While all of that is entertaining, what I find most enjoyable is the first kiss, especially if there’s been a bit of anguish before it occurred. You know what I mean. The hero or heroine doesn’t want to get involved because they’ve been hurt by a rejection, they fear loss, or they’re messed up by whatever plot device a writer can come up with.
While their hearts ache, they still yearn. They want what we all do. Someone to cherish us. Someone to care.
That’s the feeling I sought to explore in Sensual Stranger, my newest erotic romance. Zach’s heart is still on the mend from a tragic loss. Toni’s always been alone. They want each other, but circumstances warn against it.
That’s what makes their first kiss so special to me. Here’s the blurb and an excerpt to show you what I mean:
Into his life she came—wanting…willing…wanton
It’s no ordinary morning when Toni Starr arrives at Zach’s garage. Flat broke, with a past she won’t share, Toni’s instantly taken by such a potently virile man. Direct and unashamed, she tells him she’s a motorcycle performance artist who needs work and knows motors.
Zach knows women, and Toni’s unlike any he’s met. Lushly sensuous, exceedingly assured, she’d easily be his match in business and bed. A provocative challenge that stirs him as nothing has since losing his wife. A chance he’s reluctant to take, offering no more than a month’s employment, then she’ll have to be on her way.
The hours tick by. Each word and glance intensifies their denied yet escalating desire, forcing them to surrender to passion and Toni’s need for Zach’s dominance. Driven by carnal hunger, conquered by yearning, they face the unforeseen truth of Toni’s past and a future neither of them expected.
(Prior to this scene, Zach has offered Toni a place to stay at his house, knowing she has nowhere else to go.)
Arm draped over his forehead, fist clenched, Zach regarded the fading shadows on the master bedroom’s ceiling, then chanced a look at the clock.
A muttered oath escaped his lips. Only ten minutes to go before the alarm went off and he’d barely slept.
Each time he’d managed to drift off, he’d awakened in a start from dreams he couldn’t recall. Tension knotted the muscles in his neck and shoulders. He couldn’t relax his arms or legs. An hour ago, he’d finally given in and stroked his rigid cock, masturbating like an out-of-control teen, releasing his cum on the sheet rather than in a warm, soft female body.
Uh-uh. No fucking way. Even if she did stir him as few females had, she was a complication he just didn’t need.
Rolling over, Zach punched his pillow and buried his head in it. Instantly, his knee and leg hurt. He adjusted his weight and squeezed his lids tight.
Images of Toni arrived without pause, snatching his breath, overwhelming his resistance. He saw the ends of her hair swinging against her smooth cheeks, her plump lower lip shiny from the steak’s juices, her eyes searching his, her expression guileless, wanting, receptive.
He could have taken her on the picnic table and he knew she wouldn’t have protested. Hell, she probably would have encouraged it and more…a lot more. Anything he wanted, no matter how crazy or lewd.
Like tying her wrists to the bed and playing pirate or whatever the hell women fantasized about. Having her willingly submit to his dominance and beg for still more. Playing those games in fun and for mutual pleasure.
Unlike Meg, Toni hadn’t been sheltered. She seemed to expect such behavior from a man, practically encouraging it from him. And yet, despite her gutsy personality and the brave front she kept putting on, she had a world weariness about her, a forlornness that kept pulling him near. Telling him he could ease whatever hurt she’d once known. They could comfort each other.
Until she left, and she would. She had Lucky and Belle to support.
Who in the fuck were they? Where in the hell had she met the couple? What did it mean that she’d adopted them, rather than they’d done so with her?
At dinner last night, after she’d kept dodging his questions about her past, Zach had finally surrendered, asking her about Lucky and Belle’s. Toni’s answer was to tell him about their shop, how excited they were to have it up and running. It had always been their dream.
While they’d done what exactly? What were their previous jobs?
He hadn’t asked. Instead, he’d listened as she’d recounted how Lucky taught her to repair vehicles. Her love for the man and Belle transformed and relaxed her, allowing Toni to smile freely, laugh recklessly, turning her into one of the most interesting and surely most desirable women Zach had ever known.
And he didn’t know her at all.
Sighing deeply, he pushed up on his elbow and looked at the clock.
Shit. Five more minutes and his day would begin. A day filled with Toni easing his emptiness over losing Meg, crowding out his memories of her.
Unsettled, Zach rolled off the bed and yanked on his jeans. T-shirt in hand, he left his bedroom to go downstairs and start the coffee.
He got as far as the hall bath.
His steps paused and his heart lurched as the door clicked, then swung inward unexpectedly. Plumes of steam drifted out.
Unaware of him, Toni looked behind herself at something in the bath. Her skin, more pink now than ivory, glowed from her shower and smelled of soap rather than lavender cologne. Her stretchy blue camisole and plaid boxer shorts clung to her damp flesh.
Zach’s heart beat violently. His limbs went limp. The tee slipped from his hand.
He told himself to pick it up and keep moving before she saw him, to go downstairs.
His legs refused to move.
A bead of moisture freed itself from her freshly washed hair, rolling down her temple to her cheek. Her camisole’s thin satin strap fell over her shoulder.
Ignoring it, Toni lifted a hairbrush to the side of her head, turned and froze as their eyes met.
Her gaze slipped down his naked chest, pausing at his fly, lingering on his erection. Desire quickly replaced her surprise. Her lips parted. A gentle breath spilled out. Her eyes darted back to his.
In a rush of movement, Zach slipped his fingers around the back of her neck, using his body to push hers into the door.
The wood smacked against the doorstop, then vibrated, matching the sounds of his sprinting heart.
Toni dropped her brush. It made brief taps as it bounced across the hardwood floor.
Her skin was so ungodly hot, a pleased groan tore from deep within Zach’s throat. Head lowered to hers, he captured her mouth and drove his tongue inside, filling her as much as he could, his kiss savage, uncivilized, punishing…for making him wait, for making him want.
Sensual Stranger will be available December 15th
To celebrate the upcoming release of Sensual Stranger, I’m offering a contest today. One lucky commenter will have her choice of one of my following books**:
1. Lush Velvet Nights – ebook
2. Adored – ebook
3. Deep, Dark, Delicious – ebook
4. Close to Perfect – mass market paperback
5. Bad Boys with Red Roses – trade paperback
6. Take My Breath Away – trade paperback