Welcome to my First Kiss Friday blog. Last week I introduced you to my dear friend Veronica Crowe and her new release The Wrong Prince. Today, she’s returning to share a first kiss excerpt with you… you may wish to have a fan ready! Please be sure to show some love to Veronica by leaving a comment. Happy reading and enjoy, my lovelies!
“I don’t even know your name,” Richard whispered in her ear. “I’d like to see you again, princess, if you will let me.”
Cassandra snapped her head up, alarm rising in her throat. She had almost forgotten. They might have spoken to each other at Almack’s, but she had never given him her name! He did not know who she truly was, nor did any of the guests in this house. Both of them were just nameless painted faces in a sea of kings and queens, princes and princesses, and a number of costumed others.
Could it be possible for her to be with him for just one night, shrouded under the protection of anonymity? To delight in his embrace; to lose herself in his kiss for just a few stolen moments before he was gone? Could she have Richard, at least once, before he was taken away from her forever?
Cassandra’s heart lurched in earnest at the thought. He could never be hers—what else was there for her to lose? Life was too short to spend wondering about what could have been. What difference would it make if she took her chances with him now? One night was all she needed; to share an embrace and a few kisses—a treasured moment in time where the two of them belonged to no one but each other.
“Meet me by the fountain in the garden,” she said with a slight tremor in her voice as the waltz ended. Then, she slid from his arms and disappeared into the festive throng of colorfully dressed guests, her back straight and heart pounding with a mixture of excitement and trepidation at her brazenness.
A few minutes later, she emerged from the veranda and made her way into the dimly lit gardens below. Lanterns lined the path and flickered from the trees as she wandered deeper into the hedges. Around her, concealed from view, she could hear the giggles and murmurs of couples out on a rendezvous.
She wrinkled her eyebrows as she came upon a centerpiece with the statue of Aphrodite on a pedestal, turning her head to the left and then to the right in confusion. From where she stood, the pathway divided into three lanes. She wondered where the blasted fountain could be, before deciding that the most practical way would be to take the middle. However, as she neared the end of the trail, she heard the gush of water not just from the path up ahead, but also from either side of the tall hedges separating the pathways.
She paused in her tracks, uncertain of what to do as she realized there was more than one fountain. The garden in this part of the property was the farthest from the house and it was very dark, save for an occasional flickering lantern spaced a good distance apart from each one than those nearer to the residence. Only the silken light of the moon served as the other form of illumination that washed over the landscape, turning everything it touched into a somber shade of silver and gray, crowning the ebony shadows swaying in the slight breeze. Everything in the landscape appeared grotesque and mysterious, even somewhat sinister, inciting a spurt of uncertainty and apprehensiveness in her bosom. An eerie silence pervaded the unfamiliar surroundings, and she had the unnerving feeling that unseen creatures hiding in the shrubbery were watching her every move.
Cassandra hugged herself, rubbing her arms, and wondered if she should just give up and turn around. At the unexpected echo of strange noises and rustling coming from the trees, she whipped around this way and that, peering into the darkness, straining her eyes to see what lies beyond. Maybe this was a mistake. Perhaps she should return to Mama and Allayne.
She began to back away and retrace her steps, but then, from the corner of her eye, she caught a distinct movement to her right. Spinning in that direction, she caught a glimpse of the prince of her dreams to the fore, resplendent in his magnificent royalty costume.
He had his back turned, facing the enormous fountain—waiting for her.
A renewed determination shot through her veins. Her heart began to pound rapidly in her chest. She could do this. She would not miss it for anything. Sweat broke upon her brow and she wiped hands that had suddenly turned clammy on her skirt. Fairly trembling with anxiety and anticipation, she sneaked up to him until he was just a breath away. But then, a crackle broke the stillness as she stepped on a dried leaf, and he turned swiftly at the sound to face her. On impulse, she swiftly rose on her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him into a passionate kiss before she completely lost her nerve.
And dear God, did he match her passion with his own! Despite her inexperience, she took his lead, mirroring his movements, receiving him wholeheartedly without hesitation.
Their tongues twined and he explored her mouth with such skill it made her moan and melt in his arms. He was a wonderful kisser, just the way she had imagined him to be.
The kiss went on and on until she felt his hand slide up to cup her breast and squeeze it gently. She gasped as his thumb rolled her nipple over the thin silk of her dress. Then, he plundered her mouth some more in a demanding kiss that swept the air from her lungs.
Cassandra’s knees turned to jelly at the intensity of the rapture they shared. She leaned heavily against him, lost in her own slice of heaven on earth. His arms tightened and fastened her possessively against him, crushing her breasts into his hard, muscled chest. Her mind deserted her when suddenly, his mouth left hers and skimmed over her throat, gliding downwards in a lazy course until his tongue found the cleft between her breasts and dipped inside with wet, slow strokes.
A surge of warmth flooded the triangle between her thighs, and she closed her eyes at the overwhelming desire she felt, allowing him to feast on her bosom. When she couldn’t stand the sensation he aroused any longer, she clutched his hair to bring his mouth back to hers. Good God, but she wanted to keep on kissing him forever! She wanted to remember his taste, his scent, the feel of his mouth and hands on her. She wanted to imprint his whole person in her memory so that when this dream ended, she could play it in her mind over and over again whenever the wretchedness of missing him overtook her.
A small protest escaped her lips when he pulled abruptly away, breaking their fervent kiss, and yanking her unceremoniously out of her magical fantasy.
“I see you’ve been practicing,” he drawled in that unmistakable voice Cassandra would recognize even on her deathbed.
“Oh!” She gasped in shock and sprang away from him like a frightened rabbit, still panting from the heat of his bold advances. A feeling of horror slowly stemmed in her gut and snaked up to her flaming cheeks.
“J-Jeremy?” she managed to say in a small voice.
“Who the devil did you think it was?” He pulled off his mask and gave her that heart-stopping crooked smile of his. “Prince bloody Charming?”
The Wrong Prince
Book #1 in the Heirs of Cornwall Series
By Veronica Crowe
Will her childhood knight come charging in on a white horse and rescue her?
Richard Christopher Radcliffe, the Marquess of Sunderland, the man Miss Cassandra Carlyle has loved since she was a little girl, has returned—with his betrothed in hand. Lady Desiree was the picture of grace, beauty and perfection, everything that the naive, unsophisticated, young Cassandra was not.
Dejected and brokenhearted, Cassandra asked her family to take her to London for her first season. With the aid of her friend, Jeremiah Devlin Huntington, Marquess of Waterford, she soon found herself touted as the darling of the ton.
Cassandra could not be more pleased with her success, newfound popularity, and impressive list of eligible suitors.
Will Richard take notice and come charging in on a white horse? Or will she find love where she least expects it—but is too blind with her childhood infatuation to notice all along?
Buy Link or Read FREE in Kindle Unlimited: http://bit.ly/TheWrongPrince
About the Author:
Veronica Crowe is the author of the Heirs of Cornwall series for Dragonblade Publishing. If you like laugh-out-loud Regency romance full of romantic entanglements, hilarious misadventures, profound, heartfelt moments, and grand happy endings, this series is for you!
Heirs of Cornwall Books:
The Wrong Prince
The Viscount’s Heir
My Only Earl
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/Veronica-Crowe-107641207752085