#FirstKiss Friday, #ReadARegency, Be My Guest, C.H. Admirand, Historical Romance, New Release, Regency Romance
Welcome to my First Kiss Friday blog. Today’s guest is another Dragonblade Publishing author C.H. Admirand who has an excerpt from her newest release, The Duke’s Dragoon. We hope you enjoy this first kiss scene and be sure to read all the way to the end for a giveaway opportunity. Happy reading, my lovelies!
He met her gaze and held it. He looked past the proud woman struggling to hide what was in her heart, to the woman he’d wrapped in his arms with nothing between them but the night. It took every ounce of his steely control to ignore the clawing need to kiss her until she was weak with passion. Instead, he bent and placed a kiss to tip of her nose. With a brief hug, he stepped back.
The need to profess his undying love tore through him, but he’d done more than he’d ever intended that night he accepted the gift of her virtue. He would not have her pining for him while he was gone, too. She needed to be able to live her life without him—at least for the next few months.
So many things he wanted to tell her, but for the sake of his sanity, and her heart, he rasped, “Be safe, lass.”
She lifted on her toes, wound her arms around his neck, and kissed the breath out of him. His body tensed as desire for her threatened to cut him off at the knees. One more moment and he would toss her over his shoulder—again.
“Promise me, Mollie.”
He could not resist brushing the tip of his finger along the curve of her cheek one last time. Something in her eyes had him hesitating. Mayhap he could ask the duke if he could remain at Wyndmere Hall permanently—his brother Patrick had after he’d married.
But that would never work. He and Patrick would butt heads constantly, as they had done the whole of their lives. Mayhap after Penwith Tower was rebuilt, and the local excise men put a stop to the smugglers and wreckers plying their trade along the coast of Cornwall, he could claim her heart. At the moment, the situation was too tenuous, too dangerous.
“Mollie?” She lifted her gaze to meet his, and a lone tear streaked across her cheek. He wiped it away and tenderly pressed his lips where it had been. “If ye need me—”
Bloody hell, why couldn’t he just say what was on the tip of his tongue? Send word immediately if you think you’re carrying my babe.
Frustration twined with anger, tearing him apart. His brother had told him how the lass suffered the last time they’d parted, and the added worry that she might be carrying his babe. She hadn’t been, but that did not mean she wasn’t with child now. A strong believer in fate, he knew you could only tempt it so many times…
He couldn’t utter the words to ask. He would never leave if she was. Clearing his throat, he reminded her, “If ye need me, have Patrick send word.” The lass remained stubbornly silent, until he wanted to shake some sense into her. “I’ll have yer word, Mollie Catherine Malloy!”
She huffed and mumbled.
Good—he’d rather she was angry than sad. “What was that?”
“If I need you—and I won’t—I will seek out your brother.”
“Not me cousins.”
Her soft laughter was music to his ears. “Aye, Finn, your brother, Patrick.”
He yanked her to him and gave in to the need tearing at his soul. Molding his mouth to hers, he drew every ounce of sweetness from her lips. “That’ll have to last ye till I return, lass.”
She pushed back from his embrace, blue eyes narrowed, wisps of auburn silk trailing from where she’d gathered her hair into a knot on top of her head. Mollie studied his face as if she’d never see him again. “What makes you think I haven’t found another to warm my bed while you are away?”
He chuckled. “Ah, lass, I know ye like I know me own heart. You’d never have tried to seduce me and have yer wicked way with me if ye didn’t love me.”
“Why haven’t you asked if I’ve been faithful to you?”
He pulled her back into his embrace and tucked her head beneath his chin. “Ye’ve a heart as big as Ireland, lass, and eyes that speak louder than yer words. When ye gave yer virtue to me, ’twas a gift to be treasured for the one ye’ll love till ye die—me!”
“Then why are you leaving me—again?”
“I’ve given me word to His Grace. Between us—me brothers and cousins—we swore an unbreakable vow. I’ll return to ye. Trust me and wait for me, Mollie-lass.”
Gently, he set her away from him. The mixture of hope and despair in her gaze tugged at his heartstrings, but he had a duty to fulfill. She had to understand!
