Jul 3, 2016

Sunday Smooch - The Flaw in Raffaele's Revenge - Annie West

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Annie West but first 

... the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is Tammy Y.

Can you please contact Kandy at:
to receive your copy of 'The Bridesmaid's Baby Bump'.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from THE FLAW IN RAFFAELE'S REVENGE

A fragile beauty that tamed the beast within… 

Italian Raffaele Petri needs reclusive researcher Lily Nolan to see his revenge plans come to fruition. But the damaged beauty is feisty, argumentative and all too intriguing to be ignored!

Scarred as a child, Lily shut herself away from cruel prying eyes, so working for a man as breathtakingly handsome as Raffaele makes her own physical imperfections harder to bear. Until Raffaele’s kisses awaken the untouched woman inside.

As Raffaele’s retribution draws closer, Lily must use her newfound strength to help him release the torment eating at his soul. But will Raffaele risk his vengeance for her love?

Scene set-up

Raffa and Lily have been working together long enough to get to know each other well. With that has come respect and a wary companionship but there's also a burning attraction which Lily, with her scarred face, believes must be all on her side. He's her boss, once a successful model now a billionaire entrepreneur with the looks to turn any woman's head. She's a recluse who's not comfortable with people or with her burgeoning awareness of him as a man. They have been working together at an island resort and she has decided it's time to leave for the night. But Raffa has had enough of the boundaries she puts between them.

Smooch  -

Lily dragged her hands from the table as if its surface was electrified. A large hand snapped out and captured her wrist. Instantly she stilled, all except for the quiver reverberating from her tingling fingers up her arm and down to the soles of her feet.
‘What do you want, Raffaele? What are you playing at?’ Old habit came to the rescue and her chin jutted. She’d spent half a lifetime pretending to be impervious to hurt.
‘What do you think I want?’ It was the voice of her dreams, seductive, alluring, and full of desire.
She yanked her hand free, stepping out of reach. Her breath sawed through searing lungs.
He was flirting. Sending her that half-lidded look that had turned a single photo into a multi-million dollar success for a famous men’s clothing company.
The impact of it in the flesh, on her flesh, was devastating.
‘Stop it, Raffaele!’ She was almost beyond caring that he might hear the hurt beneath her belligerence. She needed to get away. ‘I don’t…’ She shook her head, wishing she hadn’t made a point of pinning her hair up, wishing it could swish around her face, concealing an expression she feared must reveal the yearning in her soul.
‘Don’t what?’
Don’t flirt. She didn’t know how. Had no experience of it. Which made this game he played even more cruel.
‘What are you afraid of, Lily?’ His voice, rough suede, caressed her skin, drawing it to tingling life.
Of you and everything you make me feel.
‘I didn’t think anything fazed you, Lily. You’re so feisty, so focused.’
She cleared her throat to speak as he moved close enough for her to inhale the tantalising scent of warm male skin, salt spice and the sea. But determination wasn’t enough. Not when she looked up into ocean blue eyes. They burned with a heat that beckoned to every feminine instinct she’d spent fourteen years suppressing.
‘Is it this you’re afraid of?’ His head lowered and warmth brushed her lips. The soft caress of perfectly sculpted lips. The fleeting, beckoning taste of Paradise as his tongue slicked the seam of her mouth.
Lily’s eyelids flickered, weighted by the desire rolling through her, inexorably growing, expanding, clogging every sense. All she knew was the scent and taste of Raffaele, the heat of his breath on her lips, the pulse of longing throbbing within.
Air brushed her mouth as his lips left hers and for a heartbeat nothing moved. She didn’t even breathe.
Lily forced her eyes open. Azure depths captured her and it was as if she’d ventured too far out to sea. Except she wasn’t sinking, she was floating, buoyed by an anticipation so acute she felt she’d shatter if he didn’t put an end to it and kiss her properly.
‘I’m not afraid,’ she lied.
She was terrified. Thrilled. Exultant. Curious.
Lily felt her hand settle against the muscled plane of his chest. Beneath her palm beat a steady pulse that seemed leisurely compared with her own wildly careering heartbeat.
He was real. Not the phantom lover of her dreams. His flesh hotter than hers even through his shirt.
His chest rose beneath her touch, making her aware of the masculine power beneath the designer panache. The air of languid relaxation Raffaele so often adopted was a front, she realised as sparks tickled her palm, racing up her arm. The man was all potent power.
But he was her boss. He was one of the most beautiful men on the planet, and she—
‘Lily.’ His voice was so deep she felt its reverberation in her belly. His hand was hard as it clamped her palm to his chest.
She shifted back. ‘This is a mistake.’
He moved with her, his thigh brushing hers. Ripples coursed up her leg to the spot between her thighs where a different pulse beat – needy and quick.
‘No mistake. Admit it, Lily. This feels right.’
His left hand captured her nape, long fingers spearing through her hair to hold her still as his head slanted down.
Time moved in infinitely slow seconds. Slow enough for her to realise that despite his hold she had only to turn her head or step back and she’d be free.
But she didn’t move. It did feel right. More, it felt inevitable. Why pretend when for weeks she’d wondered what it would be like to kiss Raffaele?
His lips touched hers again, once, twice, before settling on her mouth, sealing her breath with his. For a moment he held utterly still. She absorbed the rich, warm scent of his skin, the delicious tang of him on her tongue, the long body hard up against hers, and the gentleness of his hand at the back of her head, cradling, tender…
Then those azure eyes closed, his head tilting as he delved between her parted lips. One swiping caress and sensation shuddered down her backbone and further, weakening her knees. They trembled as she clutched him, drawn by the slide of his mouth, his probing tongue and the waves of need, dark and intoxicating, that buffeted her.
His hand tightened on her skull, the angle of his mouth changed and the kiss grew harder, insistent, demanding. Raffaele drew her tongue between his lips, sucking, and a shot of adrenalin, of something fired in her blood. The pulse between her legs quickened, her nipples against his chest so sensitive she almost cried out as each muffled breath abraded them against him. She was on fire, burning up in a heat he both kindled and promised to assuage.
Was it possible to climax just from kissing?
Lily slipped her hands up to clasp his face, framing hard bone and taut skin, learning sculpted contours as his tongue flicked hers, inviting her to join him, to give in.
A mighty shudder ran through her, a sigh that made no sound in the whirling ecstasy of the moment. A sigh of surrender as Lily let herself go and for the first time in her life kissed a man.

