Nov 13, 2011

Sunday Smooch!

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from The Secretary's Secret by Michelle Douglas, but first ...

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

Congratulations, Linda! Can you please contact Susan at susan-gee-heino (at) yahoo (dot) com, and she'll send you copies of Mistress by Mistake, Damsel in Disguise, and Temptress in Training.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Secretary's Secret by Michelle Douglas ...

Expecting a secret bundle of joy!
With one last look in the mirror, Kit Mercer prepares to face her boss—surely he can't wait to sweep her into his arms again and declare his love?

Actually, what Alex Hallam does is tell her their fling can't continue. He knows it's the right thing to do—after his ex-wife's lies, is he really ready for a relationship with sweet, lovely Kit?

Until Kit reveals she's pregnant! Swapping the boardroom and working lunches for the baby clinic and wake-up feeds, they'll get more than they bargained for…. Maybe even swapping their business contract for a marriage certificate!

[Set up: Kit is pregnant with Alex’s child, but Alex is far from ready for fatherhood. They are sitting on a break water overlooking the ocean when, for the first time, Kit feels the baby kick. She grabs Alex’s hand and presses it to her stomach, hoping it will forge a connection between him and the baby.]

His eyes widened. 'This is the first time?'

She couldn't get the grin off her face. 'The very first time.'

Alex's wonder made him look younger. The grooves either side of his mouth eased, the creases around his eyes relaxed and the darkness in his irises abated, his lips tilted up at the corners, and it all made Kit catch her breath.

Beneath her hand, his hand tensed. She dropped her gaze to stare at their two hands. Neither one of them moved, and in less than a heartbeat desire licked along her veins. She wanted to lift her gaze and memorize every line and feature of his face, the texture of his skin, while she could. So she could have this memory for ever.

She didn't need to look up to do that, though. His every feature was already branded on her brain. She knew that dark stubble peppered his jaw. Alex needed to shave every day, but he'd skipped that chore this morning, eager to get started on the painting instead. Her palm itched to sample that roughness, her tongue burned to trace it, to taste tease him.

Today he looked more like a disreputable pirate than a civilized businessman and a thrill coursed through her at the danger she sensed simmering just beneath the surface.

Finally obeying the silent command she sensed in him, she lifted her gaze to his. At the edge of his right eyebrow was a tiny nick, as if he'd once had a stitch there. She'd always meant to ask him about it, but her breath came in shallow gulps and her pulse had gone so erratic she didn't trust her voice not to give her away.

His eyes burned dark and hot as they travelled over her, and her soul sang at the possessiveness that transformed his features. No longer afraid of revealing her desire for him, she lowered her gaze to his lips. Need, hunger, thirst all speared into her. Her lips parted. Her eyes searched out his again, pleading with him to sate her need. If she couldn't taste him just one more time she thought she might die.

Something midway between a groan and a growl emerged from his throat. His hand tightened on her stomach. Her hand tightened over his. Yes! Oh, please, yes!

Still Alex held back, his eyes devouring her face as if he was picturing in vivid detail every caress he meant to place there. He didn't lift his hand from her abdomen and it felt like a promise. His fingers splayed, sending darts of need right into the core of her, making her tremble with the intensity of her desire.

His other hand came up to cup her face, his thumb traced the outline of her bottom lip, dipped into the moistness of her mouth, traced her lips again, moved back and forth over them as if to sensitize them to the utmost limit of their endurance before taking her to the next level with his lips and mouth and tongue.

She started to pant, wanted to beg him for his lips, his mouth, his tongue, but still his mouth didn't descend. With a low growl she flicked her tongue across his thumb. He stiffened as if electrified. She drew his thumb into her mouth, circled it with her tongue, suckled it until his eyes darkened to obsidian.

And then finally, slowly, inexorably, his head lowered and her blood started to sing. His body blocked out the sun and, as he moved closer, all she could see was the light reflected in his eyes. His lips touched hers, moved over hers—surely, reverently, thoroughly—her eyes fluttered closed and, as the kiss deepened, light burst behind her eyelids. Every wonderful Christmas, every sun-drenched summer and visiting dolphin, every bright and beautiful thing that had ever existed in her life gained a new vitality in that kiss.

The need and the energy, it took her and Alex and merged them into a sparkling, flaming oneness until, body and soul, she didn't know where she ended and Alex began. It was the kind of kiss to shape worlds and change lives. It shifted the foundations of her world and all she believed about herself.

Alex eased away from Kit. He didn't know for how long they'd kissed. He barely knew which way was up. Very slowly he drew his hands away—one from her face, one from her stomach. He tried to stop his legs from jerking in reaction.

'Are you okay?'

Her voice came out soft and husky, as if he'd kissed all her breath away. Served her right for kissing his breath clean away too.

He nodded and cleared his throat. 'And you?'

'Oh, yes.'

She had stars in her eyes! No woman should look at him like that.

An imaginary noose pulled tight around his neck, and yet for a moment all he could see was the shine on her lips and he ached to sample them again.

'I'm...' He cleared his throat again. 'I'm sorry.' 'I'm not.'

'It can't happen again.'

'I'll be holding my breath till it does.'

He closed his eyes. He was in way over his head.

Michelle is giving away a signed copy of The Secretary's Secret. To be in the draw, tell us what you think Kit and Alex should call their soon-to-be new arrival.

The Secetary's Secret is out now in the UK and
will be on North American shelves in December
and in Australia/NZ in January 2012!

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Natalie Anderson will be posted!


