A Few Favorite Kiss Excerpts


In the Dark

  His kiss was nothing like she'd expected. It was earthy and dark, with just a hint of buried sweetness and a taste that was almost familiar. Tempting, yet somehow forbidden, just like the baker's chocolate she'd once watched her foster mother use to make a cake.

The tantalizing scent as it melted in the top of the double boiler had made Suzanne salivate. No matter how much she'd begged for a piece, she wasn't allowed so much as a crumb. So, that night, she'd crept down to the kitchen and stolen a square. It, too, was nothing like she'd expected. Bitter, intense, but exciting, all the same. Like her first sip of coffee. Or her first taste of love.

The press of Conrad's mouth on hers was hypnotic. She couldn't break the spell his kiss laid on her even if she'd wanted to. No more than she could keep from moaning in protest when he pulled away. His hand slid across her bare back, took hold of her hair and tugged. She let her head fall back as his open mouth ghosted, warm and wet, over her neck, as though he was searching for just the right spot. Her heart seemed to stop. The night grew still. Even the breeze seemed to settle as she waited, breathless for--something.

It never came.

Instead, Conrad's mouth reversed course, traveling back up her neck to her ear where he whispered, "So much sweetness. It would be a shame to rush what should be savored. You'll spend the night with me."

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Blue fire blazed in Gavin’s eyes when he met her gaze; and in their depths Aislinn read fury, hurt and bitter resentment. She drew in a startled breath, but before she had time to do more, he grabbed hold of her shoulders and pulled her flush against him. He kissed her once, one fierce branding of his lips on hers then just as quickly he thrust her away.

“There, now,” he spat, wiping a shaky hand across his mouth. “I’m repaid. And I’m done with ye. Now, leave me, Fae.”

Aislinn stared in dismay. Had she read him wrong last summer? Or could his feelings for her have changed that much in only six months? But, no. She would not believe it. Had she not just felt the hunger in his grasp, tasted desire on his lips?

Without a word, she launched herself into his arms, again, and kissed him back. Time stopped. Through no art or intention of her own, the stars simply ceased their spinning. And for one, breathless, solitary moment that seemed determined to stretch itself into eternity, the two of them melted together, body and soul. As Gavin slanted his mouth over hers with a feral sounding growl and banded his arms tightly around her, Aislinn speared her fingers into his hair and gave into her own feelings of hunger and desire. And love. Love, most of all.

“Ah, Aislinn,” Gavin murmured at last, pushing her away again, but gently and more slowly this time; his arms shaking as though the motion cost him everything he had. “You shouldn’t have come back.”

“Oh,” Aislinn gasped, startled and dismayed once again. “That-that’s not very gallant of you, sir. Why, I feel myself quite rebuffed.”

Gavin sighed. “Then perhaps we’re both repaid.”

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Let me Count the Ways

Laughing, Claire slipped her seatbelt off again. She leaned in close and lifted one of her hands to frame my face. Her fingers felt as cool as they had before; but this was even better than before because this time she was touching me on purpose. Her eyes were dark, her smile was sultry and her voice and her words were something out of a dream. “You’re a very sweet man, Mike. You shouldn’t sell yourself short.” Then she kissed me.

For a moment, I think I forgot who either of us was. We were simply Man and Woman and nothing had ever felt more right. Her lips were soft, her scent was sweet and everything male in me responded. Mine. Fierce and insistent, the instinct to claim her, to take her as my own—now, tonight, forever—overrode everything else.

I kissed her back, tugging her hard against me, my tongue coaxing hers into play. Touching everything I could get my hands on, I practically tore the material of her dress as I sought for the zipper. Then my hands registered the feel of the sequined gown they were coasting over—the same glimmering garment I’d been trying, all evening, not to stare at. Suddenly, I remembered where I was and who I was with.

“Claire. Oh, my God. I’m sorry, I—”

She opened her eyes. Something dark flickered in their depths—heat and passion and something else. Alarm, maybe?

“Wow.” Her voice emerged hoarse and breathless. “Mike. You really shouldn’t sell yourself short.”

