The moment I crack open a new book, I always rush through the beginning, the budding relationship between the hero and heroine, and anticipate that spontaneous moment when one of them makes their move. The First Kiss. The first turning point in every story.
Every week here on the blog, I’ll be sharing First Kisses from my books and those of other authors.
West of Forgotten by Lynda J Cox
“Aren’t you the least bit curious?”
Her fingers stilled on the keyboard. She couldn’t force a single word free. Curious, yes. There were three children who had been born less than nine months after their parents married and that was just in the last year in the little town of Federal. Common sense told her that relations between a husband and wife weren’t always something to be feared and avoided. Again common sense dictated that her experience was not theirs.
There was so much he asked in that query composed of only her name.
She forced herself to draw a deep breath. “Yes. But, I’m more frightened than curious.”
He shifted on the bench, then caught her shoulders and turned her to him. He studied her face for so long she couldn’t continue to meet his gaze. Instead she focused on the length of his thigh pressing against hers. He slipped one finger under her chin and tilted her face up to him, again. “We rather put the cart before the horse, but what’s done is done. You deserve to be courted and wooed and seduced. A woman like you has to be won.”
Her cheeks had to be the color of ripe beets as hot as they felt. “Isn’t it a little late for a courtship?”
His smile heated and sparks smoldered in the depths of his eyes. “It’s never too late for a courtship, darlin’. I want to steal kisses from you in the moonlight, hold you against me at a dance, walk hand in hand with you in the rain, and whisper sweet nothings in your ear.”
Remembering how to breathe became a priority. “Are you courting me or trying to seduce me?”
It should not have been possible for his smile to grow any hotter. “Let me fill you in on a little secret. Done right, courtship is always a seduction. And, seduction is about anticipation—anticipating the next touch, the next kiss.” He moved closer to her, so close she could feel his breath against her skin, so close that if he moved any nearer his lips would be against hers. “Anticipation can be seductive in its own right.”
The warmth scalding her face spread into her belly and even lower. She licked suddenly dry lips. “Can…can I kiss you?”
“You can do anything you like.”
She leaned into him and pressed her lips to his. They were warm against her, firm without being possessive. A withdrawal broke the kiss and she struggled to draw another breath.
“For a first kiss, that wasn’t so bad.” One brow quirked up and he asked, “Are you curious enough to try for a second one?”
A shiver skittered across her but she whispered, “Yes. Please, kiss me.”
Something shifted in his expression and for a moment, she wasn’t sure what it was.
“Put your hands on my chest so you can push me away if you feel you need to.”
Her breath caught in her throat. Hesitantly and mindful of the scratches she’d left on him, she pressed her palms to his upper chest. He wrapped an arm around her lower back and she let him pull her fully against him. The pad of his thumb traced her lower lip while his fingers splayed along the line of her jaw.
Her stomach filled in an instant with fluttering. Seemingly of their own accord, her hands slipped to his shoulders as he tilted her head up. She couldn’t hold her eyes open.
Anything she thought she knew about a kiss dissolved under his lips. Firm but ever so gentle. An invitation to respond, a coaxing to meet him. There was no crude invasion of her mouth. There was no conquest. It was a negotiation for her to join in a mutual capitulation. She couldn’t contain a whimpering cry with the first taste of his tongue.
Not sure when she had wrapped her arms around his neck, she clung to him when he broke the kiss and buried her face in the juncture of his neck and shoulder. She wasn’t even sure which of them was shuddering or if it was both of them and gave in the sudden desire to draw her hands across the width of his back.
He nuzzled into the side of her throat, trailing the length of her neck from her ear to the collar of her mourning dress with short kisses, tiny nips of his teeth, and the hot flick of his tongue against her skin. Her head lolled to a side, granting him more access. The back of his shirt wadded in her fingers with the sensations ricocheting through her.
She should push him away. She knew where this would lead. She couldn’t. She didn’t want to push him away. She was on fire. Every inch of her felt as if she was burning and deep in her core, that fire raged, leaving her shaking.
One hand blazed a path up her spine, scalding even though the material. His other was at the back of her head, tugging on her hair, pulling her mouth back to his. This time, she opened her mouth willingly to him.
West of Forgotten by Lynda J Cox
Banished from civilization to the Wyoming Territory, U.S. Marshal Harrison Taylor holds a deed to half the Lazy L. He isn’t sure why his beautiful new partner, Rachel Leonard, doesn’t trust him. He has to convince her he is nothing like the man who abused her and must earn her trust before the escalating attacks at the Lazy L turn deadly.
For six years, Rachel has worked to repair a shattered life. Caring for her son and invalid father leaves little time to keep the Lazy L profitable. She doesn’t want a business partner simply because her father gambled away half of her beloved ranch and most certainly doesn’t desire a husband. Unfortunately, she’s stuck with the former and can’t trust Harrison as the latter.
Unless she can learn to trust Harrison, everything and everyone Rachel loves will be lost.
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About Lynda J Cox
Once upon a time there was a little girl who said when she grew up, she was going to have dogs like Lassie, own horses, and live on a ranch just like the Ponderosa. Two out of three isn’t bad. If she can’t live on a ranch, Lynda J Cox writes about characters who do. She writes steamy westerns, what one reviewer called an authentic blend of Old West action and happily ever after romance