Mar 22, 2015

Sunday Smooch - The Sheikh's Princess Bride

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from  Annie West but first 

... the two winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Kaelee.

Can you please contact stefanie (at) stefanie-london (dot) com to receive your copy of THE TYCOON'S STOWAWAY.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from Annie West's THE SHEIKH'S PRINCESS BRIDE.
Wanted: royal bride and mother 

For Sheikh Tariq of Al-Sharath, one miserable marriage was enough. With a kingdom to rule, he has no time—or wish—to find a bride, but his children need a mother.  

Could Princess Samira of Jazeer be the answer? Samira has sampled passion, and it left a bad taste. With the knowledge she can't have the children she's always wanted, Samira steps into Tariq's ready-made family. Her only condition? No sex! 

Samira thought royal duties and her love for Tariq's children would fill the hole in her heart, but a craving is building that only the sheikh's touch can cure…

Scene set-up

Tariq has given his new bride, Samira, a wedding gift, a workroom designed specifically to meet her needs. This unexpected and thoughtful gift from the man she's always admired, but vowed to keep at a physical distance, undercuts her caution and her resolve. (And if you want to know why she tries to keep him at a distance you'll have to read the book!)

Smooch  -

Everywhere she looked, in every drawer and corner, was something that pleased her.

Slowly she turned, taking in the careful thought and attention to detail that had gone into making this the ideal workroom.

She blinked hard as she recognised the ancient, slightly saggy lounge chair she’d used for the past four years when she wanted to curl up and sketch. Beside it was a small wooden table inlaid with mother of pearl. It held a sketch pad like the one she always used and a variety of crayons and pencils.

‘Your sister-in-law helped me with the details. She sent through photos of your workshop in Jazeera.’

‘But this is…’ the words stuck in Samira’s throat. ‘This is far, far better. It’s perfect.’ She’d never had a custom made studio. Despite her growing success she’d worked out of a large room she’d adapted in her brother’s palace. But this – it was amazing. And it had been created especially for her.

A wave of excitement crashed over her, making her blood tingle. She itched to get to work here.

Samira pivoted to find Tariq just behind her. She grabbed his hand in both of hers, enthusiasm buoying her.

‘I don’t know how to thank you.’ She shook her head, brim full of emotion. He’d done this for her. No gift had ever been so special, so very right. ‘Words don’t seem enough.’

‘Then don’t use words.’ His glinting eyes challenged her, as if he knew she felt overfull, needing an outlet for the surge of elation and wonder she felt.

Samira’s breath hitched in automatic denial, the shutters she’d so carefully built instantly coming up to guard her from this over-emotional response.

She saw the moment he read the change in her. The moment his gaze altered from challenging to disappointed.

The moment he realised she didn’t have the guts to follow through.

When he saw how scared she was.

In that instant the truth blasted her. She had all the emotions of other women. She felt pain and hope and delight, but she’d spent years bottling them up, hiding them from the world and herself. Because she was scared they’d make her weak.

She’d let Jackson Brent do that to her.

No, she corrected. She’d done it to herself.

Her nostrils flared in disgust and inadvertently she drew in the heady spice aroma of Tariq. It sent a trickle of feminine pleasure coursing through her.

She’d even learned to repress that in the last few years, hadn’t she? She hadn’t been interested in a man, much less turned on by one in four years. She hadn’t let herself.

Suddenly Samira saw herself as Tariq must – wary to the point of being pathetic.

Was she? Or was she merely cautious? Sensible to protect herself?

But there was a difference between being cautious and being a coward. Last night she’d been a coward and the knowledge was bitter on her tongue. All this time she’d told herself she was being strong. But in reality-

Samira let go of Tariq’s hand, instead planting a steadying palm on his hard chest, the other on his shoulder as she rose on tiptoe.

Light flared in those cool eyes, but he didn’t move, merely stood stock still, waiting.

She realised she’d stopped breathing and exhaled then drew in a deep breath redolent of desert spice and hot man. Tariq. His scent enticed. Could he possibly taste as good? Suddenly she had to know.

Samira slipped her hand from his shoulder up to the back of his head, pulling till his mouth was a whisper from hers.

Atavistic warning clawed through her, screaming that she was about to cross a point of no return.

For once need overrode caution. The need to trust herself, just a little. The need for a man’s touch.

