Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Kissing for the First Time
Today, we’re going to share an excerpt from one of our Works In Progress. We hope you enjoy these samplings of the “First Kiss” between Hero and Heroine.
Excerpt from HER RODEO MAN by Donna Dalton:
My WIP is a contemporary story set in a small Texas rodeo town. The heroine, Rose McAllister needs a place to hide. Somewhere her abusive ex-boyfriend can’t find her. A nursing position at the trauma center in an out-of-the-way rodeo town seems to be the perfect solution. Until she meets Bass Newcomb. The rodeo clown’s wit and charm threaten her plan to remain secluded. She can’t get involved with anyone. An emotional tie would make picking up and leaving risky and painful.
Emotionally drained after a double-shift and the incident at the bar, Rose let her head rest on his chest. The beat of his heart thudded in her ear, strong and comforting, and just what she needed. She splayed her fingers over his rock-hard pecs. He could do as he pleased with her, and she wouldn’t be able to stop him. Yet, he sat perfectly still, holding her, making her feel safe and protected.
She lifted her head. “Why are you doing this?”
“Helping me. Comforting me. You barely know me.”
He chucked her chin with a finger. “Reckon, I got a soft spot for sweet-smelling roses.”
“Hmmph. I’m more wilted than sweet-smelling.”
“Not even close, darlin’.” He pressed gently on her chin and tilted her head back.
His hungry gaze devoured her, then he lowered his head and firm lips covered hers. His kiss was warm and tender, like a gentle, morning rain. She opened her mouth, drinking from him as though slaking an unquenchable thirst.
His tongue slid over her lips, leaving a teasing trail of fire. Heat surged inside her, and she couldn’t stop a moan of pleasure. If this was heaven, she never wanted to come back to earth.
As though agreeing with her thoughts, he pulled her closer and plunged his tongue between her lips. Her bones turned to mush. She’d once pooh-poohed the notion of toe-curling kisses. Not any more.
Her hands moved upward of their own accord, fingers finding and running through the hair at the nape of his neck. So soft and silky. It was the only soft spot on his granite-hard body.
He groaned deep in his throat and pressed her back onto the sofa cushions. His body fused with hers, scorching her through the material of her clothes. She arched against him, wanting more. It’d been eons since she’d felt the pleasure of a man’s touch.
She skimmed her fingers down his spine past the hollow at the dip in his back to denim-clad buttocks. A thick, padded bulge reminded her of the clinic and his injury. She stiffened. She was doing it again. Getting involved with a patient. Just like with Rafe.
Would she ever learn?
She tore her mouth away. “Stop.”
“Please.” She pushed against his chest, more to stop herself than him. “I’m sorry, Bass. I can’t do this.”
He rolled upright, taking his heat with him. “No. I’m the one who should be apologizing.” He ran a hand through his hair. “You’re scared and vulnerable, and I took advantage.”
His miserable tone jabbed at her. She cupped his elbow in a reassuring grip. “You didn’t take advantage. Under any other circumstances, I’d welcome your kisses. But you’re a patient. Clinic rules forbid me to get involved with you.”
“Technically, I’m no longer a patient.”
“Fine. If that’s the way you want it...” He snagged his hat from the end of the sofa and stood. “But I’m gonna hold you to your promise.”
“To have dinner with me. In payment for hauling you around.”
He was persistent, she’d give him that. “I said I would.”
“Good.” He slid on his hat. “I’ll see you Wednesday night.”
With a heavy heart, she watched him leave. No matter how much she wanted to explore her feelings for the handsome bullfighter, it was best if they kept their relationship on a friendly basis. She couldn’t have any emotional ties to Elling. She needed to be able to pick up and run. Without hesitation.
Hesitating could cost her, and anyone around her, their lives.
