Aug 21, 2016

Sunday Smooch with Yvonne Lindsay!

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from YVONNE LINDSAY but first 

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

Can you please contact STEFANIE LONDON via email at stefanie (at) stefanie-london (dot) com to receive your e-copy of PRETEND IT'S LOVE.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from YVONNE LINDSAY!

HIS LOVER by choice, his bride by decree...and the mother of his heir? Only from USA TODAY bestselling author, Yvonne Lindsay!

For a man used to getting what he wants, King Rocco has met his match. His courtesan, Ottavia Romolo, insists they sign a legal contract. He would have laughed at such demands from any other woman. But Rocco wants Ottavia more than he could have imagined.

Soon Rocco realizes Ottavia is an asset to him beyond the bedroom. And with his legacy in jeopardy, he must marry and produce an heir. Dare he enter into an even more binding union with Ottavia—turning his lover into his queen?

Scene set-up - Professional courtesan, Ottavia Romolo, has been held captive in King Rocco's summer lakeside palace for the past few weeks, so her knowledge of his sister's scandalous behavior cannot be shared with the media. King Rocco is surprised to be invoiced by the courtesan for the time he's held her captive, however he is in for even more surprises when he attempts to negotiate a contract with her.

Smooch  -

It galled her that he had so much power over her. Hadn’t she sworn that no man would ever make her decisions for her or control her life again? And yet, in this, she was effectively helpless. Work to your strengths, she reminded herself, and allowed her stance to soften. She allowed her lips to part, just slightly, and moistened them with the tip of her tongue. He’d noticed, she realized with a flare of satisfaction. His eyes had flickered to her mouth; his nostrils had flared ever so slightly on an indrawn breath.

She’d cast her bait, but had she hooked him?

“You had better be worth it,” he growled.

His voice was deep and slightly rough. As if he was fighting his own internal battle. Ottavia allowed herself a smile, lowering her eyelids slightly.

“So do we enter into a contract, my king?”

She lingered over the last two words, using every skill at her disposal to make them sound like a caress—a promise. She knew she’d failed when he threw his head back on a hearty laugh that transformed the seriousness of his face into something far more appealing. Something that pulled at her with a magnetic strength she’d never experienced before. Eventually he calmed.

“You still think you can control how this turns out, don’t you?” he said, cocking one brow at her. “Are you always this optimistic?”

“I am always in control of myself and my choices,” she replied.

Even as she said the words she knew they hadn’t always been true. Certainly not when she’d been fourteen and her mother’s latest lover had begun to show an unhealthy interest in her burgeoning figure. Even less when her mother had discovered that interest and Ottavia had overheard her mother haggling with her lover over how much he would be prepared to pay to have her. 

She fought back a shudder. Those days were behind her. She’d taken control of her life that day. Made a conscious choice and resolved to never be at anyone’s mercy ever again.

Ottavia forced her thoughts into the present and recalculated her strategy. Perhaps King Rocco needed a little more enticement. She took a step back before turning and slowly walking closer to the windows that overlooked the gardens and the lake. If she hadn’t been so acutely attuned to the man she’d turned her back on she wouldn’t have heard the sharp intake of breath as he noticed the long sweep of her back, laid bare by the open cut of her gown. It was as if she could feel the heat of his gaze follow the line of her spine until it dipped into the deep V of fabric that covered the swell of her buttocks.

She sensed rather than heard him approach behind her. Was it her imagination or did she feel the heat of his breath against her naked skin?

“Then you are indeed fortunate,” he said close to the shell of her ear.

His voice held a whisper of a thousand words left unsaid. Ottavia closed her eyes and concentrated on remaining still. On simply absorbing his nearness without analyzing the individual reactions clamoring throughout her body.

“Fortunate?” she asked, her voice surprisingly husky.

“A king does not have many choices,” he said to her surprise.

“I would have thought that you had it all, Sire.”

The air behind her shifted—the heat that had smoldered against her suddenly gone—and she knew he’d stepped away. Because with those few words he’d said too much, perhaps? Slowly, she turned around. He stood on the other side of the room, his hands loosely clasped behind him as he stared at a portrait of his late father on the wall.

“I have a proposal for you, Ms. Romolo,” he said without looking at her. “It would behoove you to agree.”

“Just like that? Without knowing the terms?” she asked. “Without negotiating? I think not.”

“Do you negotiate everything?”

“I am a businesswoman.”

He spun to face her. “Is that what you call your…trade? A business?”

“What else would you call it?” she challenged.

The corner of his mouth quirked upward. Ottavia fought the urge to bristle. He was testing her. That much was obvious. If she was to get what she believed she was owed by him, she needed to hold on to every last thread of self-control that she possessed.

