First Kiss: That Knight by the Sea by Catherine Kean

This is a featured article column called FIRST KISS. We ask authors to share a first kiss scene from one of their books published in 2017. And each author graciously sent in an excerpt. Enjoy!

Title: That Knight by the Sea
Author: Catherine Kean
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: September 26, 2017
Buy Link: Amazon

Lady Adaline Mortimer never expected to see Garrett Thurlow, the rebellious young lord she loved and lost, ever again. Yet, when she’s kidnapped and held captive, the dark secrets of the past return. In the cave of St. Agnes, will she and Garrett win a second chance at true love, or will they perish just like the legendary lovers before them?


“You will not attack me again.”

Garrett had used a similar tone to command soldiers in France. He expected Addy to swiftly nod her agreement, but instead, her expression remained defiant.

“You will not try to escape again. Aye?”

“Why would I agree to that condition?”


“I know you are a nobleman. No lord sworn to uphold chivalry and honor would ever consider binding a lady, or imprisoning her, for that matter.”

He raised his brows.

“You know I am right.”

She was. The last thing he’d do was restrain her; he couldn’t bear the thought of rope burns on her skin. However, he was not going to let her draw his focus from making her cooperate. “We are not discussing my honor—”

“Mayhap we should be.”

In one deliberate step, he claimed the distance between them again and pinned her against the wall. He forced her chin to tilt, until the back of her head grazed the stonework.

She shivered in his hold, but her eyes flashed with fury. “Unhand me.”

“I will, once you agree to my terms.”

“To your orders, you mean. I am not a servant, bound to do your bidding.”

“I am well aware you are not.” Standing this close, he was exquisitely cognizant of just how sweet-scented, softly curved, and utterly desirable she was. “That does not change what I expect from you.”

“If you were being held captive, would you not try to escape? Would you not consider it a matter of honor to get away, to spare the friends and family you dearly love from unnecessary anguish and hardship?” Her voice shook. “If you have even the slightest shred of honor, you will acknowledge that what you have done to me, what you have threatened to do to me, is very wrong…and you will release me.”

A muscle ticked in his jaw, for her words stung. Honor was the primary reason he’d agreed to Ransford’s reckless plan to abduct her. Without chivalry to guide him, he’d never have survived on his own. “You are unwise to speak so carelessly,” he grated between his teeth. “I am an honorable man—”

“I do not believe it.”

Garrett’s heart constricted. She’d believed in him once. Completely.

“Prove to me that you are chivalrous,” she insisted. “Release me.”

“Cease,” he snarled. “I am not letting you go. I promise you, if I did not believe in gallantry, we would not be standing this close and merely talking.”

“What would we be doing?” As soon as the words left her mouth, her eyes widened, as though she wished she hadn’t been so bold.

She had been, though. And now, she’d face the consequences.

“You and I would not be—”

Garrett pressed his thumb over her lips, silencing the rest of her words. As her startled exhalation warmed his fingers, he leaned in and covered her mouth with his.


Addy froze at the press of his lips. Shock whipped through her, and she tried to wrench away, but the wall prevented all but the slightest movement. Her captor’s grip on her tightened, while his mouth moved over hers.

How curious that his kisses weren’t harsh or cruel, as she’d expected. His beard tickled her skin, and his kisses were demanding and full of passion, but also tender. She sensed that he was seeking something from her. What, though? Some kind of acknowledgement?

Nay, she must be wrong. This man was a conqueror. He was using a kiss—an intimacy that should be precious, glorious, and shared by two people who cared for one another—to make her surrender.

Addy squeezed her eyes closed and remained very still. She would not respond to him; he’d grow bored and leave.

In the self-imposed darkness, though, she became even more acutely aware of him, of the heat of his lips and his scent that for some reason teased up memories of when she’d had few worries and responsibilities.

Of when she’d been in love.

Of when Garrett had kissed her exactly like this man was kissing her now.

His mouth nibbled her bottom lip, and forbidden heat shot through her to her most private of places. Oh, mercy, but she hated this man. She shouldn’t enjoy what he was doing. She mustn’t. ’Twas a betrayal of all she’d shared with Garrett.

But, her captor seemed to know just how to glide his mouth over hers, how to stir up treasured feelings she’d locked away forever when Garrett had left her.

“Nay,” she moaned softly.

A husky growl, a sound of pride and satisfaction, rumbled from him.

A sob welled in her throat. How could she imagine this man’s kiss was anything like Garrett’s? ’Twas wrong. Wrong!

The sob broke from her. “Garrett,” she whispered, the name ripped from her soul.

Her captor went very still.

He lifted his mouth from hers, and she opened her eyes. He stared down at her, his expression an odd mix of disbelief and fury, as though in the midst of their kissing she’d delivered him a fatal blow.

“What did you say?” he demanded, his voice hoarse.

Embarrassment brought a stinging blush to her cheeks. She should never have dishonored Garrett’s memory by speaking his name, especially not when she was being kissed by a criminal.

Unless this man is Garrett.

Unless he didn’t die, as you were told.

Her captor released her and stepped back. Numbing shock whipped through her, for despite his beard and the creases at the corners of his eyes, his features did resemble Garrett’s. His eyes were the same hazelnut brown hue, but there was none of the teasing warmth she remembered in his gaze, only the coldness of a man whose life had been difficult and unforgiving.

Could this man be Garrett? Her Garrett, but now years older?


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