Every day is Valentine’s Day when you’re in love, right? Since it’s First Kiss Friday, how about if we go back a few months to the release of Valentine’s From Bath: A Bluestocking Belles Collection? My novella contribution to the set was The Earl Takes a Wife featuring Adrian de Courtenay whom you first met in his sister’s story, A Kiss for Charity. I might just have a giveaway at the end of this post so be sure to read all the way to the end. Happy reading and enjoy, my lovelies!
Adrian gently maneuvered her against the brick of the manor, his body a protective shield along with a trellis filled with ivy vines to efficiently hide her. Her mind work furiously hoping she was not another conquest and this was not some kind of habit he had done before with some other willing lady.
His long fingers reached out and took her chin, tilting her face upward so she could do nothing more than stare into those mesmerizing blue eyes. The corners of his mouth lifted into a sensual grin and Celia was lost to everything but him.
His name rushed out from between her lips as though they were already lovers causing her face to flush crimson if he could but see it in the dim light. Her hands moved of their own accord to tentatively touch his waist. At her apparent encouragement, he stepped even closer until she could feel the very heat of him against her young trembling body. His hand slid to her cheek, the thumb rubbed a gentle pattern as if to calm her but she was anything but calm. The anticipation of his kiss was going to kill her.
A heavy sigh escaped him. “You should leave.” His voice was strained as though he was struggling within himself.
“Yes… I probably should.” Her hands crept upward to finger the buttons of his waistcoat, the floral pattern in deep contrast to the rest of his dark attire. A mental image from her dreams of her undressing Adrian on their wedding night flashed in her head. With such a startling memory, her hands quickly travelled to the edge of his jacket as if holding onto him might give her strength and the support she needed to remain level headed.
His breath was warm against her temple when he placed a soft kiss at her hairline before he touched his forehead to her own.
“You are not leaving,” he murmured, his hands moving down her arms as if she needed warming. His voice was low and husky causing her flesh to shiver in anticipation of the unknown.
“I cannot,” she managed to croak out while she tried to find a way to breathe. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind she knew she must flee but she ignored the warning especially when her stomach flipped when his arm swooped around her waist.
“Why not?” he asked, pulling her closer so there was no doubt left in her mind that he wanted her. She may be young but she certainly understood the fundamentals of what she should have expected when she took his hand into the coolness of the night.
Celia wound her arm around his neck, touching the curling edges of his brown hair. God only knew how much she had been dying to do that since Hollystone Hall. She swallowed hard and rushed onward, her fate sealed to this man whether he knew it or not. “Because I have dreamed of your kisses from the day we first met,” she confessed, her words seemingly loud as though such an admission should be shouted for all the world to hear.
Adrian muttered something beneath his breath before he gave her a little shake. “I made you a promise that I would behave as a gentleman,” he growled out while he apparently continued to struggle with whatever he was feeling.
His voice made her shiver yet again but she kept her place within his embrace. “I would expect nothing less.”
He took her face into the palm of his hands in order to study her reaction to his touch. She covered one of his hands with her own. “If we stay out here, I have no doubt I will break such a vow,” he replied.
“Then before I lose my nerve to ask such a request of you…” Celia hesitated but an instant before she rushed on in an urgent plea, “…kiss me, Adrian. Kiss me like—”
…you love me, she finished when he cut off her words for she had no other recourse because Adrian did just that. Kissed her. Right there. In the moonlight. With half of Society but a breath away.
His kiss was demanding at first before he softened his lips on hers. Clearly she had no idea what to do with her mouth since this was her very first kiss. He must have realized such a fact because everything changed between them. Although with the possession of his mouth on hers, their situation was charged with an unseen energy that Celia never wanted to end.
Unsure what to do, she stood as still as one of the marble statues in her uncle’s garden. Until, with a gentle urging from Adrian, she opened her mouth and followed his lead. A willing pupil while the master taught her what he enjoyed.
He easily slipped his tongue inside. Warm fire erupted in her veins while her tongue warred with his. A low moan escaped her, unbidden, but easily detected in the silence of the night. A tell-tale sign of the true depth of her feelings for the man who kissed her senseless.
Nothing had ever prepared her for the heady rush of emotions that enveloped her whole being. His arms tightened around her, she clutched at him like she was starving and only Adrian could satisfy her cravings. Nothing mattered. Not the ball. Not her sisters. Not Phillip. Not even her father. The only thing Celia realized was that if Adrian could kiss her like this, than surely he, too, must care for her. Did he love…?
They tore their lips apart while the sound of her name continued to echo off into the night. Her breathing heavy, she melted into Adrian’s arms and heard his own heartbeat running wild. He was just as affected as she was.
The Earl Takes a Wife by Sherry Ewing in
Valentine’s From Bath: A Bluestocking Belles Collection
It began with a memory, etched in the heart…
Lady Celia Lacey is too young for a husband, especially man-about-town Lord Adrian de Courtenay. But when she meets him at a house party, she falls in love and cannot get him out of her mind. Will he ever think she is old enough to become his wife?
Adrian finds the appealing innocent impossible to forget, though she is barely out of the schoolroom and a relative by marriage. If they are constantly in each other’s company, then how can he move on without her?
His sister’s deceptions bring them together but destroys their happiness. Can they reach past the hurt to the love that still burns?
Buy Links for Valentines From Bath:
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2S9TwSh
Did I mention a giveaway? If you haven’t read A Kiss For Charity, here’s your chance to win a eCopy of the novella that first appeared in Holly and Hopeful Hearts. For your chance to win, leave me a comment about one of those romantic moments you’ve experienced that still lingers in your heart. I’ll generate a random comment after the weekend as the winner.
Click on the book tab above to learn more about Lady Grace de Courtenay and her journey to finding love!