Welcome to another week on my First Kiss Friday blog. I’m so happy you’ve stopped by. Today’s guest is Peri Maxwell who has an excerpt from her book His Spirited Lady . Isn’t the cover just lovely? We hope you enjoy this first kiss scene. Happy reading, my lovelies!
“As much as I like watching you work, we must go.” His hand was gentle, as were his words, but his profile was stern.
Now that Amelia was here, she didn’t want to leave. “I don’t agree with much Miss Allen says, but I have to confess she and I share an opinion about the pomade in your hair.”
“You two have discussed my hair?” She didn’t need to see his face to know he was smiling.
“Not discussed, exactly. She mentioned how dashing you’d appeared with your wild hair tossed by the winds in the Channel.” The comment had made Amelia recall her first encounter with Richard. “And I have to agree. You look much more yourself when your hair is curly.”
“I see.” His thumb stroked the top of her knuckles, sending sparks up through her wrist with every bump. “What else has she spoken of?”
“She never fails to goad me about having kissed you, which is as inappropriate as it is irritating.”
“Irritating?” His rumbly voice was as warm as his fingers curving around hers.
On one vacation, in Calais, she and her parents had been forced to stop at a posting inn to avoid the rain. As it had been a downpour, they’d chosen staying dry over being fashionable. The fire was warm and the food was tasty, even if the crowd was more working class. Amelia had enjoyed watching everyone, until two women had begun squabbling over the same man. Harsh words had quickly escalated to slaps and hair-pulling. Father had whisked her out before anything else had happened, and he’d refused to explain what had happened. All he’d said was that one day she’d understand.
Amelia desperately wanted to pull Fiona Allen’s hair.
“It is very boring to sit, smile, and drink tea. All I can do is nod and say ‘Yes, he is quite dashing. Of course I was totally swept away. Certainly he takes my breath every time—’”
“I see your point,” Richard said. “Why not try using that magnificent imagination of yours? Take a kiss you’ve had and plop me in the proper spot.”
“Oh, I don’t think that would work at all.” She could almost hear his eyebrows rise. “It wasn’t an encounter where you’d want to be plopped.”
“An encounter?” He faced her. “You said you were familiar with kissing.”
“Well, I am familiar with it, and since he almost chipped my tooth, it was memorable.”
Richard’s dry laugh teased her ears even as his boot slid along hers, as though he was searching for firm footing on a dark path. “I agree. I don’t want to be plopped into that scenario.”
His features were visible now. His lashes low over his eyes, his lips curved in a half smile. His fingers slid up her neck and under her hair. His nose brushed her brow as his breath coaxed her eyes closed, leaving her to feel his slow trek to her mouth. His nose brushing hers, his lips sweeping from her ear down her cheek. By the time he reached her lips, she was trembling.
It was a sweet pressure, encouraging her to shape her mouth to his, to cling to it until he pulled away. His fingers stroked the curve of her neck.
When Amelia obeyed, he returned to her mouth and swept his tongue over her lips in a wet plea that she answered.
Richard’s groan rumbled over her teeth as his tongue slid against hers. He tasted of wine and whiskey and of something darker that urged her to do the same as he. She tangled her tongue with his, tested the firmness of his lips, felt him smile.
“Ahem.” The deep cough came from neither of them.
Richard stopped kissing her but kept her shielded from the lantern light in the room. His eyes stayed on hers as he spoke. “Fletcher?”
“Yes. You two are out of time.” He left the lantern as he closed the door.
Richard dragged his hands from her and backed away, kissing her knuckles as he lifted each hand from his coat.
Amelia wanted nothing more than to put out the lantern and return to the dark, to the circle of his arms. “No wonder Fiona—”
He stopped her words with a quick, hard kiss. “No. That belongs to us alone.” He kept one hand, twined their fingers together. “I need to get you home.”
His Spirited Lady
By Peri Maxwell
Mix two fake lovers, age over a disastrous house party, distill the romance; and savor the happily ever after.
Richard Ferrand arrives in Thetford to visit his family and to seek advice on a recent inheritance. He’s expecting it to be a brief visit. His former brother-in-law has a new family, and Richard is eager to return to his familiar bachelor businessman routine. That all changes when he comes to the rescue of a young lady with plans of her own.
Amelia Chitester has spent her life being the perfect society Miss—at least when people are watching. When they’re not, she’s busy creating the county’s best whiskey. That all changes when her gravely ill father insists she marry so that she will have a protector after he dies.
When Richard helps Amelia avoid a persistent suitor, she sees an answer to several of her problems. He needs a British distributor for his newly acquired French wine, and she needs a fake fiancé to take her off the marriage market. Richard thinks she’s daft—irresistibly beautiful, totally disarming, and completely daft–but he agrees to help because he admires her commitment to her family and her home.
As they work to fool their families and the entire village, it grows difficult to live out their lie. Amelia didn’t figure on the soft side of her convenient rake, and Richard wasn’t prepared for the stubborn charm of his fake conquest.
Soon they’re both faced with the choice of keeping their businesses or losing their hearts.
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-spirited-lady-peri-maxwell/1143350454?ean=9781960184696
Peri Maxwell has lost herself in reading romances all her life. She began writing as a challenge to herself and wrote her first historical romance on a dare, and now, she’s hooked. She prefers to write heroines who can stand toe-to-toe with a hero, challenge society’s rules for good reasons, and find love with heroes who admire an equal (even if it’s a little reluctantly).
She enjoys history, humor, and a good mystery. An armchair historian, she also has a background in women’s studies.
Peri lives in Arkansas with her husband and the two cats who rescued them. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s working her day job or spending time with her family and friends (the same ones who dared her to write a historical romance).