First Kiss Friday – The Rover Bold by Anna Markland

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Anna Markland, author of historical romance The Rover Bold.  Welcome back, Anna!  We are very fortunate to have this sneak peek!  This novel will not be released until September 1st!  Here’s the first kiss between Cathryn and Bryk.

untitled (3)Terror rendered Cathryn incapable of movement. She swayed, certain her heart had stopped beating. It surely would when the massive barbarian plunged his knife into her breast. One glimpse of long hair, silvery blonde in the moonlight, a full beard and animal skin clothing had been enough to tell her this was no wandering peasant intent on mischief.

She had never been touched by a man. His hand was warm on her face, and it seemed he was being careful not to hurt her. At least he hadn’t broken her neck. His hands were big enough to snap her like a twig. She decided in an instant biting him wasn’t a good idea.

The dizzying smell of male sweat filled her nostrils, but it wasn’t the acrid stink that clung to Sprig. The heat from the arm gripping her body penetrated the thick wool of her habit.

His voice was deep, but gentle. He was rocking her, which was good because her knees had buckled. Fear must have stolen her wits. How else to explain that she felt strangely safe, held firm against a male body as unyielding as a wall?

He eased her away and looked into her eyes. “No harm,” he rasped.

She had lost her wits. Something in the depths of his brown eyes held her. She quickly nodded her understanding, trusting him.

He removed his hand from her mouth and they stared at each other for what seemed like long minutes.

His frown betrayed his uncertainty as to what to do with her. An urge to beg him to take her away bubbled up in her throat. She never wanted to be parted from the security of his strong arms.

But this man was a Viking—the hair, the clothing, the foreign tongue, the sheer size of him confirmed it. Women taken by Vikings became slaves.

Better a slave to this man than to Mother Bruna.

She shivered when he let go, swaying on unsteady legs until he put his hands on her waist and touched his lips to hers. The softness of his beard surprised her.

She should have been outraged, should have protested, pushed him away, called on her patron saint. But along with the alarmingly wonderful sensations coursing through her body, and a desire to have him breathe his salty breath into her, a ridiculous notion beat a tattoo in her thoughts.

Love at first sight, love at first sight.

He broke them apart, a strange look on his face, as if he too struggled to comprehend the situation in which they found themselves. He tapped his chest. “Bryk,” he rasped.

Her breath caught in her dry throat but she managed to squeeze out, “Cathryn.”

He smiled, sending tiny winged creatures fluttering in her lower belly.

“Cath-ryn,” he repeated hoarsely.

On his lips her name was a song.

But then he put a hand on her back and pushed her gently in the direction of the abbey.

He’s letting me go. I can warn the others.

She gripped his arm, unable to speak.

Don’t let me go.

But he pushed her again, gesturing towards the wall. “Go,” he urged, untying his horse.

She staggered away from him, crying for no good reason. Nearing the wall, she turned for one last glimpse, but he’d already disappeared, swallowed up by the night.

 

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