Thursday, December 3, 2009

Honeymoon's Over

We lovers of romance know the scene well. Everything's perfect between the hero and heroine until... The Fight. The Nine have collected our best first fight scenes. While we've only included the spat itself, we all know what follows. But you'll have to read our stories to get to the good part -- the makeup sex.


D. McEntire, Midnight Revelations - The Watchers, Book Three

Rayne watched her glance at the block of knives on the kitchen counter seconds before she made a sudden move in that direction. He sprang, his arms encircling her as he turned so when they hit the floor his body absorbed the impact. Immediately, he flipped her over. He was now on top, pinning her beneath him.

As she stared at his face, he saw a mixture of fear and anger in her emerald eyes. She was breathing hard, and so was he, their chests heaving against one another.

“We need to talk, not fight. I brought you here because you were injured, not to hurt you or go for round two.”
Rayne tried to calm himself, but despite the situation, her soft body made him want to go a round or two of a different kind. Her pink lips were parted as she tried to catch her breath, and he fought the urge to lean down and taste them. Never before had he been so captivated by a woman, and this one mesmerized him to the core.

He leaned in close to her neck, inhaling the scent of her skin and hair, and almost purred. Her sharp intake of breath snapped him to attention and he quickly retreated, lifting his head to look at her face.

“I’m going to let you up, but first I want your word you will behave. No knives. Are we clear?”

Rayne waited, watching the war she waged with herself flash through her eyes. After a few moments, she nodded.

He couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed she acquiesced so soon. He was going to have to release her. His body screamed in protest, wanting a few more minutes of the feel of her body against him.

Find out more at


P.G. Forte, The Spirit of the Place (Oberon: Book 6)

A familiar peal of laughter caught his ear and he turned toward the gazebo, where a small crowd of people were dancing.

Finally! A curious sensation of relief sluiced through him when he saw her, and then almost instantly drained away again. Who the hell is she dancing with this time?

Brandon shouldered his way through the crowd, until he was standing in front of her. The tall kid who appeared to be her partner looked vaguely familiar. He nodded at Brandon and shuffled aside obligingly.

“Hey. So here you are,” Brandon said, trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice. “I’ve been looking everywhere.”

“Oh?” Jasmine’s smile faltered as he reached for her hand. She came to a stop, hid her hands behind her back and frowned at him uncertainly. “What do you want?”

Nice greeting. He bit back the answer on his lips and forced a smile. “We need to talk—remember? But, since you asked, at the moment I wouldn’t mind a dance.”

“Dance?” Lips pursed she scanned the crowd. “Well…sure, okay, why don’t you find Maya, then? I think she’s around here someplace.”

“Maya?” He stared at her in confusion. “Who’s she?”

“Oh, you know Maya,” Jasmine scolded. “She’s Doctor H’s— Brent’s daughter. “She’s got a crush on you, you know. I’m sure she’d love to dance with you.”

“Huh?” Yeah, he knew Maya. She was a cute kid, and almost as exotic looking as Jasmine, with her mother’s Pan-Pacific features and coloring, and her father’s wide smile. “A crush? What makes you think that?”

Jasmine shrugged. “She told me. She is one of my best friends, you know.”

Friends? Great. If he needed any more proof that he’d come close to robbing the cradle the other night, there it was. He shook his head, disgusted with himself. “Yeah, well, I’m sure she’ll get over it. And, as for dancing with her…I asked you.”

“Oh.” With no warning, Jasmine’s mood morphed from ditzy into anger. “Well, maybe I don’t want to dance with you, Brandon. Did you ever think of that?”

Uh-oh. We’ve been here before. He looked at her sharply, studying the faint glassiness in her eyes. “You’ve been drinking again, haven’t you?” he asked, feeling annoyed and disappointed on the one hand, and far too hopeful on the other. Do not go there, he admonished himself.

She tossed her head, beads clacking as her braids swung behind her shoulders. “So? What if I have? What’s it to you? I do what I please, you know.”

Yeah. He’d definitely got that point. A nice, sharp point it was, too. Kind of like stepping barefoot on a piece of glass.

