Jan 8, 2011

Sunday Smooch

Welcome to the second LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

This week, we have a Regency Smooch! But first -- TA DA -- the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch giveaway is ... ROB HAP!

Congratulations Rob! Can you please contact Robyn Grady at

robyn-grady (at) hotmail (dot) com

and she'll send you your signed copy of Amnesiac Ex: Unforgettable Vows.

And now for today's Regency Smooch, from The Unmasking of a Lady, by Emily May (Summer Blockbuster, out now)

Drawing Room Lady...
It's common knowledge that Miss Arabella Knightley spent her early years in London's slums. But what the Ton doesn't know is that Arabella has a secret: by day she is a lady, but at night she helps the poor--stealing jewels from those who court her for her money but disdain her for her past.

Ballroom Thief!

Adam St Just--one of London's most eligible bachelors--is bored by polite society. Uncovering the altruistic thief's identity is an interesting diversion--but unbuttoning her proves to be even more diverting. There is far more to the infamous Miss Knightley than he had ever imagined...

(May 1818, on a sunny hillside in Sussex. Miss Arabella Knightley experiences her very first kiss...)

Arabella blushed. She became aware of their closeness, the way their arms almost touched, and drew back.

‘No,’ Adam said, putting down the sketchbook. He reached for her wrist, lightly clasped it. ‘Stay here, beside me.’

Her cheeks be
came hotter.

Adam sm
iled at her. ‘Please?’

Arabella hesitated, and then allowed him to draw her back to where she’d
been sitting. She looked at him shyly from beneath the brim of her bonnet. One of his fingers stroked her wrist, drawing a shiver of pleasure from her. ‘Do you mind if I do this?’ he asked softly, leaning towards her, touching his lips to the corner of her mouth, drawing back to look at her.

Her cheeks became even hotter. ‘No,’ she whispered.

Adam smiled. He leaned forward and kissed her again, lightly, softly.

trembled and closed her eyes.

‘The brim of your bonnet is in the way,’ Adam whispered against her cheek.

She opened her eyes. ‘It ... it is?’

Adam untied
the ribbons of her bonnet and laid it aside. ‘That’s better.’ He smiled at her and touched his fingertips to her cheek, her jaw. She shivered. Such a dangerous way he had of touching her, causing pleasure to prickle over her skin.

His head dipped again, his lips touched hers.

This time Adam didn’t stop. His mouth was gentle, coaxing, teasing. Arabella closed her eyes. Her awareness of their surroundings faded. The lemonade and the macaroons, the horse, the hillside, no longer existed. The world narrowed to Adam’s hand lightly at the nape of her neck, to his mouth, to the heat rising inside her—

His tongue touched her lower lip, his teeth gently nipped: a question.
Arabella answered by shyly opening her mouth to him.

Adam kissed her slowly, gently. He tasted of sugar and coconut, of lemon. Delicious. Heady. Heat flooded her body. She leaned towards him and clutched the lapel of his coat.

Seconds, minutes, hours ... she had no idea how long the kiss lasted before Adam finally broke it.
Arabella opened her eyes. His hand was gone from the nape of her neck; her skin felt cold where it had been, bereft. Come back. She blinked and stared at him. Her breathing was ragged, her pulse tumultuous.

Adam stared back at her. His eyes were more black than grey, the pupils dilated. Beneath her hand, hi
s heart beat rapidly. ‘I think we’d better stop,’ he said in an unsteady voice.

Arabella swallowed and nodded, unable to speak. Her awareness of their surroundings returned abruptly: the blanket, the picnic, the horse. She lowered her hand and drew back.

Adam cleared his throat. He refilled her glass. The flask clunked against the little goblet, as if his hand shook.

Arabella sipp
ed the lemonade. Her fingers trembled. Slowly the heat faded, her pulse slowed, her breathing steadied. Kissing, she realised, was a very dangerous pastime.

The Unmasking of a Lady is out now in Australia and New Zealand, as part of the Summer Blockbuster. I have one copy to give away to a lucky commenter. Tell me what you like most about Regency Romances!

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from The Soldier's Untamed Heart by Nikki Logan will be posted!