Her eyes closed as she pressed her mouth to his. His lips were warm and inviting. She angled her head a little, kissing him again, enjoying his hard body against hers, the pleasure of his mouth touching hers.

Samira’s other hand snaked up to wrap around his neck, holding him tight as she worked tiny kisses along the tantalising seam of his lips. She felt the exhale of his breath through his nostrils, harder than before, and licked where before she’d kissed. He felt so good. This felt so good. If only-

Delicious pleasure hit as he opened his mouth, sucking her tongue inside, drawing her into delight. It was so sudden, so powerfully erotic, that she crumpled at the knees, clinging to his tall frame as his arms wrapped her close.

His mouth worked hers, drawing her to him, delving her depths so she had no option but to surrender that last skerrick of caution.

Samira was captivated. Her whole body came alive in a way she’d never known. Surely no kiss had been like this – a slow kindling that burned bright and satisfying, even as it demanded more and yet more?

She arched, moulding herself inch by inch to that strong body she hadn’t been able to put from her mind. Still her lips clung to his, hungrier now as his grew more urgent and a new fire ignited low in her body. Her hands tightened on him. Ripples of heat traced her skin, eddying at her breasts, her pelvis. At her back and hip where he held her so securely.

Her heart was hammering as she tore her lips away, gasping for air. Yet it wasn’t lack of oxygen that made her withdraw, but shock at how a thank you kiss had turned into something completely different. Gratitude and excitement had turned to curiosity, to pleasure and then, almost, to surrender.

She wanted nothing so much as to kiss him again, to lose herself in him.

Samira shivered, suddenly cold despite the hot pulse of blood under her skin. Fear warred with elation.

Tariq still held her, his gaze hooded, waiting, and her stomach churned.

She swallowed, trying to find her voice and not betray rising panic. ‘That was…’

His mouth tilted a little at one corner. ‘Delightful?’ he mused in a low murmur that trawled through her insides, tying her in knots.

‘Unexpected,’ she gasped.

‘A taste of things to come.’ His smile deepened, his hold tightening just a fraction.

You can grab a copy of 'The Sheikh's Princess Bride' at all the usual places including
Barnes and Noble and
The Book Depository

Have you ever had a completely unexpected gift? One that moved you? Or have you perhaps given one to someone else? Leave a response to be in the draw to win a signed copy of 'The Sheikh's Princess Bride'.

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

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver


  1. Oh Annie

    WOOHOO I am falling into this book next should be today can't wait :)

    Just after I lost my Mum hubby went and got some photos from our wedding of me and Mum and had them framed in this beautiful frame and it did bring me to tears

    Have Fun

    1. Helen, I hope you enjoy this one! Today's a great day for reading here - cool and wet.

      What a thoughtful man your husband is. A truly lovely gift, just when you needed it!

  2. Gorgeous smooch, Annie. No need to put me in the draw - I already have this wonderful story. Guys, get out there and grab THE SHEIKH'S PRINCESS BRIDE. It's absolutely luscious!

    1. Hi Anna. Glad you enjoyed the smooch, and thanks so much for the kind words. Love to have my work described as 'luscious'!

  3. Hi Annie - hot smooch. The books looks awesome and look forward to reading it. Best gift? I think the one that has meant the most is when I sold my first book and my husband bought me a carriage clock and had it engraved - part of it said "Congratulations - Time Well Spent" . :)

    1. Helen, what a wonderful gift! Your husband sounds like a really thoughtful guy - I love those! I bet you treasure it.

      Thanks for the feedback on the smooch. I'm so glad it hit the spot!

  4. LOVE the smooch. I had to look up 'atavistic' - great word.

    My son is a sweetie. He will turn up with all kinds of things that he knows I will enjoy, like my favorite ice-cream for example.

    1. Hi Mary, your son sounds like a sweetie. Mine's the same! We must have done something right...

      So glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Atavistic is a great word, isn't it? I confess I always get distracted looking up dictionaries - so many great words.

  5. Oh wow, sensual writing at its best! I think I'm in love!

    1. Hi Devika,

      I fell in love with Tariq when I wrote this book so that makes two of us. I'm so pleased you enjoyed the excerpt.

