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My guest today on First Kiss Friday is author Peggy L. Henderson. We hope you enjoy this first kiss scene between her characters from Diamond in the Dust. Happy reading!

First Kiss scene:

Faint light shone from the bathroom, but the rest of the room was dark. Her head snapped to the crib, then to the bed, where the figure of a man lay on the mattress, sleeping. His stomach rose and fell in a soft rhythm.

He wasn’t the only one on her bed. The clothes fell out of her hands and landed in a flutter at her feet.

A soft gasp escaped her mouth, just before her extremities weakened as if they would melt right off her. Her chest tightened almost painfully, then exploded with rays of warmth such as she’d rarely experienced. Morgan blinked rapidly to see through the blur of her own watery eyes.

On shaky legs, she moved further into the room, toward the bed. Gabe lay on his back, cradling Logan in a protective hold in the crook of his arm. Her baby had his thumb in his mouth, nestled against Gabe’s chest, sleeping peacefully.

Years rolled down Morgan’s cheek at the most amazing, heart-melting sight she’d ever seen. She swiped a hand across her eyes, and sniffled. A warm sensation originated in the center of her chest, then slowly radiated all throughout her body. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from this big, rough-looking, yet devastatingly sexy man, so at peace in sleep at the moment, and the tender way he held her child.

She gave a quick, quiet laugh, and sniffled again, wiping at her eyes, and turned away from the bed. Weak and shaky legs carried her to the alcove by the bathroom. Morgan quietly blew her nose into a tissue. She sank against the wall and hugged her arm around her middle, allowing the tears to flow. Tears of unexplainable elation and joy. The image she’d just seen would be burned into her mind forever.

“You all right?” a deep voice drawled behind her.

Morgan whirled around to come face to face with the man who’d, moments ago, stolen her heart without even knowing.

“Logan?” she whispered, her voice foreign in her pounding ears.

Gabe ran a hand across his face. “I . . . ah . . . heard a noise over here, so I put him down in his crib. He started fussin’ after you left. I apologize if I ought not have picked him up. I’ve heard it’s best to let a baby cry it out or they get spoiled, but it just didn’t seem right, so I–”

Morgan raised her hand and touched a finger to his mouth. She stepped closer, the masculine scent of his skin adding to her already-heightened awareness of him.

She locked her eyes with his dark gaze. Gabe’s forehead wrinkled with uncertainty.

“What you did was perfect,” she murmured, and reached her hand up to curl around the back of his neck. Lifting her finger away from his lips, she slid it along his cheek while tugging his head down toward her. She leaned into him and stood on her toes, then touched her lips to his.

Standing stiffly for only a second, Gabe’s hands clamped either side of her waist, and drew her up against him. Morgan’s heart pounded in her ears, every part of her in tune to the feel of him holding her close.

“Thank you,” she whispered against his mouth. “Thank you for taking care of my son.”

She wound her arms fully around his neck, and leaned up closer.

“Morgan, what—”

“Don’t,” she said quickly, and silenced him by pressing her lips fully to his.

Slowly, the tension and stiffness eased from his body. His lips softened, and he parted his mouth, responding to her soft coaxing. All reason left her, and heat exploded inside her when his hands moved along her waist. The soft, tender touch of his fingers stroking her, sliding up along her ribcage and back down to her hips belied the strength and power in his hands. It was as if he was afraid she’d break, as if she were some delicate flower that he might crush if he held her any tighter.

The heat of his palms moving slowly up and down along her sides in a sensual exploration of her melted her insides. Shivers of pleasure ignited her skin, following the wake of his touch through the fabric of her t-shirt. She leaned fully into him, no longer coaxing him to kiss her. He’d taken complete control of her mouth, covering her lips with his own. Her lungs became a hollow cavern as all air left her, and she gave herself over to the sweet sensation of the languid strokes of his hands.

Morgan loosened her hold around his neck, sliding her palms down his chest until her arms wrapped around him, delighting in the slight shudder that passed through him. Encouraged by his reaction, her fingers explored the hard planes and contours of the muscles along either side of his spine. One of his arms snaked around her back in response, his hand moving upward at a painfully slow pace until he cupped the back of her head. Part of her wished he’d hold her tighter.

Gabe weaved his fingers through her hair, kneading her scalp, while his lips made love to her mouth in a tender assault.

Morgan gripped the back of his shoulders when Gabe leaned over her, pushing her back against the wall. He inhaled deeply, and the pressure of his kiss intensified. Breathing became impossible. Her mind spiraled out of control until nothing existed except his mouth on hers and his hands leaving trails of fire along her skin with his exploring caresses. Her knees had gone completely weak, and she relied on him to keep her on her feet.

Without warning, he abruptly pulled away from her, and straightened. Panting and breathless, Morgan caught her balance and stared into his midnight black eyes. Regret, indecision, frustration, and confusion all mixed with fierce hunger and yearning.

Breathing just as hard as she, Gabe ran a hand through his hair and stepped away from her. Morgan reached for his arm, sensing he was about to turn away.

“Don’t you dare apologize,” she said quickly, her lips quivering.

Diamond in the Dust: Book 3 in the Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series


Reverend Johnson is in the business of granting second chances to those deserving a new start, even if it means bending the rules of time travel on occasion. In Gabe McFarlain’s case, he may have gone too far . . .

Abandoned by his father, and raised in a Montana whorehouse, Gabe has grown bitter to the world. Fueled by revenge and hatred, his actions leave him facing the hangman’s noose. Accepting certain death, he wakes up in a time and place that is as foreign as the tender touch of the woman who rescues him.

Down to earth and level-headed, Morgan Bartlett isn’t afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve. All she wants is independence from her overbearing mother, and the freedom to shape her own destiny. When she aids a badly beaten man along the side of the road, she may have found more than a dusty cowboy down on his luck.

Morgan’s unshakable belief that Gabe is a good man slowly chisels away the walls he’s built around himself. As he comes to terms with living in the future, he must decide if losing his heart is worth more than holding on to the life he’s led in the past.


Peggy L Henderson is an award-winning, best-selling western historical and time travel romance author of the Yellowstone Romance Series, Second Chances Time Travel Romance Series, Teton Romance Trilogy, and the Blemished Brides and Wilderness Brides Western Historical Romance Series. When she’s not writing about Yellowstone, the Tetons, or the old west, she’s out hiking the trails, spending time with her family and pets, or catching up on much-needed sleep. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Along with her husband and two sons, she makes her home in Southern California.

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