Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!
Today we have a smooch from Louisa George, but first ...
the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Therese Ferguson!
Therese, can you please email: Michelle (at) michelle - douglas (dot) com to receive your copy of Sarah And The Secret Sheikh!
And now for something just a little different- not our usual kind of kiss scene but lots of love nonetheless! Today's Sunday Smooch is from Louisa George's new women’s fiction book, The Other Life Of Charlotte Evans
Back cover blurb:
Would you sacrifice your future to understand your past?
Life is rosy for dance studio owner Charlotte Evans, who is about to marry beloved fiancé, Ben. But when Ben finds a lump in Charlotte's breast, it sends her on a journey of self-discovery which she knows she must do alone. Because Charlotte is adopted, and she suddenly, desperately, needs to know who she is and where she comes from.
Finding and reconnecting with her birth family, the life Charlotte could have had unfolds before her. As her wedding day draws closer, and her past merges ever more into her present, Charlotte must decide on the future she really wants…
Kiss Scene:- Set up: Charlotte is at work while fiancé Ben is decorating their house pre-wedding. She receives a booty call so dashes home…
London was putting on a very sunny show, considering it was early June and really only just dipping into summer. There was a smattering of colour in people’s gardens and a promising heat in the air. The sunshine always put a smile on everyone’s faces and knowing what was waiting for her back at their half-renovated two-up two-down Victorian terrace put a spring in Charlotte’s step too.
‘Hey, gorgeous!’ She bounded into the house. There was a flutter in her stomach, which made her feel as if she was doing something illicit, very naughty. Sex in the afternoon! On a school day. Instead of painting more coats of Farrow and Ball’s best Cornforth White on not-quite-straight walls.
He met her at the door, but she was slightly disappointed to see that even though his top half was stripped bare and his honed muscles were rippling, his DIY jeans were still in situ. There was a definite glint in his lovely darkbrown eyes, though, a heat and a warmth – sex and love. He pressed a kiss on her mouth. ‘Hi honey, you’re home.’
‘I certainly am. But you appear to be very overdressed…’ Her hand reached for his waist and she pulled him closer, playing with the top of his jeans zip.
What she’d first been attracted by – apart from the police-fit body and sense of humour – had been that Ben always attacked everything with determination and enthusiasm. He was also a physical guy, good with his hands.
She smiled to herself; he still was whenever he got the chance. The lust-filled ache in her gut and the desire to touch him hadn’t dimmed either. His skin was soft and smooth and flecked with white paint. She didn’t need to make her voice sound sexy, it just was ‘Bedroom or lounge?’
‘Right here.’ Clearly ready for action he started to lower her onto the stairs. But she pushed him away. Wriggled to standing.
‘I think I’m too old for sex on the stairs.’ Lissa would tut and sigh, but she wasn’t the one about to get carpet burns and a sore back that would interfere with her teaching. Taking Ben’s hand Charlotte tugged him up the first step, her free palm scraping over his cop-short buzz cut, feeling the rough softness under her fingertips. He was a man of opposites; fun and serious. Sport-fit and focused and yet happy to laze away whole afternoons on the sofa watching action movies. Loved to eat, but hopeless at cooking. She met his gaze and her stomach purred, low and hot. ‘Bed or shower?’
‘Bed. No…shower. Hot. Wet. Nice.’ His hands went to cup her face but she drew back.
‘Wait! You’ve got paint on you. Look – still wet.’
‘In that case…’ His eyes brightened and he pressed a paint-covered hand over her black lycra top, over her left breast, and squeezed. ‘Gotcha!
‘Ben!’ But she couldn’t help laughing as she looked down at the white fingermarks. ‘This is – this was – my good teaching top.’
‘Well, let’s take it off then.’
‘Oh… you insist.’ She tugged it over her head and laughed as he kissed her neck, his breathing getting harder, and faster. ‘Bed? Or shower, Benny boy?’
‘Hmmm…too tough to call. Wow. Such life and death questions. Too hard…You know…if someone held a gun to my head and asked me to choose…I’d have to say…’ e backed her against the stairs again, pushed his hand under her bra and pressed a kiss to her cleavag ‘hese two beauties are my absolute favourite part of you. Perfect… Juicy… Not sure which I love the most; left or right
‘Be serious. One minute…hese stairs hurt. Okay. I’ve decided. Bed it is.’ She pushed him away and ran up to the bedroom, then jumped onto the bed.
