Jul 3, 2011

Sunday Smooch

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a fun smooch from Dating and Other Dangers by Harlequin author Natalie Anderson, but first ...

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

Congratulations, Kez! Can you please contact Nikki Logan at

nikki (at) nikkilogan (dot) com (dot) au

and she'll send you a signed copy of Rapunzel in New York.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Dating and Other Dangers by Natalie Anderson ...

 Nadia Keenan's first date Dos and Don'ts:
1. Do boost your confidence by looking hot.
2. Don't put out until at least date two.
3. If the man is trouble  (however sexy!) do report all on womanbwarned.com

After being trashed on Nadia's website, serial dater-and-dumper Ethan Rush is about to put Nadia's rules to the test!

He's determined to change her mind about him.
She's determined to prove him for the cad he is.

Let the battle of the dates begin...

So Nadia has been out on the first date with the loathed Ethan – you’ll have to read the book to get the low-down on what happened while they were out! But at this point, he’s escorting her home and, fuelled by too much sugar and a little too much wine, Nadia has been thinking the ‘snake’ will make the first move – she’s read all about practiced touches online, so she’s been really looking forward to shooting him down. Only it doesn’t happen…and surely not, she can’t be feeling disappointed?!

Where was the move? Where was the ‘best sex’ those women had talked about?

The cab pulled over and Ethan got out, paying him off. He glanced and saw her surprised expression. “I’ll see you to your door and then walk.”

“I’m not inviting you in for coffee,” she said, stupidly hurt by his impersonal politeness.

“I’m not expecting that,” he answered, like he couldn’t care less.

And he couldn’t, could he? Anger surged again as she realised this guy was totally not interested. Why not? Why wasn’t he when, according to all reports, he slayed any female who had the misfortune to slide across his path?

He rested his hand on her back as she turned to walk up her path. Anger burned hotter when she felt again the electric effect that one touch had. His hand was all she could feel. Impotent emotion clogged her throat as she blindly stepped forward. 

But because she felt that touch so acutely, she felt the stroke of his thumb upwards across her spine – the slow intimate sweep. The smallest of signals.

Oh thank goodness, there it was. Satisfaction slammed into her. The man couldn’t help himself. Finally he was going to go with some of his moves. She walked slowly now, enjoying the thrill of him moving so close behind her, smiling as she imagined her refusal scene. She’d keep it polite tonight, but playful too – to give him the illusion of possible success in the next date or two.

But in reality it was impossible. For sure. 

She unlocked her door and flicked the switch just inside the door so light spilled from the room out onto the path. Then she turned to say goodbye, her smile impossible to contain.

He really was very tall up there, still in the shadows, looking down at her. She could tell he was smiling too – but suddenly she knew it wasn’t a lust fuelled smile. It was that amusement again. Was he laughing at her? Her certainty of success faltered.

“Thanks for an interesting evening Nadia,” loaded with irony.

He was laughing. She’d been wrong about that touch. He wasn’t going to do it – no move, no kiss. There was nothing. She felt piqued. And disappointed. And disappointed anger swamped her. She was not going to let him go without scoring a point of her own.

“I’ll see you Sunday,” he said in farewell.

 Just before he turned she grabbed a fistful of his shirt and stood on tiptoe as high as she could. 

And pressed her mouth to his. 

He froze. Didn’t pull away but didn’t respond either. So she worked a little harder, stroking his lower lip with her tongue. A faint response then – the smallest flinch of his muscles. But it was so faint she let go and stepped back, suddenly aware she’d made a massive mistake.

“What was that for?” he asked, somehow closer despite her retreat.

“Curiosity,” she flipped back at him, frantically thinking up her defence. She’d crashed out of the floating feeling now. “I wanted to know if you’re as amazing as they all said.” 

She felt his muscles firm even more and he loomed closer still.

“And the verdict?”

“Not as hot as I’d been lead to believe.”

 “But I thought one of your top tips on first dates was not to get too hot.”

“You were playing by my rules?”

“What, you thought you were playing by mine?” He laughed, she could feel the vibrations in the scarce space between them. “You really have no idea.”

 “Don’t patronise me.”

“But, darling, you don’t just lean in and stick your tongue down a guy’s throat.”

Mortification and the hated goose bumps made her skin – and soul – painfully sensitive. So she covered with mock incredulity. “Are you giving me kissing advice?”

He was a jerk – she hadn’t stuck her tongue down his throat and he knew it.

“A little lesson in seduction if you like,” he stepped even nearer. “I think you need it.”

She tried to push him away but he was a mountain in front of her now – immovable and impassable. Her hands were tiny on his chest, her fingers instinctively curling into the fabric of his shirt.

“To begin, Nadia,” he said softly and with light sarcasm. “Less is more.”

