First Kiss Friday – Love and Vengeance by Gina Danna

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Gina Danna, author of historical romance Love and Vengeance.  Welcome Gina! 


untitled (39)A bit about Love and Vengeance

Rome 108 A.D., under the Emperor Trajan, is the center of the civilized world. It is a time of sophistication and decadence, a brutal world to their conquered.

Marcus, a Roman citizen sentenced to die as a gladiator, accused by his wife and brother for a crime he did not commit. Yet death eludes him and he rises to become champion of the sands. The title he does not want. He seeks revenge but his victories in the Colosseum bestow monetary rewards he can use to save a beautiful slave, Gustina, from certain death by the beasts. She gives him a taste of love in a world full of lies, betrayal and murder.

But his overwhelming desire for vengeance, for blood and the kill, brings a higher price tag – can he satisfy the demon inside him and face the truth? A truth that will kill the woman he loves?


First Kiss set up for Love and Vengeance

Marcus, the gladiator, has one another glorious win in the Colosseum. Gustina, the slave he rescued from execution, was sent to him after the games.


First Kiss in Love and Vengeance

He frowned. His huntress, the woman of iron, melted here before him. What in Hades happened? He tilted his head, trying to get her to tell him without saying the words. Something happened because she inhaled deeply, standing straight, like the pole that stood on the training grounds, ready to be swung at.

“I was told to pleasure you. If I don’t, they’ll punish me.”

Fuck. That bitch of a domina, no doubt, threatened her. Cunt. He bit back the curses and stood again. “Gustina, how long have you been a slave?”

She raised her chin defiantly. “My whole life.”

He sighed. “And you were given to another to lie with? Ordered to do so?”

Her jaw tightened but didn’t answer. Nor did she back down. In fact, her eyes pierced his. “And haven’t you, as Champion, been ordered to do the same?”

He laughed. “Yes, but for me, it is different.” He had Rome’s finest wanting him. She, though, had been stuck with the dregs, no doubt. He walked up to her and felt pleased she didn’t move. “Have you ever been kissed? Really kissed?”

Her eyes turned troublesome, and her tongue snuck out to lick her lips. A faint shake of her head told him what he wanted to know.

Desire swirled inside him again, fast and hard, like a storm at sea. As much as his cock throbbed, he would not take her, but he so wanted to kiss her.

“Gustina,” he murmured, taking her hands and pulling her against him. He took her lips, pressing against the soft flesh, his tongue gently prodding her to open. He licked the corner of her mouth before he tried again. She parted hers and he invaded her mouth, not lightly but with a driving force that grew once his tongue tangled with hers. She tasted of sweet figs and almonds and her. His arm encircled her back and she molded to his bare chest, her breasts against his. He moaned. She was his!


Gustina’s world flipped when he kissed her. She’d never been kissed. Slobbered on, yes. Licked – assuredly. But to have him seduce her mouth undid her. It was sensual, sending a lightning bolt down to her belly, igniting a fire in her loins she never knew existed. No man had ever made her feel this way. His arms embraced her, hugged her, smashed her body against his rock solid chest and abs, each line defining his muscles shaping around her thin form. His hands held her, gently but firmly. This was a gladiator? The man who beat most of Rome’s best?

Her breasts tingled against his chest. His erection pushed against her belly, and the pool forming between her legs. A shiver simmered through her – one of excitement and expectation. A longing she’d never felt.

He stopped, looking down at her. His face turned questioning.

“I’m not hurting you, am I?”

She swallowed hard, unable to find her voice. “No, no. I’ve just never…,” how does one admit they’ve never experience gentleness? Or desire?

He pulled away from her.

She wanted to scream.

“I wouldn’t hurt you,” he whispered.

This gladiator, this rugged, hard man, was seduction and favor wrapped together for her. The gods had heard her prayers – to feel needed, loved, even if only for a second. Something she’d never truly knew in her life. Her last Domina cared for her, tried to protect her but couldn’t prevent the Dominus from taking her. She swore she’d never be able to truly give herself to another man, not when her whole being had been struck in the hardest way. One could not refuse their master. But she’d longed to feel something, other than the numb shield she put on in those times. Made her feel dead inside. A feeling that only amplified after her Domina’s death. But this man, this gladiator, saved her. Why? Only the gods knew and maybe, just maybe, this was their reply. To let her taste a moment, however short or long, of true love, even if it wore the casing of desire.

She stepped to him and reached for his cheek. Standing on her bare toes, she tried to touch his lips again. With a growl, he met her. His gentleness gone, replaced with hunger and she found her own matched his.



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