Jul 30, 2017

Sunday Smooch - At the Italian's Bidding by Annie West

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!


Today we have a smooch Annie West from but first 


... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Jillian Jones.


Can you please contact to receive your copy of Clare Connelly's book by emailing Amy Andrews at amy(at)amyandrews(dot)com(dot)au


And now for today's Sunday Smooch from AT THE ITALIAN'S BIDDING. This is the 5th book in Annie's Hot Italian Nights novella series,  a 1st August release which is currently available for preorder.


She’s out of bounds but how can he resist?

Niccolo might risk his neck on the racing car circuit but there’s one thing he won’t risk — his friendship with the De Laurentis family. Which means he dare not give in to his feelings for his best friend’s sister, Lia De Laurentis, no matter how impossible it is to keep his distance. Yet when he needs a pretend girlfriend, just for a weekend, who else can he trust to play the part?  

Lia can’t believe she says yes to Niccolo Marchesi’s outrageous request. Her teenage crush on her brother’s daredevil friend has turned into full-scale infatuation, so how is she supposed to withstand two whole nights of temptation, pretending to be his lover? She knows every touch is a lie but it feels like the real thing.

When honour and passion clash, will his scruples prove stronger than her willpower?



Scene set-up

Lia and Niccolo have been trying to resist their passion for each other. Niccolo because he doesn't want to take advantage of a girl who he thinks looks on him like a brother and Lia because she believes Niccolo doesn't have romantic feelings for her, that he prefers the leggy blondes who follow him on the racing car circuit. Now, after a weekend pretending to be an item, tension has reached breaking point. Lia can't conceal her distress, believing he'll never return her feelings. An evening of putting on a smiling face at a big society party is too much, now they're back in the privacy of their suite.

Smooch  -

‘Whatever it is, we’ll make it better.’

She shook her head, almost violently, her long hair flaring and slipping over his hand.

‘No.’ Her voice was stronger now, with a whiplash undercurrent of bitterness. ‘This isn’t something you can kiss and make better.’

Niccolo almost groaned, wishing the words undone. His attention dropped instantly to her lips, finely cut and lushly inviting.

There was a roaring in his ears, a shaking in his belly and his hands tightened on her, one at her back, one sliding round to cup her head. He couldn’t let go. Couldn’t force himself to step away. His feet were cemented to the floor.

She tempted him beyond endurance and she didn’t even realise.

‘Why not?’ His grating voice was unrecognisable.

He told himself it would be fine to touch her mouth. A tiny kiss from a friend, over as soon as it began. A demonstration that he cared for her, was here for her. That whatever her problem was, he’d help.

A brotherly kiss!

Except when he leaned in to touch his lips to her cheek she moved, no doubt startled. He felt the shock in her straining body.

Then somehow, surely without intending to, his lips grazed hers. Grazed and clung.

Because to withdraw was utterly impossible.

Lia’s lips were so soft, so perfect, fitting to his as if made for that very purpose. Niccolo froze. Amazing as it was to admit, he’d never felt so undone by a woman. Yet all he did was touch her lips!

They tasted like honey. Honey and Lia, the most beautiful woman he’d ever known.

Niccolo inhaled sharply, strengthening his resolve to draw back. Except now he dragged in air warm from her flesh, scented with the lily and woman perfume of Lia. There was no turning back. Not yet. He stood unmoving, one hand cupping her skull, the other splayed over the sinuous indentation of her waist.

Until, shocking him to the core, he felt the slick of her tongue along his mouth. And a warm vibration, like a soundless hum of pleasure, resonate through her.

Niccolo tried to summon the will to move, to break the embrace. Then it came again, tentative but real, her tongue sliding across his bottom lip.

A man was only human after all.

He’d done his best, tried to be strong, but there was a limit to endurance.

Angling his head, pressing closer, he opened his mouth and sucked her questing tongue into his mouth. Sucked hard, drawing his own tongue against it in a duel that was all invitation and pleasure.

Niccolo’s hands trembled as they never did at the wheel of a racing vehicle. He felt as if he held sunlight and innocence in his arms and was torn between protectiveness and the need to possess.

He moved his hand, changed his grip to angle her head for easier access and, instead of stiffening in rejection, Lia melted in his arms, her curves sliding against him, her head bowing back under the pressure of his, and again that wordless vibration of pleasure. He tasted it, swallowed it, then plunged deep into her mouth, demanding more.

It was like admiring a daisy and discovering it was a lush, sensual rose in disguise.

Her mouth was rich velvet, tempting and seductive. Her body undulated against him in blatant, needy invitation, and Niccolo found himself backing her up against the dressing table. He crowded her between his thighs, his erection instant and powerful, jammed up against her belly.

