First Kiss Friday – Love & Vengeance by Gina Danna

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Gina Danna, author of historical romance Love & Vengeance.  Welcome back Gina!  Here’s the first kiss between Marcus and Gustina.

loveandvengeance-gdanna-lgGustina stood before him, terrified, angry and numb. As the door shut behind her, fear coiled down her back, but she refused to acknowledge it. He was just another man. Like the rest. No better and no worse.

Ah, but he’s so much better looking, her mind teased. Still dressed in the pure white linen cloth, the folds placed so precisely over his cock, his skin weathered from hours spent outside in the sun, muscles rippling over his chest and stomach, he was a god. Apollo or maybe even Hercules. His bare feet rested on the dirt floor, corded tendons and contours ran up his legs. She couldn’t tear her gaze from him. He knew it, just sat and drank her in.

The puckered seam stood out on his chest and the scrape above it. His lower lip puffed slightly, as if he’d been beaten, but it was hard to tell when his square jaw ticked. Those brown eyes, dark, desire brewing at the surface.

The pull to him came from deep within. Her heart skipped a beat, the air in the cell became heavy and she couldn’t breathe. She tried to swallow but her mouth was too dry. Heat spiraled inside her, deep, pooling in her lower stomach. A small voice inside her screamed and fought for control—a control she could no longer maintain.

He exhaled, and she realized his tension matched her own. Strange, for this gladiator, this champion of death, to be tight because of her. That realization gave her strength to struggle from this quagmire of desire. Until he stood and took a step closer.

“I was sent to pleasure you,” she stated as brusquely as she could. Even she heard her voice hitch.

He smiled. Warm and intoxicating, with dimples. She felt like she was drowning. “Truly?” he asked, his voice rich, deep and smooth like good wine.

“Yes,” she whispered. “Dominus said I am to see you satisfied.”

He laughed. Her toes curled at the heat rolling off him, covering her. “And what do you want?” His seductive voice broke her defenses and lulled her into his arms. He bent his head to kiss her.


Marcus opened his eyes to find the woman of his dreams standing before him. She smelled of lemons, and her skin glistened from the oil in her bath. Her hair, still partially tied in braids hung loose, draped over her back and shoulders. He longed to run his fingers through it, to grasp the silken threads. Desire filled his body, his cock twitched and hardened with each second.

Saying she was here to pleasure him released his inner monster, his need to bury his shaft deep inside her burned him. She seemed so small and frail in his arms, but he’d seen her strength. For once, he didn’t know how to act. Slowly, he lowered his lips to touch hers. Gently. She stood, accepting them but nothing more. And she trembled against him. Fear gripped him. The man whose whole world had been destroyed, the man who’d been thrown into the pit of the arena, to fight for his life, who now stood as champion of Rome experienced a terror larger than the rest rolled into one.

Her  reaction  to  his  kiss  told  him  she’d  never been kissed without a backlash, without forced submission. He’d seen this result before. Never by his hand had he forced any woman. Not the wealthy matrons who bought his cock or the whores sent to appease him.

But her lips were soft and warm. She submitted, splitting them open for him, but she shivered again. He couldn’t, damn it all. The demon in him slammed into his chest, protesting loudly, but he pulled back from her mouth, his gaze on her face.

Her brow knitted as she slowly opened her eyes. He caught the flash of fear, and saw the color drain from her face. A curse echoed in his head as he let her go and returned to his bed.

“You do not want me?” Her voice quivered.

He snorted. “I do. I have wanted you in my bed ever since I saved you. But not if you do not want it.” Gods, he sounded like a spoiled Roman. Well, he remembered being that—once. Got him here for being so. His gut clenched.


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