The Brothers Ali Book 1 by Celeste Granger Genre: African American Contemporary Romance
From USA Today Bestselling Author, Celeste Granger.
Singapore brought them together and almost tore them apart.
Textile specialist, Aya Masters, travels the world negotiating in high powered board rooms and bridging the economic divide between the poor and the wealthiest of the wealthy. The only absence in her life is the love of family. Basel Ali, international finance manager for Ali International, crosses the globe seeking out new investments for his family’s millions. Private jets, board rooms and five-star hotels are the accommodations that signify his life. For Basel, honoring his family and the family name are everything.
A chance encounter in Singapore brings Aya into Basel’s orbit. He finds himself lured by her exotic beauty, brilliant mind, and sophisticated allure. Aya notices Basel, too, and finds herself not only intrigued by him but willing to take a risk with the one thing she’d always protected, her heart. The uncanny magnetism between the two shifts the world on its axis and throws Basel and Aya into a whirlwind romance neither could have anticipated.
This book is a standalone and has a happily ever after. This book is interconnected to the Brothers Ali Series.
When they pulled up to Aya’s luxury condo, she started to feel a sense of dread. There was a low abiding feeling in her gut that was reflected in her frame feeling weighed down. Her shoulders slightly slumped, and she found it more difficult to look at Basel, let alone talk to him. Thankfully, he wasn’t very talkative during the car ride. Remnants of their earlier admittedly intense conversation wafted over into their next jaunt, which was Basel taking her home. He eased the car into park. His eyes slowly trailed to her. Observantly, Basel noticed the change in Aya’s demeanor.
“What’s the matter, babe?” He asked, reaching over a placing a gentle hand over her folded hands.
“I don’t want you to leave.” Aya didn’t know what had come over her, the brutal honesty that effortlessly streamed from her lips. It was like the valve between her thoughts, and what spilled from her lips was no longer filtered and wide open. Basel disarmed her in that way. Another frightening thought, she mused.
“I don’t have to,” Basel answered. She smiled, and quickly, Aya’s posture shifted. She rolled her shoulders back, and life filtered back into her eyes. Easing her hand to the seatbelt, allowing Basel’s hand to fall to her lap, she unbuckled herself.
“I’m ready,” she uttered as her sultry eyes traveled to his. The blink of her thick lashes waxing against the full of her cheeks, Aya leaned in, and Basel responded. She felt his lips touch her like the softest whisper, and then he brushed an even gentler kiss across her forehead. The forehead kiss, sweet and unapologetic – a kiss to her third eye, the truest window to her soul.
“I’m ready, too,” Basel answered, his eyes slowly dragging down her features until his eyes met hers once again.
Basel pulled himself away from her long enough to turn off the ignition, remove the key, and step out of the vehicle. With his key fob, he clicked a button opening the trunk. After closing it and placing Aya’s suitcases on the sidewalk, he walked around the vehicle to retrieve the most important package. He lifted her from the truck and closed the door behind her, striking the keypad once again to lock the vehicle. Aya padded sexily in front of him as Basel retrieved the bags, following her.
Aya opened the door and crossed the threshold with Basel right behind her.
“Where should I put these,” he asked before sitting the bags down.
“You can leave them right there,” Aya replied. Her heart was racing, and her thoughts were running even faster. Basel kept her off-kilter with no overt action. His mere presence was debilitating in the best possible way.
“Your place is nice,” Basel replied as he looked around the spacious area.
“Thanks,” she replied, closing and locking the door behind him.
“Come on in,” she encouraged, kicking off her shoes and setting her keys on the hallway table. Basel followed suit, taking off his shoes as well. As they moved into the living area, everything Basel saw from the color pallet to the play with patterns in fabric, made perfect sense. Visually the space was stunning yet, livable and lived in.
“Babe, you want something to drink?”
“Sure, sweet,” Basel replied.
She strolled into the kitchen, and as she moved in front of him, Basel’s eyes rackingly appraised her. His steps drew him closer to her silhouette, the beauty of her living space no longer dominating his attention.
“Can I help,” Basel asked, the rumble of his bass voice striking her solidly in the pit of her belly.
“Of course,” Aya simpered. “The wine glasses are right there.”
Basel padded to the sink washing his hands, then followed Aya’s instructions about the glasses.
“Oh, excuse me,” Aya gushed as she haphazardly bumped into him in her pursuit of the corkscrew in the drawer beside him. Basel capitalized on the opportunity, gathering Aya into the circle of his arms. He caught her off guard.
“Ah!” She squealed as his fingers tickled her flesh, sending her into a fit of giggles and fits as she struggled to getaway.
“Basel,” she chirped as her head fell backward to the width of his chest. “I can’t even breathe,” she laughed heartily.
“I know,” Basel taunted. She laughed even more, carefreely. It felt good, and her laughter echoing against the walls sounded good.
“Stop,” she squealed again.
