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Welcome to my First Kiss Friday blog. Today I’m featuring my novella A Countess To Remember that is my contribution in the Bluestocking Belles’ box set Desperate Daughters. We’re also running a contest so be sure to read to the end to learn more. I hope you enjoy this first kiss scene between Richard and Patience. Happy reading and good luck in the contest, my lovelies!


Their eyes met across the room, and he gave her the briefest of nods before walking through the open doorway and out onto a terrace. It was a silent invitation and one she wanted to accept. Patience knew she shouldn’t follow him, but all common sense seemed to leave where Richard was concerned. Besides, no harm could be done to meet him outside for only a few moments. Who would miss her?

Trying to keep her pace casual was harder than she thought. She skirted the outside of the dance floor making her way through the crush of people who watched on the sidelines or carried on their own conversations. She saw her girls being watched over by Barbara and she was again grateful that they were being looked after. With no further thoughts except her own personal agenda, she strode through the balcony doors and peered into the shadows to see Richard waiting for her. He held out his hand for her to take and she had a moment of hesitation, as prudence seemed the better course of action.

“Do you trust me?” His hushed baritone voice caused her to shiver in the moonlight and this had nothing to do with being cold.

“Richard… I—”

“Patience… I am asking for you to trust me,” he calmly said. “Do you?”

“Yes,” she answered him and she could barely make out his smile.

“Then come with me,” he said before whisking her away into the night.

He seemed to know where he was going as he went down several steps and onto a garden path. She gazed back over her shoulder wondering where he was taking her.

“My girls—” she began before he interrupted her.

“We won’t be gone long or go that far.”

“Promise?” she whispered into the night.

“Yes. I promise. You are perfectly safe with me, my dear,” he exclaimed and, true to his word, he halted near a gazebo awash in the moonlit sky. A romantic setting that caused Patience’s heart to race.

“This is a lovely place, Richard, but—”

He turned her into his arms, and Patience couldn’t object, not when she had been envisioning this in her dreams for the past several days. “I know this is sudden, Patience, but I’ve been dying to do this ever since we met,” he said brushing a lock of her hair behind her ear before cupping her cheek.

She leaned into the palm of his hand. “What have you been wanting to do?” she asked hoping he wouldn’t find her undesirable but also praying he would kiss her no matter that they had just met.


She held her breath while his mouth slowly descended upon her own. At first, gentle, exploring to see just how much she might allow. A nip at her lower lip to tease her caused her gasp of surprise giving him the opening he had apparently been waiting for. His tongue dipped in to take hungry possession of her mouth, and she was more than willing to learn this new dance together.

She wasn’t new to the intimacies between a couple but Richard’s kiss flared into a burning flame in the pit of her stomach. Henry had never bothered with such affections, and yet, with Richard, she wanted to explore every aspect of what he could bring her. Did this make her one of those wanton women?

He deepened their kiss, and Patience wound her arms around his neck to play with the edges of his hair at his collar. His groan would have caused her to smile if she had been able to perform such a task. He brought her tight against his chest, and she could not mistake his arousal. She should have been shocked but this only made her want more of this man than he could obviously give her standing in a garden.

Whether he could read her thoughts or he just realized how entirely inappropriate their situation could become if they were found, he ended their kiss, leaving her wanting to return to his arms. He placed both hands on her cheeks, running his thumbs over them before giving her another quick kiss.

“Better than I could have ever imagined,” he murmured before he bent down to place his forehead to her own.

Desperate Daughters: A Bluestocking Belles and Friends Collection
Release Date: May 17, 2022
Preorder Sale for only $0.99!

Love Against the Odds

The Earl of Seahaven desperately wanted a son and heir but died leaving nine daughters and a fifth wife. Cruelly turned out by the new earl, they live hand-to-mouth in a small cottage.

The young dowager Countess’s one regret is that she cannot give Seahaven’s dear girls a chance at happiness.

When a cousin offers the use of her townhouse in York during the season, the Countess rallies her stepdaughters.

They will pool their resources so that the youngest marriageable daughters might make successful matches, thereby saving them all.

So start their adventures in York, amid a whirl of balls, lectures, and alfresco picnics. Is it possible each of them might find love by the time the York horse races bring the Season to a close?

Buy Links can be found on our website at: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/desperate-daughters/

Help to share Desperate Daughters and be in the Draw!

Help spread the word about Desperate Daughters.

Share our contest page and our Bachelor and other memes to any of your social media accounts. Each share gets you an entry into one of the weekly draws and the Grand Prize draw.

Congratulations to Catherine Maguire, winner of our week 1 draw.

Enter the Week Two draw here:http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/bb92b0a65/?

Find memes here: https://bluestockingbelles.net/belles-joint-projects/desperate-daughters/sharing/

Weekly prize

Every entry goes into the draw to win:

We’ll draw a winner each week for four weeks.

Grand prize

Every entry also goes in the draw to win:

  • $100 gift card
  • a made-to-order story. The winner gives Jude Knight some ingredients for a story (one character, a plot trope, and an object). Jude writes the story and the winner gets an ecopy at least three months before it is published anywhere else, and their name in the dedication at publication.