Showing her scarred face in public is one of the bravest things Lily has done, followed closely by kissing Raffa, one of the sexiest men on the planet, and her boss!

What's the bravest thing you've done?

Leave a comment to be in the draw to win a signed copy of THE FLAW IN RAFFAELE'S REVENGE.

It's in all the usual bookstores now but here are a couple of links to buy it if you can't wait that long.
Barnes and Noble

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced and there will be another smooch to enjoy!

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver


  1. Bravest? Dunno. Standing up to a bully after he'd beaten his girlfriend (when we were all teenagers ... downtown ... in the dark ... behind a closed store)?

  2. Hi Annie

    Oh I did love this story and the courage that Lily showed was amazing and of course Raffa was just the best hero for her :)

    Bravest thing I have ever done I am not sure I can't think of something :)

    Have Fun

    1. Waving a big hi, Helen. I'm chuffed to hear you enjoyed Lily and Raffa's story. They were made for each other, I think!

      I'll excuse you for not being able to think of an example. It can be tough! :)

  3. Hi Annie! Wow! That was sensual and a half. Loved it!

    1. Hi Shelagh, I'm so glad you thought so!

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  4. Annie, what a gorgeous kiss. I just love this story - and I think the idea of reversing Beauty and the Beast is just so clever! As you know, that's one of my favourite trope, whichever side of the partnership gets to play the beast.

    1. Hi Anna, I'm so glad you like it so much. I suspected you might since you're such a fan of Beauty and the Beast.

  5. Gorgeous gorgeous smooch, Annie! Talk about rising heat levels. ;-) I'm saving this book for a day when I don't have anything else on and won't have any distractions so I can just fall into it and wallow to my heart's content.

    Hmm...bravest thing I've done...surely I've done at least one thing in my life that was brave (can I count public speaking?). Oh, I know! Saying "I love you" first. That's kinda up there. :-)

    1. Absolutely public speaking counts! And so does admitting your feelings first! What a heroine! :)

      I'm chuffed you enjoyed the smooch excerpt. Yay! Hope you enjoy it.

