It’s Inspirational Quote Monday! Here’s the quote for the week – ““The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.” – Mark Twain
Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Kathryn Le Veque, author of medieval romance Guardian of Darkness. Welcome Kathryn! Here’s the first kiss between Lady Carington Kerr and Sir Creed de Reyne.
He smiled in reply, gazing into her lovely face, knowing that he was going to kiss her and there was not a damn thing he could do to stop himself. His grip tightened, pulling her cheek very close to his mouth, and his lips went to work. Very gently, his mouth moved across her cheek to her chin. As it did so, he felt her body quiver violently and it fed both his passion and his curiosity; he was wildly curious to taste her lips. He thought she tried to say something but he could not be sure; before she could get the words out, his lips slanted over hers and he fed his curiosity with her delicious flesh.
Clutched tightly against Creed’s chest, Carington knew she should, at the very least, be protesting his actions. She had tried, sort of, but his mouth had claimed her own and the protest died on her lips. Now she was experiencing the searing heat of his mouth, scorching her like nothing she had ever known to exist. She’d never been kissed by a man before and hardly knew what to expect, but Creed’s gentle lips wordlessly instructed her on how to respond. In a very short amount of time, she was aptly doing so. In fact, it was as if a flood gate suddenly opened and her passionate Scot nature exploded in ways she never knew it could.
Her small fingers found their way into his inky hair, gripping his head as he devoured her. His tongue licked at her lips, tenderly prying them open, and she gasped as he invaded her honeyed mouth. Carington savored the sensations, each one so new and exciting, feeling his flesh against hers, his massive arms around her slender body. There was such excitement and comfort and passion, sensations she had never felt before, and she mimicked his actions, matching him suckle for suckle because it seemed like the most natural thing to do. She could taste him, his distinct musk and saltiness, and it was exhilarating.
Creed was kissing her so lustfully that he nearly swallowed half her face. She was delectably sweet, like nothing he had ever sampled before, and the fact that she was responding eagerly to him only increased his fervor. She was so small that his arms encircled her torso and then some, and he could feel the swell of her left breast against the palm of his left hand. It was firm and warm. With the figure this woman had, curvaceous and slender in all the right places, having her in his arms only served to excite him more.
The kiss was growing more heated. A bevy of unexpected emotions and sensations were beginning to crop up, seeds of obsession and intimate curiosity that he could not seem to control. Creed was suckling gently on her tongue when a soft knock sounded at the chamber door. Startled, his head came up and they both stared at the door a moment as if unsure they had heard anything at all. But a second knock came shortly thereafter, stronger than the first, and Creed lifted her up and set her on her feet as if she weighed no more than a child. Carington wobbled, giggled, and he smiled in response, putting a finger over his lips to indicate silence. He noticed her face was rather red, her lips glossy-wet from his kiss, and he gently wiped his hand over the lower half of her face to remove all traces of his loss of control. Carington wiped her face with her own hands just to make sure. He could see that her hands were shaking.
It’s Inspirational Quote Monday! Here’s the quote for the week – “There’s always another storm. It’s the way the world works. Snowstorms, rainstorms, windstorms, sandstorms, and firestorms. Some are fierce and others are small. You have to deal with each one separately, but you need to keep an eye on whats brewing for tomorrow.” - Maria V. Snyder
Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Nancy Morse, author of historical paranormal romance Tainted Love. Welcome back Nancy! Here’s the first kiss between Pru Hightower and Stede Bonham.
The meeting of the pirate, Stede Bonham, and fledgling vampire Pru, after he is tossed out of The Snapping Turtle tavern and lands at her feet. In return for splashing mud on her dress, he offers to walk her home.
Stede Bonham’s first impression of the woman walking beside him was of solemn eyes a dusky shade of blue, like the twilight sky just before night descends, and hair the color of dark ale, the tendrils escaping her bonnet tinted gold beneath the light of the street lamps. Her profile reflected a straight nose, a determined little chin, and lips that were firm and slightly pouted.
There was nothing noticeably strange about her features except for an alluring pallor and a rosy stain on her cheeks. She walked with uncommon grace and an unusually quiet step, her shoes making practically no sound on the damp cobblestones. It seemed almost as if she were floating, a notion no doubt fostered by la fèe verte. The Green Fairy often made him imagine things that weren’t there. He blinked his eyes to clear them. She looked innocent and yet not innocent. Fresh and naïve and yet somehow as old as time. She wasn’t as starkly beautiful as some of the quadroon girls who strolled the Place d’Armes, with their dark, flirtatious eyes and pecan-colored skin, yet there was something about her that made him steal quick glances at her as they walked. It made him smile.
“I don’t even know your name,” he said.
She moistened her lips. “My name is Prudence Hightower.”
“Such a formal-sounding name. I think I’ll call you Pru.” He put his hands on her shoulders and pulled her toward him. “And I think I’m going to kiss you.”
His mouth came against hers in a kiss that tasted of ale and seduction. She’d known from the first moment she saw his face in the alley that she wanted to be kissed by him. Her hands came up to flatten against his chest, fingers kneading the brocade of his waistcoat like a cat flexing its paws with pleasure. A little sound came from her throat as an aching need welled up within her. It had been so long since she had been kissed like this.
His hands locked behind her, one at the back of her head, holding her mouth prisoner against his, the other with fingers splayed across her back, forcing her closer with gentle pressure until her ample breasts flattened against him. The warm rush of his breath, the thrust of his tongue, the hardness biting into her through his breeches brought back memories of carnal pleasure. No one since Nicolae had kissed her like this and made her feel the raw, pulsing hunger for more.
