May 29, 2011

Sunday Smooch

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Prince of Scandal by our fabulous guest author Annie West, who writes for Mills & Boon Sexy, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Helen!

Congratulations, Helen! Can you please contact Sharon Archer at

sharon (at) sharon-archer (dot) com

and she'll send you a copy of The Man Behind the Badge.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Prince of Scandal by Annie West ...

Ruling prince...
Raul, Prince of Maritz, is furious that an archaic law is forcing him to wed. But scandal and unrest has dogged this prince for years, and a
marriage to recently- discovered princess, Luisa Hardwicke, will help bring stability to the monarchy.

...reluctant princess

Only Luisa is an outspoken, mud-splattered, farm girl, who isn't going to come quietly! Even as she's reluctantly transformed into polished perfection, Luisa challenges Raul at every turn, and he finds himself anticipating their wedding night with an excitement he never imagined he’d feel...

‘I want to marry a man who makes my heart race and my blood sing-’

Strong hands closed on her upper arms and she gaped up at the starkly sculpted face suddenly so close. A passing light played over him. Far from being coolly remote, heat ignited in Raul’s eyes. His expression sent adrenaline surging.

His head lowered and his warm breath feathered her face.

‘Like this, you mean?’


Raul’s mouth claimed Luisa’s, pressing, demanding, till on a gasp her lips parted and he took possession.

Too late he realised his mistake.

The spark of indignation that had urged him to silence her grievances flared higher. Hotter. Brighter. He tasted her and heat shimmered, molten in his blood. He delved into her sweet, lush mouth and discovered something unexpected.

Something unique.

He slanted his mouth, demanding better access. Needing more. A ripple of stunned pleasure reverberated through him. He’d suspected almost from the start that there was something unique about Luisa. But this…!

His tongue slicked across hers, laved and slid and explored and there it was again.

An excitement, an anticipation he hadn’t felt since he was a green boy.

Still it persisted. The feeling this was different.

He tugged her satisfyingly close between his wide-planted legs. His other hand slid up into the thick, silken mass of bright hair that had caught his eye as he’d walked into the salon this afternoon. He’d wanted to touch it ever since.

It felt even better than it looked, soft as seduction.

The fire dropped to his belly, kindling like a coiling Catherine wheel that jetted sparks in all directions.

Tension screwed unbearably tight as her hand fluttered at his neck, a barely there touch that weakened his knees. When she slid both arms over his shoulders to clasp his neck a great shudder rocked him.

How could a kiss ravage his senses?

Trying to staunch the feeling that he spun out of control, Raul moved his lips to the corner of her mouth but she turned her head. Instead of an almost chaste caress, he found himself transfixed as her lips opened beneath his. Her body pressed close and her tongue slipped into his mouth in a move that he’d have called tentative if it hadn’t sent every blood cell in his body rushing south.

Her kiss was slow and deliberate. Unbelievably provocative as she treated him to a devastating sensual exploration that almost blew the top off his head. Shivers of delight coursed through him.

Raul slid a hand under her long coat, over the tight curve of her bottom. His splayed fingers dragged her close, where that flicker of heat was now a blazing furnace.

He swallowed her
gasp, returning her kiss with growing fervour. Every nerve was sharp and aware, as if it had been an age since he’d held a willing woman.

Luisa tasted like sunshine, felt warm and soft and luscious like a summer peach.

Heat spiked in his groin. The audacious notion rose that here, now, they should let passion take its inevitable course.

Prince of Scandal was released in the UK in May. It will be available in Australia and New Zealand in June, and in North America in August. To be in the draw to win a signed copy, simply answer Annie's question!

"When I wrote Prince of Scandal I based Prince Raul's quaint, picturesque capital on a city I knew and loved (if you're curious, you can see the photos on my website at ). If you were dreaming of a Cinderella story, where would you set it?"

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Ice-Cold Lover by Mel Teshco will be posted!


  1. Wheweeee! Fanning herself after that kiss. That's a pretty spectacular smooch, Miss Annie! All I can say is Lucky Luisa! I remember this scene from the story but this really REMINDED me! And it's too early in the morning to be getting all hot and bothered! Congratulations on the release of PRINCE OF SCANDAL. It's a fabulous story and people have a treat waiting for them when they pick it up!

  2. Yeah, I second Anna -- lucky Luisa!! I love this smooch, Annie. Thanks for being our guest today!

  3. Whoo Hoo Firstly thank you all so much for my win I will send an email very soon You Guys Rock. I love Sharon's stories.


    WOW I love it I picked up my copy of Prince of Scandal yesterday at the shops and can't wait to dive into it.
    As for a Cinerella story and a country to set it in I would choose a little European City where is snows in winter and the summers are not to hot with lots of castles and romantic places to visit.

    Congrats on the release Annie

    Have Fun

  4. Hi Anna,

    You're up early! Trust you to check on the Sunday Smooch first thing. Not that I'm complaining! I'd so glad it took you straight back to 'Prince of Scandal' and made you smile.

