I've been asked many times recently when I'll have another book in print. Let me just say, I'm working on it. The edits are taking longer than expected. Part of that is because a publisher sent back my manuscript with a couple suggestions of her own. So I'm looking forward to finishing up a few things and resubmitting it. It's always a long and tedious process. And I've been staying so busy that I haven't had time to work on a new Wednesday Romance! So, I thought I'd share one of my favorite kissing scenes from the book I'm currently working on!
Just so that you have a little background, here's a little synopsis.
Ivy Lewis, provider and nurturer for her seven siblings, finds herself lonely and forgotten. Accepting life as hopeless, she becomes entranced with daydreams of the handsome Lord Sterling Bennett, Earl of Oakly. Ivy soon realizes this charming man of wealth will torture her heart, unwittingly envelope her in dangerous secrets, and save her life.
Amidst such duress she finds herself spending time with the humble gardener, Mr. Alan, who has secrets of his own. Left confused betwixt two loves, she finds her way through the adventurous lies surrounding her love and her heart.
Through stigma and peril, Sweet Ivy embraces the inhibition of love and the serenity of a stranger.
“I’m sorry that me time today was mostly spent with yar brother instead o’ ye, lass.”
“Don’t be.” Ivy walked her friend to the door after her siblings had gone out to do the evening chores. Mr. Alan had spent the afternoon with the Lewises and even shared their dinner. Ruben had scarcely let the man out of his sight, and Ivy had been charmed by the pair. “I hope you had a nice time.”
“Aye. That I did.” His eyes twinkled as he smiled.
“I’m sorry to have kept you so long from your business.”
“Think nothing of it, lass. But I would ask ye if I might beg a kiss from ye before I leave?”
Her face flushed at his forthrightness. “A kiss?”
“Aye, lass. A kiss.”
“Okay.” She turned her head so that her flushed cheek was available for the soft caress.
He chuckled. “A kiss, by nature, lass, is the comin’ together o’ two pairs o’ lips. At least, that is me own understandin’ o’ the ritual. So I ask ye again. Might I beg a kiss from ye?”
“Are you sure?” Her mouth went dry and she fiddled with the pocket of her apron. Was a man supposed to ask for a kiss? It gave her time to dwell on it, and she became nervous. She decided she liked having the kiss sprung on her unexpectedly. That way there was no time to think on the matter.
He chuckled as she hesitated, and traced his finger along the length of her face. “Thar’s no reason to be afraid o’ me, lass.”
She shivered in delight. “I know. I’m just not used to this,” she said in a weak whisper.
“It’s glad I am to hear it.”
His hand glided effortlessly down her neck and over the delicate curve of her shoulder. Goosebumps coursed over her body as he slowly pulled her into his arms. She looked into his eyes and saw the desire there. Up until this moment they had only been friends. Would a simple kiss change that? As his hands slipped around her and explored the length of her back before moving to her face, she began to wonder if the exchange would be a ‘simple kiss.’ His hands continued to weave a spell over her as his thumb lightly caressed her lips. As her legs became rubbery, she feared she would not survive the physical – or emotional – uproar his touch evoked. Their friendship had never allowed such intimate contact before, but she found herself longing for more.
As his head descended toward hers, she closed her eyes and held her breath, not knowing what to expect. Just when she thought she might faint dead away, she suddenly found herself pressed firmly against his body, her lips being tenderly devoured by his. Her mind told her to push him away but she found that her body responded instinctively to him as a rush of desire coursed through her veins. His lips were warm and moist inviting her to draw herself closer to him. Sliding her hands over his chest, she locked them around his neck and savored the exchange. For the briefest of moments, the image of another man with rich molasses eyes entered her mind, and she was suddenly standing in the embrace of Sterling Bennett instead of Mr. Alan.
Unnerved by her traitorous thoughts and also her eagerness for Mr. Alan’s kiss, she pulled away and dared not look into his face. Before she could flee, his finger lifted her chin, and she reluctantly sought his eyes, terrified what she might read there. What she found was understanding and perhaps a bit of residual longing.
“I thank ye, lass. Now, I’d best be on me way. Good night,” he whispered with a chaste kiss on her cheek before he left.