  1. I like learning about how society worked back then, and the dresses the ladies wore.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  2. Emily great excerpt

    I love regency stories for the glamour of the ballroom the country estates and the London town houses and of course the romance between the hero and heroine in a world that is governed by The Ton and there are so many rules and regulations that of course must be broken by the hero and heroine.

    Have Fun

  3. The excerpt is interesting. Thanks for it!

  4. Emily, you know I've read this book, and *loved* it (one of my fave Regency reads of the year!). And reading this kiss just put me straight back into Adam and Arabella's lives - a very happy place to be!

    The thing I love about reading regencies is it's all so different. Like reading a paranormal or fantasy - it's going into another world.

    The Unmasking Of A Lady had even more surprises in that way because I got to visit the slums of London as well. So interesting!

  5. Regency is so different from today - the society, dress, way of living - all very fascinating. I really enjoyed the excerpt.

  6. Ooo, lovely smooch, Em!

    The fascination for me with Regency romances are the manners and the development of a relationship within the constraints of society's rules. All that ruthless politeness! In reality, it must have been a frustrating time to be a woman - but the great thing about a romance novel is that I know the intrepid heroine will get her HEA with a hero who will treat as more than a chattel.

  7. Oh that does it...now I'm going to have to read it. Can I get it as an ebook, Emily? (I'm off to search it out)

    Fabulous kiss -- chaste and forbidden and swoon-worthy, all the things a Regency kiss should be.

    What do I like about Regency? I like that I couldn't write one to save my life. Which means I can just read and enjoy and it's one of only a handful of genres that I don't automatically start analysing instead of just enjoying.

  8. what a sweet first kiss, Em!
    Like Nikki, I couldn't write one and instead have to indulge in reading one instead =)
    My fav part is imagining just what it'd be like in that era, what those people must have lived through.

  9. I agree, Linda -- I find the society fascinating -- and I love the clothes! I'd love to go to the UK and visit some of the collections where you can view extant clothes -- or visit the set of a Regency movie or film!

  10. Hi Helen, glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Oh, yes, the glamour! Wouldn't it be fascinating to go back in time and attend a Regency ball? And you're right about all the societal rules back then -- it was a potential minefield!

  11. Hi Emily --
    What a fab Regency Smooch! I don't read a lot of Regency but every now and then I have the urge...I love escaping back into the past and noting all the differences to what we experience today.

  12. Gorgeous kiss, Emily! This one is on my tbr pile and I'm really looking forward to it.

    What do I love about Regencies? Perhaps it's all those Heyer's I read in my misspent youth (not to mention Jane Austen), but... they really do have a tendency to have sparkling, witty dialogue. What's not to love about that? :-)

  13. I'm glad you enjoyed revisiting Adam and Arabella today, Rachel! (Yes, I found the London slums interesting too -- great fun to write about!)

    You've put your finger on what I like most about Regencies -- it's like visiting another world. I love novels set in ancient Rome or Egypt for the same reason. They're like wonderfully constructed fantasy worlds -- but they were actually real!

  14. I agree, catslady -- it's all so fascinating! Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to go back in time and experience it?

    Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  15. Oh, yes, I totally agree, Sharon! I think that if any of us went back to Regency times we'd be frustrated out of our skulls by all the restrictions. But, of course, my heroines always find their HEA and live fulfilled and unfrustrated lives. :) The power of the pen!

  16. Glad you enjoyed the excerpt, Nikki! Yes, I'm pretty sure it's available as an e-book through the Australian Mills & Boon website.

    LOL about the analysing -- I totally do that! I'm glad you can relax when you read Regencies!

  17. I love imagining that too, Mel. I guess that's why I write them...?

  18. Thanks, Anna! Yeah, I love escaping into the past, too -- the similarities and the differences are so fascinating!

  19. Oh, Heyer! I love love LOVE her Regencies, Michelle! Both Heyer and Austen are so witty that, in my mind, the Regency period equates to humour. I really enjoy putting humour into the Regencies I write -- along with some dark stuff, of course! :)

    I hope you enjoy TUL when you read it!