Jul 1, 2018

Sunday Smooch - Inherited for the Royal Bed, Annie West

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from but first 

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

Can you please contact Kandy Shepherd at kandy(at)kandyshepherd.com to receive your copy of The Best Man and the Runaway Bride.

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from INHERITED FOR THE ROYAL BED. Don't forget, if you leave a comment you'll go in the draw to win a signed paperback copy of it! Here's a taste:

‘I now belong to you.’
He will finally claim his inheritance!
Four years after inheriting—and liberating—a concubine, powerful ruler Sayid is shocked to see the transformation of Lina. No longer shy and naive, she is a feisty, irresistible woman. And Sayid has never wanted anyone more! But, duty-bound to his country, Sayid can only commit to a brief affair. Will Lina accept his outrageous proposal of a week in the royal bed?

Scene set-up
Lina and Sayid met four years earlier when her family sent her to the palace as a gift for the Emir. Unlike the previous Emir, Sayid isn't thrilled to find a beautiful young innocent in his bedroom. Despite his instant attraction, honour overcomes lust and he sends her away. Now she's back, even more beautiful and distractingly disturbing and he can't get her out of his mind. Unable to sleep, he takes a midnight dip in the palace pool, only to run into Lina, literally, alone in the dark.

Smooch  -
‘Lina! Don’t look at me like that.’ The words ground from him, harsh and ragged.
Again that quick swipe of her bottom lip, as if her mouth was as dry as his.
‘Like what?’ Still she didn’t move away.
Sayid shook his head, determined to do the right thing as soon as he could unlock his hold on her arms.
Except she breathed deep and her breasts grazed him. A trail of fire rocketed through his ribs and abdomen, straight to his groin.
‘Like you want me to kiss you.’ He heard the rasp in his voice as duty battled desire, but she didn’t respond to that harsh warning.
She blinked up at him, her lips parted and slowly shook her head, her hair caressing him. Then her words, soft as the flutter of a nightingale’s wing, came to him. ‘But I do.’
The night stood still, except for his heart slamming his ribs and the saw of his breath, loud in the silence. Yet, hard as he fought, control was beyond him now.
A moment later his mouth captured hers.
Hard, callused hands grasped her tight. Sayid’s warm breath feathered her face. His rich, potent scent swirled within her as if she’d absorbed his essence. And above all, the press of his wet, hard body against hers devastated her senses in the most thrilling way.
Lina lifted her hands to his wet shoulders, relishing the strong bone, solid muscle and satiny skin beneath her questing hands.
Her daring surprised her, as if she made a habit of embracing men, when instead she’d spent years learning how to be friendly yet not encourage their advances.
Because, despite the stunning audacity of it, her heart, or perhaps her body, had fixed on Sayid Badawi as the only one she wanted. The one who, he’d made clear as he’d gently but firmly bundled her out of his bedroom and his life, was not for her. For of course he demanded sophistication and glamour, women who fitted his world of prestige and power.
This then was magic. A moment’s aberration.
An opportunity not to be missed. For too soon reality would end it.
Lina fell into his embrace. So long she’d imagined his mouth on hers. So long she’d pined for his touch. There was no holding back, no hesitation. And she discovered her imagination was a poor imitation of the real thing.
Being held by Sayid, kissed by him, made her head spin and her heart pound in delight. The taste of him, so rich, so…intimate, made her weak at the knees. Lina would have been completely overwhelmed except that it felt right.
His powerful arms dragged her up so that her breasts were crushed against that imposing, naked torso and she revelled in his strength, the urgency she sensed in him.
His lips were softer than she’d expected. But there was nothing tentative about his kiss. His tongue dived in, probing, licking and swirling. It inviting hers to curl in a dance of give and take that made her body prickle with a searing heat despite her damp swimsuit.
If being near Sayid was like being bathed in starlight, this was like being tossed up into the bright Milky Way itself.
She slipped her hands higher, combing them through the drenched hair at the back of his skull, spreading her fingers and cupping his head possessively.
If she could, she’d hold him here forever. Everyone knew magic was fleeting and she didn’t want this to end.
His hand dragged up her side, almost but not quite touching her breast and she shuddered. A second later that large hand planted itself on her cheek, angling her head higher as he bowed her back across his arm.
That combination of tenderness and mastery undid her.
With a great thump of her heart Lina abandoned any attempt at thought and let herself go, knowing Sayid wouldn’t let her fall. Everything his kiss demanded, she gave, revelling not just in the delicious new physical sensations, but her tangled, contrary feelings of power and helplessness.
When she pressed closer, slicking her tongue against his, he responded with a growl of pleasure deep in his throat that vibrated from his slick, hot body to hers. It made her quiver in delight.
She’d never felt so connected to another person. So… aroused. It was a heady new experience.
Liquid heat poured through her, pooling low in the centre of her body. Lina squirmed in his hold, trying to assuage the blind eagerness for more, more, more.
Then suddenly, devastatingly, it was over. Sayid’s hands gripped her upper arms, holding her steady as he straightened away from her.
His broad, bronzed chest rose and fell like overworked bellows. The furnace heat of his body encompassed her. But though she still tasted him on her tongue, her tingling lips couldn’t reach him and her hands had slipped from his head as he’d put her away from him.
Doubts assailed her. Regrets. Not for the kiss but because she hadn’t wanted it to end.
Hadn’t he enjoyed kissing her?

