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: Pleasure Me
Author: Monica Burns
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: September 17, 2017
Buy Link: Amazon
A virgin alpha hero risks everything for the courtesan who steals his heart.
Youth and beauty are a courtesan’s greatest assets. At forty-one, Lady Ruth Attwood appears to have lost both, as her latest lover just abandoned her for a younger mistress. Struggling with the knowledge that she’s no longer considered desirable, she’s uncertain whether to be offended or flattered when a younger man makes her an unusual offer. In need of funds, she agrees. But then she does the unthinkable. She falls in love.
Despite his reputation as a man’s man, Baron Garrick Stratfield has never been with a woman. His physical impairment is such that he knows not even a whore will touch him, and he needs a mistress who’s willing to be kept without sharing his bed. But passion is just a delicious kiss away because his new mistress is wreaking havoc with his senses. Worse yet, someone is not only out to ruin his reputation, but frame him for murder.
FIRST KISS EXCERPT:
“Do you believe him?” he growled.
“Of course not,” she exclaimed and pulled back in surprise.
“Why?” He bit out the question in a fierce tone. He narrowed his gaze at her and saw a blush rise to her cheeks as she looked away from him. “Tell me why you don’t believe him.”
The moment he leaned toward her, she jerked her head back to look at him. The color in her cheeks darkened even more in the shadows of the carriage as she met his gaze. He reached out to touch the pulse beating wildly on the side of her neck without looking away from her.
“Because I know when a man desires me,” she whispered. “And you want me.”
Her reply was straightforward and without any hint of seduction. If anything, there was a note of trepidation in her voice. And yet her words burned their way through him. She was right. He did want her. He wanted her in the worst possible way. Alarms were going off inside him, but they were quickly silenced by an overwhelming need to touch her. To prove to her that he wasn’t the man Wycombe alleged him to be. His hand cupped the nape of her neck, and he tugged her against him.
A small gasp escaped her, but she didn’t resist. His mouth brushed over hers in a light caress as he savored the first taste of her. The faintest hint of citrus lingered on her lips from the lemonade she’d had at the opera. It made the sweetness of her mouth slightly tart and even more tempting than he’d expected. He deepened the kiss, enticing her to part her lips beneath his. Seconds later, his tongue slipped its way into the heat of her mouth.
She responded to his caress with practiced skill, but there was an eagerness about her kiss that excited him. This wasn’t just the kiss of a courtesan. This was the delicious taste of desire. She wanted him. It was in every sweet swirl of her tongue. His tongue mated with hers in a blind, feverish need that left him thirsty for more. Suddenly the kiss changed, and she was the one in control. Her mouth demanded and teased his with a skill that was beyond his experience.
With each honeyed stroke of her tongue, she stoked a raging river of fire in his blood that tugged and pulled at him until his cock was thick and hard inside his trousers. A deep groan rumbled out of his chest as his entire body demanded satisfaction. Christ Jesus, he’d never been so close to falling over the edge like this before. A gentle hand touched his thigh then softly brushed across his rigid cock with an expertise that sent him reeling.
What the hell was he doing? He grabbed her hand and roughly shoved it away as he threw himself backward into the leather squabs of the seat. He drank in several gulps of air in an attempt to control the heat still pounding through his limbs. The startled expression on her face made him grimace, but there was another emotion on her face that twisted his gut with regret.
He quickly looked away from her, unable to stomach the humiliation he kenw he’d caused her. Marston’s breaking with her had affected her a great deal more than she ever showed in public, but he’d seen the mortification in those beautiful violet eyes the night they first met. Now he’d rejected her. It had to have an effect on her.
How was he supposed to explain why? What was he supposed to say that would make her understand that he was the problem not her? He closed his eyes against the memory of her kiss. Sweet Jesus, he’d kissed women in his past. Not a great many, but enough to perfect his ability to control his desire while convincing the women he’d kissed that he was a skilled lover.
And the way his body ached. It was crying out for something he’d never had before, and he wanted it badly. The problem was he couldn’t have her. The sudden realization that his hands were trembling made him quickly fold his arms against his chest.
He cleared his throat and continued to stare out the window, uncertain of what to say. The silence in the carriage was a heavy weight bearing down on him as he struggled to find words that would protect his secret and reassure her that she was desirable. And the look he’d seen on her face told him she was questioning her worth as a woman.
“My apologies,” he croaked. The strangled sound passing his lips said he was far from being in control of his senses.
“It’s unnecessary.” The cool note in her voice made him jerk his head toward her. She was staring out the window with a serene expression on her face, but the tension in her was almost a tactile sensation.
“It is. I lost my head.” The moment he said the words, he knew exactly how to heal the breach between them. “You made it clear you weren’t interested in a liaison, and I betrayed your trust by allowing myself to lose control. I’m sorry.”
“As I recall, I didn’t protest,” she said with a throb of emotion in her quiet voice. “Your pride was injured, and it was natural for you to feel compelled to demonstrate you weren’t anything like Wycombe suggested.”
“No.” He glared at her, barely holding himself in place to keep from pulling her toward him to show her just how wrong she was. “I kissed you because I wanted to. You’re the most alluring woman I’ve ever met. If you could see yourself as I see you, you’d understand why my body is torturing me right now.”
He suppressed the groan of dismay rising up in his throat. He’d gone stark raving mad to admit such a thing to her.