Today on First Kiss Friday I’m excited to bring you an excerpt from Nothing But Time: A Family of Worth, Book One. Nothing But Time is the beginning of my brand new Regency era series and I’m thrilled to finally be able to share this with you. In this first kiss scene, Lady Gwendolyn Sandhurst is meeting with Neville Quinn, Earl of Drayton to have a cozy dinner in her brothers home. I hope you enjoy this excerpt from both Gwendolyn and Neville’s point of view. Happy reading!
“Tell me of yourself,” Neville asked, before taking a sip of his wine.
“What is there to tell? I had a normal upbringing, most likely similar to your own. Being the daughter of a duke does have certain responsibilities or opens many doors if you have need of something.”
“And what do you stand in need of now?”
Gwendolyn sighed. “That is a difficult question to answer, for there are many things I wish were different in my life. I know I should not speak of it, but my marriage is a shambles and hardly one you read about in a romance novel.”
“I would not have our conversation upset you, Gwendolyn. You need not speak of your marriage,” Neville replied, reaching across the table for her hand.
“How can I not? I do not mean to be a bore, but you must understand that for me to be here with you, alone, is completely out of character. I do not make a habit of late night trysts with men I barely know. Betraying my husband will surely land me in hell.”
“Then we will go there together. Let me also confess I do not make a habit of stealing another man’s wife. Yet, you must admit there is something between us that cannot be explained. I know you feel it, too.” Neville pushed back his chair, took her hand and led her to a settee. She began to move to one side but he would have none of it. “Do not go so far away. I would have you close to me. You are mine… at least for as long as this night will allow us.”
His hand continued to hold onto hers and she gave up any further protests that may have spilled from her lips. They would have been falsehoods and there was no sense lying to the man who was tearing down the last defenses to her heart.
She raised her eyes to meet his. There was so much promise hidden within the depths of those piercing hazel orbs. “I can never truly be yours, Neville, just as surely as you can never be mine.”
“We have nothing but time this night, Gwendolyn,” he murmured, leaning forward he pressed a kiss upon her temple.
“Time… this evening will pass too swiftly, and then I will once more be returned to the nightmare of my life.”
“Then do not think of what the morrow will bring. Tonight, I will keep you safe at my side.”
Gwendolyn leaned her head upon his shoulder and he put his arm around her. Safe. He was like a boat anchor keeping her grounded whilst the waves crashed against the shore, attempting to pull loose the ropes that would keep her moored to a dock. Yet, the reality of her life remained with her and her conscience would not let go of the values she had adhered to all her life.
She leaned back to look up at the most handsomest man she had ever beheld. “I cannot become your mistress, Neville,” she confessed. He stroked his hand through her hair so gently she almost burst out into tears at the injustice of it all.
“I know,” he whispered, before leaning down to give her their first kiss.
How could she have known just one taste would make a simple kiss so meaningful? How could she have known a kiss could be so pleasurable? How could she have known her life would change forever in the instant their breath mingled as one? She had changed, and she now knew what everyone spoke of when they said they were in love. Love… she had fallen in love with Neville the moment she had first seen him. However in the world would she live without him? More importantly, how was she supposed to return home to a husband she could not help but hate?
Neville held Gwendolyn in his arms and swore he wished never to let her go. He deepened their kiss and a fire erupted in his loins he would be hard pressed to put out. If she only knew what she did to him with the simple gesture of cupping his face, she would have run from her brother’s house and never looked back. What had they gotten themselves into?
He broke off their kiss and disappointment flashed in her eyes. “Do not stop, Drayton,” she murmured seductively.
Neville smiled knowing from the use of his title she was miffed at him. “I cannot take much more, my sweet Gwendolyn.” He pressed forward to nibble on her pouting lower lip. “I am only a man after all, and your sweet charms will be my undoing if we continue.”
She put her arms around his neck and pulled. “Just one more. Make me forget everything else but you.”
Neville groaned and gave in to her demand. How could he not, when she begged him for another kiss? He pressed her down so she was lying on the settee, but when their bodies molded together as one, her eyes flew open wide. There was no way to hide his arousal pressed intimately against her.
The grin he gave her must surely appear wicked. If he did not know better, he would have said her reaction was virginal, but surely that could not be the case? She was a married woman and must know what she was doing.
Unless… he had never heard of Sandhurst keeping a mistress, and thought the first Lady Sandhurst had died in childbirth, there were rumors that she had a lover.
Yet the tiny whimpers he heard deep in Gwendolyn’s throat suggested she was familiar with passion. Or was that merely her reaction to being with him?
Neville pressed himself against Gwendolyn once more to test his theory. A gasp escaped her and she pushed against him until he sat up.
Nothing But Time: A Family of Worth, Book One
Available for pre-order for $2.99
Nothing But Time: A Family of Worth, Book One
Heat Level: Steamy
They will risk everything for their forbidden love…
When Lady Gwendolyn Marie Worthington is forced to marry a man old enough to be her father, she concludes love will never enter her life. Her husband is a cruel man who blames her for his own failings. Then she meets her brother’s attractive business associate, and all those longings she had thought gone forever suddenly reappear.
A long-term romance holds no appeal for Neville Quinn, Earl of Drayton until an unexpected encounter with the sister of the Duke of Hartford. Still, he resists giving his heart to another woman, especially one who belongs to another man.
Chance encounters lead to intimate dinners, until Neville and Gwendolyn flee to Berwyck Castle at Scotland’s border hoping beyond reason their fragile love will survive the vindictive reach of Gwendolyn’s possessive husband. Before their journey is over, Gwendolyn will risk losing the only love she has ever known.