Book Title: Book of the Flower Garlands (Archaeologists in Love 1)
Author and Publisher: Nikki
Release Date: November 16,
Genre: Erotic M/M
Tropes: Forbidden love, first
times, age play
Themes: Coming out,
intimacy & vulnerability
Length: 118 000 words / 347
Heat Rating: 5 flames
It is not a standalone book.
It is the first to be published in its series.
It ends with a sort of
A steamy MM erotic
romance of first times & lush settings. Will these unlikely lovers find a
Hassan Elsayed wants to find himself and follow his
dreams–at fifty-four, he’s about two decades too late, but who’s counting, really? He’s left
his hometown of Luxor, Egypt for Athens, Greece, and fulfilled his lifelong dream of
becoming a writer.
Now, he’s hungry for love. The woman he’s loved for half
his life has married someone else. When Hassan meets a beautiful nineteen-year-old boy
one summer, their attraction and chemistry are instant, insistent, and impossible to ignore.
But it’s his first time with another man, and Hassan is terrified to step into this new fire. Will
he let himself be engulfed by the flames? Will he open his heart to this unlikely love he
never saw coming?
Set in the lush, sun-drenched Mediterranean summer,
to the backdrop of the ancient ruins of Athens, Book of the Flower Garlands weaves a warm,
romantic story of sex, sensual pleasures, first loves and first times.
In the evening, Marco and I take a long, slow walk around
Kolonaki as the sun is setting. My neighborhood is quiet, steep, cobblestoned. Some parts
are narrow and rambling and old, some are lit up, gilt-edged, gleaming with signs for Prada
and Gucci. There are trendy new restaurants and the older tavernas, like the one where I
work. Young people are drinking cappuccinos at the coffee shops, tourists are taking endless
photos of the sunset. I have tried to make this city home.
We decide to walk up Mount Lycabettus. It’s often part of
our morning running route, but then it is an opportunity for hill work, not a site for its own
enjoyment. Tonight we take a leisurely pace. Children from a family of German tourists
scramble up the hill around us. We stop to admire the intricate patterns on the doors of the
church on Lycabettus, delicate black tracery on glass, illuminated from within by warm
“These old churches almost make me wish I were
Christian,” I tell Marco.
“I see what you mean,” he says softly, his eyes traveling
over the shape of the church, the little white dome on top and the crowning cross.
On an impulse we decide to have dinner at the restaurant
near the summit. “I’ve always wanted to eat here,” I say.
“Then let’s eat here,” Marco says, shrugging. He stops. “Let
me treat you.” “Sweetheart. You don’t have to.”
“Let me. You’re always paying for stuff and cooking for me
and taking care of me. Let me take you to just one dinner at a place you’ve always wanted to
“Okay,” I say. I’d say my Arab ancestors were turning in their
sandy desert graves, but surely those venerable old men have long since abandoned me. I
am head over heels for a boy less than half my age.
Our breath is duly stolen by the view at our table, placed
right at the edge of the mountain, beside a low stone wall. It’s twilight, and every moment
the light flees, bleeding from the sky. That has its own bittersweet significance, but then, as
the night grows blacker, the lights begin to glow to their fullest perfection. The
neighborhoods are tiny handfuls of houses, each block outlined with veins of dark green
summer trees. The lights are coming out like the stars we cannot see, like the lanterns the
white-shirted waiters come out and set on each table. In the far distance we can see the
softness of the sea, in the middle distance the magic radiance of the Parthenon sprawled on
“My God,” Marco says. “I will remember this view for the
rest of my life.”
About the Author
Nikki Ali creates high-quality
erotica where love is for everyone, dreams come true, and sensuality is an integrated part of
Nikki is also the editor-in-
chief of Mistress M’s Community Publishing House (MMCPH), a new, boutique-style, full-
service small publishing house founded on the principles that no matter what our hearts
desire to create, there is an audience seeking it; that, by putting our work out into the world,
our audience will find us; and that there IS space in the marketplace for the offerings of our
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