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.
“I can’t take chances. Right now, Emilie, you and Tex are the only people in the world I trust.”
Emilie stood and walked a few steps away. He followed but stood back a couple of feet.
She turned to face him. “Let me see if I have this straight. You want a business marriage, one on paper, a partner, not a wife to make love to. Someone to protect your claim on this property should you be killed. Correct?”
“I…hadn’t thought about it exactly that way.”
She crossed her arms and tilted her head. “Then what do you think?”
He swallowed. “I think when we get to know each other better, we’ll want a real marriage.”
He paused, sighed, and looked around.
Returning his gaze to her, he said, “Tell me what you want, Emilie. Anything. Tell me what you would want out of this arrangement. I’ll abide by anything you ask.”
Instead of answering right away, she turned away again and gazed across the pasture. Slowly, she turned in a circle, watching her feet, until she came back to face him.
“I want a baby, Lee. That’s what I want. I’m twenty-eight years old, and I can’t wait much longer to have a baby. I only want one. Then we can live any way you want.”
He grinned. “Is that all?”
Brightening, she said, “And I want an electric washing machine.”
Laughing, she said, “You heard me. And I know how to order one, and I know exactly where to place it, and…”
In one quick move, he circled his arms about her waist and pulled her flush with his body. Slowly, he lowered his mouth to hers, and he kissed her closed lips. Keeping her close, he murmured, “Open your mouth a little, Emilie, and I’ll teach you how to kiss.”
She followed his directions, and her body went lax as she leaned into him. They kissed like they’d done it forever.
He laughed low. “You’re a fast learner, and I’ll teach you everything I know. You’ll have that baby and an electric washing machine, and I’ll have a family. Me? I can’t wait to get started.”
Emilie didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. How lucky was she to hear a proposal from the best man she’d ever met?
But suppose she fell in love? That would never do. Someone else might come along that he’d fall in love with. And then where would that leave her?
Lee King is a dreamer. When he realizes he was born under a lucky star, he went for the jackpot and won. But winning a big prize isn’t the same as keeping it safe from interlopers and greedy fortune hunters–including women. When oilman Tex McDougal crosses his path, Lee believes he has found the perfect man to help him. His daughter, Emilie McDougal, while not a buxom beauty, impresses him with her intelligence, her courage, and her selflessness.
Could he strike a financial bargain with her? One that would suit them both?
Emilie McDougal has no family except her father, and she has followed in his footsteps from age one. When Lee King enters their lives, she begins to dream–for the first time in her life. She only wants one thing from Lee, one tiny thing that would make her life complete.
Would he agree to her counter-bargain?
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About Celia Yeary
Celia Yeary, a native Texan, former science teacher, graduate of Texas Tech University and Texas State University, is mother of two, grandmother of three boys, and wife of a wonderful, supportive Texan.
She has published ten novels, seven novellas, short stories, and articles for a Texas Magazine– Texas Co-op Power. She is a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), a local writing group called The Write Girls, and co-owns a group blog titled Sweethearts of the West.
Celia and her husband enjoy traveling, and both are involved in their church, the community, and the university. Central Texas has been her home for forty years.
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