May 13, 2012

Sunday Smooch!

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from The Man Who Saw Her Beauty by Michelle Douglas, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is – Ella A!

Congratulations, Ella! Can you please contact Natalie at natalie (at) natalie-anderson (dot) com and she'll send you a copy of First Time Lucky.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Man Who Saw Her Beauty by Michelle Douglas ...

Blair Macintyre's daily routine: put on a brave face, and try not to be so distracted by unnervingly gorgeous Nick Conway...

All Blair wants is to be normal. To be the Blair B.C. -- before cancer. She's determined to show her friends she's okay...even if it means bluffing.

There's only one person who doesn't treat her with kid gloves. In fact, Nick Conway doesn't treat her with any gloves whatsoever--especially when saying exactly what he thinks of her helping his daughter in a beauty pageant!

Soon Nick is getting under Blair's skin--and defences. Maybe he's the one to show her she's just as beautiful as before.

[Blair and Nick have developed a tentative friendship. In this scene they're on a picnic, but the rest of their picnic companions have gone for a bush walk...leaving them alone.]

She glanced up...and drowned in the sight and scent of her picnic companion, at the expression in the warm brown depths of his eyes—sympathy, understanding, hunger. The pulse at the base of his jaw pounded. She watched that pulse, counted the beats, felt her own body quicken in answer and fall into tempo with it.
Ba-boom. Ba-boom. Surely he must hear it?
The expression in his eyes heated her flesh. The heat started in her neck, her cheeks, and then flashed down through the rest of her body, stealing her strength. Even though she'd promised herself that the warmth would not beguile her.
But the heat cascading though her now was like nothing she'd ever experienced, and Nick smelled of sun-warmed grasses and soap and cotton and it made her forget bad things. It made her remember she was only thirty-six.
He leaned closer, slugging her anew with his scent and his heat. She could see a tiny nick on his chin where he must have cut himself shaving this morning. And still the pulse in his jaw pounded. His eyes darkened. His gaze dropped to her lips. Her breath caught and her lips parted the merest fraction. The merest fraction, perhaps, but he noticed.
His gaze lifted back to hers, his eyes dark and fiery. 'I'm going to kiss you city girl.'
He wrapped a finger around a lock of her hair and she didn't even flinch.
'Why?' She reached up to press the flat of her palm against his cheek.
'Because you're beautiful.'
Not any more she wasn't. Even if his eyes told her otherwise. She moved her hand experimentally. Beneath her hand his skin was firm and hot. Her fingers prickled with the urge to explore further.
'And because I like you.'
Her mouth dropped open.
'And because I can't get the thought of it out of my head.'
Pity, she told herself as his lips swooped down to hers. This was a pity kiss.
And then all thought fled, because this was no tentative I-might-hurt-her kind of kiss. It was strong and sure and hungry, and it demanded that she take part or back off now. The strength of his passion knocked her preconceptions sideways. She hadn't meant this to go beyond a brief touch of the lips. But...
There were no kid gloves as he cupped her face with both his hands to drag her lips more fully against his, as his tongue swept across hers, daring her to dance and revel and enjoy. This was straight man-and-woman passion. No hiding, no games...and no pity. It was so heady and so liberating that Blair found herself kissing him back with a fervour she hadn't known she had.
She shuffled closer to him on her knees. Her hands crept around either side of his neck, revelling in the strong column of his throat. The short hair at his nape tantalised her palms. Her hunger built and built and he matched it, kiss for kiss, caress for caress, until she found herself needing to get closer and closer. She crawled right into his lap, straddling it. His hands caressed her backside as their bodies strained against the barriers of their clothes towards each other until there was barely an inch of space between them. And not once did they break the kiss.
Finally she had to drag her mouth away to draw much-needed air into oxygen-starved lungs. Nick pressed slow, drugging kisses to her neck, and she couldn't hold back a moan or the wanton way her body arched against his mouth.
It was magic, like Sleeping Beauty coming to life at her Prince's kiss. And she wanted more!
And then something wrong, out of place, made her still...
She realised what it was—her prosthesis. An alien and ugly thing, pressing against Nick's chest and her even uglier scar.
Blair flung herself off Nick's lap, unable to meet his eye as she readjusted her clothes with fingers that shook.
'What the hell...?'
'That shouldn't have happened.'

The Man Who Saw Her Beauty is out now in North America and will be released in Aust/NZ in June.

To be in the draw to win a signed copy of The Man Who Saw Her Beauty, have you ever had a memorable picnic experience, or do you prefer 5 star dining?

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from Undone By His Touch by Annie West will be posted!


  1. That is one hot smooch!

    I love to have a picnic anywhere there is a stream running close by. The last picnic I was on took place on March 27th. We went to Waterton National Park and sat on a bench that was in the middle of a snow drift and watched Cameron Falls tumble over the rocks and ice. Subway sandwiches never tasted so good.

  2. Hi Michelle - what an absolutely fabulous smooch. I'm really looking forward to reading the book.

  3. Michelle, what a gorgeous kiss! Sigh! Congratulations on the release of THE MAN WHO SAW HER BEAUTY! Actually got to say I'm not crazy about sitting on the ground. Like a chair!

