I’m so glad you’re joining me for another First Kiss Friday. Today’s guest is Caroline Warfield who has an excerpt from her next release this month! Enjoy this scene from The Wayward Son that releases July 22nd. Happy reading, my lovelies!
Rob Benson didn’t mean to stay in Ashmead, but when Lucy Whitaker was threatened, he had no choice. When she wandered to the edge of Willowbrook in pursuit of lost sheep and was accosted, he went after the villain. His mission was not successful; danger still lurked. But he did find one wooly refugee. In reaction to danger, passion flares.
“You came back,” she breathed.
A grin, lopsided and dear, lit his face. “You waited.”
She scrambled back so he could enter, embarrassed by her foolish words, and noticed for the first time that the bundle he carried had begun to squirm.
He saw the direction of her gaze and his grin widened. He offered her the bundle, its movement becoming frantic. A wooly head peeked out the opening, and her heart swelled.
“You found it!” She took the lamb from him, but the creature struggled until she put it down, and it wandered into the darkened dining room. “Agnes will have a fit if she finds that animal in the house. We best give it to Vincent. He can see that it gets to his mother in the morning.”
He caught her arm when she started after the animal and pulled her back. Whatever he meant to say stuck in his throat. His hand slid up her arm to her shoulder, and his heated gaze stole her breath.
“Oh, bloody hell,” he murmured as his mouth found hers and his arm snaked around her to pull her close. When he loosened his grip to allow her to move away, she clung to his shoulders to pull him back, and he kissed her again, caressing her mouth with his, seeking and finding entrance to deepen it. She lost herself in the embrace. Only when he pulled away to breathe, his breath hot against her mouth, and began to slide gentle kisses in the corner of it and down her chin did she realize how she clutched his neck with one arm while her other hand had tangled in his hair, feathering it between her fingers.
“Oh God, Rob, what—”
“What indeed,” he whispered against her mouth, kissing her again and driving out reason.
When he moved to explore her ear, his tongue sending shivers down her spine, she moaned and tried to pull him closer. “I was so afraid. You’re safe, you’re safe,” she said between kisses to the side of his face.
At her words he pulled back. “Safe? I think not. Not here; not now.” He dropped a swift kiss to her nose and loosened his hold.
She dropped from her toes, her body sliding down his, rested both hands on his chest, and leaned her forehead against him to hide her heated cheeks.
“A gentleman would apologize. I won’t. I wanted that too badly. A gentleman would—”
Her head still on his chest, she raised her hand to his lips to silence him. “Don’t. Don’t go all honorable now.” He stilled and she pulled away. “Tell me about Miller.” Her piercing gaze dared him to finish the speech he had begun.
“He got away. Clarion and Gibbons will question the Caulfield tenants tomorrow. The earl plans to send for Spangler too. Happy?”
She shook her head. “Not if he got away.”
Rob put one knuckle under her chin and drew her face up to look at him. “We need to talk about this.” He didn’t have to clarify “this.” He didn’t mean Miller. They stood like that for several breaths. He tried to hold her eyes, but his gaze dropped to her mouth, and she swallowed convulsively. When he bent to kiss her again, she rose to meet him. His restless hands began to explore her neck, her shoulders, her back—when they reached her derriere he stilled.
He gripped her shoulders with both hands and set her a few inches away. “We have to stop; we can talk in the morning. Things are clearer in the light.” He dropped one last kiss to the top of her head and stepped back. “I’ll check on the guards and sleep down here.”
About the Book, The Wayward Son
Sir Robert Benson’s life is in London. He fled Ashmead the day he discovered the man he thought was his father had lied to him, and the girl he loved was beyond his reach. Only a nameless plea from his sister—his half-sister—brings him back. He will not allow a ludicrous bequest from the earl who sired him turn him into a mockery of landed gentry. When a feisty little termagant with flashing eyes—and a musket—tries to turn Rob off the land—his land—he’s too amused and intrigued to turn away. But the longer he stays, the tighter the bonds that tie him to Ashmead become, strengthened by the powerful draw of the woman rooted on land he’s determined to sell.
Lucy Whitaker’s life is Willowbrook, its land, its tenants, its prosperity, but she always knew it wasn’t hers, knew the missing heir would come eventually. When a powerful man with military bearing rides up looking as if he wants to come in and count the silver, she turns him away, but her heart sinks. She can’t deny Rob Benson his property; she can only try to make him love the place as she does, for her peoples’ sake. A traitorous corner of her heart wishes Rob would love it for her sake.
His life is London; hers is Ashmead. How can they forge something lasting when they are torn in two directions?
Soon on Kindle Unlimited or pre-order for July 22 release. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09484DC1D/
About the Author:
Award winning author Caroline Warfield has been many things: traveler, librarian, poet, raiser of children, bird watcher, Internet and Web services manager, conference speaker, indexer, tech writer, genealogist—even a nun. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.
Learn more about Caroline on her website at: https://www.carolinewarfield.com