It’s always a pleasure when I can welcome back author Alina K. Field to my First Kiss Friday blog. With a new release right around the corner, Alina has an excerpt from Fated Hearts. Take it away Alina, and happy reading, my lovelies!
Thank you, Sherry, for having me as a guest! I’m sharing the first kiss scene from Fated Hearts, a Love After All Retelling of the Scottish Play, available for pre-order for the December 20th release.
Fated Hearts is based on the story of Macbeth and his lady, retold as a Regency-set romance. After a failed attempt to gain his cousin’s earldom, Finnley Macbeth divorced his wife Greer and went off to war. Twenty years later, they encounter each other in London during a chaotic and eventful week in British history. In this excerpt, Macbeth is recovering from wounds received when he was beaten on the street in the midst of the Corn Riots, and Greer is caring for him.
Framed in the candlelight, there was no lovelier vision then this woman he’d loved all his grown life. Even when he’d hated her, he’d done so with a passion, and a sorrow, and a grief that could only have been born in and sustained by love. He’d been such a fool. He would make this right.
“Mo chridhe,” he whispered. “Greer.” His throat thickened, and he cleared it. “Lay with me tonight. We need do no more than sleep.”
She raised an eyebrow and scoffed.
He laughed, glad she had lightened the mood.
“Go then. Change into your nightclothes and decide what ye wish. I am here behind a locked door and with a footman guarding it outside. I’m your captive, and ye may do with me as ye desire.”
“And the key is on your side, and the young man an easy match for a warrior, even an injured one.”
“Aye. Yet I’ll be here. And I’m feeling much better.” The next move must be hers. Except…
He tugged her close, captured her neck, and stole a quick kiss. Then he threw back the covers, bare-arsed as the day he was born.
Greer froze to the spot, only her hands twisting together beneath her beautiful bosom.
Biting his lip against the soreness in his bruised body, he hoisted himself to the side of the bed and stood before her in all his glorious nakedness.
She blinked. Her mouth opened, and closed, and then opened again. “Ye’ll rest and recover,” she said. “Ye’re not leaving. I’ll hide your coats.”
Lightheaded he might be, but the breathlessness in her voice roused that part of him that promised to carry on. If she would let him.
She needed to choose, and she needed a few moments of time for that. After all, it had been twenty years.
He found the discarded banyan, struggled into it, and sat down at the table near the fire. Tears welled in his eyes, and he wiped at them, cursing his surge of unmanliness. What a damned foolish, blockheaded Scotsman he’d been.
He wanted Greer, he wanted her to be his, for the rest of his life, no matter how short or how sorry it might be.
He must go about it the right way, though. She must see him as he was, with all his wounds, and she must decide.
As the fire dimmed, and the moments ticked on, he waited. No noise came through the stout dressing room door.
She wasn’t coming. Heart sinking, he pushed to his feet.
The latch rattled and a draft of cool lavender wafted his way, drawing him around. He gripped the back of the chair as time melted away and carried him back two decades.
The dress—and, praise God—the corset, were gone. She stood in a lacy transparent shift, her dressing gown loose and untied, her feet bare, and her hair… her hair was unbound, rich tendrils reaching to tease the peaks of her breasts.
Blood pounded into his arms and his legs and his loins, screaming Take her.
He breathed, struggling for control. Consequences, Macbeth. ’Twas a discipline he’d pressed into his men, sometimes with the lash when nothing else would restore self-restraint. A woman, any woman deserved better than to be taken unwillingly. And Greer…Greer was much, much more than any woman.
“Greer,” he said, searching for breath. “Tha thu brèagha mo ghaol.”
Tha thu brèagha mo ghaol.
Greer’s hands tightened at her waist, her emotions a jumble. You are beautiful, my love, he’d said.
And but look at him, stretching the shoulders of the generously sized dressing gown, his hair in those wild flaming tangles of waves she remembered, falling all the way to his broad, muscled shoulders. In the light of the table lamp, she could see also his whiskers coming in, glistening like the hair on his muscled chest visible in the vee of the gaping banyan.
And his eyes…his eyes glowed a dark, compelling bronze. Heat leapt in her, unfurling long-repressed needs.
“Mo ghaol,” she said, her heart beating wildly, sudden shyness holding her back.
Finnley had ever been eager. Why didn’t he come to her now?
Her gaze traveled over him, and she spotted his hands, gripping the chair back, the knuckles white and crisscrossed with scars. He loosened one hand and reached out to her.
“I am here,” he said.
I am here. Simply that. He expected her to capitulate even more, and come to him.
Or…he was tempting her fiercely and letting her choose.
“For how long?”
He blinked. “How long do ye wish me to stay?”
The hand beckoning her was steady and strong, the pull of desire, his and her own, even stronger. She would have him tonight, him, the only man she’d ever made love to. The only man she’d ever loved.
“Ye must stay tonight, certainly,” she said briskly, “and perhaps tomorrow night as well if the surgeon requires it.”
The slow smile, the intense gaze, reached through her and squeezed her heart. “Greer,” he said.
Heart pounding, she went to him and slipped under his arm. “Let me help ye back into bed.”
In a flash, he scooped her up and juggled her, grunting. “Mo ghaol,” he said, nuzzling her cheek. “Ye smell like springtime.”
She smoothed a hand down his bristly cheek, unable to speak. He smelled of the lemony soap Lady Fiona kept for the washstand, and the faint manly musk that was his alone.
His breath rasped carrying her, and then her bottom touched the mattress, and her dressing gown disappeared, along with his banyan.
He knelt before her, his big hands cupping her shoulders, moving down her arms, touching, measuring, and inflaming, moving up again, bracketing her chest under her armpits and then sliding down, his thumbs tracing the sides of her breasts, gliding along her belly, down her hips, and along her legs all the way to her feet.
He cradled one foot and dropped a kiss on the top of it, and then repeated the move with the other.
Eyes squeezed shut, she held back the desire threatening to burst her apart.
She lifted his chin and brought her lips to his, touching, nibbling, and then angling her head for an open-mouthed kiss.
by Alina K. Field
A Scottish Baron returning from two decades at war meets the daughter he denied was his, and the wife he divorced, only to learn that everything he’d believed to be true was a lie. What he can’t deny is that she’s the only woman he’s ever loved. They’re not the young lovers they once were, but when passion flares, it burns more hotly than ever it did in their youth.
They soon discover, it wasn’t fate that drove them apart, but a jealous enemy, who played on his youthful arrogance and her vulnerability. Now that old enemy has resurfaced, more treacherous than ever. When his lady falls into a trap, can he reach her in time to rescue this love that never died?
Available 12/29/20, pre-order today! Universal link: https://books2read.com/u/bQdyPP
About the Author:
Award winning and USA Today bestselling author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California, where she shares a midcentury home with her husband and a spunky, blond rescued terrier. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. Though hard at work on her next series of romantic adventures, she loves to hear from readers!
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alina-K.-Field/e/B00DZHWOKY
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