He shook his head. “You’re right. It’s none of my business. I don’t care if you want to get wasted every night of the week. But I can tell you one thing, you’re not driving yourself home in this condition.” There were limits, after all.

She looked at him for a moment. Then, to his surprise, a slow smile stole across her face. “You’re right,” she said at last.

His eyebrows rose. Okay, what was he missing? That was too easy. There had to be a catch, somewhere. “I am?”

“Mm-hmm,” she murmured, lips pursing into a mischievous pout. “I’m not driving anywhere tonight. I’m gonna walk home.”

“Walk?” He stared at her in confusion. She couldn’t mean it?

She nodded. “Sure. It’s how I got here, after all. Well, almost. I got dropped off, actually. But, either way—look Ma, no car.”

Terrific. He sighed. “Okay, so, when you’re ready to leave tonight, you let me know. I’ll give you a ride.”

The smile left her face in a hurry. “I don’t think so,” she snapped. “I’ll be fine on my own. Besides, you’re the one who thinks we shouldn’t see each other.”

“This has nothing to do with that,” he insisted. “I’d have to be insane to let you go anywhere by yourself tonight. You’ll likely wake up dead in a ditch somewhere. So, like it or not, I’m driving you home. End of conversation.”

“Oh, really?” She arched one brow. “What if I want to get a ride with someone else? You’re not the only person on the planet with a car, you know. You’re not even the only person in town with one. Look,” She made a sweeping gesture that encompassed the whole street. “There’re cars everywhere. And I could probably get a ride in any one of them if I wanted to.”

Brandon shook his head. “Forget it,” he said flatly. “You don’t need to ride with anyone else. You’ve already got a ride. With me. And that’s final.”

It was clear they weren’t going to have the discussion he’d been hoping to have tonight, but, all the same, he’d be damned if he was going to stand by and watch as she went off with some other guy. Not after she’d been drinking. Not remembering the way she’d reacted to him after a couple of beers. He might be a gentleman, but he wasn’t a saint. If she was gonna jump anyone tonight, it might as well be him. No. He took that back. It had damn well better be him.

And he absolutely refused to consider the implications there. Because if he really didn’t care what she did, why should it matter so much who she did it with?

Read the rest of the scene here.


Sydney Sommers, Whatever It Takes

Cursing under her breath for having the least bit of sympathy for him, Tate jerked her head at his arm. “Let me see it.”

“It’s fine.”

“If it was fine, it wouldn’t be bleeding.”

Surprisingly, Gideon didn’t disagree with that, but took a step away from her. She arched a brow, watching without comment as he pushed the sleeve of his T-shirt up to expose the gunshot wound on his left arm.

“Shit,” she whispered, moving closer. As frustrated as she was with him—for a lot of things—the sight of the injury greased her stomach with a fresh layer of panic.

Gideon backtracked so quickly he bumped against his car. “It looks worse than it is.”

“It didn’t just graze you, did it?”

He held up his good arm to keep her back. “No way.”

She frowned at the nervous tone that crept into his voice. “Problem?”

“There will be if you even think about trying to poke or prod at it.”

Read more here!


Kinsey Holley, Rocky Mountain Howl

This scene is from the manuscript I will finish by the end of the year. It’s set in the same universe as Kiss and Kin.

Ally and her cousin, Seth, have raised their cousin Dylan since he was five years old. Now he’s eighteen, and they’ve taken him to Colorado meet his uncle, Cade MacDougall. Cade is Alpha of the Rocky Mountain Pack.

The attraction between Ally and Cade is fierce and immediate, but he doesn’t trust her. He thinks she’s been lying to him about her past – and she has. In this scene, Ally and Cade’s argument is interrupted when Seth blurts out their big secret. Ally is stunned and frightened. Cade is happy to finally be getting at the truth.

And they keep arguing:

“You said you trusted me,” Seth said to Ally.

“But I don’t trust him,” she replied, barely above a whisper.

Cade snorted in disbelief. “You don’t trust me? I’m not the one who’s been lying, sweetheart.”

They ignored him.

“He’s Dylan’s blood,” Seth implored, glancing nervously at Cade as if he were trying to talk to both of them at once. “When I explain it to him, do you really think he’ll call the cops?”