“But what if I don’t want to,” Basel crooned. His fingers stopped tickling and began to assuage the smoothness of her belly. His mouth fell to the crook of her neck, leaving a trail of slow, shivery kisses, the gently passionate massage sending currents of want through her. Their closeness was better than any drug as it lured Aya to her own personal euphoria. She felt the rise of his manhood against the swell of her ass and her body. Aya felt an eager affection pouring from him as the warmth of his breath coated her neck and coiled down her flesh. He nudged her neck intermittently kissing, then sucking then biting then smoothing over the pain with yet another kiss. Aya wasn’t giggling anymore. Her amusement turned into moans from the heated sensations coursing from her neck, down her back, and between her thighs. Basel was Aya’s kryptonite. With a single kiss, he could bring out passions from within her, which she barely knew existed. All thought slipped from Aya’s mind as Basel left a trail of heated kisses down her neck. Aya felt the warmth from his muscle-toned body pressed up against hers. She melded into his folds, their two bodies becoming one.
“Kiss me,” Basel moaned from behind her. When he moved his strong arms, turning her, Aya moved with him, coming face to face with the man she had grown to love. She did love Basel. He made it so easy. Basel always made Aya feel special like she was the only woman in the world. His love was unconditional. He appreciated her quirks and made her feel beautiful. As she turned to face him, looking up into his deep brown eyes, Aya couldn’t resist. Biting her bottom lip and feeling his manhood pressing between her wanton thighs, Aya did kiss him, deep and long. The dance between their tongues sent shivers through Basel as he felt the soul connection, one that could not be denied. Aya was everything he ever desired in a woman.
Basel’s carnal desire drove him. Clothes were dispensed of. Anything that would be a hindrance between her pussy and his dick had to go. He wanted to please Aya in every way. Her lips tasted sweet, and the suppleness of her body interlaced with his sent a surge coursing through his loins. Aya felt it too as Basel bent her over, his trousers and boxers dropped down near his knees. With his fingers, he eased the slight fabric of her panties to the side and then teased her more by easing his fingers into the warmth of her yoni.
“Ahhh,” she groaned as she felt his exploration massaging her swollen feminine flesh. She was wet, so wet and waiting for him. Basel couldn’t wait any longer, bending Aya over at the waist and lifting his fullness to hers. He eased his fingers from her folds, yet before Aya had a chance to recover, she gasped as she felt the thickness of his dick parting her pussy lips like he owned them. Her hands immediately fell to the counter, and she gripped it as Basel’s initial thrust lifted Aya onto her toes.
“Umhmm,” she hummed against the next one that managed to lift her body even higher. He loved to hear her purr in response. The walls of her puss welcomed him and pulsed against his manhood. The round of Aya’s ass poised in front of him drove Basel to plunge deeper into her. He wanted to mark his territory, and the thought of this woman belonging solely to him brought out the beast that lurked just beneath the surface. His thrusts quickened, and Basel cupped Aya’s hips in the cradle of his arms as he moved inside her, striking her G spot repeatedly. But when Aya looked back over her shoulder, reeling Basel in with a tempestuous glare and a naughty smile, the animal in him was unleashed.
He pounded her flesh, the fuck becoming fast and furious. He couldn’t get enough of her.
“Shit,” he gasped as he felt Aya’s feminine walls tighten around his pole, caressing it and coaxing it to give and then give more.
“Damn, girl,” Basel groaned as beads of sweat began to dot his forehead. She gripped the counter even tighter with one hand, and then Aya reached back, separating her ass cheeks, offering Basel even greater access to what he craved. His desire for Aya was so much more than physical, and the thought of her, the smell of her, the feel of her, the conviction of his feelings for her rose up in Basel’s chest, nearly suffocating him. She pushed back against him, arching her back and giving him her fullness. The rhythm they fell into was wild and erratic yet perfectly harmonious as they rode the wave of each one’s desire pushing them to please the other more.
“Fuck me, Basel,” Aya whined. “Fuck me, baby.”
She could feel her pearl swelling to the point of pain as new hotness threatened to spill from her. Basel bent his knees, pulling Aya down on top of him in nearly a sitting position.
“Ah damn,” he moaned. “Bae,” he palpated.
“Mmhmm, yes, Basel, come for me. Ahh!”
He fucked her frantically, and when he felt the surge of thick gism searing through him, Basel’s head fell back between the strength of his shoulders, and he groaned loudly enough to shake her. Yet, Aya couldn’t distinguish the shake he caused from the convulsions of her body. She gave in as her pussy released her wetness; the climactic moment causing her body to soar higher until the apex of delight was reached.
The only thing that could be heard was panting as they basked in the reflective glory of their mutual satisfaction. Basel lifted in his knees, bending Aya’s pliable body with him, and rested his head on the center of her back. She felt the weight of him, and that was okay. Aya’s puss held Basel’s dick captive until he softened. He wrapped his arms around her waist and moaned against her back.
“Don’t do that,” Aya muttered.
“Because it’ll send me again,” she confessed.
Basel pulled her with him as he stood up. Aya spun in his firm hands, cooing face to face with him. She kept his eyes locked as she fingered his neck, traced across his chest, and started unbuttoning his shirt. Basel stepped out of his boxers and trousers without disturbing the quest Aya was on. When his shirt was fully unbuttoned, she eased her mocha hands against his flesh, grazing him until her hands reached his shoulders, sliding his shirt from him. Basel moved to help her.
