Jul 14, 2019

RITA smooch

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch!

Today we have a smooch from Michelle's RITA-nominated romance The Million Pound Marriage Deal but first...

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

Jenny you please contact maggie on: maggiechritensen (at) maggiechristensenauthor (dot) com to receive your prize

And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Million Pound Marriage Deal...

 A marriage of convenience...
With a price!

Billionaire playboy Will Trent-Paterson has one year to get married. His grandfather will disinherit him if he doesn't settle down, leaving his vulnerable sister homeless! So when old friend Sophie Mitchell jokes that she'd marry him for a million pounds, a temporary marriage seems like the perfect solution! Until, after spending time with captivating Sophie, Will realizes walking away will be the hardest part...

[Scene set-up: Will and Sophie are about to appear for the first time as an engaged couple and they're "practicing" at trying to appear as natural as possible when, in fact, they're both feeling impossibly awkward.]

 ‘If we mess this up. If we lose our heads and forget ourselves…just once…then we’re not going to want to see each other again.’
  Her words were like a punch to the gut. Because they were true.
  ‘It’s what I meant when I said we were playing a dangerous game.’ Her eyes flashed. ‘If you found me unattractive that would be—’ She broke off. ‘But you don’t.’
  And he realised then what she’d made explicit but had left unsaid. She didn’t find him unattractive either. The knowledge made his blood roar.
  He ground his back molars together and counted to three, pulled in a breath. ‘You have my word that I won’t lose my head.’
  He would not let her down.
  ‘And you have my word.’
  They had to be cautious, circumspect. He couldn’t let himself feel too comfortable with her…and yet they both had to cultivate an appearance of tranquillity with each other for outside eyes. She was right. This could be trickier than he’d first envisaged. But not impossible.
  Before he knew what she was about she’d leaned in, stood on tiptoe and pressed a kiss to his cheek. ‘Thank you.’
  His heart crashed in his chest. His cheek burned where her lips had touched him.
  She eased back, adjusted her cardigan. ‘Right. Your turn.’
  She was trying to make kissing him as natural as possible, and he had to do the same. ‘Believe it or not,’ he said, ‘it’s my pleasure.’
  He pressed a kiss to her brow and tried not to notice how soft and warm and vibrant she felt beneath his lips.
  She huffed out a laugh. ‘Well, in that case I choose to believe it. Right, sit.’
  She gestured to the sofa and he took a seat. She came from behind. Her arms slid around his shoulders, making him start.
  ‘You do that downstairs and you’ll give the game away.’
  He nodded and gritted his teeth. ‘Do it again.’
  She eased back, walked away, and then moved towards him again and bent down to slide just one arm about his shoulders. He rested his hand on her forearm and felt a tiny tremor run through her. He pulled in a measured breath and her scent flooded his senses. ‘You smell nice.’
  Nice? That’s the best you can manage?
  She smelled sensational—fruity and warm, like Christmas. Though Christmas was months away.
  ‘It’s my body lotion. Frosted cherry. My favourite.’
  They broke apart at exactly the same moment. This was exhausting, but he saw the wisdom of it. They needed to give the impression that they were physically comfortable with each other.
  When nothing could be further from the truth.
  ‘Your turn.’ He waved her to the armchair.
  She sat, leaned back, crossed her legs—for all the world as if she were completely at ease.
  Time for them to get this over and done with.
  Her eyes widened when he braced his hands on the arms of the chair and leant down towards her, effectively locking her in and leaving her nowhere to escape. ‘Lips?’
  She glanced at his lips and then back into his eyes and nodded. ‘Dry lips,’ she whispered. ‘And we keep it brief.’
  Every cell in his body burst to life. He recited, Peter’s sister, Peter’s sister, Peter’s sister, over and over in his mind. ‘I want to tell you something before we do this,’ he murmured, his gaze not dropping from hers.
  ‘She swallowed. ‘Okay.’
  ‘You’re wrong. I like you just fine, Sophie Mitchell.’
  Her lips parted as if in shock. He couldn’t resist the pull any longer. His mouth lowered to hers, lips brushing lips—light, teasing and nowhere near enough. She stiffened, but then he felt her force herself to relax. And then she leaned forward a fraction and pressed her lips more firmly against his and kissed him back.
  Wind roared in his ears. It took all the strength he had to not deepen the kiss, to not engage lips, mouths, tongues and hands.
  Biting back a groan, he pulled back to stare into stunned blue eyes. They were a deeper shade of blue than he’d ever seen before.
  She pushed him away and launched herself from the chair like a horse from a starter’s gate. ‘We better keep that to a minimum.’
  She was darn right they were keeping that to a minimum!
  He’d kiss her cheek, her brow, the top of her head, her hand, but he had every intention of staying as far away from those lips as possible. They were lethal!


I'm currently away in New York -- Yay! And I'm so looking forward to living it up at the RITA Awards ceremony. Leave a comment to go into the draw to win a copy of The Million Pound Marriage Deal, and I'll make sure to send it as soon as I return home. 

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

Smooch Graphic by WebWeaver


  1. Woohoo Michelle

    Huge congrats and I have everything crossed for you have a ball :)

    I have to say I love this story so much and highly recommend it

    Have Fun


    1. Aw, thanks, Helen. I love this story, and am so glad readers have loved it too. And getting to go to the NY conference will be such an amazing experience. Happy sighs. :-)

  2. Have fun in New York.

    I loved the read through thank you.

    1. Thanks, Mary. I'm sure NY will be wonderful.

      And so pleased you enjoyed the excerpt. :-D

  3. Good luck Michelle. I wish you to win the Rita Award.
    Have fun in New York !!
    Franca Poli