Today on First Kiss Friday, I’ll be giving you an excerpt from To Follow My Heart: The Knight of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time (Book Three). I was pretty excited to learn back in June, that InD’Tale Magazine reviewed this novel and gave it 4 1/2 stars which earned it the coveted crowned heart. These are exciting times for this author, especially with the Romance Writers of America conference going on this week. I hope you enjoy this first kiss scene between Fletcher and Jenna. Happy reading!
She looked over at him, and she could not mistake the sudden intimacy that came to surround them. She lost her train of thought while she gazed into his unusually colored eyes. What had he been saying?
“Please…call me Jenna.” As she heard her own voice soften, he leaned forward, she presumed, to hear her shyly whispered request.
“Jenna,” he said, just as softly. “Since you have given me permission to use your given name, you must needs reciprocate and call me Fletcher.”
The almost seductive tone of his voice sent another rippling shiver up and down her spine. “If you insist…Fletcher.” She watched the roguish grin spread across his face.
“Aye, I am afraid you must needs indulge my whim,” he continued huskily.
Charm…he had loads of it, and she wondered if this was maybe only a game to him, although she doubted it. He seemed sincere enough, but considering how her past relationships with men had gone, she wanted to tread carefully and not get hurt again.
“And is this all I am to you? Just a whim of fate you’re stuck with, Fletcher?” she blurted out smartly before she thought better of it.
He sat up to lean forward and whispered into her ear. “It gives me great pleasure to hear my name as it passes your lips, even if you are cross with me.”
“You’ve hardly answered my question. Do you think I’m just some easy conquest, because you, more or less, feel responsible for me?” The hair on the back of her neck rose. She wasn’t sure if her body’s reaction was from his hushed words spoken in her ear or was a warning sign to be wary of him.
“I did not mean to insult you, Jenna, and I certainly meant no disrespect.”
He was so close, she could see golden flecks of color in his eyes she had never noticed before. Once again, tingles of pleasure raced from her head all the way down to her toes. But, she wasn’t going to think about what was going on with her body. She tucked a stray lock of her hair behind her ear to distract herself. He seemed to be waiting for her to come to the realization and decision that he was sincere.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, biting her lower lip. “Everything is just happening so fast, it’s all very confusing. I think I may have said or thought that about one hundred times since I’ve landed here.”
Fletcher reached over to take her hand between his fingers and placed a kiss on its back. She was expecting him to let go, but instead, he only cupped it with his other one, encasing her own trembling hand into a warm cocoon of comfort. “I do not feel this is some game we are playing, ma cherie, although a meddlesome ghost has gone to great lengths to put us together.”
“You’re kidding me?” A laugh escaped her, and yet, if time travel were possible, then why not ghosts, too?
“Nay, my lady. I would not jest about so serious a matter. I must admit, I am still bemused as to his motives, but I believe he may have been aware of my need to have someone to complete my life. He must have sensed your need, as well.”
“I don’t know how a ghost from this century could know anything about what I need or want for my life.”
Fletcher gave her a small smile. “I will not try to presume to know the wandering thoughts or motives of Sir Rolf, but you are here. Surely, that alone must tell you something of the miracle that has brought us together.”
Jenna hesitated only for a moment. “And do you speak to this ghost friend of yours often? I assume he is a friend of yours.”
“Aye, he was a friend, and I fought beside him for many a year.” Fletcher got another far off look in his eyes until he returned to the present. “As for having speech with him, that is another matter, entirely. I have only had one conversation with him, and that was the day you came to us upon the strand. ’Twas mostly a one-sided conversation, since he was muttering most insistent at me inside my head. ’Tis very alarming when one does not expect such an occurrence.”
“That happened to me, as well! I thought I was losing my mind, or whatever I had left of it from this insane journey I seem to be on,” Jenna exclaimed. “I was wondering why I was here, and he said, ‘Because you wished it.’”
“You were wishing to be brought here?”
Jenna’s hand rose to her temple before she turned her eyes to him. “I suppose, in a way, I was. I was wishing for a time of grace and beauty, of knights and castles. Things long forgotten where I live. Now, here I am.”
“Amazing.” Fletcher again brought her hand up to his lips. “I have often heard tell love is a leap. Sometimes, you need to jump in order to find it.”
“Are you asking me to leap to discover it for myself?” Jenna murmured.
“Mayhap, I am, along with having a little faith all will work out, as it should.”
“And are you willing to jump along with me?” She held her breath while she waited for his answer.
He smiled at her, and Jenna swore her heart was about to burst from her chest. “Most assuredly, my lady.”
Jenna wasn’t sure how her hand found its way to cup his cheek. Her thumb rubbed across the bristly stubble on his face. She wasn’t even sure how she found herself leaning forward to kiss him until her lips were but inches from his own. His mouth parted as she began to close her eyes. Their breaths mingled together as one. For one heartbeat, reality had no meaning, and when his mouth descended upon hers, she forgot everything else but him. The kiss was one dreams were made of. Gentle, soft, undemanding, one she could replay in her mind a hundred times and still want to hit rewind so she could watch and relive the overwhelming sensations all over again.
Thunder sounded in the distance, bringing Jenna back from falling off the edge of one of the most romantic phenomena that had ever happened in her entire life. Before she could speak, Fletcher captured her lips in another quick kiss that was over far too quickly for Jenna’s liking.
“Fletcher…” she gave a breathless sigh. “That had to be one of the most perfect first kisses in the history of mankind.”
TO FOLLOW MY HEART (THE KNIGHTS OF BERWYCK , A QUEST THROUGH TIME NOVEL #3 – InD’Tale Magazine Review
TIME TRAVEL/HISTORICAL: Jenna Sinclair is looking to soothe her wounded ego after a nasty breakup by visiting her favorite location in San Francisco, but while walking the beach she is suddenly transported through a portal that catapults her back in time to Berwyck Castle, England in 1182.
Garrison captain Sir Fletcher Monroe has met his fair share of time travelers. When a ghost advises him to visit the beach he follows his instincts, and loses his heart when Jenna arrives. While still acclimating to the past Jenna is compelled to return to her own time− but how can she return and still pursue her feelings for Sir Fletcher?
A treat for time-travel buffs, “To Follow My Heart” is a well-written tale that will engage readers with its originality. As the third installment in the Knights of Berwyck series, this tale is strong enough on its own merits that it will lend readers to overlook hints and partial histories alluding to the first two books. Finding herself a fish out of water, strong-minded Jenna adapts rather quickly. Readers will find her even more endearing upon her second journey through time. Sir Fletcher is a hunky, honorable knight who will do anything to keep Jenna safe while staking his claim on her heart. The turning-of-the-tables in this tale provide the endearing qualities authors strive for. This time travel with multiple journeys gives the everyday a fresh twist that will pique reader’s curiosity in order to seek out previous installments.
Review by Jordyn Teel
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