No, bae, I got this,” she promised, a scantily devilish smile enchanting her lips.
Israel The Brothers Ali Book 2
World-renowned archaeologist, Dr. Cairo Davis spends most of her time digging in dirt uncovering secrets, hidden things that remind us of a past long since forgotten. Although famous, Cairo is not one for the glitz and glam that infamy offers. She’s not impressed by private jets and five-star hotels. She likes to keep things simple.
Israel Ali, Director of Acquisitions for Ali International, his family’s business, is two sides to the same coin. He enjoys the perks of being one of the hottest eligible bachelors in the Southwest region, women dying to be on his arm, red carpets, five star everything. Yet, Israel is just as happy on an excursion to unearth buried treasure.
An expected encounter brings the two personalities together on a collision course destined for love. Yet, Cairo has a secret she would much rather keep to herself. Israel is determined to unearth the treasure that lies inside Cairo. She resists his pursuits sending the duo into an emotional entanglement that nearly costs them, real love.
The trek back to camp was quiet, with everyone considering what transpired and the awe-inspiring nature of Lachlan’s discovery. As they crested the last hill, the trio could see that the campfire was already burning bright against the backdrop of the setting sun. As they drew closer, the group noticed smoke rising higher than ordinary from the flames. And then, their noses were tickled with the wonderful smell of barbecue wafting into the air. The entire camp was out participating in a communal meal. Cairo placed a hand over her stomach, hearing it growl so loudly it was embarrassing. She rolled her eyes and giggled as a result. They hadn’t eaten all day except for a few pieces of quandong, a native fruit common in the outback.
“What’s that all about,” Israel asked as he walked next to her.
“Please tell me you didn’t hear my stomach,” Cairo flushed.
“Is that what that was?” Israel teased.
Cairo was mortified, but it was a lighthearted mortification. Israel chuckled, and it didn’t help that Lachlan, who she didn’t think was paying attention, smiled and chuckled, too. This time when she rolled her eyes, she made sure Israel could see her before Cairo giggled herself.
“It’s okay,” Israel consoled. “We’re all hungry.”
“Whatever,” Cairo huffed playfully.
The pleasant smells from the campsite intensified as they drew closer. The trio was welcomed by the campers when they arrived at the campfire.
“Are we celebrating,” Cairo asked as one of the campers handed her a cold beer.
“It was a good day,” the camper advised. Cairo got swept up in a conversation with the camper and her second in command as they debriefed her on the day. Israel and Lachlan continued toward the fire, each picking up beers to drink along the way.
“What is that,” Israel said as the two men sat down.
“Witchetty grub,” Lachlan answered. Israel watched as Lachlan pulled out what looked like broken limbs, peel the bark back, and pop the thick caterpillar-like creature into his mouth. “Tastes like chicken,” Lachlan offered as he chewed.
“I bet it does,” Israel chortled, popping the top on his beer and taking a hefty swig. The cold liquor tasted good going down, but it also reminded Israel how hungry he was.
“Try it, mate,” Lachlan encouraged, extending a broken branch to Israel. “Taste like chook,” Lachlanmiled. “It delivers.”
Sitting his beer down, Israel took the branch from Lachlan. Although he wasn’t ordinarily a fan of eating live and moving things, Israel understood the importance of the gesture. That was part of learning about different cultures and experiencing new things. It was also confirmation of Israel’s acceptance of who Lachlan was and that they were indeed mates. Peeling back the bark, Israel picked up the grub and put it in his mouth. Lachlan nodded his head, approving the follow-through.
“It does taste like chicken,” Israel agreed.
“Yeah, told you, mate,” Lachlan smiled.
“Do you gentlemen mind if I sit down?”
“Not at all,” Israel replied, looking up at Cairo and then standing up to offer a hand. Lachlan stood as well, recognizing a woman entering their presence and made room for Cairo on the log. After she was seated, Israel resumed his seat.
“I take it things went well with the dig today,” Israel asked, noticing the satisfied look on Cairo’s face.
“It did,” she replied. “No major issues, no injuries? I say it was a good day.”
“That’s good to hear,” Israel agreed. “Lachlan was just sharing his Witchetty grubs with me,” Israel explained.
“I’ve had them before,” Cairo replied. “They're tasty. Right now, though, I need a whole lot of whatever is on the grill.”
“Shall we?” Israel asked.
“Mmhmm,” Cairo hummed.
She sat her beer down and accepted Israel’s extended hand as she lifted her curvaceous frame from the log. The organizers of the feast had everything laid out and ready. The trio fell in line behind those waiting to prepare their plates.
Barbecuing was as common a practice in Australia as it was in the United States, and the menu, as far as the meat was concerned, was pretty similar as well. Common for an Aussie BBQ was burgers, steaks, sausages, and fresh fish. Sometimes, kangaroo was a part of the menu cut into steaks and used for burgers. Barramundi fish, a local large-scaled silverfish, was on the menu tonight along with a variety of red meats.
“Everything looks delicious,” Cairo sang as she fixed her plate. “What no beetroot for your burger,” she asked Israel.