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  6. congratulation on your new book the review reads like another winner --the bravest thing I have done is maybe to raise 5 children--------LynW

    1. 5 children - that's a huge commitment. I'm impressed, Lyn! Thanks for the congratulations. :)

  7. Smokin' Annie! :-)

    Bravest thing I've done is advocate for a patient in the face of her furious family. I was shaking like a leaf at the end of it all!

    1. Oh, Amy, that would have been tough. But I bet you're glad you did it. Good on you!

      Hey, nice that you liked the smooch.

  8. Wow, Annie, you sure know how to write a sizzling smooch! Sounds like another fabulous story. Bravest thing I've done? You know, I don't know that I've ever done anything particularly brave!

    1. Kandy, I think some days just getting through what's expected of you takes bravery. Chuffed that you think this one sizzles...!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Fabulous kiss Annie, I was with you all the way through. Lucky Lily. :o)

    I am not sure if this counts as the bravest thing I have ever done, but after years of unqualified men being given the role of managing my CS Department, I went to the CEO 15 years ago and demanded I be given the Customer Service Managers role, as I knew how to get CS back on track after two years of it going downhill. I was adamant I could fix it. I got the role. . . and yes, I fixed it :o)

    1. Oh, good on you, Savannah! That's so impressive! Sometimes it's so hard to stand up for yourself, no matter how qualified you are.

      Yes, I think Lily is lucky too.

  11. Bravest for me was when my now hubby was going back to Thailand during Vietnam and said he had something to ask me when he got back. I took a dr breath and said ask me now all the while praying I knew what it would be. I was right and we have been married 46 years.

    1. Oh, Mary, that's lovely. I hope those 46 years have been filled with happiness!

  12. A great smooch!!

    The bravest thing would be when I took control of my life. Best move ever!!

    1. Glad you like it, Mary. I had fun writing it.

      Taking control is so difficult, isn't it? Good move!

  13. Hello Annie, I really like this scene of this kiss. I guess I have never done something brave.

    1. So glad you like this, Franca!

      As for being brave, I think sometimes there's bravery in small things, like forcing yourself to do what you believe you should instead of what you want.

  14. My brave, crazy moment to remember was when I decided to answer a "meeting point" classified dating ad after moving interstate in mid '90's. I listened to his voice mail, left my own message, then got a phone call to arrange a meeting. I met a lovely man whom I decided to marry after three weeks. I think answering the ad was the brave bit - we're still together after 21 years and two great kids later.

    1. Wow, JJ, that's an amazing story. I'm so glad it worked out! Sounds like a plot of a romance novel. :)

  15. Ooh! I just started reading this today. I haven't gotten to this scene yet. The opening is intriguing, can't wait to reach this kiss.

    Brave thing I've some: prophylactic bilateral mastectomy after sister diagnosed with breast cancer. Facing the fear of a disease that killed our mom and her mother was hard. My sister's ca was caught early. My hope is to be the first old ladies in the family in awhile.
    PS I already have a copy so no drawing entry.

    1. Hi Laura,

      That's definitely brave! I love the idea of you and your sister being the first oldies in the family for a while. That's something to look forward to! :)

      Hey, I'm so chuffed you're already reading Raffa and Lily's story. How brilliant! I hope you enjoy it.

  16. Fabulous smooch as always, Annie! So much tension between these two - I love it :)

    1. Aw, thanks, Stef. I'm very pleased you like it!

  17. The bravest thing i think i have done when I was 10 my foster mother died and my dad didnt want to call the county and tell them otherwise there would of been 8 more kids at the receiving hell so he put me in charge of everything that included the farm,all the cooking,homework,cleaning and everything to keep the house normally running for the younger kids and i did it. I was worried at night that i couldn't do it but i had done alot of cooking before that i mean alot since i was 6 and alot of cleaning and also the farm. It worked and then he got a housekeeper who was the worst so out there so she left as it was too many kids for her and then he quickly remarried my foster moms good friend well that was a disaster and at 13 saw it coming so called my grandma and told her she needed to come quick and i was so right she o/d that day on my pills from when my tonsils were out. Thank goodness i didn't have to take care of her too also i felt really loved when i was at grandmas and she was in charge and i loved that!

  18. ptclayton, that's so young to have to grapple with so much! I can hardly imagine what it must have been like for you and for the others too. What a blessing you had your grandma - I bet being looked after by her was the best thing! Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. What a great smooch! The bravest thing I did is to save a street cat from hooligans and gave it a loving home.