  5. Hi Emily,

    Thanks for inviting me! And thanks so much for posting this. I'm glad you like it. It's a different experience reading it out away from the rest of the story. Poor Raul certainly got more than he bargained for in that first kiss.

  6. Helen, congratulations on winning Sharon's book! I've just started 'The Man Behind the Badge' myself and I'm loving it. In fact, I'd like to head back to bed right now and finish it.

    You've already got a copy of 'Prince of Scandal' from the shops? I hadn't realised it would be in store yet. I love the 'Book of the Monthh' logo on the Aus/NZ cover! I hope you enjoy the book. I'm with you on the location for a European kingdom. That's just what I did for this book and 'Passion, Purity and the Prince' (the one before this) - I had a wonderful time creating my kingdom with reference to a number of lovely locations.

  7. HI, Annie and the LoveCats!

    Phew! I'm also reaching for my fan. What a blazing smooch, Annie! I have the Prince of Scandal, so no need to enter me in the draw. I can't wait to read it when I come out of my revision cave. But I will say I'd set my Cinderella story in the magical Swiss Alps. Sigh!

  8. Hi Vanessa,

    A blazing smooch? I'm flattered and smiling. Hope it revs you on to get your revisions finished. good luck with those pesky things.

    The Swiss alps would be lovely! So picturesque for a royal kingdom. Actually, one small scene in the book was inspired by a news report I saw from Switzerland that made me smile. Isn't it great how all those little snippets gel somehow when you're writing?

  9. Hi Annie and the Love Cats
    What a lovely, I was going to call it Cinderella story, but I think it's more Pigmalion.
    Sounds great.

  10. Hi Annie and LoveCats,
    As soon as the weakness in my knees subsides and I can walk without crumbling into a steaming heap, I'm rushing out to buy my copy! What a smooch! Thanks, Annie :)

    As for a Cinderella moment, I'm thinking an underground palace and lost Kingdom in the Opal mines at Coober Pedy, South Australia ...

  11. Great smooch! Now I'm craving summer peaches!

  12. Ooh, what a hot and drool-worthy kiss, Annie. YUM. Really love that Raul can hardly work out which way is up after that! :-)

    If I could be Cinderella for a day, I'd be very tempted to choose the Italian lake district as the setting for my story.

    Thanks for dropping by the LoveCats!

  13. Wow.
    Nice job, Annie. I like that he went to mush in a manly way - sometimes men sound like they've turned into teenage girls. Not this first smooch. I'd set a cinderella story story in an old, highland castle but then I have a liking for bairds...

  14. I get a Saturday Night Smooch ~ I'm not sure if I'll be able to sleep after reading this. Wow!
    Just the ticket to make a weary tired body sit up and take notice! I have to wait until July to order the book. Must make note of it in my to be bought list.

    I've been to Salzburg ~ just for a day trip from Munich ~ would love to go back as it was such a romantic setting even in the middle of winter. If I had a fairy tale setting it couldn't get much better than Salzburg.

  15. Hi Cathleen,

    I'm glad you like the sound of it. I think you're right - there's definitely a touch of the pygmalion about this story, though I'm glad to say Luisa remains at heart the same woman she always was and Raul learns to appreciate that about her.

  16. Hey Juanita, I'm so glad the smooch left you in a steaming heap! wow. I hope you enjoy the rest of the story too.

    What a brilliant idea! A lost kingdom and the underground opal mines - very exotic and intriguing!

  17. Hi Wendy,

    Sadly it's a while till the summer peaches reach us here. My consolation is the lovely juicy navel oranges just hitting the shops. Thanks for the comment.

  18. Hi Michelle,

    I love the idea of the Italian lakes for a cinderella story. You might just have inspired a story or two with that thought. I wrote a book set there a while ago but didn't get to use nearly enough of the local colour. What a brilliant excuse to revisit. Or will you be setting a romance there yourself sometime? I'd love to see what you did with a foregin setting (much as I love your Aussie locations).

    It's my pleasure to stop by Love Cats. It was lovely to be invited!

  19. Hi Vicki,

    Ooh, I love a highland setting. All that atmospheric mist and looming mountains, not to mention looming, untamed heroes!

    Thanks for the comment about Raul's reaction to Luisa and the kiss . That's really interesting. It's hard getting the male pov right sometimes, but such fun trying!

  20. Hi Kaelee,

    Perhaps you'll go to sleep dreaming of a handsome prince... I'm glad you liked it.

    Isn't Salzburg lovely? I've only been there in the cooler months and thoroughly enjoyed it. Last time it was Christmas and the snow started sprinkling down on Christmas afternoon - just magic. I hope you get back there again.

  21. HI Annie! It's so cool to have you visit us at the LoveCats for a Sunday Smooch! And what a fabulous Smooch!! I love that Raul got more than he expected. And the kiss is so delicious that I know Luisa's heart must be racing!