“Is that right,” smarting she snapped, tipping her chin high to glare into his eyes, deliberately digging her nails into his skin now. 

He leaned closer, resting his hands on the wall behind her as he bent, his words whispering across her face. “Anticipation is everything, didn’t you know?”

“It’s only everything, if the end result is a disappointment,” she said caustically. “If the end result was all as amazing as it’s meant to be, then the anticipation would be forgotten in the heat.”

“Oh you’re wrong,” he smiled. “You need to live moment by moment,” his head lowered. “It’s much more fun.” He paused, his mouth a millimetre from hers as he gently instructed. “You start with lots of soft, teasing touches.”

His lips brushed hers lightly, just the once. But the second she went to snap back at him he did it again. Then again and again and again. Until it was lots – like he’d said. Not deep hungry kisses but slivers of rich sensuality that made her open her mouth for more before she’d thought to stop it. Then she couldn’t think at all – she only wanted to move closer for more.

But he kept them light. Lifting back as she tilted towards him. 

“Uh huh,” he teased. “You keep it the same – don’t go deeper until she’s begging.”

With one hand he played her like an instrument, gliding one finger after the other across her neck. Not making music, but pleasure, with gentle touches. But she knew the strength was there.

And she wanted it.

To be in the draw to win a copy of Dating and Other Dangers, tell us if you have a date-gone-wrong story – or even a little embarrassing ‘Oh no’ moment from a date.

On my first date with the guy who’d become my husband, he took me to a lovely restaurant and it was super delicious! But when I went to the powder room after the main I saw I’d somehow splattered droplets of sauce all over my top.

Happily, my display of gluttony didn’t seem to put him off… so share a moment if you have one, or just leave a comment to be in to win!

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Christmas at Candlebark Farm by Michelle Douglas will be posted!


  1. Congrats Kez

    I so love this excerpt and smooch looking forward to reading this one.

    As for embarassing moments on a date I would have to really think back a long time for that and I gotta say I have often spilt gravy on my top not a pretty sight and then of course trying to clean it off leaves a very wet patch LOL

    Have Fun

  2. Love the back cover blurb, Natalie, and love the kiss. This sounds like a really fun book -- can't wait to read it!

  3. LOL Helen - yes, I'm frequently guilty of the sauce stains on the top!!! Poor Nadia has to contend with a little worse than that in this story though!

  4. Emily - yes, think this is my most fun story to date - was certainly a total giggle to write - I hope readers find it as much fun :)

  5. Wow!!!! I'll be buying this book for **sure**. I can see why you had so much fun writing it!

    MEDM (Most Embarrassing Dating Moment)...Let try to think. There were so many of them. Fortunately I never dated a man who didn't have a sense of humor.
    Okay, I guess the one that really stands out to me is the time, just after I'd gotten engaged, when I decided to cook dinner for my fiance (now my husband) and his flatmate. Both were big guys--six footers plus--and so meat and spuds were part of the menu.

    But take it from me, NEVER try doing something you've never done before... er... in terms of recipes or tweaks... on an occasion where you really want to shine.

    I'd read somewhere that if you want mashed potatoes to be light and fluffy then you add a little baking soda to them. Or was it baking powder? No, it was baking soda. But didn't baking powder make things rise? Yeah. Must be baking powder.

    Whatever. How much difference would it make?

    Let's just say it was the difference between having nice white fluffy potatoes and bright PURPLE fluffy potatoes. Let's leave out the whole "Litmus paper" thing about turning acid to alkaline... or was it the other way around?--you can see science is still **not** my strong point--by adding vinegar to the purple to try and turn them white again. Which, sigh, made them utterly inedible.

    In fact, why don't we draw a veil over the entire meal and listen to the sound track, instead? At least that way you can only hear the hoots of laughter from both guys and you can't see my crimson face.

    The apple crumble was excellent though!

  6. What an awesome smooch, Natalie. Thank you for sharing. I'm loving Nadia and Ethan already and will be adding Dating and other Dangers to my TBR list :)I love fun reads.

    My most embarassing dating moment was being dumped in a bar while on a blind date. He abandoned me in the crowd in favour of a leggy blonde. Without giving away my age, I had to borrow 10c from the barman to call a friend to rescue me. My Knight in Shining Armour (a work colleague and the only person I could think of to call in my distraught state) rushed to my rescue, paid my debt to the barman (which by then included a couple of drinks), took me home, made me a mug of hot chocolate and listened to my sad tale with a sympathetic ear. We were married two years later ...