Ally clutched her cousin’s hand so tightly it turned blue, but he didn’t attempt to pull away.

“I’m tired of lying about everything all the time, Al,” Seth continued.

“What will you tell him?” She sounded terrified.

“Just what he needs to know, nothing else.” Seth sounded determined.

“Excuse me,” Cade drawled. “I’m right here. And I expect you to tell me everything.”

They still ignored him.

“We talked about this,” Seth said urgently. “If we’re going to stay here – if Dylan stays here, and Declan and I stay here--”

“Dylan is staying here. MacSorley is not staying here. I haven’t decided about you, Seth.” As for Allison Kendall – she definitely had to go.

They still fucking ignored him.

“We needed someone who could guide Dylan. That’s Cade. There’s one big dog in the pack, Ally, and he’s it. We accept that, or we leave.”

Cade slammed his hand down on the table to get their attention. “All right, that’s enough. No one’s leaving until you tell me what I want to know. What happened to--”

The female went on as if she and Seth were alone in the room. “Fine, Seth, he’s the big dog. That doesn’t mean he needs to know everything...”

“Goddamn it!” Cade roared.

“Shut up!” Ally yelled, turning toward him so quickly he realized she hadn’t been ignoring him at all – or rather, she’d been ignoring him quite deliberately.

Cade stood up and kicked his chair back. He’d never harmed a woman in his life, but he’d just come damned close to jumping this one. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

“She thinks she’s the alpha,” Seth said quietly.

“Why does she think that?” Now that he’d started yelling, he found he couldn’t lower his voice.

“Because she’s the alpha.”

“She’s a female, for Christ’s sake! You obey her?”

“No, he humors me!” She was still shouting, standing now. Only Seth remained in his chair.

“Do you ever let the wolf speak for himself?” Everyone on the goddamned ranch could hear this.

“He can speak for himself all he wants. I need some air.” She stormed out the front door, slamming it behind her with a lot more force than someone so small should’ve been able to muster.

Cade stared after her, furious, offended, and impressed.

And aroused.

He could tell he’d frightened her, but she hadn’t backed down an inch. Few people ever yelled at him, and no one had told him to shut up since – well, ever. That would have been deadly for a male, either wolf or man. It still pissed him off coming from a female – but not as much as he would’ve expected.

She’d seemed so small and cute and polite, but as soon as he confronted her – no, he should not be smiling. He couldn’t tolerate such brazen defiance, and he wouldn’t tolerate being lied to. Still. She was different, and different intrigued him.

Recurring visions of her naked body probably had something to do with it, too.

Seth sat watching him apprehensively, waiting to see what would happen next.

Cade picked up his wine glass, put his feet on the table, and said, “All right. Now tell me how you killed Guy Fontenot.”

Read more soon!


Meg Benjamin, Wedding Bell Blues

Across the table, Janie Dupree cleared her throat.

Pete started. He hadn’t noticed she was still there.

Janie gave him a smile that didn’t entirely reach her eyes and wasn’t nearly as charming as Docia’s. “I thought maybe the two of us should touch base, just to make sure we’re taking care of all the things that need to be done before the wedding.”

Pete picked up his bottle of Bud, feeling a slight prickle around his conscience. “What ‘things’ would those be?” He took a long pull, letting lukewarm beer slide down his throat.

Janie’s smile tightened to a thin line. Her eyes narrowed further. “You mean you weren’t kidding? You really haven’t got a clue about what you’re supposed to do?”

“I know what I’m supposed to do,” Pete snapped. “I’m supposed to stand next to my baby brother, carry the ring for him and stay out of the way. Like I said, if he needs anything else, he’ll let me know.”

Janie looked down at the table top, tapping her fingers in a tight rhythm. “Carry the ring? Do you even know what their plans are about a ring bearer? Why do I bother to ask—obviously you don’t. At one point they were going to use Cal’s dog.”

The beer bottle almost slipped through Pete’s fingers, but he managed to catch it before it hit the table top. “His dog? That rodent?”

Janie’s eyes blazed. “Pep is not a rodent. He’s a sweetheart. He may be a Chihuahua, but he’s got the heart of a tiger.”

