The Ordinary King. Nina Harrington

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The Ordinary King - Nina Harrington

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      Praise for

      Nina Harrington:

      Tipping The Waitress with Diamonds “Witty, warm-hearted and wonderfully emotional, with this novel Nina Harrington once again balances pathos and humour so deftly that readers will be laughing and crying in equal measures as they get swept away by this tender, believable and heartwarming story.” —

      Always the Bridesmaid “Complex characters with terrific chemistry enhance Harrington’s simple plot. It’s a delightful effort from a new author to watch.” —RT Book Reviews

      About the Author

      NINA HARRINGTON grew up in rural Northumberland, England, and decided at the age of eleven that she was going to be a librarian — because then she could read all of the books in the public library whenever she wanted! Since then she has been a shop assistant, community pharmacist, technical writer, university lecturer, volcano walker and industrial scientist, before taking a career break to realise her dream of being a fiction writer. When she is not creating stories which make her readers smile, her hobbies are cooking, eating, enjoying good wine—and talking, for which she has had specialist training.

       The Ordinary King

      Nina Harrington

      MILLS & BOON

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      Dear Reader,

      I am often asked if the ideas for my stories are based on real life events or situations which I have experienced in person and I hate to disappoint them.

      But for this novella I did find my inspiration in the many eco technology projects which are staffed by volunteers in developing countries around the world. Their goal is simple—to give these communities the opportunity to develop a digital future for themselves and their children.

      But it did make me wonder about the sacrifices these volunteers make in order to give their time and energy so selflessly and the reasons behind their decision to leave their ordinary lives behind.

      How wonderful it would be if one of these volunteers was recognised by the tribal kingdom in Africa they call home, and asked to become a village chief? A king? That is exactly what happens to IT graduate Simon Reynolds. But the only person he truly wants to impress is Kate O’Neill. The girl he left behind in England.

      I do hope that you enjoy travelling with Kate and Simon on their journey to discover what and who they truly want in life in the beautiful setting of Ghana in Africa.

      I love to hear from my readers so please feel free to contact me through

      Very best regards,



      ‘I AM so sorry, Kate, but there is still no sign of your luggage. They are chasing up the airline, but you may have to do some emergency shopping. Not, perhaps, the finest welcome to Ghana you could have had.’

      Kate O’Neill smiled across at the company’s PR agent for West Africa, who had already gone beyond the call of duty to try and track down her precious suitcase. ‘I blame it on that five-hour delay leaving Mexico. I only just made the connecting flight out of London with minutes to spare. It was a bit optimistic to expect my bag to have done the same, but thank you for trying, Molly. I really appreciate it.’

      Molly Evans sighed heavily and took a sip of her coffee. ‘Fingers crossed it will turn up soon. You do know that Andy will never forgive me if I don’t look after you on your first field trip to Ghana, don’t you? He feels bad enough leaving you in the lurch like this at zero notice.’

      ‘I’ll be fine,’ Kate answered. ‘Have you heard from Andy yet? His wife was still in labour when I spoke to him yesterday from Mexico.’

      Molly lowered her cup and grinned across at Kate. ‘There was a text message waiting for me this morning. His twin boys are healthy, hungry and tired, just like their parents. I am so pleased for him. He has a lot of sleepless nights to look forward to, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Andy has waited a long time to have the family he wanted, even if the boys did decide to make their appearance three weeks early. Good luck to him.’

      Kate lifted up her coffee cup and clinked it against Molly’s. ‘I’ll drink to that. I only hope that the delegates don’t expect me to know as much about the country as Andy does. He has been here—what?—fifteen or twenty years?’

      Molly nodded. ‘At least. And don’t worry; the organisers know that you had to step in at the very last minute.’ Then Molly paused and looked at Kate over the top of her spectacles. ‘Unless, of course, I can persuade you to take over from Andy on a more permanent basis?’ Molly added in a casual, innocent voice, her eyebrows raised.

      Kate hesitated for a moment, her mind reeling with the impact of Molly’s innocent question.

      Take over? Take over a job so totally engrossing and demanding that you could forget any kind of family life? Oh, no! She had seen for herself what had happened to Simon’s father, and the impact his total dedication had had on his wife and son. She would not be making that same mistake.

      ‘Ah. That would be no,’ Kate replied with a warm smile. ‘I am only working on the project for the next few weeks or so, while Andy is on paternity leave.’

      ‘Your work in Mexico has been very impressive, Kate,’ Molly said with a slight nod. ‘We could really use someone with your experience to support the team here in Ghana, and I know that Andy has been looking for a long-term replacement for months. Why not think about it over the next few days?’

      Luckily for Kate, at that moment there was a rush of chatter from the hotel reception desk as the airport shuttle bus dropped off more new delegates for the technology conference and Molly immediately started bustling together her paperwork and slurping down the last of her coffee.

      ‘Sorry, Kate. Duty calls. Catch up with you at the welcome session. And … Kate?’

      Only Kate was not listening. Her attention was totally focused on the tall, rugged-looking man in very dusty clothing who was standing in the elegant lobby, and her jaw dropped in that fraction of a second when she recognised who it was—who had just walked back into her life after three years.

      A bolt of energy hit her hard in the stomach, and sucked the air from her lungs so powerfully that she had to clutch onto the edge of the table with both hands to stop herself sliding off the chair and onto the floor.

      She could not believe that this was happening.

      It had to be some sort of crazy nightmare, brought on by lack of sleep from two long-haul flights after a busy week and way too much caffeine to compensate.

      There was nothing else that could

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