    Can't wait to get my copy of Prince of Scandal - just as well I'm off to town tomorrow!


  22. Oh and I meant to say where I'd set a Cinderella story. It'd have to be a castle and I'm thinking of one of the ones that sit high on the banks of the Rhine River... which gave me a great excuse to Google. And I found the Burg Eltz on the Moselle River! I haven't been there but it looks divine!


  23. Hey, Helen! I'm thrilled to bits to be sending you a copy of my book! It'll be in the mail tomorrow!

  24. Hi Sharon, it's lovely to be here! I do love the idea of a Sunday Smooch - such a perfect way to end the week and it's a treat to have Raul and Luisa's first kiss featured here.

    Oh, those castles on the Rhine are terrific, aren't they? We lived for a while in Germany and I used to love the trip by train along that part of the Rhine where so many castles are. One of them inspired Raul's cousin's book - 'Passion, Purity and the Prince'. Oh, do, do try to get to Burg Eltz if you can! It's the most amazing place. I know they've used it as the setting for at least one TV series - it's like something out of a fairy tale, isn't it? Perfect for a Cinderella story. Thanks for mentioning it.

  25. What a blazing smooch, Annie! I have the Prince of Scandal, so no need to enter me in the draw.

    But I do have to add that Luisa was one lucky girl. From a farmgirl straight to the gorgeous Prince's arms and to become a Princess!

  26. Hi Nas,

    It's good to catch up with you here.

    It's a bit of a fairytale transition for Luisa, you're right. But there were quite a few aspects to it that weren't so easy. That's what I liked writing - the way Luisa didn't have it easy but still found a way to make the most of things. I admire that in a heroine.

  27. Hi Annie,

    Wow what a kiss!

    Passionate, perfect and so very hot!!!

    Just love it and can't wait for your June release which should be at the shops in the next few days!!


  28. Hi Annie, absolutely, positively loved that excerpt and can't wait to read the entire book. Luisa sounds like the perfect heroine for Raul. Take care, Patti Shenberger

  29. Hi Margaret,

    I know you're a big fan of Sexy romances so I take that as high praise indeed. Thank you! I'm looking forward to seeing it on the shelf in store too.

  30. Hi Patti,

    It's lovely to see you here. Great too to hear you loved the excerpt. Personally I think Luisa is the perfect heroine for Raul but then I could be a bit biased. I hope you agree when you read the book.

  31. WoW! That was some hot smooch!
    I'd love to have a Cinderella story set in Greece. It seems such a romantic & mystical place.

  32. OMG what a smooch! Bring on the chill pills, its getting hot in here!

  33. Hi Linda,

    I'm currently wondering what my next story will be and where it will be set. Now you've got me thinking about the Mediterranean. Thank you! I'll just sit here and fantasise awhile.

  34. Virginia, I'm glad you weren't left cold by it! That would be so sad. Thanks for commenting.

  35. Annie, I loved the kiss between Raul and Luisa and I can't wait to read the story.

    "If you were dreaming of a Cinderella story, where would you set it?" I would want Greece or Italy and then there is the little used Nordic/Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland) which I would love to a book set.

  36. Oh, Annie, I'm late to the party, but I'm *so* glad I came! That is one sizzling kiss, and it makes me desperate to know how things play out between these two. I suspect things will get hotter before they find their HEA. :)

    Loved the line: ‘I want to marry a man who makes my heart race and my blood sing-’ Good for Luisa! :)

  37. Hi from NZ Annie :)

    My Cinderella story would be set in Spain :)

    I know it's not new in terms of the books but I am absolutely fascinated by the people and cultures and the land. I have never been there but from what i hear it's beautiful! Friends who have been there LOVE the place. I have learnt the Spanish language and now my kids are learning it at school... I LOVE the language.

    I know this wasnt part of the question but my Prince would look like Carlos from Il Divo... actually my Prince could look like ANY of the Il Divo men ;P

  38. Hi Amanda,

    How strange - I see my earlier comment to you hasn't shown uup on the site. I wonder what happened to it?

    I love your idea of a story set in the north. I'd love to see the Faroe Islands and Denmark and I've just been reading up on Iceland too. It's great reading about 'new' locations. Thanks for the suggestion.

  39. Rachel, it's great to see you, and to hear you liked the smooch.

    As for Luisa's line of dialogue - that's her all over - straightforward and not willing to be sidetracked by Raul's plans. They challenge each other from the start - which is one of the things I particularly enjoyed about them.

  40. Hi Tash,

    I love a woman who's so organised - you even know what your hero looks like! Good on you. Isn't Spanish a wonderful language to listen to? You'll definitely have to make a visit. I agree it would be fantastic location for a cinderella book. Maybe I can make a trip there myself one day for inspiration...Sigh. sounds great, doesn't it?

  41. Inspirational trip sounds like a fab idea Annie. Rather captivated by Il Divo at the moe. My kids sing some of the songs they cover in their choirs so they even enjoy listening in in the car :)