Somewhere, in the back of his brain, his conscience commanded he pull back. But then Lia’s hands crept up his chest, over his shoulders and she wrapped her fingers around his neck, pulling him down towards her as if she too couldn’t get enough.

It was bliss.

It was torture.

Devastatingly fantastic yet not nearly enough. Already his hand was roving her body, down over the ripe curve of her buttocks, then digging in through the thin fabric till she gasped and rocked her pelvis into him, her head falling back.

Niccolo had never seen anything more alluring than Lia, her kiss-swollen lips open as she gasped for air, a flush of arousal tinting her throat and cheeks and her eyes glowing gold. They were a siren’s eyes, luring him on, inviting him to forget restrictions and taboos and take her. Here, now.

His breath came in harsh gulps that couldn’t quite fill his lungs. His skin was tight and uncomfortable and he needed to rip off his clothes.

But more than that, he needed to have Lia. The pain of not tearing himself free of his trousers and taking her right here was making him dizzy.

‘We should—’ He’d been about to say something about stopping, except Lia tilted her hips in a sinuous move that brought her pelvis high against him.

His conscience disintegrated in a ripple of lust that began at the base of his spine and raced straight round to his groin.

Lia knew what she was doing. She wasn’t that innocent.

Her heavy-lidded stare invited and challenged.

With a growl of triumph, Niccolo swept his mouth back down to hers, possessing her with a bruising thoroughness that still couldn’t allay the need thrumming in his veins. He hungered for Lia, for all of her, writhing and gasping beneath him as he took them both to heaven.

He slid his hand from her face, down past her collarbone to her breast. His hand trembled as he cupped her fullness in his fingers. Was it because she fitted him so perfectly or because this was Lia, the woman who’d been secretly driving him crazy for so long? Whatever the reason, she made him want to slide to his knees and worship her. To give her everything he had. And to please her as no man had ever pleased her before.

He smiled as her eyes fluttered closed and she arched up high into his touch, a tiny sound of delight falling from her open lips.

It was then that Niccolo knew he was utterly lost.
Niccolo was Lia's first crush. But instead of growing out of that crush, her love grows stronger.

Do you remember your first crush? Was it a singer or actor or maybe even your older brother's best mate? I wonder if any of those first loves become 'the real thing'? Or alternatively maybe there was something you adored as a kid that still plays a significant part in your life.

Leave a comment and you could win a Kindle copy of AT THE ITALIAN'S BIDDING. Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and a smooch from Melanie Milburne will be posted!


Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver

34 comments:

  1. I used to have Burt Reynold's poster above my bed - the one from when he was in Smokey and the Bandit. Broke my heart when the edges started to curl and I had to cut off the bottom inch or so of the poster (right where his jean's zipper was).
    Since then, George Clooney has been my main squeeze.
    A girl can dream (which is one of the perks of reading romances)....

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    1. Hi Laney, you're so right about the perks of romance and being able to dream. Nice to be able to change heroes from time to time. It's tough, isn't it, when something you treasure begins to wear out. :)

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  2. Hi Annie. As a kid I had hung in my room the photos of the footballers of my favorite football team. Also that of an Italian actor of fotoromanzi, was beautiful, I loved him. I dreamed of getting engaged with him ... obviously it did not happen.
    But sometimes it's nice to dream.

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    1. Hi Franca, I'm smiling, thinking perhaps you were luckier ending up with your husband instead of the actor, but yes, dreams are lovely. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Hi Annie, absolutely beautiful and very sexy smooch! My first crush was Isaac Hanson, of Hanson fame. I seriously loved him, and was convinced I'd grow up to marry him and live happily ever after, despite the fact we live in separate countries and had no pathway to meeting (details, details!) I recently got to see him perform live for the first time and yes, my heart still fluttered!

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    1. Clare, isn't it amazing how those little details just don't matter when you fancy yourself in love? What's a mere continent or two or the fact you have no connection? Great that you got to see him. So pleased you liked the excerpt too.

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  4. Hi Annie

    Woohoo I can't wait to read this one I have it on pre-order :)

    My first crush was probably Paul McCartney from The Beatles or I remember a young boy named Neil when I was in year 2 LOL he even rode his bike to my place after school one day and gave me a peck on the cheek :)

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Ah, what a sweet memory, Helen. I wonder where Neil is now? I suspect there were millions of girls dreaming about Paul M. Nice to be in good company. :)

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  5. That was one hot smooch, Annie. Lia and Niccolo sound like they are in for some interesting times ahead.

    On of my best friends married her high school boyfriend and they are still going strong thirty years later. So, young love can endure.