And of course the answer is YES. Sayid enjoyed it very much. He's having a difficult time letting her go.

I'm always interested in body language, behaviour and unspoken signals. So my question to you is, how do you know when someone is attracted? Is there something specific you've noticed (apart from the person telling you) when someone likes you? What do you notice about them?

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

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver


  1. Woohoo Annie

    This is such a fabulous story I really loved this one from start to finish, Sayid is such a fabulous hero and Lina just beautiful they were made for each other :)

    Attraction for me it is a feeling not sure I can put my finger on it or they way people look at each other in their eyes.

    Happy birthday Annie

    Have Fun


    1. Hi Helen, and thank you so much for the feedback on the book. Can you tell I had a ball writing this one? Thanks too for the birthday wishes. It was a lovely weekend.

      Ah, I think that eye connection is a very strong part of it too.

  2. Gorgeous smooch, Annie! Can't wait to dive into this one. :-)

    I think eyes continually drifting to the object of attraction are a dead giveaway, as well as bodies angling towards the other even when the person appears to be absorbed in something else.

    1. Michelle, thanks for the feedback. I'm chuffed you liked it so much.

      Oh, yes. The body language of someone leaning closer - such a giveaway. :)

  3. Nice this excerpt, Annie! I really liked it.
    I notice it from the eyes, because they are the mirror of the soul and hardly lie.

    1. Hi Franca. I'm so pleased you liked this excerpt.

      I'm with you on the eyes. Their expression says so much.

  4. Loved the smooch!!

    I think you can see it in someone's eyes if they are interested. Also a dead giveaway if they are NOT interested.

    1. Interesting, Mary. I hadn't thought about it but you're right about eyes showing if someone's not interested.

      So pleased you liked this kiss scene!

  5. Agree with Mary. Sometimes one's eyes can appear VERY cold (even without trying).
    Agree with everyone else. The eyes have it. I am blessed to see a twinkle in my husband's eyes (even after 37 years) when he looks at me. Mind you, it is never shown in public, but in private? Oh my, oh my. (Swoon)

  6. Fabulous smooch, Annie. You write such wonderfully high-stakes stories and I love the idea behind this one!

    1. So glad to hear that, Kandy. Thank you. I had a ball with it, I have to say. Such fun to write that beginning and then it just seemed to take off. :)

  7. This is my favorite Annie West book so far. I am attracted to eyes and smiles, hopefully they match up!