love, betrayal and hope set against the background of rural Australia and the festivity of Christmas. I adored writing these sisters’ stories for
so many reasons. I’m one of three sisters, myself, and put so much of our dynamic into these girls’ lives. I loved writing their banter -the way they would fire rapid emails around the globe like a spiderweb connecting them even through different time-zones and at great distance.
The middle book of the trilogy, THE SHEIKH’S CONVENIENT MISTRESS, is one of my all time favourites. I’m going to paste the prologue below to show you why, but suffice it to say, there were two sexy alpha heroes in this book; only one of them got their Happily Ever After.
I’ve had A LOT of emails about the ‘other brother’, Ra’if. He was such a troubled, conflicted character, but so full of kindness and strength in the toughest of circumstances and it seems I’m not alone in having been wanting a happy ending for him. It’s been an entirely different experience for me to write a story based on a single character. Usually, I get an idea for a couple or a problem, and I build a book around that. But Ra’if was his own idea. His own story, and I have spent a long time imagining the kind of heroine who would challenge him and strengthen him, who would offer him that piece of the puzzle that he so badly needed.
Ra’if will be floating onto an e-book shelf soon – and I hope you love his story as much as you did Zamir’s. I know I have adored getting to know him better and can’t wait to share him!
Happy reading, CC.
PS Opening chapter of THE SHEIKH’S CONVENIENT MISTRESS following now..
Twenty three years earlier
“Don’t cry, Zamir.” She crouched down, her body slim, her hair plaited into a perfect style that wrapped around her head. “Please don’t cry, darling one. I’ll be back soon.”
The four year old boy with his spectacular complexion and enormous amber eyes did his best to stave off any more tears. “But you are always going, mama.”
“I know,” she smiled wistfully and took one of his hands in hers. With her other, she reached behind him, to the far more stoic and seemingly unaffected Ra’if. Only two years older, he was cut from an entirely different cloth to his brother. Where Zamir felt all things deeply, Ra’if had always possessed an ability to hold a tight reign over his emotions.
“Why must you?” Zamir muttered, using her grip to lift her arm around his waist so that he could sidle close to her. She smelled like jasmine and magnolia.
“Because it is my job.”
His jutted lip was petulance itself. “You don’t have a job. You are the Queen.”
Cait swallowed her smile. “True, but I have duties I must carry out. There are thousands of people waiting for me in Pilati,” she explained quietly, referring to the capital city of Dashan.
“You’ll come back tonight?”
“Yes, I’ll come back tonight.” She joined the two brothers’ hands together and smiled to encompass them both. “Ra’if will keep you company until then. I promise to come and give you a goodnight kiss as soon as I am back.”
Zamir sniffled miserably. “I don’t want you to go.”
“Zami,” she laughed indulgently, standing and ruffling his thick black hair. “You always say that.”
“And you always go,” he countered.
“Yes. But I always come home again.”
She could have had no idea, of course, that this would be the one and only time when she wouldn’t.
That her beautiful boys, watching her walk elegantly down the long marbled corridor of the Central Palace, would never see her again.
If she had, she would have stayed longer. She would have hugged Zamir and Ra’if so tight, and listened to the beatings of their hearts.
Instead, she left; not to Pilati, in the end, but to her destiny and her death.
Zamir and Ra’if and would never be the same again.