“Nah, I’m good,” he replied.
“Okay, but you’re missing out,” Cairo warned.
“Am I now?” He challenged.
“Definitely,” she smiled, putting a few more items on her plate.
“Maybe I’ll taste yours,” Israel flirtingly suggested.
Cairo cut her eyes in his direction, not missing the double entendre at all. His response was loaded, and Cairo felt the weightiness of his words. The heat from the campfire paled in comparison to the warmth Cairo felt in her cheeks as Israel’s gaze lingered on her, compelling Cairo to look into his. There was a faint light that twinkled in the depths of his obsidian eyes that couldn’t be contributed to the flames that blazed brightly nearby.
Once they were done, only Israel and Cairo returned to the area they’d been sitting in. Lachlan chose to sit with some of the other campers he’d become familiar with. Before they broke bread, each bowed their heads and uttered a silent prayer. There was no hesitation in moving to enjoy their meal.
“Mmm, mmm, mmm,” Cairo hummed again, “so good.”
Israel agreed with her. The food was good.
“I told you, you’re missing out on the beetroot,” Cairo commented after taking a bite of her burger laced with the dark red vegetable.
“It doesn’t go on a sandwich,” Israel offered a dissenting position.
“Who says,” Cairo challenged, her arched brows pitching on her forehead.
“I do,” Israel crooned, rising to the challenge.
“Just taste it,” Cairo encouraged, “and if you decide it’s not a go, then at least you have formed your opinion based on taste and not conjecture.”
“That’s what I said,” she purred.
“Alright now, doc,” Israel cautioned, his eyes flashing a gentle coquettish warning. “I like it when you’re all feisty.”
“Taste the sandwich, Israel,” she coaxed, lifting her sandwich, and offering it to him. Her eyes were narrow, and Cairo leveled a steady gaze as she watched the play of emotions on his face. He gave in to her request and took a bite, fully expecting that he wouldn’t like it. But Israel gave the flavors a chance, and when he didn’t wince or negatively contort his face, Cairo smiled, satisfied.
“Good right,” she opined, the thickness of her long lashes kissing her onyx cheeks.
“Alright,” Israel exhaled. “It’s good.”
“Told ya,” she gloated laughingly. “You’ll learn you can trust my taste,” Cairo continued.
“Lots of things,” she offered, recognizing her comment as divulging more of her thoughts than she intended.
“I’m good with that,” Israel affirmed.
Their playful banter continued throughout dinner. Cairo enjoyed talking with Israel. She felt like she could be more of herself without having to guard her words. She didn’t have to be Dr. Davis when she was with him. Israel made it easy for her to be Cairo, the woman behind the title and responsibility. The feeling was refreshing and disarming and entirely unexpected. Cairo found herself relaxing and allowing herself to breathe easier. The unfamiliarity of relaxation around a handsome man that Cairo found herself attracted to presented a new challenge for her. She was prone to be protective and not allow anyone too close. Israel was getting close quickly.
“Room for dessert,” Israel asked as they polished off their plates.
“Always,” Cairo replied. She took the plates while Israel strolled to the serving table. Cairo watched Israel as he moved. His swagger was undeniable. His presence could be felt before he was seen. Israel was magnanimous, fitting in with people who were very different than him. Cairo knew Israel and his family were wealthy, billionaire level wealthy. Yet, he didn’t come off with an air of superiority. Some would think being on a dig like this was slumming it, especially for a man in his position. Israel seemed to be loving it, not taking issue with getting his own hands dirty. That was kind of sexy, no, it was really sexy to Cairo. She knew she had to be careful, though. Lowering her guard would only serve to disappoint both of them. Why go through all the trouble of involving her heart if disappointment was destined to be the end result. Israel was so goddamn charming, though, and hard to resist.
Her eyes traveled the length of him as Israel made his way back to her. Cairo tried to see him differently, to find something wrong with him, to find a flaw a fault so it would be easier not to fall for him. Yet, as Israel’s handsome, chiseled face came into view, his beautiful mahogany skin, strong jaw, African nose, full lips, and a body built by the gods, all Cairo could do was stare. And then Israel smiled. Not a toothy smile but a simmering sexy smile. Cairo’s heart thumped, and her yoni thumped harder.
Khalid The Brothers Ali Book 3
Racquel Alexander, Owner of Charles’ Barber Experience, is consumed with extending her father’s legacy by expanding the Barber Experience into new markets. Losing her father changed Racquel’s worldview, narrowing her focus to only those things that help her father live on and not just in her memory.
Khalid Ali, Director of Investments for Ali International is all about the business of conquering new territories, investing in new ventures, and expanding his family’s legacy. He is persistent, determined, and focused.
A thunderstorm, a flat tire, and a knight in shining armor coming to save her changes the course of Racquel’s existence, but not in a good way. That accidental encounter brings her nemesis, Khalid Ali, into her orbit, rocking Racquel’s foundation and disturbing every preconceived notion she ever had of him. Holding on to old things is easy. Accepting new things is hard. Khalid dares Racquel to accept new things like how his nearness compels her soul to swoon and her heart to thunder in her chest; and how their undeniable magnetism seismically shifts the atmosphere and causes the earth to quake under their feet.
