Monday, 18 January 2016

Read Chapter One: Pt 1 of Bound to Fate #AARomance #Africanfiction #Giveaway #amreading

Title: Bound to Fate
Author: Kiru Taye
Series: Bound series, #1
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Tagline: When love fails, fate intervenes.
Release date: January 28, 2016


Lara Johnson is coping with the emotional scars of losing both parents in a tragic incident and facing the challenges of starting a new school. Getting involved in a relationship isn't on her priority list. Certainly not this illicit desire for a man, who demands the best from her, yet leaves her breathless in his presence.

All Ike Thomas wants to do is to keep out of trouble and get through the one year internship required for his degree program. But trouble finds him, in the form of an intelligent and brave girl who turns his world upside down. Falling in love is forbidden. So why does it feel so right?

A love like theirs cannot be denied. But catastrophe lies in wait and one night changes their lives forever.

Bound to Fate is a story about surviving tragedy, forgiveness and the overwhelming love that pulls through against the odds.

Content warning: This book contains scenes that might be triggering for some readers.


Chapter One

Part One

This is the first day of the rest of your life.
Lara Johnson chanted the words as she trudged down the stairs from her bedroom, her school bag slung across her shoulder. The phrase had been one her mother had taught her to use when the weight of her troubles threatened to crash down on her.
Hollowness in her chest reminded her that her world had ended three months previously.
The familiar crashing and smashing sounds of the Tom and Jerry cartoon coming from the television drew her into the living room. Lola, her younger sister by two years, reclined on a cream upholstered sofa, her school bag abandoned on the carpeted floor at her feet. In her hands, she held her Blackberry and tapped away at the keyboard with her thumbs. She appeared as if she didn’t have a care in the world.  Lara sometimes wondered how they could be related, because just as she proved to be an introvert, Lola was the opposite.
The tap, tap of footsteps in the hallway had Lara reaching for the remote control to switch off the television.
“Are you girls ready to go?” Judy called out. As their mother’s younger sister she had become guardian after their parents died in a car crash.
“Yes, Aunty,” Lara replied. “Come on, Lola.”
Ignoring everything else, her sister carried on texting for a few more seconds as if whoever was on the other end of the virtual conversation proved more important at this moment. She wouldn’t move until the last second.
Lara heaved a sigh and strode across the room. She grabbed Lola’s bag and dumped it on her lap.
Lola lifted her head and gave her the evil eye. “What?”
“Aunty's waiting. Or do you want to walk to school on your first day?”
“I don’t care. I don’t want to go to this school, anyway.”
Despite the grumbling, her sister got off the sofa with her bag and headed outside.
Lara shook her head as she followed, switching off the ceiling fan on the way.  She had misgivings, too, about starting a new school especially in her senior year when she needed to prepare for final exams. Neither of them had had any choice but to move after tragedy had befallen them.
Outside, a breeze flapped the admiral-blue skirt around her knees and the rising sun reflected off the small pools of water on the concrete driveway from the rain that had fallen at dawn. She checked her bag for her small umbrella, not wanting to get soaked if it rained again later.
For October, the temperature felt cooler and fresher than the humid heat she’d been used to in Lagos. From what she’d learnt in geography, Enugu lay over two hundred metres above sea level compared to Lagos’s eleven metres.
The engine of the silver Honda CRV revved, making her flinch. Against the background of the quiet neighbourhood, the sound became augmented, especially this early in the morning.  Her gaze darted to the car. Judy already sat in the driver’s position and Lola climbed in beside her.
“Lara, lock the door,” her aunt called out through the open window.
“Okay.” Puffing out a breath, she pulled out the bunch of keys she’d been given and did as instructed.
In her old house, she’d been used to securing the premises when going out. As the oldest child, many similar responsibilities fell on her shoulders. She didn’t have the luxury of sitting in the car messaging friends on BBM like Lola while someone else did the chores. Then again, these little chores kept her busy with less time to think about the dreadful past. Or scary future.
With the lock in place, Lara returned her bunch into the bag and hurried to the vehicle now facing towards the gates. She pulled the door and climbed into the back seat.
The grating sound of metal on metal made her wince as the watchman tugged open the gates and they drove out. Today, her senses seemed more acutely sensitive to sounds as her anxiety spiked. Her foot bounced against the floor mat, making her black patent leather shoes squeak. She pressed her palms on her knees to stop then restless motion.
“Aunty, do we really have to go to this school? Can’t we go back to our old school?” Lola asked in a sweet voice, finally putting aside the phone. “I’m sure they’ll take us back. No problem.”
“No, you can’t, sweetie.” Judy gave her a glance. “We discussed this already. You need to stay with me for now. You’ll get used to the new school in no time.”
There were a few other reasons they couldn’t go back to their old school, even if their aunt didn’t say them out loud. For one, it had been an expensive boarding school. Secondly, it lay over five hundred kilometres away in Lagos State while their aunt lived in Enugu State. And according to the bereavement counsellor, they needed to be around family.
“Aunty's house is nicer than boarding school,” Lara chimed in. Although she missed the familiarity of her old school friends—not that she ever had that many—she wouldn’t swap it for the security and compassion she’d received from Judy, who’d taken them in as if they were her own. Especially as they hadn’t seen much of the woman since they were little.
“You say that because you didn’t have many friends,” Lola said in a sarcastic voice. “I did.”
“Honey, I know you miss your friends from your old school but you’ll make new ones here, too. So don’t worry about it. You’ll both be fine.” Judy squeezed Lola’s shoulder.
“Okay,” her sister said in a resigned voice.
“Lara, you remember where to go to get the registration sorted out?” Judy asked.
“Yes. The school admin office.”
“Good. Once you show them the letter, they will let you know where to go. I won’t be able to come and pick you after school. But the two of you can take a taxi home together since it’s the first day. You will have to take the bus home next time.”
“Thank you, Aunty,” they both chorused.
Thirty minutes later, they stood in front of the school gates. Tens of kids in blue and white uniform milled around or headed into buildings.
“Hi, Lola!” someone called out.
Lola waved back.
“You know that girl?” Lara asked, astonished since her sister hadn’t mentioned she knew anyone in this school.
Lola shrugged. “She lives on the same street as Aunty Judy.”
“How do you know anyone already? We’ve only been in Enugu for a month.”
“You’re the one who chooses to lock yourself away in the house all the time. Anyway, where’s this admin office we’re supposed to find?”
Lara breath hitched and she felt as if she’d been hit with a sledgehammer. She bit back a retort and shook her head. She hadn’t been locking herself away. She’d been in mourning.

Copyright Kiru Taye 2016
To be continued... come back tomorrow for Part Two.

I'm giving away five copies of Bound To Fate ebooks to five lucky persons. Do you want one? Leave me a comment and tell me why you'd like a copy.

I'll pick winners throughout the week.

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