It’s another First Kiss Friday and today it’s my pleasure to welcome the fabulous Grace Burrowes to my blog. Grace is sharing the first kiss scene from her novella A Kiss By The Sea currently in the Bluestocking Belles’ box set Storm & Shelter. Enjoy this first kiss scene, my lovelies, and happy reading!
He fell silent, and Sarah found she had no need to chatter. A glow on the horizon of the vast silvery sea to the east presaged an imminent moonrise.
The conversation with Mr. Penn had been extraordinary. No talk of the weather. No malicious gossip about other women. No speculation about who would offer for whom. The whole day, from Mrs. Peabody’s odd friendliness and scrumptious shepherds’ pie, to the hum and bustle of the village, to the sight of Mr. Penn without his shirt, had been a revelation.
Proof that life—and good life—existed outside of Mayfair, beyond Uncle’s lectures, out past Miss Framington’s hypocritical sermons. People lived and loved without consulting Debrett’s or etiquette manuals. They had things to do besides fittings, at homes, and calls. They cared for one another without a thought for who had large settlements or a large bosom.
The relief—the vindication—Fenwick on Sea had provided in the space of a day was as immense as the ocean.
And Mr. Penn was part of that vindication. He’d been naked before her from the waist up, and hadn’t turned the moment scandalous. He was sitting alone with her in the dark, and his hands weren’t wandering. He had commendedher on breaking her engagement, and he had done her the precious courtesy of listening to her.
The first sliver of golden light broke the horizon gilding the waves and whitecaps.
“I have not watched a moonrise in too long,” Mr. Penn said, “much less in such congenial company. I hope you’ll tarry a while in Fenwick, Mrs. Winston.”
“My maternal grandmother was Mrs. Winston. My given name is Sarah, and I am nobody’s missus, thank heavens.”
Another slight pause followed. Perhaps Mr. Penn was allowing Sarah a moment to give him the rest of her name, or perhaps she had shocked him.
“The locals know me as Thaddeus Penn, but my full name is Thaddeus Pennrith—at your service.” He added that last with an ironic smile.
She did not say, Your secret is safe with me, because he had to know that, just as she knew he would not spread her confidences in the high street. His name sounded vaguely familiar—Sarah had studied Debrett’s thoroughly before making her come-out—but the details refused to come to her.
The moon drifted higher until it cleared the horizon, casting silver beams on the flooded marshes as well as the endless sea. Night birds sang and, in the distance, the roar and retreat of the surf confirmed—as if the whole day had not—that Sarah was blessedly far from London.
“If I don’t seek my bed now,” Mr. Penn said—Mr. Pennrith, “I will fall asleep out here. Tomorrow promises to be hectic, so I’ll bid you good night.”
He rose and stretched, a great beast of a man with more manners and consideration than all the honorables in Mayfair combined.
“Sleep well, Mr. Pennrith.”
He remained at the balustrade, the moonshine putting highlights in his dark hair. “Thaddeus.”
“Sleep well, Thaddeus.”
He turned to regard her. “Are you glad you left London?”
“I am now. Talking to you helped me sort that out. The night air is a bit cool, isn’t it?” She made to rise and found his hand extended to her. Because the chair was low and she needed to keep her shawl about her, she accepted his assistance.
He kept her hand in his. “I am glad you’ve found your way here, and welcome to Fenwick, Sarah.”
She realized he was asking some sort of permission or offering an invitation. Whatever he was about, it had nothing to do with getting under her skirts and everything to do with genuine welcome.
“Sweet dreams,” she said, going up on her toes to brush a kiss to his cheek. “And thank you for the moonrise.”
A Kiss by the Sea: By Grace Burrowes
He’s not really a blacksmith, and she’s not really an heiress… Can they forge a happily-ever-after anyway?
Thaddeus Pennrith finds a way to recover from multiple griefs when he accepts the blacksmith’s post at Fenwick on Sea. Village life gives him a sense of belonging that Polite Society never could, though he must resume his aristocratic responsibilities soon. Along comes Lady Sarah Weatherby, refugee from an engagement gone badly awry, and Thaddeus is faced with both a compelling reason to reveal his titled antecedents, and a longing to keep them forever hidden….
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:
Grace Burrowes believes in love, and believes that writing happily evers after is the best job on the planet. She’s a recovering foster care attorney, and USA Today and NYT bestselling author of both historical and contemporary romances. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at graceburrowes.com.Grace is also on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/grace-burrowes