January has come and gone but we still have one last First Kiss Friday for the month. Please welcome my friend Jude Knight to my blog. I just love everything about this cover, don’t you? Happy reading and enjoy, my lovelies. Take it away, Jude!
This excerpt is from Lady Beast’s Bridegroom. My hero and heroine have made an arranged marriage at very short notice. To stop Arial’s cousin from claiming that their marriage is just a sham, they must consummate immediately. Arial is shy, but willing. Peter finds he is perhaps a little too willing!
He bent his head and his lips touched hers.
She smelt of cloves and something floral. Not roses or lavender—jasmine. That was it. Her lips were as plump and soft to the touch as they had looked. He had time for that assessment before she began to return the kiss, then his every thought fractured, and it took all his determination not to fall on her like a ravening beast.
His cheek kept bumping the edge of the mask, impeding his movements and reminding him he needed to go slowly. Not that Arial was objecting to his hand on her breast while the other anchored her against him. Far from it. She pressed into his hand, and lower, too, tipping to grind her groin against him, her body understanding what her innocent mind had not yet grasped.
He broke away for long enough to ask, “Am I going too fast?” He was gratified at her dazed expression and slow response.
She shook her head. “I like it.” And she tilted up her face, her mouth reaching for his kiss.
As he lowered his lips to hers, he suggested, “This time, will you open your mouth?”
Which she did, probably to ask another question, but before she could, his lips touched hers, his tongue already reaching to trace them. It was a long kiss, and even more fevered than the first. He explored her lips, her tongue and her mouth. When she tentatively followed the retreat of his tongue with her own, he allowed her to explore in her turn, trembling with the effort it took not to take the kiss back over.
It did not help to give his mind another direction when he swapped hands, for her other breast responded as sweetly as the first, the nipple tightening and hardening under his ministrations. When she began to touch him in her turn, sliding her hands under his robe to explore his chest, he almost lost his control again.
He was desperate for more. He began to back her towards the bed without breaking the kiss until they reached that destination, and she turned her head as he began to lift her.
The single candle had performed the office she desired. As she lay back against the sheets, the stark white mask hid the worst damage on her face, and the dim light disguised the rest, so the visible part of her face appeared unblemished. Beautiful, too: her eye heavy lidded with desire, her lips swollen with his kisses.
Lady Beast’s Bridegroom
Welcome to book 1 in a new series by bestselling author Jude Knight. Follow along in this exciting new twist on traditional fairy tales— https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Beasts-Bridegroom-Twist-Regency-ebook/dp/B0BPN37T99the roles are reversed.
Lady Ariel lives retired in the country after being badly scarred by a fire. She hides her burns from others by donning a mask, only enticing more gossip by Society who has dubbed her “Lady Beast”. Now, her second cousin, who inherited her father’s title but not his private wealth, wants to have her committed so he can manage—and steal—her fortune. Only finding a husband will prevent the cousin from having his way.
Peter, Lord Ransome, a man so handsome Society has dubbed him “Beau”, inherits not only his father’s debts but also his burdens. He must manage and care for a stepmother who loathes him, her daughters, and his own two half-sisters, who spend more money than the estate can provide.
His only recourse is to find a wealthy bride to save his estate and his family. For him, that means marrying “Lady Beast”. It’s merely a business transaction, after all. But then Beau learns that true beauty lies in the heart.
When Society tries to turn them away, is the union and love of Beauty and the Beast strong enough to overcome prejudice and rejection?
A Twist Upon a Regency Tale
Lady Beast’s Bridegroom
One Perfect Dance
Snowy and the Seven Doves
Perchance to Dream
Jude always wanted to be a novelist. She started in her teens, but life kept getting in the way. Years passed, and with them dozens of unfinished manuscripts. The fear grew. What if she tried, failed, and lost the dream forever? The years since 2014 have brought 17 novels, 16 novella, 6 volumes of short stories, a number of awards, and hundreds of positive reviews. The dream is alive.