A relieved laugh burst from my lips. I’d been half expecting her to slap me, never mind that she’d started it. “I think that ‘wow’ just made my night. Thank you.” I took a deep breath. Resting my forehead against hers, I forced myself to take control. “But, please tell me where you live so I can drive you home.”

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And Shadows Have their Ending

Cara felt herself stiffen. “F-flowers? Wh-what flowers?”

“And the balloons? For your birthday?”

“Th-those were from you?”

He nodded. “Didn’t Seth tell you? I had a card too, but then he answered the door and I thought you were with him so– I sent you some for your graduation, too, you know. And, then, when you were in the hospital I–” He broke off. “Cara? Sweetie, what’s wrong?”

She was shaking from head to toe, too frightened to hope he was telling the truth. She’d wanted them to be from him. She’d hoped they might be. But, “Oh, please, you’re not making this up are you? Because it would really, really...hurt...if you were just saying stuff.”

“I’m not,” he answered quickly. “I swear I’m not. I swear I mean every word I say.” He stared at her for a moment, as though he were trying to make up his mind, trying to decide what to do next. And then he kissed her, leaning across the gap that separated them, touching her with nothing but his lips. And it was the softest, sweetest kiss she’d ever imagined.

When she was a little girl she’d dreamed of being kissed like this, then she’d grown up and learned that every kiss was different. Some were nice and some were not and most were somewhere in between. She’d been kissed by a lot of different guys, in a lot of different ways. Even Liam had kissed her before. But, not like this. Never like this.

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The Spirit of the Place

On an impulse she got up on her knees, leaned in and brushed a light kiss across his mouth. His lips were cool, they tasted of pizza and beer. “It’s not you, okay?” she murmured softly, hoping to tease him into a better mood. “I was just always told it was rude to talk with your mouth full. Didn’t you ever hear that?”

He blinked at her. She smiled at his surprise and started to pull away, but he put out a hand to halt her retreat. Bracing himself on his other hand and twisting toward her, he pulled her back in for another kiss. There wasn’t anything in his manner to indicate that what he was feeling for her was any more meaningful than what she felt for him--just a vague, physical attraction that continued to flare despite their differing philosophies on life––nothing in the least compelling about it. And yet...

Maybe it was the beer. Or maybe it had just been so long since she’d let down her guard, even this much. But, for whatever the reason, she found herself snuggling closer, slipping a hand up to frame his face, kissing him back.

His hold on her tightened. A shudder ran through him. Intrigued, she shoved the pizza box out of the way and inched a little closer—just to see what would happen.

What happened first, was that he hauled her into his lap. He molded her to him. She gasped in surprise. One gasp––all she had time for. Her eyes flew open wide. And then, for the first time in her life, Jasmine was being kissed the way she’d always dreamed of but never really believed possible; with an intensity and passion that took her to within inches of forgetting about everything else.

Just one long, luscious kiss that left her breathless, shaken, almost trembling––with surprise and with need––and then he broke the kiss and pushed her away. She landed on her butt on the blanket with a thump that shook her from her stupor. Damn.

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Sound of a Voice That is Still

“I promised myself,” he told her, his heart pounding. “Earlier this week...I swore that I’d take it slow from here on in. That I’d stop rushing you like I’ve been doing. That I’d give us both some time. But...I honestly...don’t think I can do that any more.”

He lowered his head again and kissed her, very gently. He felt her lips tremble against his own. His head was spinning as he pulled away from her. “Siobhan,” he whispered, staring at her face; cheeks flushed, lips parted, eyes closed.

Her eyes slitted open, her hands slid up around his neck to cup the back of his head. She pulled him back down to her. He kissed her again, harder this time, groaning when he felt her tongue tease his. Her fingers twisting in his hair incinerated the last vestiges of his restraint.

He crowded her up against the wall, caging her there while his mouth plundered hers. His hands skimmed over her body, touching her through the thin material of her dress. She moaned his name against his lips. Her body writhed beneath his hands and he dragged his mouth away from hers, burying his face in her hair, inhaling her fragrance.

“God, I love the way you smell,” he murmured. “And your hair. And the taste of you. And the way you feel. And, oh...just...everything. I love everything about you.”

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