When enemies become lovers, it's tumultuous and passionate and confusing and incredible. When enemies fall in love, it’s unpredictable.
"I thought we could watch old movies on the big screen, but I wouldn’t be able to focus,” Khalid answered.
“Why is that?” Racquel purred.
“You’re making it difficult for me to keep my hands off you.”
“You don’t want me to be too easy, do you?”
“What’s the challenge in that?” Racquel hummed.
“There is none,” Khalid agreed.
Easing his chair back, Khalid stood up and extended his hand to her. Racquel eased her chair back and accepted his hand. Khalid helped to lift her to standing. They padded across the yard, Racquel’s bare feet feeling the soft grass underneath them.
“I’m already in my suit, but you are,” Racquel’s voice dropped off as she untied the robe and let it fall to the ground.
Before Khalid could only imagine what she would look like wearing the white one-piece with a peekaboo teardrop cutout slightly exposing her cleavage and the high rise cut showing off the thick of her thighs. He didn’t have to imagine anymore.
“Oh, my,” Khalid uttered as anthracite eyes took her in wholly.
“But you’re still dressed like that,” Racquel pointed out.
“Not for long,” he uttered.
Reaching down to the tail of his shirt, Khalid lifted it over his head, discarding it on the grass. He moved closer to her, then slowly lifted Racquel’s hand to his chest. The strength she imagined from a distance, and experienced only once, she felt up close. It was a wicked reminder of how she felt the first time they were flesh to flesh. Khalid’s raven skin was smooth, except for the rigged veins that trailed along his musculature. Racquel felt the thump of his heart against her hand. It matched the thump of her heart, beating hard in her chest. Racquel’s eyes momentarily left his as she looked down at her hand against him. They shared a moment, a thread of connectivity weaving between them. Their hands moved together, lower down to his ripped abs. Racquel traced them, each one, and her jewel screamed. Khalid never allowed his eyes to leave hers.
Racquel continued to be mesmerized by Khalid. He released her hand, placing it claimingly on her waist, but she continued to trace her fingers lower, finding the edge of his jeans, trailing a single finger lightly against the fabric. She lifted her other hand, unsnapping the button and lowering the zipper. Her eyes trailed upwards to find Khalid staring down at her, his eyes vacillating from her orbs to her lips and back to her orbs again. Khalid’s eyes returned to her mouth as he lowered his lips to meet hers. He moved his hands over the back of her neck then kissed her deeply. Khalid’s slow drugging kisses were an intoxicant, and Racquel found herself willing to drink more from him, her thirst becoming insatiable as their mouths melded together. When he moaned against Racquel’s lips, her jewel thumped ferociously in response. Racquel leaned in and kissed Khalid even more intensely, keenly aware of her own eager response to the flame of his kiss.
Racquel’s hands continued to trail the edge of the fabric around his waist, easing what kept him hidden from her off his hips, Khalid’s jeans and briefs falling to the ground. His lips pulled away from her.
“Now, I’m like this, and you’re,” his words fell off as he stepped out of the last of his clothing.
“Do something about it,” Racquel hummed against his mouth.
She only had to say it one time as Khalid eased the white straps from her shoulders. His hands didn’t stop moving until her beautiful body was fully revealed to him. He held her balance as Racquel stepped out of the bathing suit. This time, she reached for his hand. Khalid willingly followed her, his eyes admiring her curvy silhouette as Racquel walked on tiptoe to the beachfront entry of the pool. Looking over her shoulder, a sexy smile eased across Racquel’s pouty lips as she released Khalid’s hand, sashaying further into the water. Khalid stood where he was watching her, admiring her, longing for her. When Racquel disappeared under the water, her exquisite form moving effortlessly through the water, Khalid felt a hard thump in his chest and a hard thump in his loins.
He moved in her direction, slowly walking towards the deeper water. She surfaced like a mermaid, the turquoise water running over her face and then cascading from her. Khalid reached for her coiling her into him. But she was totally wet, Khalid was not. Racquel smiled as she hoisted herself, aided by the buoyancy of the water, and pushed Khalid down by the shoulders until he was fully submerged. He took her down with him, and their bodies danced in the multicolor water until it was hard to breathe.
They emerged together. They were both smiling, but the smiles didn’t last long. This time when Khalid reached for Racquel, he made sure she couldn’t get the jump on him by pulling a fast one. He reached for her wrists, and once he had them, pinned them behind her.
“Ah,” she gasped as his form moved in on her form, and his mouth found hers once again. The passion they shared was indescribable, their energies merging as their auras danced around them. Khalid released her hands and then trailed hot, lingering kisses down the length of her neck. Racquel felt her yoni thump in response. But he was not going to be the only one giving pleasure. She reached for him as well, taking the thickness of his manhood in her hands. Racquel pulled her mouth away from his as she slowly stroked his length, pulling in her bottom lip and releasing it slowly between her teeth. She was driving Khalid mad.
