First Kiss February – Dance of Desire by Catherine Kean

Today’s Special First Kiss February featured guest is Catherine Kean, author of historical romance Dance of Desire.  Welcome Catherine, my fellow Love Historicals author!  Here’s the first kiss between Rexana and Fane.


“First, Father, I will kiss my bride.”

The crowd tittered. The priest’s mouth flapped. “Milord,” he said quietly, “that comes later in the proceedings. After I bestow upon you the Kiss of Peace.”

Fane gestured to the throng. “Surely these good people wish to see how deeply we are in love, and that our marriage is one of mutual consent.”

Rexana gasped. Her gaze shot to Henry, who stood nearby, as though seeking reassurance. Then her expression hardened.

“Rexana—” Fane began.

She wrenched her hand from his. Her eyes blazed with shock and indignation. He had expected to see maidenly trepidation, mayhap even embarrassment, but not willfulness.

Did she resent having to kiss him before a crowd? Or did she disagree that their marriage was one of consent?

Her gaze darkened with challenge, and he grinned. Clever little fig. She dared him to kiss her with all the passion simmering inside him. Dared him to show himself as a lusty, boorish oaf with no morals. Dared him, before the priest and hundreds of witnesses, to show himself as a fool.

She dared the wrong man.

He slowly raised her hand to his lips. He felt the tremor run down her arm, heard her quick inhalation. She watched him through half lowered lashes. With the grace he had learned from watching the king’s courtiers, with the civilized restraint he had learned years ago, he pressed a kiss to the back of her fingers. Once. Twice.

As though pulled by an invisible string, she tensed. Expectation flared in her eyes. Laughter bubbled inside Fane. She thought he would bite her again? This time, he deserved more than a cursory taste. This time, he wanted more.

He smiled, pulled on her hand, and drew her to him. Her fingers brushed over his tunic as she resisted, a slight, sinewy turn of her body. Before she could wriggle away, he leaned forward to cup the back of her head. Anchoring his fingers into her veiled hair, he kissed her soundly on the lips.

The crowd murmured and clapped.

As their lips met, she jumped. A startled rasp came from the back of her throat, as though the contact was not at all what she anticipated.

What did she feel? Astonishment? Pleasure?

He drew back, and her shuddered breath rushed over his mouth. Her tongue darted between her reddened lips, as though to fully explore the taste of him. Or to savor it.

He paused, his mouth close to hers. Her fragrance enveloped him, urged him to look into her eyes. She stared back at him, her breathing uneven. Her ringed hand fluttered between their bodies, even as her slightly glazed eyes looked up at him. In their depths, he read surprise. Confusion. Yearning.

“Another?” he murmured, the hand behind her head drawing her forward.

Laughter rippled through the onlookers. The priest smiled. Shaking his head, he pulled open the church’s wooden door.

As though snapping from a daze, Rexana slipped free of Fane’s hold. Her arms fell primly to her sides. “You are a man of many surprises, milord.”

“There will be more to come,” he said easily.

“Of that, you can be quite certain.”

Raising his brows, Fane looked at her. Before he could ponder her words, or offer a witty reply, she caught up her skirts and climbed the steps to the open doorway.

He laughed and followed her, his boots rapping on the stone stairs. Puzzlement and anticipation shot through him. Did she intend to surprise him? How? When? At tonight’s wedding feast?

Later, when they were alone in their chamber?

Ah, God, he could not wait.

2 Responses to “First Kiss February – Dance of Desire by Catherine Kean

  • What an enticing excerpt. You’ve caught the essence of both main characters. I can’t wait to read the entire book. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Catherine –
    What a scene! Very tender and anticipatory. Thanks for sharing it and for being my guest!