It’s First Kiss Friday and it’s always a great day when I can introduce one of my fellow Bluestocking Belles. Please help me welcome Amy Quinton who will be sharing the first kiss scene from her novella The Umbrella Chronicles: John and Emma’s Story in our upcoming box set Valentines From Bath. Happy reading and enjoy!
In this scene, our hero, Dr. John Edward Hartwell, has caught a flash of light from outside as he meanders through the first-floor drawing room. He strolls over to the window and watches with disbelieving eyes as a person dances beneath the stars around the open flames of a fire, with what appears to be an umbrella in her hand. Alone. Then, suddenly his mystery woman reaches over and throws something on the fire.
A few moments later, John finds himself beneath the stars, standing just outside the circle of light, no more able to reckon her reasoning there than from inside the drawing room.
Emma, it seems, is burning some ferns and dancing and swaying and darting clockwise around a small fire, a black umbrella in her hand.
Our scene begins here with John asking our heroine, Emma:
“What are you doing?”
She didn’t stop her twirling as she replied, “Don’t say it.”
He held his hands in surrender, though she couldn’t very well see him and asked, “Say what?”
“That I’m crazy.”
He chuckled. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”
She spun again. “If you must know, King Charles I believed this worked.” She gestured at the fire as she rocked back and forth before spinning once again. “That burning ferns would invite rain.” She stopped as she drew before him, breathless from her dancing. “In fact, he believed in it so strongly that when he travelled, he often banned the use of burning ferns in any town he visited for the duration of his stay.”
He crossed her arms. “Fascinating.” He wasn’t sure if he should believe her, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t infinitely captivated.
She grinned and grabbed hold of his hands, attempting to twirl him into a dance. “Honestly.”
And oddly enough, he allowed her. They spun as they circled the fire; he stiff, his muscles unused to dancing; she fluid in her movements as if she danced every day. The warmth of her hands cast a spell over him, and he was helpless to resist her command.
He nodded at the umbrella, clasped between their joined hands. “But why do you wish it to rain?”
She shrugged and almost seemed to shy away. “The better to keep you here?”
He nearly stumbled. Instead, he risked a peek at the stars, twinkling down on them from the clear skies above. “It’s been clear for days and not likely to rain any time soon.”
When he looked at her again, she shrugged. “We shall see.”
“Emma.” They slowed to a stop. “Why?” He reached out and looped that persistently loose curl behind her ear. As he’d been wanting to do for days. Had he been able to see, he would have repinned it and dared it to defy him.
It was as silky as he’d imagined it would be.
Softly, he continued. “Why do you wish me to stay? Why me?”
She reached up and ran her hand down his cheek. “Because you’re perfect. For me.”
He shook his head and laughed, remembering their morning walk of several days ago. “But we are nothing alike.”
Now, it was her turn to shake her head. “Haven’t you heard? When two people making up a couple are exactly alike, one of them is redundant.”
Before he could reply, he felt a drop of water splash down on his cheek, and he glanced around to note that a light drizzle had begun to fall around them. Eyes wide with disbelief, he glanced at the fire, the sky, the umbrella, and then Emma herself as another drop landed squarely on her lips, the water sparkling in the light of the sputtering fire. She withdrew the Umbrella from their clasped hands and opened it, carefully, almost reverently. Then, he being taller, he took it from her, holding it over the both of them, protecting them from the damp. They were cocooned now, alone, as the rest of the world was washed away with the rain. Or perhaps it was the umbrella, keeping the safe. Drawing them together.
They each stepped closer to the other. The fire died. Darkness enveloped them, which was a fine thing, for water dotted his lenses, and he no longer had a flannel with which to clean them.
Rather than worry over it, he dipped his head and drew near her, unerringly finding her lips in the dark. Ah, God. Finally.
It was pure heaven. Shewas pure heaven. Just as he’d been imagining. For days.
With his free hand, he wrapped his arm around her and clasped her to him, and she allowed it, willingly pressed against him. She ran her hands through his hair, and for the first time ever, he was disorderly, mussed. In a public place, no less. And he relished every single minute of it.
Her lips tasted like sunshine and warmth. Comfort. And home. He could die in her arms and be content that this was the best possible way to leave this earthly plane.
He didn’t know what sort of magic she possessed, but it was truly potent.
And he didn’t mind.
He dove into a deeper kiss, tossing time and Oxford and appearances to the wind.
Tomorrow… tomorrow he would remember why they could never be.
Valentines From Bath releases February 9th
Preorder now for $0.99
The Umbrella Chronicles Blurb:
Dr. John Edward Hartwell is pathologically tidy and set in his ways—a more serious-minded man never existed.
But in his ways, lies misery.
Enter Miss Annie Merryweather—a woman as lovely as she is chaotic. She is the perfect compliment to our man of numbers and logic, bringing sunshine and superstition to thwart his future of certain wretchedness.
And now that she is convinced they are destined to be together—the signs, you see—no one can stand in her way, for she is as tenacious and optimistic as she is beautiful.
Will their hearts find common ground this Valentine’s Day?
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MP7WV4T/
Historical Romance Author, Mother of Boys, American Wife of an Englishman, Crafter, Reader, Camper, Bluestocking Belle
Amy Quinton is an author and full time mom living in Summerville, SC. She enjoys writing (and reading!) sexy, historical romances. She lives with her husband, two boys, and three cats. In her spare time, she likes to go camping, hiking, and canoeing/kayaking… And did she mention reading? When she’s not reading or traveling, she likes to make jewelry, sew, knit, and crochet (Yay for Ravelry!).
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00RUHIXZ0
Goodreads Author Page: https:/www.goodreads.com/author/show/10912294
Book Page: https://amyquinton.net/published-works/valentines-from-bath/
Reblogged this on Amy Quinton and commented:
I’m so pleased to share Emma and John’s kiss on Sherry Ewing’s First Kiss Friday blog…
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks for being my guest today, Amy! Our readers are going to love this story!
Alison Pridie said:
Oh I’m on this very story right now and can’t wait to see how it ends. I love Harriet. When this lady wants to work her magic it never fails. 💖
Lori Dykes said:
I am so looking forward to reading this story and this entire collection! Each author is amazing on their own! Glad to see the Umbrella Chronicles continuing!!
LikeLiked by 1 person
I was glad to see the series continue, too, Lori!