Tareef The Brothers Ali Book 4
Naomi Singleton is a woman on a mission. As the Public Relations Director for the Barber Experience and starting her own public relations firm, Naomi has her hands full. But there’s something else that consumes Naomi, her desire for a man, Tareef Ali, who doesn’t seem to return her affections.
Tareef’s cold shoulder makes Naomi wonder if finding love is a thing out of her reach, until another man is more than willing to fulfill Naomi’s romantic desires, Attorney Malcolm Bridges.
As Director of Legal Affairs for Ali International, Tareef dispenses the law with expertise and vigor. His billionaire status doesn’t keep him from working for the people. When a wrongful conviction case pits Tareef against his nemesis, in a court battle, he soon finds it’s not the only fight on his hands. It’s the battle for Naomi’s heart.
"Naomi padded into the kitchen, unresponsively. If she had on shoes, Malcolm would have heard the stomp intended in her departure. Malcolm closed in on her and moved in behind Naomi as she stood at the sink, looking out of the window. Her arms were crossed again, and he could feel her body vibrating as she pulsed her toes against the hardwood floors. Malcolm eased his thickly corded arms around the small of her waist and moved even closer, nestling near her neck.
“Are you angry with me, beautiful?”
Naomi’s body reacted to the warmth of his breath against her exposed flesh, causing goosebumps to emerge and a searing sensation to race down her spine. When she felt Malcolm’s soft lips kiss her neck and then her earlobe, Naomi blinked slowly, and the fold of her arms softened in response. Her head fell back between her shoulders as Malcolm peppered the length of her neck with slow, penetrating kisses.
“I don’t want you to be angry with me,” he whispered into her ear. “Okay?”
Malcolm didn’t move away. He lingered near her, the length of his form pressing against hers as he pulled Naomi in even more. She could feel the strength of him, the press of his manhood against her ass. She could feel him, and it made Naomi wonder. Was she overreacting? Had she taken a philosophical conversation too far? Had she given him a chance to explain himself fully, or was she so hellbent on her position that she couldn’t hear anything contrary? Mental illness struck a loud sounding chord in Naomi’s soul. But was she allowing that to dominate her thoughts about his job? He was just doing his job, right, she questioned as her flesh rose up, her carnal nature rearing its thirsty head. It had been so long since she had her feminine needs met, and Malcolm’s proximity sent Naomi reeling.
“You didn’t answer my question, beautiful,” he uttered as he kissed Naomi on the shoulder. “Are you angry with me?”
“Mmhmm,” was all Naomi could muster. Her body defied her disposition, and the thump in her yoni mocked her responsiveness.
Before she could protest further, Malcolm spun her in the confines of his arms until she faced him. Her mouth opened on a pant from the unexpected movement, and he seized the moment, closing in on her mouth, pulling her bottom lip between his lips and sucking it before deliberately and methodically releasing it. Her jewel thumped recklessly again as though there was a direct link between the things Malcolm did with her lips and her lips. She still had no time to protest as Malcolm once again capitalized on the opportunity, seizing her mouth with a debilitating kiss. His tongue thrusting and exploring every corner of her mouth and then sucking her tongue as though he found nourishment there. He hummed against her mouth, and the vibration descended into every fiber of Naomi’s being. Malcolm’s large hands locked against her spine as he reclaimed her lips, crushing her to him. The touch of Malcolm’s lips was a delicious sensation that Naomi enjoyed way too much. She couldn’t catch her breath as Malcolm’s demanding lips caressed hers.
When he released her lips, Malcolm still held on to her frame, his hooded eyes raking over her exquisite face, drinking in each of her features, isolating their allure. Naomi felt warm all over, heat swirling in her cheeks, the beat of her heart throbbing in her chest.
“What’s it going to take for you not to be mad with me anymore? If I apologize, will it make it better,” Malcolm asked, lowering his head as he raised a hand to tilt Naomi’s chin. He kissed her at the base of her neck and then a little lower before finding her eyes again, waiting for an answer.
“Is this your idea of apologizing?” Naomi fussed with far less vigor than she declared her initial frustration.
“No,” Malcolm crooned. “This is my idea of apologizing.”
He lowered his hands until his fingers traced the edge of her sweatpants. Hooking his thumbs in them and the lace panties she wore, Malcolm eased them from Naomi’s hips, bending in his knees and sliding everything down that could possibly get in his way.
“Malcolm,” Naomi passively protested as her hands found his head. Her body, though, craved everything Naomi imagine Malcolm would do to her. She caressed him from the crown along his cheeks and then inclining his head so she could look in his eyes.
“What are you doing?”
“Apologizing,” he answered in a voice barely above a whisper.
He lowered his head and continued undressing her, lifting one foot then the other as he removed her bottoms. Malcolm dropped to his knees in front of her, lifting his fingers to trace the outline of her hips, down her thighs and to her jewel.
“Ah,” Naomi panted as Malcolm’s hands trailed over her yoni and then encircled her ass as he kissed her sweetness, tasting Naomi’s love for the first time."
