Please welcome returning guest Jennae Vale to my First Kiss Friday Blog. Today Jennae has an excerpt from her time travel Wounded. We hope you’ll enjoy this first kiss scene. Happy reading, my lovelies!
“Thank you for letting me come with you.” Her voice seemed brighter now as she held her face up towards the sun, seemingly drinking in its warmth.
“I’m happy to be of service.” He meant it. He would do anything for her if it was within his power.
She was so busy looking up at Payton that she almost walked into a tree. He placed his hands on her shoulders so that she avoided it. Crystal leaned into him, as she lost her balance momentarily. “Thank you. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. You can let go now. I’ll be more careful, I promise. I can’t seem to stay on my feet around you.” She had a teasing glint in her eyes as she gazed at him.
Payton drew in a deep breath. The jolt he received when he touched her went straight to his gut. It was an uncomfortably pleasant feeling. One he shouldn’t be having. Not with this woman, but still his hands lingered for a moment longer. He let her go and then watched as she hurried ahead of him.
“This is my favorite spot,” she called back to him.
He knew exactly what she meant. It was his as well. The view from this spot on the trail was spectacular. The mountains of the Sierra Nevada stood tall, towering over all else around them.
“Do you mind if we sit for a minute?” she asked.
“No’ at all,” he replied, joining her as she sat on a fallen tree trunk which served as a bench to any hiker who needed a moment to take in the view.
“This is what I needed,” she said. “This place rejuvenates me every time.”
Crystal leaned towards him for a better view, resting on his arm. That same feeling overtook him once again, but more powerfully. He was frozen in place not wanting to move. He hadn’t realized how much he missed the touch of a woman. He wondered would it be the same if it were any other woman? He thought not. There was something about Crystal that captivated him. Try as he might to ignore it, it overtook him. Everything about her touched him in that place that belonged to Jenny. At the thought of his wife, he jumped to his feet.
“Are you okay?” Crystal asked, standing in front of him. When he didn’t answer, she placed a hand on his arm. “Payton?”
The sight of her face tipped up towards his, the feel of her hand on his arm, the heat of their bodies drawing him closer made it impossible for him to think of anything but Crystal. Her tongue darted out to wet her lips as she closed what little distance there was between them. He had decided to be her friend, but his hands moved on their own going to her face, as his lips found hers wanting so much more than her friendship. Lost as he was in the rapturous feeling of her lips on his he almost didn’t hear the sound of rustling from the trees behind them. He reluctantly let her go and turned to see a bear lumbering their way.
“Hey, bear,” Crystal said in a calm, soothing tone. She began to sing a song he’d not heard before, while holding onto Payton’s waist and walking backwards away from the bear.
“He means us no harm,” Payton said.
“I know. We’ll be fine if we just keep moving away.”
“Slow and steady, lass.” He pulled the bear spray from the spot where it hung on his belt. Ready if the bear charged. He was happy Crystal was behind him. “If he charges us, I’ll spray him. Ye keep walking.”
“I’m not going to leave you,” she said, repeating the same thing she’d said last night in the car.
He would have insisted, but the bear made a detour into some bushes to forage for berries.
“I think we’re fine. Let’s go.”
They picked up their pace and as soon as the bear was out of their line of vision, they turned and made their way back to the trailhead.
“That was close,” Crystal said as they reached the car.
All the way down the trail, Payton thought about the kiss he’d just shared with Crystal and chastised himself for betraying Jenny. It hadn’t been his plan, but he somehow couldn’t stop himself. His emotions were all over the place. He was angry at himself for his actions, sad because he’d disappointed himself and guilty because Crystal had just told him about her husband and he felt he’d taken advantage of her vulnerability.
“Crystal, my apologies. I should no’ have kissed ye.”
“Why not?” she asked in that straightforward way of hers.
“’Twas wrong of me,” there was a note of surprise in his voice. Why would she ask that? Wasn’t it obvious?
“Not in my mind,” she said. “Didn’t you like kissing me?”
“I did, verra much, but it can no’ happen again.” His discomfort was overwhelming him, and the firmness of his statement should have left no argument, but he was learning Crystal was quite outspoken.
“Okay. Again, why not? You’re an adult and I’m an adult and I liked it. I liked it a lot. If you wanted to kiss me again right now, I’d be more than okay with it.” She stood facing him, her hands on her hips, almost daring him to kiss her again. And oh how he wanted to.
“I can no’ explain it.”
“Try.” Was her curt reply.
“Yer husband… I can no’ take advantage of ye that way.”
“I think I should be the one to decide whether you’re taking advantage of me, don’t you think?” Her face went from confused to irritated with a scrunching of her eyebrows and narrowing of her eyes. She turned and opened her car door. “Get in.”
He did and she immediately started the engine and drove off towards the ranch.
Wounded Book 3 of
The Delight Series
By Jennae Vale
Small town romance meets time travel in California’s Sierra Nevada.
Payton Fletcher is a grieving widower who has lost his wife and child in eighteenth-century Scotland. Time traveling to present day Delight, California hasn’t helped him move past his grief. He spends his days and nights working to avoid the painful memories that he can’t seem to keep at bay. His only escape is hiking the rugged trails that surround his new home. The solitude of the hikes brings him relief from the good intentions of his brothers and the people of Delight, but keeps him locked in the prison of emotions he seems unable to escape.
Crystal Stone has had a loss of her own. After her husband’s death, she and her daughter move back to Delight to live with her mother. Crystal is a psychic and believes there is someone nearby who needs her help. She thinks it might be Payton, but there is a very real possibility it could be someone or something else that is calling to her for help.
Crystal has an almost immediate attraction to Payton, but he has vowed to love only one woman and he will not betray his vows. Will Payton and Crystal be able to abandon their grief, or will they remain tethered to their pasts? If the people of Delight have their way, anything could be possible.
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086R5Q5PT
About the Author:
Jennae Vale is a best selling author of romance with a touch of magic. As a history buff from an early age, Jennae often found herself day-dreaming in history class and wondering what it would be like to live in the places and time periods she was learning about. Writing time travel romance has given her an opportunity to take those daydreams and turn them into stories to share with readers everywhere.
Originally from the Boston area, Jennae now lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where some of her characters also reside. When Jennae isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and her pets, and daydreaming, of course.