First Kiss Friday – Desiring Lady Caro by Ella Quinn

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Ella Quinn, author of historical romance Desiring Lady Caro.  Welcome Ella!  Here’s the first kiss between Lady Caroline Martindale and Gervais, Earl of Huntley.


Caro turned and seemed to study him. “Thank you for taking care of me.”

Her eyes were so blue, deeper than usual. His heart seemed to be clogging his throat. There was no way he would not have nursed her. He kept his voice as soft as a caress. “Caro, may I kiss you?”

She stared at him for a few moments, but it seemed like an eternity. “Yes.”

Huntley had never seduced an innocent before. Her rape didn’t count as experience. Opening his senses to her, he took in her faint lavender and lemon scent. He shifted her closer to him and barely touched his lips to the corner of her mouth before lightly brushing them against hers. Hesitantly, she moved her lips on his. He fluttered kisses on her mouth and jaw. Caro sighed. Firming his lips, he moved back to her mouth and ended the kiss. “Thank you.”

Caro’s cheeks were flushed. “I’ve never had a kiss like that. It was as if you really meant it.”

“Perhaps because I did mean it.” He glanced down at her. Was there more to his wife’s resistance than the rape? He tried to keep his tone light. “Have you had many kisses?”

She sighed again. “No, and none that I really liked, except that one.”

“Ah. If you don’t object, I plan to kiss you some more.” She turned to him. Her brows were drawn together and raised, as if she didn’t understand what he was saying. “Not now, but over the course of the next week.”

Her eyes closed and she cuddled next to him. “I don’t understand,” she said groggily, and her breathing deepened as she succumbed to sleep.

Suddenly she seemed to rouse. “But kissing doesn’t fit my plan.”

He raised his brows. Plan? Huntley pressed his lips lightly against her temple again, and she stirred sluggishly. Was she even awake? “What plan, my love?”

“To make you leave me.”

“But you promised me an heir.”


Precious Time

Time is so precious to me.  There are only 24 hours in the day.  And I only spend a portion of those at home.  And even less of that is writing time.

Here’s my dilemma.  I know I should exercise.  But exercising takes away time.  Precious time.  Writing time.  It always comes down to which is more important to me.  And writing is more important…  until my back hurts or my shoulder aches.

I find myself cutting down my exercise time so I can write more.  But then I feel guilty.  If I exercise more and have less time to write, I am miserable!

My question to you is what’s the solution?  Any suggestions?

First Kiss Friday – Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Stacy Juba, author of contemporary romance Sink or Swim.  Welcome Stacy!  Here’s the first kiss between Cassidy Novak and Zach Gallagher.


After lunch, Zach followed Cassidy to her stepfather’s building and escorted her up to the third level. She stopped at the second door down. Glenn wouldn’t be home for another hour.

“Want to come in, cowboy?”

“Wish I could, but I’d better swing by the paper. Don’t make me a liar to your mama, okay? Don’t do anything crazy.” He brushed a strand of red hair out of her eyes. Furrows creased his forehead beneath his dark bangs.

His concern stirred a fountain of emotions inside her. Surprising herself, Cassidy leaned forward and kissed him firm on the lips. Zach pulled her close and melded into the intensity of the kiss. Her fingers explored the rough slope of his chin and the recesses behind his ears. His soft mouth parted hers.

Zach stepped back and held her wrists. “I’d better go,” he whispered. “I’m late for work.”

He retreated down the windowless hall. Breathless, Cassidy spun her keychain at her waist. Did he like her, or didn’t he? She must have been too forward. It was all Adam’s fault. She hadn’t wanted to enter the apartment alone and latched onto Zach in a lame attempt at companionship.

Zach halted halfway to the stairs, turned and tossed her his Stetson. Cassidy caught it with both hands, then perched it on her head.

“What’s this for?” she asked. “You don’t expect me to go barrel racing, do you?”

“So you’ll remember to call me if you need me. Be careful.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Incidentally, I enjoyed that kiss. Hope we can do it again some time.” Zach disappeared around the corner.

Cassidy smiled. Okay then. He must like her a little bit. She pivoted to the door, her smile slipping as she imagined the bleakness beyond.




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First Kiss Friday – Quotable by Kathy L Wheeler

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Kathy L Wheeler, author of contemporary romance Quotable.  Welcome Kathy!  Here’s the first kiss between Genna Lyndsey and Rick Johnson.


Irritation filled Rick, noting the dark storefront and the hour Genna Lyndsey heedlessly took for granted. It seemed an unnecessary risk, loaded down with her purse and another bag. Probably filled with books, he surmised, her back to the street. Hell, there was a building under construction just across the damn street. Rain fell in a gentle mist.

“Where is your partner?” he snapped.

“She went home hours ago,” she said cheerfully.

His jaw clenched with an unnatural exasperation.

“Is something wrong? I’m no expert, but you seem a little out of sorts.”

“I just drove up to get some coffee next door and I see you locking up your store with no regard to personal safety.” He encroached her personal space to make his point—certainly not for the sweet fragrance of wild honeysuckle. He breathed deep.

“Oh.” He saw her steel herself against the surge of emotions assaulting her when she turned and met his angry gaze. The stiffening of her spine, the deep pools of her eyes, color indiscernible under the night sky. Her gaze measured him intently through the black sturdy glasses. “‘I cannot think well enough to be intelligible,’” she whispered, her delicious mouth parting slightly. It was all the invitation he needed. He blamed the wild honeysuckle.

Without so much as a second thought, he moved his mouth over hers in a slow deliberation, allowing her almost ample time to step back should she have wished. It didn’t matter that the door was to her back and she had nowhere to step back to.

Definitely, the wild honeysuckle. It drove him wild with desire. Just the feeling of her timorous nature kept him from devouring her outright, tempting as it was. His tongue touched her lips in a feathery motion, drinking in sweetness so pure he wanted to fall to his knees. He pulled her slight body into his.

A sharp pain hit his leg. He grunted and broke the kiss, making the break as painful as the pain in his leg. He glanced down. She’d dropped everything she’d been holding, her hands clutching the front of his shirt. Her cheeks were flushed. With hunger? Need?

She seemed at a loss as to what to do next. He stifled an urge to smile, irritation dissolving for the moment.

He grasped her hands gently, surprised by the rising desire to safeguard her. Resisting the appeal to reclaim her mouth, he tugged them from his shirt. Kneeling down, he gathered the spilled belongings. Just as he suspected, he’d been besieged with books.