Ameer The Brothers Ali Book 5
Ameer Ali, Director of Engineering for Ali International, is the youngest of the Ali brothers, and the one who took after his mother, majoring in both mathematics and environmental engineering. Ameer’s academic prowess, business accouterment and undeniable good looks, makes him one of the most eligible bachelors in the southwest. He was single and happily so, until his accidental encounter with Siobhan Greer. Something about Siobhan moved Ameer in a way that piqued his curiosity and drove his intentions.
Siobhan, owner of Move with Me Dance Studio, is a woman with very clear goals and lofty ambitions. Yet hauntings from her past keep Siobhan battling old demons that interfere with living in the present. It’s a battle that has kept her mentally entangled and unable to love past her pain until she meets a man who titillates her imagination and challenges her to dream even bigger dreams.
But it’s not just the two of them. There are other players in the game who can determine whether what Ameer and Siobhan feel for each other is enough.
"Siobhan’s eyes darkened with pain as hot tears trembled on her lids before staining her cheeks. The agonizing maelstrom of emotions shook Siobhan to her core. As she felt her body racked from the tears she shed, Ameer swept her, weightless into the strength of his arms. When Siobhan lifted her eyes meeting his, the pain still flickered there. She dropped her lashes, trying to hide the heaviness centered in her soul. But he wouldn’t let her. Gently touching her chin, Ameer tilted Siobhan’s head, inclining her to him. His eyes searched Siobhan’s face, seemingly reaching into her thoughts. His gaze never wavered until she lifted her eyes to meet his. A look of exhausted sadness passed over her otherwise exquisite features, pricking Ameer’s heart so deeply, her hurt became his hurt.
“Let me put you to bed,” He whispered.
Siobhan didn’t have the energy for dissent. Reaching up, she laced her arms around Ameer’s neck, and he lifted her in the cradle of his arms as he stood to his full height. Siobhan’s head rested against his muscled chest as he carried her down the hall. When they reached Siobhan’s bed, Ameer lowered his frame, gently laying her down.
“Don’t leave me, please,” she beckoned.
Ameer stole a moment returning to the door of the bedroom, closing, and locking it. The few seconds he was away, Siobhan missed him; his nearness soothed the massive ache she had in her heart. When he climbed into the bed behind her, that feeling of comfort returned, as Ameer wrapped his arms around her, pulling Siobhan close, her body melding to his form, locking into his embrace.
“I’m right here,” Ameer breathed. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“I love you,” she uttered, gently turning in his arms to face him. The fringe of Siobhan’s lush lashes cast shadows on her cheeks as she raised her mouth, hoping he would kiss her in return. When he did, Siobhan felt such immense relief. But it was more than his reflected love. She felt the kind of relief that honesty brings, an unburdening of the weight that lingered, prolonged in the recesses of her heart. It was a kiss for Siobhan’s long tired soul to melt into. Her emotions skidded and whirled as he kissed her again, lovingly, tenderly, easily.
Ameer enveloped her and pulled Siobhan in close, courting her senses with gentle persuasiveness but only after he looked into the depths of her brown eyes, seeing that she wanted more of him.
“Are you sure,” Ameer uttered against the fullness of her lips.
Her eyes said yes. Her body said yes. Siobhan’s heart screamed, yes. Her soul cried yes before her lips uttered, “yes.”
Their mouths connected once more, first lightly, then profoundly as he tasted her tongue while she tasted his. Ameer liked the juices, textures, the spices of her. He needed to taste more than her mouth. She wanted more of him, too. She reached for the tail of his t-shirt, lifting it the length of him with Ameer helping the remainder of the way until his chiseled chest, broad shoulders, thickly corded arms were fully revealed. Siobhan’s t-shirt was next. Ameer eased her shirt up, grazing the swell of her breasts. Siobhan lifted her arms, giving him the ease of removing it fully.
When his hands found her flesh, Ameer slid a finger under the silky strap of her bra, sliding the straps off the curves of her shoulders, first one then the other, leaving a trail of tantalizing possessive kisses from her lips, down her neck, and to her center. Siobhan moaned as her body responded to Ameer’s masterful touch. Her breasts surged behind the intimacy of his mouth, caressing her swollen nipples. His hands seared a path down Siobhan’s abdomen that his mouth mimicked, sending currents of desire ebbing through her core. Ameer traced the outline of her pajama bottoms, his ardor, touching surprisingly restrained. He paused to kiss her belly, whispering sweet nothings as he eased the fabric barriers that covered her body. His large hands skimmed the curve of her hips and down the thick of her thighs, relieving her of her clothing. Siobhan writhed with the vacancy of his touch as Ameer eased from the bed, removing everything that could keep him from experiencing her fully. She felt the weight of his presence as he moved between her thighs, breathing deeply, taking in her essence. The first kiss to her jewel sent a surge of heated energy to Siobhan’s core.
“Ah,” she panted.
Parting her lips with his fingers, Ameer delved inside her folds with his tongue. Siobhan’s back arched without prompting. He plunged deeper, filling her walls, and licking her throbbing clit. Ameer pulled away, separating his lips from her flesh, and then blew softly. Siobhan quivered and clawed at the sheets balling the fabric under her tightening fists. When his mouth reconnected with her quaking jewel, Ameer lapped up the love juices Siobhan so freely surrendered. He wasn’t in any rush. Ameer wanted to explore her, arouse her, give her every pleasure she so deserved.