He was two steps behind her, wiping his hands down his jeans until he was convinced they were dry. Then he climbed onto the bed next to her.
‘Hell, Charlie, I am serious. About you. About the wedding and making a home, for us. I’ve never been so damned serious about anything in my life.’ He slid his mouth over hers. For a few moments she was lost in him, in them, as he murmured, ‘I can’t wait. I love you…I want you. Every bloody day.’ Like a pro he unclipped her bra, cupped her right breast as he kissed her harder, then pulled away, breathing fast and looking at her with seriousness and mischief in his eyes. ‘I hate night duty. I hate missing you, thinking of you sleeping here without me. Thinking of all the things we could be doing instead of pounding the bloody streets and arresting some stupid prick for DUI.’
Charlotte wrapped him closer. ‘I miss you too. I hate hearing the sirens and thinking it could be you out there chasing, hurting… I hate hearing the news…’
He silenced her with another kiss. This was one conversation they’d had countless times and there was no answer to it. It was his job and he loved it she could no more ask him to give it up than contemplate giving up her dancing. So they were stuck – or just had to make the most of it.
She ran her thumb down his cheek. ‘Let’s never go to work again. Let’s just stay here forever and do this. We’ll feast on marshmallows and salt and vinegar crisps and drink buckets of icecold chardonnay. For breakfast, lunch and dinner.’
‘Always. Just you and me, in here.’ His fingers played over her left breast and she curled against him, wanting him. Loving him.
‘No one else.’ It was a game they’d played since they first met – since that very first party. He’d asked her if she wanted to go somewhere…quieter… and she’d agreed, liking the way he looked and the damned cheek of him for asking her outright and knowing exactly what he wanted: er. In bed.
They’d nipped out from the party and bought a bag of crisps and marshmallows from the allnight store and staggered back to his place. Had a competition to see who could fit the most fluffy sweets into their mouths. Then downed it all with white wine – out of the bottle. He’d let her win and made her laugh and made her feel sexy and funny and likeable.
Just after their first – unforgettable – kiss he’d said something like let’s stop the world and get off. And she’d thought I could do that. No intrusions. No other commitments. I could make a world with him.
And they had.
His words were whispers against her ear. ‘Until we have to pay the mortgage, obviously…then I’ll send you out to teach and just l here waiting for you to come home and service me as required.’
‘Watch it, mate. Serviced? You’ be lucky.’ She slapped his backside gently and then squeezed – because, God, she loved that bum. ‘Slave driver.’
‘You bet.’ He shifted a little against her his mouth nuzzled her neck, this time his hand cupping her right breast. Soft. Caressing. A playful tweak of her nipple, another caress as she arched against him relishing the way he managed to find all her sensitive parts and make them sing for his attention.
His hand went to her left breast again and he squeezed. She moved against him. He squeezed again, fingers stepping across her skin, skimming over to her right breast. He was certainly giving them lots of attention today.
Then he went completely still.
It was a strange kind of still. As if someone had flicked an off switch.
‘Hey?’ She wriggled against him, feeling his heat through his jeans. Stroking his back. Stroking the soft skin and rubbing against it, because she suddenly felt a strange and unwelcome need for comfort. ‘Hey? Benjamin Niall Murphy, don’t tell me you’ve fallen asleep on me?’
There was a moment where she felt him inhale deeply. Then she felt the soft breeze on her shoulder as he blew the breath out and he pulled away. Definitely not like him. Ben was a man who liked to finish what he started.
‘Ben?’ She peered at him, holding his face in her palms. ‘You okay?’
He had a small, uncertain smile on that gorgeous face. The kind of smile he’d had when she’d told him about her father dying. And about the confusion and pain she’d felt when her parents had told her she was adopted – and how them telling her she’d been chosen was supposed to somehow help her get over discovering she’d been rejected by her birth mother. It hadn’t.
And like the time he’d told her he’d tried to save a umper’s life on the Tube…and failed. It was a brave smile. He was being brave.
What the hell?
Louisa is giving away a digital copy of her book to one lucky commenter! So her question to you is:
This book is not your traditional romance, although it has romantic elements. Do you read women’s fiction? What’s been your favourite recent women’s fiction read?
Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from lovely guest Helen Lacey will be posted!