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    1. Oh, definitely interesting time, Jenn, and with some downs as well as ups. Lovely to hear about your friend and her husband who were high school sweethearts. I sure can endure!

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  6. A girl never forgets her first crush. And this crush looks quite intense! Looking forward to reading this!

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    1. Hi Sharon, yes it definitely is intense. Hope you enjoy reading it.

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  7. Fab excerpt, Annie! Love the heat between Niccolo and Lia. :-)

    My first crush was on a boy in high school. I was walking home from school one day when he came cantering up on his horse to have a chat with me--and I'm sure it has something to do with boy on horseback--but the world tilted and my heart started to race. My next crush was George Michael...but that one was never going to end well. ;-)

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    1. How could you not fall for a guy on a horse? Sigh. That's the stuff of girlhood dreams. As for George - let's just say I think it better you ended up with Mr Douglas.

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  8. Therese FergusonJuly 30, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    I had way too many crushes on boys at school and friends of my older brother when I was growing up. The most significant one would have been when I started my first job and he worked in the same building. Unfortunately he had a crush on a girl he was working with who didn't feel the same way about him. Then the following year, I met the love of my life and the other guy was completely forgotten about.

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    1. Therese, those early crushes can be so intense, can't they? Had to smile when you said you forgot all about him once you met the love of your life. It's like that, isn't it? :)

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    2. Therese FergusonJuly 30, 2017 at 4:44 PM

      It certainly is! Every guy in the universe is forgotten about when you meet your soulmate. Unfortunately I never got to be with him because he died, but he is still with me every day.

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    3. Ah, Therese. That's sad. Wonderful that you have those terrific memories though.

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  9. My first crush was on my brother's best friend who never knew because we moved.
    I was in 6th grade.

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    1. Ah, thanks for sharing, Mary.

      By the way, did you see that you'd won a book of mine in a Sunday Smooch a couple of weeks ago? Can you please email me at annie(at)annie-west.com so I can organise your prize?

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  10. Wow Annie, still fanning myself. My first crushed was Les from the Rollers and saw him for the first time last week and squeal touched him as his hand. lol There is nothing like your first crush now I have all my book boyfriends :)

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    1. Ha! Lovely that you got to meet your first crush in person after all this time. Good on you, Jan.

      So chuffed you like this excerpt! :)

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  11. Gorgeous kiss, Annie, and I love the set up of the story. Looking forward to reading this one.
    I had a silent crush on an older boy in my street who didn't even notice I existed. Sigh. Youth!

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    1. I'm so glad you like the sound of this one, Kandy.

      I can so relate too, to the silent crush! I had a few of those. :)

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  12. Annie, Lia and Niccolo are scorching!

    First crushes? I seem to remember the singer from Aha, and maybe the singer from Pseudo Echo. It was all about singers for me back then!

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    1. Rachel, they always seemed larger than life, didn't they, and so dangerously appealing. You've brought back some memories.

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  13. Wow, Annie, what a sumptuous treat of a first kiss. I think your fans are going to go absolutely wild for Niccolo and Lia. I loved this novella - I was lucky enough to see an advanced copy, as you know. These two just sizzle on the page.

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    1. Anna, I'm grinning that you think it 'sumptuous' and 'sizzling'. Happy days!

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  14. My first crush was an older (I was 13, he was 16) guy who bagged groceries at the neighborhood market. His name was Doug, and he was Donny Osmond handsome. My friends and I would walk up to the store every day he worked to gaze upon him. We would sit on the bench outside for hours. My friend Kris's father owned the store, and she was a member of the Doug fan club also, so we were never asked to "move along". It was all for naught, as Doug blatantly ignored us all for the 2 years we gazed at him. My friend Kris later found out many years later that he was gay.

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    1. Laurie, he must have had such patience to cope with teen girls sitting sighing over him, though I suppose he had no choice. I remember a friend who was just besotted with Donny Osmond. I think it was the smile!

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  15. I'm blanking on who my first crush was, however I know there is a high probability of it having been a celebrity.
    Loving the smooch even though I've lost touch of where I'm at with pre-ordering/purchasing this series. Either way, it's on my to read list.

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    1. Hi Lyn!

      Hope you're enjoying the series. There's a few of them now and another one next month. I remember having quite a few crushes when I was at school. Now it's mainly romance heroes!

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  16. Fantastic smooch as always, Annie!! I love first-crush stories :)

    In terms of my first crush...hmm. The one I remember was from when I was about 10 and I had a crush on a guy in my class at school. We used to pass notes and play sport together. Sometimes I wonder where on earth he ended up :)

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  17. Stef, these days you might be able to search him out online, though it's not always a good idea. I went to a school reunion a while ago and the guy all the girls used to swoon over hasn't turned out quite the way we expected!

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