“Come here, Ms. Romolo.” He crooked a finger at her.

She would do as he’d commanded, but only because she wanted to, she told herself as she glided forward with all the elegance and poise she’d learned in the past fifteen years.

“Sire?” She bowed her head as she drew before him.

A low chuckle escaped him and she felt her own lips twitch in response.

“Subservience does not suit you.” With the point of one finger he tipped her chin up so she looked him in the eye again.

Her lips parted on a gasp as she recognized the sudden flare of hunger in his gaze. A gasp that he captured as he lowered his mouth to hers and took her lips in a kiss that stole every rational thought from her mind. Caught by surprise, she gave herself over to his touch, to his taste. To the plundering of his tongue as it delved into the moist recesses of her mouth. A sound, a growl from deep in his throat as she touched her tongue to his, sent unaccustomed desire unfurling through her body. Her blood heated, her insides clenched on a spear of need that completely took her breath away.

And then, just like that, it was over. She teetered slightly on her heels before gathering sufficient wits to steady herself. A swell of anger bubbled at the back of her mind. Outrage swiftly quelled the yearning that hummed through her veins as she realized he thought he had the right to simply take from her without permission. Disappointment followed hard on the heels of her anger. Here was another man who saw her as something to be used at his whim, and discarded.

She had to regain the upper hand once more so she swallowed her indignation and smiled at the man standing opposite her.

“Sampling the merchandise?” she asked tartly.

I hope you enjoyed the first kiss between King Rocco and his courtesan, Ottavia. It was quite a challenge writing this story as I worked very hard to ensure that Ottavia remained very much her own woman--something she'd worked extremely hard to be--but also to allow her to find the happy ever after she never expected to get. The Courtesan Brides series is my first foray into royal themes and I have to say it was great fun to create my characters own world with its own rules and regulations. Tell me, are you a fan of royal stories? Did you ever want to be a princess or a queen when you were growing up? Leave a comment and go into the draw for a signed copy of CONTRACT WEDDING, EXPECTANT BRIDE.

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

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver


  1. No, I've never wanted to be royalty. Rest assured, after watching Princess Diana and the paparazzi, I definitely want nothing to do with that.

    Yes, I am a huge fan of royalty in my stories. There's something about a strong and powerful man who goes after what he wants (whether he realizes it or not at the beginning), and foreign lands have an appeal to me too. I guess I live vicariously through these romances....

    1. I agree with you on not wanting to be s royal, Laney4, although perhaps a lesser royal who flies under the radar a lot more might be fun. :-)

  2. Can't say I ever aspired to be a royalty and if I had done, I'm fairly certain how Princess Diana was treated by paparazzi would have cured me of the desire.

    So far, all books I've read with royalty I've enjoyed and would read again. I'm sure that there are some badly written royalty stories (isn't there in all tropes?) but this book definitely wasn't one of them.

    Your struggle with balancing Ottavia being her own woman and getting her HEA definitely didn't show through on the page :)

    1. Hi, Lyn. Thank you for saying that about Octavia. It's always good to know that my struggles as the author of the story haven’t shown on the page:-). And, yes, I think it would be hard to live a life like Diana's, constantly in the public eye and constantly being judged by what you wore and how you behaved or what you said.

  3. Hello Yvonne, very beautiful this kissing scene.
    When I was little I liked to play at being a princess together with my friends, but when I became an adult I never wanted to be a princess or marry a king. But I love to read the novels which speaks of kings and queens, princesses and sheiks. I love them!

    1. I love the fairytale aspect of the royal stories, Franca, but like you, although I loved to play at being a princess as a child, I think I rather live grounded in my real world now.

  4. Great passion between these two!

    Royalty is one of those things I love to read about in fiction, but not something I would ever want for myself. I think the reality of being a royal would be hard work. So much scrutiny and lack of privacy. Not for me! But in books, definitely yes :D

    1. There's something about being taken away to a world within our world, isn't there, Stefanie? I, too, like my privacy too much to want to be royal. I'm hard enough on myself without the whole world judging me! :-)

    2. There's something about being taken away to a world within our world, isn't there, Stefanie? I, too, like my privacy too much to want to be royal. I'm hard enough on myself without the whole world judging me! :-)

  5. Hi Yvonne

    What a great smooch and I love royal stories but I am not sure that I would really like to live as a royal I like my privacy :)

    Sounds like a fab story I need to read this one

    Have Fun

  6. Hi Yvonne,
    Wonderful smooch and I love your books. If you write it, I want to read it.

  7. Hell yeah I did. Especially growing up while lady di was becoming princess di and having the same name as her. I cried like a baby when she died !