Pete raised his hand, leaning back slightly. “Okay, okay. He’s a champ. But you’re telling me they’re going to have the dog carry the ring instead of me?”

“They talked about it.” Janie shrugged. “I think they changed their minds. The point is, you need to find that stuff out. It’s your job.”

Pete’s shoulders tightened. His job. Actually, his job was handling a case load that would have flattened the average county attorney. His job was putting low-life assholes where they couldn’t do any more damage and making sure they stayed there. His job—which he currently wasn’t doing because The Wedding had demanded all his time.

“My job,” he said through gritted teeth, “is to do anything Cal asks me to do and otherwise stay out of the way, like I said.”

“You’re not going to help at all?” Janie’s hands were spread on the table in front of her. Her eyes bored into him like laser beams—he figured he should have been a pile of ashes by then.

He shrugged. “Hey, if you think something needs to be done, go to it. Doesn’t look like you need any help from me. You’re doing a hell of a job here, tiny.”

He watched Janie Dupree’s hands turn to fists. She almost looked like she might slug him. For a moment, Pete wondered if that last crack had gone too far. She wasn’t all that short. Maybe five feet or so. Instead of slugging him, she pushed herself up from the booth and stood looking down at him, her lips a grim line. Then she turned and stalked toward the door.

Oh well, just another client he’d disappointed. These days that was par for the course.

Read more here.


Kate Davies, Lessons in Love


Alex sat up as the door to his private office flew open. Brynn Dexter stood in the doorway, one eyebrow arched in silent question. She was trying to look composed, but he could see the tremble in her stiff posture from across the room.

Behind her, Mrs. Agincourt answered her question. “Philippe Alexandre du

Charbonneaux, Prince of Laurivenia, mademoiselle,” she said with a puzzled frown.

Belatedly, he realized that he had not informed his secretary of the deception.

He was—what was the American phrase? Oh, yes. Busted.

Equal parts anger and embarrassment vied for domination of Brynn’s expressive features. “Prince, is it? Well, I suppose that’s close to principal.” Indignation laced her voice. “I apologize for not recognizing you, Your Highness.”

For a moment Alex wished that she could go back to calling him by his given name.

But that was impossible. If she was going to work for him, royal protocol must be followed.

And in a flash of realization, Alex recognized that he did want Brynn to take the position. Despite her youth and good looks, despite his wholly inappropriate attraction towards her, she was the right choice for Carissa. Her experience, her personality, her enthusiasm made her a perfect match. It would be selfish to decide against her based on his past experiences. Those mistakes would not happen again.

Now, he just needed to convince her to stay.

Read more here.

Erin Nicholas, No Matter What

“Everything that goes on in this house or on these grounds is my concern. You could have left a note.” Though his voice was low, his tone indicated a clear underlying irritation.

“A note about what?”

“Where you were going, what time you’d be back.” His exasperation came through distinctly.

“Are you always so nosy?”

“Are you always so sneaky?”

“Sneaky?” She stopped the cocoa preparation and turned to look at him squarely.

“You slipped out of the house tonight without a word to anyone about where you were going.”

“I didn’t realize I was under house arrest. I have things I have to do. And I did not ‘slip out’.”

“A million dollars is a lot to pay for an eight hour work day.” He lifted the coffee cup that she hadn’t noticed until that moment.

She felt a wave of indignation wash over her but she held her expression stoically. “This is not exactly a typical business arrangement.”

A long silence followed her statement.

“You’re right.” His words took Jaden by surprise. “For instance, any other time I hire someone, I ask a lot of questions about them personally as well as professionally. I like to know about their families, their interests and hobbies. Their habits. I should have asked more questions about you. My primary concern at the time was that I hire the best therapist for Emily.”

“You did.”

“Yes, but I didn’t think beyond the therapy sessions. I didn’t fully consider all of the things you would mean to Emily besides being her therapist.”

Jaden frowned, wishing she could see his face more clearly. “What do you mean? And what did you mean by ‘their habits’?” She wasn’t sure why but she felt offended by the comment now that she replayed it in her head.

“I expect Emily will get very attached to you. You are a young, intelligent, successful woman and Emily will likely look up to you.”

