First Kiss Friday – Stone of Heaven by L.A. Sartor

Today’s First Kiss Friday featured guest is L.A. Sartor, author of contemporary romance Stone of Heaven.  Welcome L.A.!  Here’s the first kiss between Tori Carswell and Reid Hunter.

untitled (39)First Kiss from Stone of Heaven, Book One of the Carswell Adventure Series.

Book Two, Viking Gold, due out in June.


Setting: a raging river, Tori Carswell is making her final attempt to rescue Reid Hunter



The wire dragged on the branch…and caught, nearly yanking her arm out of its socket. But she’d slowed the raft enough so Reid could pull himself along the rope and shimmy belly-up onto the edge of the raft. She grabbed at branches, ignoring the splinters and scrapes until she maneuvered them near enough to shore and shallower water.

“Can you walk?” she asked Reid.

“I can do anything to be out of this damn river.”

“Amen to that.”

Holding onto the tree’s branches, Tori stepped off the raft into the water and waited until Reid was right behind her before she slogged forward step by step and climbed onto terra firma.

Stretching out on the muddy bank, Tori stared up at the blue sky, oddly exhilarated.

The sound of the rushing water filled her ears and the morning sunlight filtered through the trees as she marveled at the beauty of the day, the grandeur of life. Maybe this was a bit of what Abby felt by trying to conquer all odds and win the prize.

The prize today was life.

Reid hitched himself on one elbow, leaned over and, before she could react, kissed her full on the mouth.

His lips were cold against hers, and she had the impulsive desire to light a fire inside him and chase away the cold. If she only knew how.

He pulled back slightly, as if making sure she was okay with this.

More than okay. She pushed away the niggling doubts over whether Abby and Reid were once an item, and for the first time, let the heat of sensual attraction rule her actions.

Touching his face, she ran a finger around his lips until he opened them and his mouth took her finger, his tongue caressing it, sending a hot arrow of pure need straight to her belly.

And she was going to warm him up.

He settled against her, molding his body to her contours as his mouth captured her lips in a kiss so soft, so gentle it stole her breath.

Her hand crept up to his head, pulling him closer to deepen the kiss. One part of her dimly realized she felt close-cropped hair, not hat, but then the primal instinct to celebrate their defeat of death overtook all her senses.

Canting one leg over his hips, she felt his male response to her kisses, and heady feminine power filled her. A new and decidedly wicked power.

Pulling back just enough to focus on his face, she relished the passion burning in his green eyes.

However, putting even that slight distance between them broke the spell.

Reid pulled back, and she braved his intent gaze, even the slight shaking of his head, without turning away in embarrassment.

He didn’t look sorry they’d shared that kiss, he looked as if he was clearing his head.

Right now, she didn’t want a clear head, or a clear conscience, hoping she hadn’t stepped over a boundary she didn’t know existed.

“Thanks for saving me, darlin’. I know just how much it took for you to do what you did, braving the river. Abby and I talk too,” he said, his voice husky and low, the drawl more pronounced.

She should be stung at that remark, throwing back at her the same words she’d used on him their first meeting. And she should be mad that Abby had shared this secret, but right now Tori was too bemused to be anything other than just that.

Realizing her leg was still draped over his hip, she tried her best to shift her position casually.

He rolled onto his back, elbow crooked under his head.

Turning her head so she could study his profile, Tori caught a glimpse of something red hanging in the air over the river.

A chuckle escaped her and cascaded into a belly laugh. It felt so damn good.


He looked so confused, she laughed harder and couldn’t talk, instead pointed to the obviously new aerial basket tram spanning the river not more than a hundred feet downriver from where they landed.

Reid’s deep laughter delighted her, and they laughed until they were both wiping tears from their eyes.






2 Responses to “First Kiss Friday – Stone of Heaven by L.A. Sartor

  • Hi Laurel,
    Thank you so very much for showcasing the first kiss between two of my all time favorite characters, Tori Carswell and Reid Hunter. BTW, a note about this story, it placed in the top for the prestigious screenwriting contest Scriptapalooza. It got a lot of coverage, but alas, hasn’t YET made it to the screen…I couldn’t let it go, so wrote the book.

  • Leslie, thank you so much for sharing your first kiss with us!