Today we have a smooch from Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Efthaliapegios!
Congratulations, Effie! Can you please contact Rachael Johns at
Racheljohns077@gmail.com and she'll send you a eCopy of Jilted.
And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin ...
Book #2 of the Light Blade series
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a blind priestess lays claim to a half-breed warrior, body and soul…
Hunted and marked for death by Na’Reish demons for their half-blood heritage, the Na’Chi are searching for a new home—something an alliance offered by the human leader could provide. With both races divided by prejudice, when Light Blade rebels brutally attack the Na’Chi, the alliance seems doomed to fail.
Varian, leader of the Na’Chi, a hybrid race of gifted warriors, is cursed with the darker impulses of his demon heritage. Controlling the part of himself that craves the high of the battle is a struggle he’s afraid he’ll lose—until he meets Kymora Tayn, a priestess driven to serve her deity. While he’s unwilling to trust anyone outside his people, he finds himself drawn to Kymora’s strength and passionate nature, and discovers she has the power to calm the darkness inside him.
When the Na’Reish raid human territory for blood-slaves and kickstart a war, the key to the survival of both races—Na’Chi and human— is an alliance. However, when Kymora is kidnapped, pitting human against human, Varian realizes he must embrace his darker half, not only to save the alliance…but also the woman he loves.
Set Up - [In ALLIANCE FORGED, the humans and Na’Chi have entered a tentative alliance, in order to fight the Na’Reish demons. Prior to this smooch scene, Varian fought off a leadership challenge that resulted in the death of the challenger, a close friend, and he’s retreated to the forest to escape the guilt and grief.
As a friend rather than high priestess, Kymora follows him to offer comfort. Varian yearns for her comfort but doesn’t believe he deserves it. She’s taken the initiative and kissed him – her first kiss – a momentous occasion for both of them. Kymora learns more about Varian’s past and he begins to realise she sees him in a different light than everyone else]
“Kymora--” Varian’s breathing was harsh and uneven like he was trying to control himself. “I don’t know…” He swallowed hard, the sound loud in the quiet between them.
Common sense warned her to back off and give him some space. Her heart urged her to try and reach him, to show him it was all right to care, to trust someone. To trust her.
“Where’s the harm in sharing pleasure, Varian?” she asked, softly. “Especially as we both want it?”
A long moment passed then, “I don’t know how.”
“You don’t know how?”
“To kiss.” His admission was low-pitched, hoarse. “To give you pleasure.”
Kymora stopped breathing. He’d just experienced his first kiss, too? What were the chances of that?
“Now who’s the disbeliever?” Varian’s dry sarcasm made her flush. “You’re blind so you don’t have a visual reminder of my imperfection.”
“It’s just one scar!”
“One scar too many.”
She blinked. “The Na’Chi women told you that?”
“They talk...I see it in their faces.”
He bit off his words, as if he realized what he’d just said. Kymora’s temper sparked. Since living with the Na’Chi she’d heard them speak in whispers about her disability. During the first few weeks everyone except Varian had smothered her with assistance, treating her like a child.
Sure she’d needed their help to orient herself to a new environment but there was a lot of difference between being dependent on someone as opposed to getting used to a change in circumstances. Their assumption she belonged in the former category grated. Some, like Lisella and Zaune, had since learned otherwise but most still viewed her as helpless, so she could relate to what Varian was feeling.
“There are qualities much uglier than a scar.” Needing to touch him, to reassure him, Kymora slid her hand up along his arm, aware that the flesh under her hand felt like steel, all striated, hard-cut muscle and tendons. “Perhaps they should take a look inside themselves before condemning someone for how they look!”
With a decade of overhearing conversations about your less than desirable qualities, reinforced by a lifestyle you had no choice in living, it was no wonder Varian saw himself the way he did. No one deserved that sort of life.
The injustice of it ate at Kymora’s soul. “Do you think your scar matters to me?” she asked, cupping her hand against his jaw. The muscles there flexed but he didn’t pull away from her. Her fingers found the hard ridge of flesh bisecting his cheek. She went on tiptoe to press a kiss over it then laid her cheek against his so her lips brushed his earlobe. “You could have a dozen and I wouldn’t care. Don’t use it as an excuse to push me away, Varian. I’m not them.”
Her heart pounded beneath her ribs. His aura was still closed down tight. He wasn’t reacting in any way. She was truly blind and disliked it. A lot.
Then he turned his head, just a fraction, and his lips brushed hers. Slow, feather-light but Kymora felt it all the way to her core. She gasped, unable to stop the breathy sound.
He was so tentative, tracing his way across her mouth, tasting of salt and male spice. Though hesitant and unsure, the gentle caress of his lips made her ache. When he shifted away from her she felt the tiniest crack in his aura. Desire, thick and heavy, licked at her senses.
“I don’t know what I’m doing.” Varian’s voice shook and his fingers flexed where he grasped her arms.
Kymora couldn’t help the nervous laugh that spilled from her. “And you think I do?”
release date: July 3rd 2012, USA/Canada - leave a comment to this question -
In ALLIANCED FORGED, Kymora’s faced discrimination and the unfair perceptions of others, all because she’s blind. In the Na’Reish demon culture, physical imperfections condemn a person to death, while amongst the Na’Chi those afflicted are viewed as undesirable mates. This attitude affects how Varian’s people perceive him, and impacted his self-worth. Has there ever been a time when you’ve been treated unfairly or felt discriminated against? Or perhaps you’ve seen someone else experience this?