  1. Michelle

    Oh that was wonderful I loved it can't wait to read the whole book love your stories
    As for a name for the new arrival Riley would be good for either a boy or a girl

    Have Fun

  2. Woohoo! Michelle, that's a corker of a kiss! I'm fanning myself here.

    Loved the fact too that Alex immediately felt the noose tightening around his neck - it means there's a lot to be resolved, and by the look of that excerpt it's going to be fun reading the resolution.

    As for a name how about Liam for a boy or Connor?

  3. Aww, thank, Helen. So glad you enjoyed it.

    Ooh, Riley! I love that name. Am jotting it down as we speak. I try to keep a collection of names for future characters and I'm pretty certain Riley is going to figure in my future somewhere. :-) Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Hi Annie,

    Yes, well, there's quite a bit of, ahem...heat between this pair. And Alex sure has a lot to work through before he can breathe freely again. But you're right -- that's part of the fun. :-)

    Liam is one of my favourite names. Love Connor too. Great suggestions!

  5. Sounds like a great read!
    The baby shoud be named Rhys.

  6. Thanks, Chey! And thanks for Rhys-- it's a gorgeous name,

  7. That is so hot!

    I think if the baby is a boy he should be called Robert and if the baby is a girl she should be called Constance.

  8. Kaelee, you sound like a woman who might enjoy a bit of heat. :-) (I'm talking about in a romance novel, of course. LOL)

    Robert and Constance -- ooh, they sound like a wonderful leading man and woman in their own romance. Thanks for the names!

  9. Michelle, I'm all swoony after reading that kiss! Can't wait to read the full book.

    Names for their baby... What about Hope for a girl, since she's the one who brings her parents together? And for a boy, he could be named after his dad, but be called Xander?

  10. Rachel, what a smashing word -- swoony! I love it. And I love the fact that the kiss made you feel that way. :-)

    Aww, Hope would be a gorgeous name for Kit and Alex's baby. I love Xander too -- it sounds so strong and upright. Both are excellent choices.

  11. I think I might have made swoony up. =) I tried spelling it with an e (swooney) and without, but think I liked swoony best.

    Btw, I think smashing is a smashing word too! One of my faves.

  12. I definitely think you made swoony up (and I like it better without the e too). I think it's smashing when someone makes up an evocative word. And you seemed to do it with such swimming (another fave word of mine) ease. ;-)

  13. Oh, swimming is such a fine-lookin' word! In fact, not twenty minutes ago, I was emailing with our own Leah and I signed off by saying, hope your revisions are going swimmingly. We are *so* on the same page, word-wise today!

    And have you noticed they're all words that being with S? Is that serendipity or synchronicity, I wonder?

  14. Oh, those S-words are so sweet! Serendipity is indeed a swoony word. Synchronicity just snaps!

    I was once privy to a discussion that voted "summer breeze" as the two most beautiful words in the English language (taken together, of course).

    I'm partial to epiphany too. Those soft p's and f sounds make me sigh.

  15. Wow! Michelle, that is such a delicious kiss!

    I know what I'm slipping into my Xmas stocking - a copy of The Secretary's Secret!


  16. Michelle, what an awesome kiss. Can't wait to read the book.
    And is Lexie too captain obvious as a girl's name? Boys names? Well, Andrew, for no other reason than I just love the name. Just as well I've only ever had to name puppies and foals and not babies :)

  17. Thanks, Sharon (love that word delicious too!). :-)

    Ooh, Christmas stockings! Books... mmm hmm... my favourite Christmas goodies.

  18. Lexie!!!!!! Why didn't I think of that? LOL, excellent pick up, Helen. Andrew was my favourite name when I was a teenager -- another good, strong-sounding name.

    Along with all those puppies and foals, don't forget you have to name heroes and heroines now too! :-) I love it when I find just the right name for a character.

  19. Sweet kiss Michelle, especially after what they just shared. A baby's first kick.

    Maybe they should call their child- Alix- if boy or Alexa- if girl?

    Want to read this book...NOW!


    How about gorgeous George? Without the gorgeous part. Imagine THAT following you around all your life. (Take note I feel it's a boy.)

  21. Nas, I really love Alexa as a girl's name, it's beautiful.

    So pleased you liked the kiss, and I hope when you do read the book, that it lives up to expectations! Thanks for dropping by!

  22. Oh, Marybelle, LOL! I now have to have a hero called gorgeous George -- it's too fabulous for words!

  23. Michelle, I always enjoy your excerpts but...YUM! This was extra good. Can wait for the OZ release =)

  24. Aww, thanks, Robbie! So pleased you enjoyed it. :-)

  25. I kind of like Reece which could be either male or female.

  26. Hi Ellen, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Reece too. I like names that can be used for either a boy or a girl.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  27. Sorry I'm late for such a smashing smooch! You get so much emotion into so few words, Michelle. I'm zinging.


  28. Aw, thanks, Cath! I'm convinced a bit of "zinging" is good for a gal. ;-)

  29. Kaz Delaney says:
    Wow, the Kiss Mistress is in the House.

    The Divine Miss M has done it again!

    Gorgeous, Michelle. Another rockin' read for Christmas. Can't wait.

  30. Aw, thanks for the kind words, Kaz.

    The Divine Miss M, huh? I like it! :-)

    Wishing you lots of Christmas kisses and rockin' reads this holiday season.

  31. Coming in so very late (sorry). Lots of tension between those two! Loved the scene, Michelle. And I am definitely going to get my hands on a copy when it is finally released in Oz.

  32. Hi, Anita, early or late, we LoveCats don't mind what time you drop in! So pleased you enjoyed the smooch. Hope you enjoy the book -- it comes with the golden stamp of approval from my Grandma who thinks it's my best book yet (but she may be biased as the book is dedicated to her, and Tuncurry--where the book is set--is one of her favourite places in the world).

    Really appreciate you taking a moment to drop by. :-)