Welcome to another First Kiss Friday! Today I’m welcoming my friend and fellow Bluestocking Belle Jessica Cale to give us an excerpt from her novella Beauty and the Bounder. Jessica and I are thrilled our box set with the Belles, Valentines From Bath, releases tomorrow! Enjoy this excerpt and happy reading!
“I’m afraid there are some things rather more important than a fortune. To me,” Seb admitted.
Emilia arched a dark brow, intrigued. “Are there?”
He bit his lip to keep himself from biting hers. She was a lady and likely a maiden; he couldn’t have his way with her in a public pool. He glanced down as he felt her other hand span his ribs. If anyone happened by, this would look very, very bad.
Seb stepped closer. “Wit,” he offered. “Intelligence, beauty, passion.”
“I see,” she murmured, quite breathless. “And have you met such a paragon, Mr. Virtue?”
Though every bit of good sense he had left urged him not to, he leaned in, grasping the tiles on either side of her curvaceous thighs. If he took her in his arms, he wouldn’t let go. “I’m looking at her,” he whispered.
Emilia’s eyes widened, every shade of amber shining in the candlelight. He felt her toes brush his thighs under the water. “And . . .” Her gaze dropped to his mouth before returning to his eyes. “If she had no fortune or name?”
“I’d give her mine,” he swore.
Emilia shuddered. Misreading it as a reaction to the cold, he folded her in his arms to warm her. Her hands spanned his back to pull him closer, and before he could think better of it, he was kissing her. He couldn’t say if he’d initiated it or if she had, but the entire French army couldn’t make him stop. Her lips were even lusher than they looked, her mouth hot and hungry. She kissed him like it was the last time as well as the first, and maybe it was. Maybe his years of planning, saving, and practicing had all led to this one fleeting moment, this one illicit kiss.
It was worth it.
Valentines From Bath:
A Bluestocking Belles Collection
Release Date: February 9, 2019
Blurb for Beauty and the Bounder:
The moment Lady Emilia sets eyes on the Chevalier d’Aubusson, she knows their fates are tied together. For good or ill, she cannot say. A mysterious aristocrat with a tragic past, the chevalier makes waves with his considerable charm.
But the chevalier is not as he seems. There are cracks in his story, and Emilia never could resist a mystery. Whether he’s a gentleman or a bounder, he might just be the man for her.
About Valentines From Bath:
The Master of Ceremonies announces a great ball to be held on Valentine’s Day in the Upper Assembly Rooms of Bath. Ladies of the highest rank—and some who wish they were—scheme, prepare, and compete to make best use of the opportunity. Dukes, earls, tradesmen, and the occasional charlatan are alert to the possibilities as the event draws nigh.
But anything can happen in the magic of music and candlelight as couples dance, flirt, and open themselves to romantic possibilities. Problems and conflict may just fade away at a Valentine’s Day Ball.
25% of the proceeds benefit our mutual charity the Malala Fund
Jessica Cale is a romance author, editor, and historian based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. She is the editor of Dirty, Sexy History and you can visit her at www.dirtysexyhistory.com.