It’s a pleasure to welcome my guest Mary Lancaster to my First Kiss Friday Blog. We’ve been celebrating the success of our box set Storm & Shelter and Mary has her first kiss scene to share with you today. Enjoy this excerpt from Mary’s novella An Improbably Hero. Happy reading, my lovelies!
She could only pad forlornly back to her own makeshift couch, where she lay listening to his breathing which sounded quite peaceful and even, as though he had gone straight back to sleep.
Only, she was sure he hadn’t.
A few minutes later, he proved her right by slipping from the bed. She heard the creak of the mattress, a rustle of cloth and the soft thud of feet on the floor. A black shadow moved through the darkness toward the door.
Instinctively, she leapt after him, bumping into the chest of drawers in her hurry. “Wait! Where are you going?” She tripped over something, possibly her own too-long chemise, and seized hold of him at the same moment as his arm swept around her waist to steady her. There seemed to be a bundle of clothing between them, held in his free hand.
“It seems I am not cut out for marriage,” he said sardonically. “I would rather sleep alone.”
“Where?” she demanded.
He shrugged. “In the parlor, or the tap room, I don’t much care.”
“But they will say we have had a quarrel and gossip. Think of the Tattler…”
“I would really rather not.”
“Actually, I don’t care about that at the moment either,” she admitted, “I am trying to persuade you to stay.”
“Why?” Actually, she didn’t know. “Because there is no need…it’s comfortab— You don’t need to run away from me. I am your friend.”
It was too dark to see his expression but she was sure she had taken him by surprise.
“Friend,” he repeated with derision. “And what do you think a friend should do in this situation? Whatever you imagine this situation to be.”
The grip of his arm had altered subtly. She was only too aware of its heat and strength, the intimate touch of his fingers at her waist. “Give you comfort,” she blurted, because she knew that was what he needed even if he would neither admit or accept it.
A breath that might have been laughter stirred her hair. “Oh, I hoped you would say that. And what would you do to comfort me?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted.
“Well, I can help there.”
The clothes between them slipped to the floor as he changed position. She gasped as his fingers slipped up her throat, sending wild, delicious shivers the length of her spine. Before she could grasp what any of it meant, he took hold of her chin and his mouth found hers.
Too shocked to move, she let it happen. And by the time she realized the danger, her lips were parted and trembling under his, and her whole body thrilled to the novelty. The enveloping darkness felt curiously hot.
“What a sweet distraction,” he whispered against her mouth as he swept her closer. He seemed to be wearing only his shirt, flapping loosely over unbuttoned breeches, and the intimacy overwhelmed her. She flung up one hand to clutch the shirt at his back, to steady herself as much as to pull him away, but somehow her hand tangled in the linen and she touched hot, velvet skin.
Distraction indeed. Her hand flattened over smoothness and ridges and undulating muscle, and the world tilted as he lifted her in his arms and strode to the bed.
As he laid her down with dizzying speed, his mouth left hers at last. An inarticulate sound of protest escaped her. The exciting heat of his body had gone, though one of his hands gripped her shoulder, then stroked gently across her collar bone to her throat.
His breath tickled her ear, sparking a slew of fresh sensation. “You are a sweet girl and a heady distraction. But perhaps I am not yet quite lost. You sleep in the bed.”
An Improbable Hero by Mary Lancaster
A runaway heiress, a mysterious stranger.
When Letty’s ship founders in a violent storm, she forges a rare bond with her rescuer.
Simon is a troubled man on a final, deadly mission—until the spirited yet soothing Letty makes him question everything. Hiding in plain sight among the refugees at The Queen’s Barque, Simon is more than capable of protecting them both. But when the floods recede, can either of them say goodbye?
Storm & Shelter: A Bluestocking Belles Collection With Friends Blurb:
When a storm blows off the North Sea and slams into the village of Fenwick on Sea, the villagers prepare for the inevitable: shipwreck, flood, land slips, and stranded travelers. The Queen’s Barque Inn quickly fills with the injured, the devious, and the lonely—lords, ladies, and simple folk; spies, pirates, and smugglers all trapped together. Intrigue crackles through the village, and passion lights up the hotel.
One storm, eight authors, eight heartwarming novellas.
About the author:
Mary Lancaster lives in Scotland with her husband, three mostly grown-up kids and a small, crazy dog.
Her first literary love was historical fiction, a genre which she relishes mixing up with romance and adventure in her own writing. Several of her novels feature actual historical characters as diverse as Hungarian revolutionaries, medieval English outlaws, and a family of eternally rebellious royal Scots. To say nothing of Vlad the Impaler.
Her most recent books are light fun Regency romances.
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