  7. Great post and some funny dates. My friend once when on a blind date after meeting on-line. The man was plain in his photo but had a great voice & personality on the phone. The live date was a nightmare. He was about 20yrs older and wore a wig. Which went slightly askew as he dipped his head to deal with his soup. To top it off, he talked over everything she started to say and was determined to be seen as witty/funny. If she made a spontaneous joke, he brushed it off and went back to gibbering away incessantly with his 'humour.' As soon as he hit the men's room, she raced out the door leaving him a note saying she just got an call and had to travel to Siberia - no idea when she'd be back. The date lasted almost an hour, the telling entertained us for 3hrs!

  8. What a great premise, and gorgeous excerpt!! I can tell this is gonna be one of my fave Nat Anderson reads!

    I have a similar blind date story. When I worked in advertising I spoke with a guy from a radio station regularly who had the sexiest voice. When he asked to meet me for lunch one day, I sighed imagining what he might look like. Well, it was hunch-backed, acned, undertall. But, yes, the voice was divine!

  9. Hi Gracie! LOL - that's so funny about the potatoes - think my kids would LOVE purple potatoes - shame it rendered them inedible!!!
    Yay for Apple Crumb - one of my favourite dishes and a sure way to a man's heart ;)

  10. Juanita - I am LOVING your story - was a super Knight In Shining Armour you got there! That's straight out of an M&B story that really is - and who says romance is unrealistic!!! I love it :)

  11. Vicki Lee - oh no! What a shocker of a date for your poor friend - some guys just have no clue! Do think the dating thing can be so 'hairy' at times - lol ;)

  12. Ho no Robyn - that's the 'video killed the radio star' deal isn't it?! What a let down...

    It can be so darn hard to find the right guy don't you think? But SOMETIMES, it's the one who we think is SO wrong, just a total flat out NO WAY (like Ethan up there!) who's actually perfect! :)

  13. Natalie, I think mine was when I was set up on a blind date at a dinner party (so all my friends were there to witness).

    Now in my defence I am colour blind, but the choc-mint cheesecake slice I took along for dessert apparently wasn't tinted the lovely gentle green I was aiming for (just a little brighter ).

    Right before dessert was brough out someone mentioned to my date I'd brought cheesecake. He promptly regaled us with the tale of a dinner he went to where someone had tinted the mint cheesecake glow-in-the-dark green (he obviously thought the story very funny).

    Needless to say, moments later when my dessert was put on the table I'm not sure who was glowing more - me or the cheesecake.

  14. Oh no - Anita - that must have been a moment! I'm cringing for you - but laughing at the same time! Think blind dates with witnesses are extra cruel! :)

  15. I loved reading this Natalie. Another one to add to my collection.
    On a first date once I walked a guy around and around a block in the city for an hour giving him the opportunity to have a private smooch with me. He didn't take the bait. There was a second date (surprisingly) and I walked him around a safari park for an hour giving him ample opportunity to have a smooch. He didn't take the bait. Eventually exasperated I just said 'Are you going to kiss me or not?' He shrugged and said 'I was waiting for you to ask!' Clearly he liked the direct approach and wasn't into subliminal messages!

  16. Lovely smooch Nat!
    My TBR pile is going to be sliding off my bedside table soon!! LOL

  17. Yowee! Natalie! Nadia is in big, big trouble! Super smooch!

  18. Great Sunday Smooch, Natalie!

    I wanted to impress a friend/crush who complained he was hungry for a home-cooked meal. I invited him to my place for dinner. Unfortunately, at that time, my cooking skills were somewhat lacking and I ended up with charred baked chicken. Luckily my crush was a good sport and very complimentary even though I noticed he cut or scraped off the crunchiest burned parts of chicken.

    We started dating shortly after that and have now been married almost 5 years. I am also happy to report I am a much better cook now!

  19. LOL Abina - that's so funny :) I hope the kiss was worth the walking/wait! :)

  20. Mel & Sharon - thanks- glad you enjoyed the excerpt :)

  21. Erin - I love it that for many of us, we've ended up marrying the man who endured our most embarrassing dating experiences with us!!! Hmm... there's definitely a story or three in that! :)

  22. Hi,

    Most embarrassing first date (and a blind one at that) was we were driving on the highway and he lost his hubcab and started to reverse (while traffic was coming) in order for him to retrieve it! At first I was scared then the embarrassment set in! Diane S.

  23. Hi. I missed my Saturday night smooch and it was such a great one Natalie. Very tantalizing.

    Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me was splitting my hot pink pants while riding on the back of a motorcycle. First and last time I rode on one. Had a quite breezy ride down a mountain for about 17 miles with a lot of cars filled with tourists coming by, No way could they miss the split in the hot pink pants. Oh well I'm still alive to talk about it. The date I was with thought it was quite funny. I was working at a restaurant in a tourist town and living in a dorm just off the kitchen so I climbed through the window so the cook wouldn't see what happened to me. My date helped me do it and was laughing the whole time. He was just traveling through so I didn't have to see him anymore.

  24. cant wait to book I can remember a few bad first dates----lyn