He bowed his face to the soft curve of her neck and pressed kisses to her flesh while a score of emotions flooded her—joy, passion, hope. She could so easily fall in love with this man whose masculine beauty took her breath away, this pirate who lived by plunder and pillage and yet whose happy-go-lucky nature overrode the dark treachery of his wayward life. With looks like his exerting a natural pull on feminine hearts, she’d be a fool to think there hadn’t been other women for him, but that was all right, for there had been other men for her who benefited from Nicolae’s artful teachings in the ways of pleasure. But she hadn’t felt anything with any of them remotely akin to what she was feeling now with this man. Maybe it was because they shared so much in common—lawless lives, living on the fringes of society, the danger of secrets too deep to reveal.
“Pru.” He whispered her name against her flesh, sending an array of goose bumps over her. “Will you let me protect you?”
She stiffened. Gripping his billowing sleeve, she pushed herself away forcibly and retreated several steps away from him. With her back pressed against the wrought-iron fence, she exclaimed, “Why do you think I need protecting?”
A long silence fell between them during which he studied her. She acted brave, and he did believe she was. But behind the bravado he sensed her sadness. Something troubled her, something so deep her blue eyes could not hide it. He lifted his shoulders in a careless shrug. “Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong about you. I just thought—”
“You thought what?” Pru cut in. “That just because I was out tonight alone I am in need of rescuing?” Oh yes, she needed rescuing, but not the kind he was suggesting. It was not her person that needed rescuing, but her soul, and until she found that witch Lienore, there was nothing any man could do to help her. She straightened her back and jut out her chin. “I’ll have you know I can take care of myself.”
“Excuse me for thinking otherwise.” He removed his hat and swept low in a bow. “Good night, Pru.”
Her hand fumbled with the gate latch as she watched him walk off into the mist that crawled in from the river. The gate creaked open. She walked up the slate path to the door, her heart fluttering wildly in her breast, caused not by the influx of fresh blood she drank but by the devilish smile and the heated kiss of a common pirate.
It’s Inspirational Quote Monday! Here’s the quote for the week – “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Gina Danna, author of historical romance The Wicked Bargain. Welcome back Gina! Here’s the first kiss between Ethan Warth and Arabella Covington.
Haunted by a past as a sex slave, nobleman Ethan Warth returns to England as a male courtesan for rich matrons and runs a brothel for wealthy lords. Arabella Covington appears on his door, trained in the medical arts but unable to practice because of her gender. He hires her to care for his ladies but her inquisitive nature and beauty make him desire to teach her the world of seduction.
Ethan, however, never counted on falling in love…
Excerpt of the First Kiss:
Arabella’s heart raced and her nerves teetered on the edge. She loved him too much to let him just throw her away like this but his rejection stung deep. Despite his statement that love isn’t real, that it was only lust, he was wrong. She saw his eyes when he held her. The feel of his hands and lips. She had to ignore her fear or lose him.
She had only offered her body to barter for the proceeds to save him from debtor’s prison. It fit with her desire to help others. He was dying on the inside and she knew it. Slavery had beaten his body. Zahrah had beaten his heart. But she knew it was there, if only she could reach beyond the walls around his heart….
With the last amount of courage in her, Arabella walked around him and stood within an inch of his body. His eyes stared ahead and he wouldn’t look at her. She smiled. Unless his eyes were closed, he’d see her. Fear swept over her when he didn’t move. Taking that last step, she reached up on her toes to his ear to throw a stone at the wall around his heart.
“Kiss me,” she pleaded. It was the one thing he hadn’t done. Warned in the beginning he wouldn’t completely couple with her, she found that also included kissing. A real kiss. Kissing was too personal, he claimed. Courtesans didn’t kiss on the mouth. She had one last chance to make him understand how much she loved him. Reaching gently, she pulled his earlobe between her lips and grazed it slowly with her teeth.
He groaned huskily. His hands grabbed her waist and put her back from him, growling.
She looked at his face and found his eyes dark and hooded. He was aroused. If that was the gate in, she’d take it. Placing her hands on his shoulders, she leaned into him, the apex of her thighs pressing against his erection. The thin gown didn’t put much barrier between them and she began to dampen as she rubbed upward to caress his cheek.
Ethan’s blood boiled with desire. When she tugged at his earlobe, lightning bolts shot down the core of his body and heated his hardened cock to straining at the buttons.
All she wanted was a kiss. Kiss was like death. If he kissed her, truly did, he was afraid he would lose his sanity. She was promised to another man. Sold to him. A man who paid for a virgin.
But he couldn’t stop himself. As if in a daze, his fingers went to her shoulders and pulled the ties. The garment shimmered down her nude form to a puddle at her bare feet.
“Ari,” he whispered as he lowered his hands to her breasts. His fingers played across the pearled nipples and he pinched them, knowing pleasure coursed through her veins. When she tilted her head up and backward, her eyes closed, her mouth, those pink sweetheart lips, parted in a sigh, and he was lost.
He bent his head carefully, slanting his lips over hers and touching them lightly. So soft and sweet. He wanted more and moaned. Threading his fingers through her silken mane, holding her head back, his tongue traced her lips. One time. Just once. But when she parted her lips, he invaded her mouth, exploring, tasting. The sweetness unraveled him. He wrapped his arms around her waist and brought her naked body against him hard.