He saw the moment doubt crept into her gaze. But let her doubt him. He’d show her he could keep his vow to the duke—and the one he’d made in his heart to her. He’d prove her wrong when he returned to sweep her off her feet and plop her down in front of the vicar.
A swift nod punctuated his decision. He turned to go, but not before he heard her softly whispered words.
“I love you.”
Those three words carved a hole in his gut. Bloody hell, if he turned back one more time, he’d never leave! It was his duty to go. His honor and his vow would be in question if he stayed.
The first step was the hardest. He put one foot in front of the other, ignoring his bleeding heart as he walked away from the woman he loved.
The Duke’s Dragoon (The Duke’s Guard, Book 4)
By C.H. Admirand
The Duke’s Guard: The men in black who have sworn an oath to protect the Duke of Wyndmere and his family from enemies that would stop at nothing to discredit and destroy him!
Mollie Malloy happily works for the Duke and Duchess of Wyndmere in the Lake District, until the day her head is turned, and her heart is lost to the heartbreakingly handsome member of the duke’s guard—Finn O’Malley.
Finn is tempted by lovely Mollie and cannot afford to be. When he can no longer ignore the slip of a lass, he requests a transfer to the duke’s crumbling tower on the coast of Cornwall. When she discovers Finn asked to be transferred to Cornwall, she is devastated.
He sweeps back into her life when the head of the duke’s guard is injured. Finn struggles with his control—and the need to honor his vow to protect the duke and his family. Mollie cannot resist the smoldering desire in Finn’s emerald eyes.
Duty calls and Finn returns to Cornwall. He and his men struggle to protect those rebuilding Penwith Tower, while smugglers and wreckers ply their trade in the caves beneath the duke’s ancient tower. Rumors abound that the local excise official has been looking the other way and lining his pockets. The official decides it’s time to get rid of O’Malley—the same time Finn receives an urgent message from Mollie.
He returns to Wyndmere Hall to discover Mollie’s carrying his babe, but not ready to accept his proposal. She wants to marry for love—not for the protection of his name. He’s torn: should he leave his new bride in the safety of Wyndmere Hall—or would she be safer by his side?
It is only when the hangman’s noose is around Finn’s neck that he realizes the feisty lass has always held his heart.
Danger stalks in the night, but it will have to get past The Duke’s Dragoon before he will let harm come to those he has sworn to protect with his strength, his heart, and his honor.
Read Free in Kindle Unlimited!
The Duke’s Guard
Book 1 – The Duke’s Sword
Book 2 – The Duke’s Protector
Book 3 – The Duke’s Shield
Book 4 – The Duke’s Dragoon
Book 5 – The Duke’s Hammer
Book 6 – The Duke’s Defender
Book 7 – The Duke’s Saber
Book 8 – The Duke’s Enforcer
Book 9 – The Duke’s Mercenary
Book 10 – The Duke’s Rapier
Book 11 – The Duke’s Man-at-Arms
Book 12 – The Duke’s Lance
Book 13 – The Duke’s Champion
Book 14 – The Duke’s Sharpshooter
Book 15 – The Duke’s Cavalier
Book 16 The Duke’s Blade
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BVWPKBY6
More about C.H. Admirand:
Historical & Contemporary Romance “Warm…Charming…Fun…”
C.H. was born in Aiken, South Carolina, but her parents moved back to northern New Jersey where she grew up.
She believes in fate, destiny, and love at first sight. C.H. fell in love at first sight when she was seventeen. She was married for 41 wonderful years until her husband lost his battle with cancer. Soul mates, their hearts will be joined forever.
They have three grown children—one son-in-law, two grandsons, two rescue dogs, and two rescue grand-cats.
Her characters rarely follow the synopsis she outlines for them…but C.H. has learned to listen to her characters! Her heroes always have a few of her husband’s best qualities: his honesty, his integrity, his compassion for those in need, and his killer broad shoulders. C.H. writes about the things she loves most: Family, her Irish and English Ancestry, Baking and Gardening.
C.H.’s Social Media Links:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/CHAdmirandAuthor
Facebook Private Reader’s Page ~ C.H. Reader’s Nook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/714796299746980
Dragonblade Publishing: https://www.dragonbladepublishing.com/team/c-h-admirand/