USA Today Bestselling Author and lover of Love. It is a many splendid thing, isn’t it? Yet, it’s not a straight path from one heart to another. Most often, love is a tangled mess that challenges our thoughts, beliefs, and challenges us to prove over and over that we are more than enamored with an individual. Love is a tangled conglomeration of what the mind thinks, what the soul feels, and what the heart knows. And I write about it...
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hello everyone. I’m Celeste Granger, USA Today Bestselling Author of Black Contemporary Romance. I’ve been writing professional for the past two years. Unlike some authors, I didn’t know I wanted to be an author since I was a child. I knew I always enjoyed writing, and written expression. I understood the power and potency of words, but I didn’t know I wanted to be the one authoring them. I have written a lot, as a means of personal expression for a while, but it wasn’t until a very good friend of mine read some things I wrote and encouraged me to pursue it and consider writing professionally. I considered it, studied the self-publishing journey, and decided two years ago that I would give it a chance. I’ve been writing ever since.
What are you passionate about these days?
My peace. This last year has been a tumultuous time for so many people with Covid quarantine, civil unrest, and the ramifications of those things combined with economic hardship for so many. My peace has become critical. Sometimes I have to unplug from information overload and retreat into my own head space where my characters live and be a part of the fictional world for a while. It’s much more peaceful there.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I think the entire Ali series would make a fantastic movie series. The characters are so dynamic and intriguing and lovable. The characters experience real situations that many people can relate to. I think the Ali’s as a series would be a hit!
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
There are two additional stories that accompany the Ali Brother’s series. Even Me, focuses on a character from Tareef’s story that I felt compelled to write because Jennifer deserved her own story. She deserved a chance at her own happily ever after.
She feels so undeserving. He sees a woman worth loving.
Jennifer Williams faces the hardest battle of her life. She is incarcerated in maximum security prison behind the death of her husband, sentenced to life. She resigns herself to the hand fate has dealt her. Jennifer killed her husband. That fact is indisputable. Yet, some things happen that are completely unexpected. A higher court decides to hear her legal case on a clemency petition. Attorney Tareef Ali fights to protect Jennifer in the courtroom. Prison guard, Quinton Miller enters her life. He’s seen her before, even though she’s never seen him. He’s drawn to her even though she’s behind bars. Quinton fights to love her even though Jennifer feels she doesn’t deserve it. A romance begins to brew that neither can deny. But breaking Jennifer’s barriers isn’t easy when she feels love isn’t within her reach.
This is a standalone novella with a HEA.
Trigger warning: Gratuitous profanity, some violence, detailed sexual encounters.
Where did you come up with the names in the story? Names are very important to me, again the power of words. I do a lot of research on names because they help to build the character and that character’s characteristics. I like names that have powerful meanings because I write powerful characters, although flawed, they are powerful. Their names have to truly represent them.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story, or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story? I would like to act like I am the boss in this situation. I really would. However, more times than not, the characters are really the boss. Although I am the one who introduces them, and think I create them, they really are their own entity. They introduce themselves to me and I am merely the vessel through which the story is told.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
No, they don’t. The characters reveal themselves to me over time, sometimes way before I even begin to write the story. Other times, they reveal themselves when as they come into the story.
Where did your inspiration for this book come from?
I like what I like. I am not a fan of struggle love. That has been the way, a lot of times, that Black love exists – only in that space of struggle. I wanted to show that all love doesn’t have to be based on hardship. That’s why I write Alpha male and Alpha females that don’t have that as an issue which gives room to delve into the emotionality of the characters. It was also important to me that both the hero and heroine had means so the hero wasn’t rescuing the heroine from an impoverished situation. That sets up a power struggle that I also see too much of in books and in life. So not just the Ali series, but all my stories are based on eliminating those foundational elements so the love can blossom based on more intrinsic factors.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book? That answer is simple. I do lots from the character names to their occupations to their background stories and conditions, wedding venues, wedding attire, to the places they go on vacation. Although the stories are fictional, I think it is important to paint a picture for the reader. That picture can be supported and made clearer with facts. Substance is important and research helps me to go past my imagination and offer real information that makes the fantasy of fiction more delicious, if you will.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Trust yourself. Trust your gift. Never give up. The road you are taking may be a lonely one but it is so worth it. People close to you may not understand. They may try and dissuade you because they don’t see the fruits of your labor. They may not support you because they don’t see you in that light. But keep pushing forward. Keep pressing on. When it gets rough, don’t quit. (I believe this is a word for someone who may be experiencing this same situation, whether it’s writing or some other endeavor). Trust the process. There will be storms, weather them. You are built for this.
I would also tell my younger self as well as my present day self to write down your goals. Write the vision and make it plain. A dream that is not written down will remain a dream. It can’t manifest just in your thoughts. You have to write it down, and then revisit it. From what you have written down, you can determine what work, what effort is necessary to achieve the goal. Don’t be weary. It will happen for you. Manifest that thing, do the work, and watch your wildest dreams come true.