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.
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 became hotter.
Adam smiled 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.
Arabella 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, his 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 sipped 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!