Excerpt from Heaven and Earth by Shara Lanel:
Cara hires Reggie to investigate the paranormal happenings in her newly inherited house. His web site, his experience, and his Ph.D impresses her, so she’s shocked to discover he’s afraid of ghosts, temporarily at least. They mess with his “worldview,” which doesn’t allow for anything that can’t be explained scientifically, including love. In all his years as a “debunker” he’s never encountered something truly paranormal, until Wilma materializes in the wine cellar in front of him. This scene is after the first full night of their investigation.
“Um, I put fresh towels in the bathroom. The water pressure isn’t the best. Sorry,” That’s why Cara now took baths, and this bathroom had a claw footed tub with a showerhead mounted above it. A beige shower curtain circled around it and a line of half-melted candles sat on the small ledge nearby. Would he realize this was where she washed? She’d learned the hard way that the other bath had a leak in the pipes that ran through the floor. It had taken seven buckets on the floor below to mitigate the damage. But this tub was large and her body fit perfectly in its gentle curve. She pictured Reggie with soapy water up to his chest on the other end from her, looking at her with burning eyes while their legs twined under the water.
Reggie cleared his throat and Cara blushed again. “And you’re fine with me staying until we get to the bottom of this?”
When they’d first spoken on the phone, he’d estimated one night, but then he’d expected to easily figure out her game, hadn’t he? But Wilma wasn’t so easy to figure out. What had she said… “Oh, kiss her already.” The statement had dripped with sarcasm, but had Reggie been looking like he’d wanted to kiss her? He’d stepped away quick enough. Cara needed to tamp down these fantasies before she gave Reggie the power to hurt her when he left without a backward glance.
Again Reggie broke into her thoughts with a gruff voice. “I’m not really sure where to take the investigation next, but I do think visiting that address and the library are good steps.”
Cara nodded. Her mind had turned to breakfast and how awkward it would be with a man in the house, how intimate, even if he came down fully dressed rather than topless with a pair of pajama bottoms low on his waist. It had been a long long time since someone had spent the night. Her brother didn’t count. When William was around they relaxed back into their childhood roles, goofing on each other.
She realized there was no more reason to linger. “So you have everything you need? You’re welcome to anything in the kitchen if you get hungry or thirsty.” Why was she focusing on his lips again? She’d already embarrassed herself once. Seriously bad idea.
“Um, I’m fine, thanks.” But he seemed to be looking at her lips too.
“Towels are in the bathroom.”
“You mentioned the towels,” he said with a fleeting smile. But his fiery eyes focused on her mouth, which prompted her to nibble her lower lip self-consciously.
“Oh,” she murmured, completely forgetting what she’d planned to say.
Reggie leaned toward Cara. “This is a bad idea, but…” And brushed his mouth across hers. So soft. Cara wove her fingers through his hair before he could pull away and kissed him back. Nervous like she was in grade school, she opened her mouth. It felt like the most natural thing in the world. She pushed Reggie’s “bad idea” comment to the back of her mind. It probably was a bad idea, but she was glad to have a man around, glad for help with this haunting thing, and really glad he was such a good kisser. She lingered, tasting wine and chocolate and warmth. His hands skimmed her arms and settled on her shoulders, drawing her body closer with just a magnetic inch between them. Nerve endings in various parts of her body sprung to life, vibrating with heat.
Oh yeah, no sleep tonight. The kiss seemed like it would never end.
Until something pushed between them and tossed Reggie across the bedroom at a high velocity.
“Dammit, Wilma! We were in the middle of something!” Cara stomped her foot and looked around for the specter. She hadn’t materialized, but her laughter hung in the air. “Dammit,” Cara said again, more to herself, because her lips had already cooled and she wanted Reggie’s scorching heat against them again. She wanted to close that one-inch gap so she could press her breasts against his chest and meet him thigh to thigh. The thought made her smile.
But when Reggie stood up and brushed off his butt, there was something different about him. He moved stiffly and his eyes hardened. Suddenly the room felt chilly, as Reggie stalked into the bathroom without a word and slammed the door. Well, damn.
I hope you enjoyed our kissing scenes! Tomorrow is our last day at Authors by Authors blog and we hope you all come visit us one more time!
In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.