  4. Kaelee, your picnic in march sounds divine! There's just something so soothing about running water -- it always makes me feel calm and at peace. :-)

  5. Glad you enjoyed the kiss, Anna, and thanks for the congrats. :-)

    I will admit to loving sprawling on a blanket in the sun/shade, but...I am absolutely positively not a lover of a wet butt. Shall remember to bring you chair if I ever invite you on a picnic. ;-)

  6. Picnics always sound so romantic, but I'm with the group who aren't fond of wet butts, mozzies, ant bites and sunburn. But if I can find a picnic location that avoids these things, I'll be there with bells on!

    Super smooch. I think I'm going to love this book. :)

  7. I hope that you do *love* it, Rach. :-) know, there's absolutely nothing wrong with sitting on a lovely balcony somewhere overlooking a gorgeous view with a glass of bubbles (or a mug of tea) in hand -- it could be a nice way to avoid mossies, ants, wet butts and sunburn methinks.

  8. Michelle, I'm in. Name the balcony with the view and the bubbles and I'll meet you there. :)

  9. August -- the Gold Coast! I'm sure I'll be able to find a balcony somewhere. :-)

  10. I do not like picnics. I seem to attract every bug within a fifty mile radius - & their cousins. It's often dirty, wet & the food has not survived the trip.

    I go on a picnic & I would willingly sell my first born for one star let alone 5.

    5 star smooch though!!

  11. congrts on the new release :)

    i love picnic and sometimes love 5 star dining *grin

  12. I can't believe there are so many picnic -poopers amongst us! Love me a picnic - mostly becuase the food's already done, no dishes to do. The snooze in the sun afterwards is the best bit, though. Love Blair and Nick's picnic smooch, Michelle!

  13. Michelle, I so badly want to read on and see what happens next. What a marvellous excerpt. I'm so looking forward to reading THE MAN WHO SAW HER BEAUTY.

    Love picnics though as my husband's not a fan I don't get as many as I'd like. There's something about eating outdoors, often in some beautiful spot, that's fun, especially when you include a few kids and a game or two, or maybe a stream to dabble in.

  14. Michelle, this is why I love romance! What a powerful excerpt. Like Annie, I so want to read on. So it'll be out on Aussie/NZ shelves in June...not long to wait!

  15. LOL, Marybelle, it doesn't sound as if you've had much luck with picnics. I think perhaps it'd be better for you to find a nice quiet spot in a cafe somewhere where you could enjoy the view -- and avoid bugs and bad weather. ;-)

  16. Hi Eli,

    Exactly! Some days are for picnics and some days are for 5 star dining -- depending how the mood takes us...and, perhaps, who our dinner companion happens to be. ;-)

  17. Ah, Barb, a picnic lover! I have to agree -- food already prepared and no dishes are a win-win situation. That snooze in the sun afterwards is the cherry on the top of the sundae.

  18. Thanks, Annie, so glad you enjoyed the excerpt. And yay! another vote in the pro-picnic camp. You've sold me -- sunshine, running water, laughter and yummy food, it's a hard combination to beat.

  19. Thanks, Robbie! Some books grab your heart extra hard when you're writing them, and this one did that to me. I hope you enjoy it!

  20. What a super kiss, Michelle. I wish I had picnic kisses like that!

    I'm like Annie, love picnics but I have a picnic-phobic hubbie. I take myself on little picnics to the beach every now and again. Nothing like the taste of food when you're in the fresh air.


  21. My picnics have always been with my immediate family. Whenever we go on long trips, we get out the blanket (or blankets now that we are all adults), and out comes all the food. (I am always prepared!)
    Let's see now ... memorable ... well, there was the time we went with my DH's brothers and their families across a ferry to an island, and we all sat at the picnic tables lined up. Our little ones ran around us trying to reach the sea gulls that were swooping in, looking for food. ... Then there's the one in "the big city" where we found a pair of glasses buried in the dirt beside us ... and the time we ate standing up inside an underground garage before entering a huge mall for the day - we had been sitting for the four-hour drive there and didn't want to sit any longer, so we stood outside the van and gabbed while eating.
    So many picnics, so little time.... I enjoy them all the more (than 5-star restaurants), as I can control my sugar/salt intake and know how much I can eat of everything (or not eat).
    BTW, I loved the excerpt provided and look forward to reading the book. Thank you for sharing....

  22. This book sounds great!
    I remember some great picnics with friends and family at the beach when I was a kid.

  23. Catherine, I think there's nothing like a picnic kiss to liven up the day. :-)

    Oh, a picnic at the beach! I must do that sometime soon -- the smell of salt, the sound of the breakers...and fish and chips. It all works so well together.

  24. Oh, Laney, you and your family sound like picnic experts! I'd choose the island picnic -- it sounded magical. But, you know, I completely understand the joy of your pre-shopping spree picnic too.

    And, thanks, so glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  25. Hi Chey,

    The picnics of my childhood are still so vivid too. Summer days that seemed to last forever where everyone seemed so happy and carefree. Happy sighs.