First Kiss Friday – Reluctant Betrayer by Cynthia Owens

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is Cynthia Owens, author of historical romance Reluctant Betrayer.  This is Cynthia’s brand new release and we are honored to get this sneak peek.  Welcome Cynthia!  Here’s the first kiss between Aidan Collins and Maura Riordan.

Reluctant BetrayerSweet Mother of mercy, give me the strength to do what I must. Give me the courage to break both our hearts.

“A-Aidan, I-I didn’t see you.” One trembling hand crept to her throat. Oh, plague take the stutter that still dogged her!

“Didn’t see me…or didn’t want to?”


“Are you crossin’ the road from me, then?”

Oh, his voice. Low-toned, it was, with hints of gravel and whiskey underneath. And his mouth! Turned down just a wee bit at the corners. Vulnerable. Sensual. Ah, she wanted him to kiss her.

Keep hold of yourself! Don’t think of what might have been. ‘Twill only make it harder.

“Are ye, Maura?”

“N-no. I’m n-not avoiding you, Aidan. Not…e-exactly.”

He moved closer until she could smell the fresh, wind-blown scent of him, feel the warmth of his breath on her cheek. “You weren’t at our place last night. I missed you.”

Our place. Their special spot, where the River Cashel and the Scath Bradawn River, the river where the salmon spawned, met, merged, and flowed into Galway Bay. Their special place, where they’d talked, laughed, touched, kissed.

Fallen in love.

“I-I couldn’t get away.”

He moved toward her. No! Sweet Mary, no! If he touches me I’ll never be able to say what I must.

She spun away with a cry dragged from the very depths of her soul.

“Maura!” He caught her arm and pulled her against him, molding her body to his lean hard one. His fingers tangled in her hair and forced her gaze up to his. “What’s troubling you, mo gráh?”

Mo gráh. My love. Ah, she could never be his love…not ever again. She must put an end to this, even if it killed her. And kill her it would, the very best part of her.


“Why?” He caught her mouth with his, devoured it in a long, desperate kiss. She melted against him, her mouth blossoming under his. “Why, Maura?”

“We can’t.” Her arms crept up and around his neck. She buried her fingers in the soft curls at his nape, glorying in his harsh groan. Oh, how she loved this man who could never be hers. “We can’t…” She pressed her body to his, shivering with delight as he caught her close, drew restless circles on her back.  “We…ah, Aidan, we mustn’t.”

Oh, how could she end it? They’d had so little time together. Barely enough time to learn each other’s hearts. In a desperate attempt to put off the unthinkable, she pressed closer, molding her body to his, allowing her hands to sift through his rough-soft curls. “Ah, Aidan…Aidan…”

He stamped feverish kisses on her lips, her brow, her cheeks. Oh, the gentle softness of his mouth! His hands roved over her back and down, crushed in the folds of her skirts, clasped her buttocks. His mouth captured her little moans, her soft cries. She cradled his head between her hands, luxuriating in the thickness of his hair. She smoothed her fingers over his face.

Memorizing it. Memorizing him.

Tears stung her eyes. She wanted, needed to memorize Aidan. Needed to have something to remember when she was alone in the loft of her parents’ cottage. Needed to remember Aidan’s tenderness, his passion.

His love.

Finally, reluctantly, he pulled away, and the tears spilled over to stream down her cheeks. “Tell me what’s wrong, my darlin’ Maura. Has something happened to your family? Bad news from Donal in America?”


Would her heart burst in her chest? Would she die right here, in his arms? Would they find her, lost to a broken heart, her body enshrined in this little wood, surrounded by wild mint and heather?






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2 Responses to “First Kiss Friday – Reluctant Betrayer by Cynthia Owens

  • Laurel, thank you so much for letting me share Aidan and Maura’s first kiss today!

  • Cynthia –
    Thank you so much for sharing that amazing kiss! What passion! What anguish. Loved it. Best of luck with your new release. Can’t wait to read it!