  6. Ooh, very nice, Ms West. I'm really looking forward to this one. :-)

    Ah, the surprise gift. Mr Douglas surprises me quite often with the perfect pressie. When I told him I was driving to Canberra for ARRC, he went out and bought me a GPS -- he has experience with my sense of direction. ;-)

    1. Michelle, I'm so pleased to hear that! Hope you have fun with it.

      What a guy that Mr Douglas is - thoughtful and practical! You've got to love that!

  7. What a fabulous scene, Annie.

    My daughter loves going out and picking flowers for me. Makes my heart melt every time! Simple but so heart-felt.

    1. Hi Jenn. Smiling that you enjoyed the scene!

      Oh, how sweet of your daughter! I can definitely understand your heart melting. She sounds lovely.

  8. I have received many surprise gifts in the last 50+ years it is hard to single one out -- I am waiting to read this book ---Lyn

    1. Hi Lyn, how terrific to be showered with nice surprises. You must have great friends and family!

      Hope you enjoy the book!

  9. A very sensual scene, Annie, but all your writing is :-)

    A gift received - years ago my husband brought me a water lilly flower carefully placed on a hanky in his lunch box. He's hopeless at buying gifts (I'm sure shopping scares him), but this was an extra special gift as I knew he would have had to wade into the dam under the (probably laughing) eyes of his workmates to get it for me. A gift to treasure.
    A gift given - a friend's granddaughter whom I hadn't seen in 16 years, needed her kitten spayed or she had to give it away because that was the landlord's condition. They couldn't afford the operation, so I sent them the money. I met the cat years later, and saw she was well loved. Definitely some of the best money I've ever spent :-)

    1. Hi Sandy! Thanks so much for the kind words.

      How lovely of your husband! That sort of gift, which takes a little effort but is just right, is so special. Aren't water lilies beautiful? And what a terrific gift for your friends granddaughter. I'm so glad you got to meet her moggy one day too. Terrific to think they had a long, happy time together.

  10. Quite simply...I love this scene!!

    I get surprises often but the best one is seeing my hubby and kids smile. Smiling faces are the best surprise on the planet.

    1. Oh, so pleased you enjoyed it, Efthalia!

      I know what you mean about smiles. I hadn't thought of them that way before but you're absolutely right - and they should be appreciated. They always make me feel good.

  11. A nice surprise I got it from my husband on the occasion of the 25th wedding anniversary. Unbeknownst to me held a party where he invited our family and close friends, and I have only found out when we arrived at the restaurant. E 'was great.

    1. Franca, what a wonderful surprise. That must have taken a lot of planning! You must have had a terrific time, spending the evening with all those special people. You husband sounds just lovely.

  12. You've probably read this before, but here goes anyway.
    For our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband took me for a Monday drive. I read my book while he drove on our equivalent of the Interstate. He took us to a ferry, whereupon he got out to enjoy the fresh air and I stayed inside to read my book (as it was too cold for me). We slowly drove the country roads on a small island, holding hands and reminiscing, then we pulled over and smooched on the side of the road (a few times) like teenagers. Next came a lovely lunch at a quaint little restaurant, again with us giving knowing glances. We returned to the car where we enjoyed my homemade brownies. Drove slowly around some more, then took the ferry back (again with me reading and him talking to fellow travelers). Drove around the big city, finally stopping for supper at yet another nice restaurant. More googly eyes and good food, followed by my homemade tarts for dessert in the car. Drove to yet another ferry, this time taking us closer to home. Stopped at a country store for hard ice cream cones, leisurely eating them on their outside bench, protected from the wind. Back in the car and home. We had left at 9 am and returned home at 9 pm. Simply a wonderful gift - both then and now, almost nine years later, in the warm memories it still evokes.

    1. Laney, that sounds like a very romantic, not to mention, luscious, celebration date! Wow! Romance and food together plus a nice drive - you packed a lot in. How nice to have such good memories of that special anniversary. You sound so happy together.

  13. Wonderful kiss, very sensual :)

    My husband came home with a cactus (which I later found out was a succulent...shows how much of a green thumb I have.) because I'm working from home full time now and he wanted to give me something to keep me company (since we can't have a pet here) and make my desk look pretty.

    It was such a simple, thoughtful gift. I smile every time I get to my desk in the mornings now.

    1. Hi Stefanie,

      How nice to have something that makes you smile whenever you go to your desk. That's such a lovely gift!