“And that concerns you.”

“Frankly, yes.”


He came to his feet in one quick, fluid movement. “Because it’s one in the morning and you’re just getting home.”

Read more here.

Skylar Kade, Maison Domine

He took a step towards her, the rest of the room fading into the background. Like a dance, she followed, moving backwards a pace. Step, step, shuffle, and he had her against the wall. Jax wanted to give her a quick demonstration of watching versus doing.

“What…what are you doing?” Lara’s tongue flicked out to moisten her bottom lip. Her lips had never looked more kissable. Not to mention, her fiery personality turned him on. She certainly wasn’t a weak-willed yes woman like other submissives he’d trained. All of his good intentions fled and he gave up on the teachable moment.

He pressed her up against the wall, and tilted her face to meet his gaze head on. “This is how it starts. I can see the signs…the flutter of your pulse right here.” His finger trailed from her chin down to her neck, and Lara released a barely suppressed shiver. “Your eyes dilating in anticipation, excitement, and a slight hint of fear. You are, after all, putting your body and mind completely in my hands. Giving up your tightly-held control.” He wrapped his hand ever so gently around her neck, putting enough pressure for her to walk the edge between certain safety and the gray space of what if most submissives thrived on.

“Who…do you think…you are?” she managed to whisper in between shorts gasps for breath. Jax knew she would be beautifully submissive. She walked the edge of pain, of fear, of arousal perfectly. A flash of panic from the loss of control made her blue eyes light up until they almost glowed with intensity.

“I’m your new Trainer. And you, Lara, are mine…for the weekend.”

Read more here.


Kelly Jamieson, Love Me More

This is a scene from Love Me More, a classic passive/aggressive, male/female argument. I’ve included some notations below to assist any men reading to understand.

“I’m home!”
Gavin hung up his jacket. Silence greeted him.
No answer. He wandered into the kitchen. She was always home before him, usually making dinner. But not tonight. Huh.
He went and changed out of his suit into jeans and a T-shirt. In the living room he turned on the television and flicked through channels, catching the end of the news.
He should call her, see where she was. Did he forget about something she was doing after work today?
He called her cell phone. No answer.
Memories of the time they’d split up snuck into his head. How she’d left him, with nothing but a note. They’d made up a couple of days later, but he’d felt like shit those two days, thinking he’d lost her.
She must have just gone shopping or something after work.
Then why wasn’t she answering her phone?
His stomach grumbled. He needed food. He opened the kitchen cupboards and peered into them. Hell, he wasn’t much of a cook. Melina could whip up a meal out of nothing…but him on his own was sad. He opened the fridge.
Maybe he could make something nice for both of them? When she got home she’d be impressed. He grinned, rummaged through the fridge. He found some chicken breasts. Perfect, Melina’s favorite.
He hauled out a frying pan and heated it up. He needed oil. Found oil. Poured it in, tossed the chicken in. A salad would be good, another thing Melina loved. He pulled open a drawer in the fridge and surveyed the contents. Usually you needed lettuce for a salad…what was that head? It could be cabbage. He wasn’t sure if he could tell the difference. But hey, it was green and leafy, so it should work. There were also some carrots and a green pepper.
He chopped and tossed the vegetables into a bowl. Now for some dressing…back to the fridge. He poked his head in. He couldn’t remember Melina ever buying bottled salad dressing, usually she mixed up some concoction, but…mayonnaise should work.
He turned the chicken breasts over, tossed the salad and set the table. A glance at his watch told him it was nearly eight o’clock. Pretty late for dinner. He frowned. Where the hell was she?
He tried her cell phone again, still no answer. Damn.
A whiff of smoke had him running back to the kitchen to yank the pan off the burner. He lifted a piece of chicken. Thank Christ, it wasn’t too burned. Just well done.
So the food was ready but still no Melina. He leaned against the counter, folded his arms across his chest and studied his meal glumly. He’d been hungry half an hour ago, but now his stomach just burned.
Then he heard the key in the lock. He straightened and stepped into the hall. Melina was just dropping her keys into the bowl on the table near the door.
“Hey, you’re home! Where were you?”
She turned to him. “I went out.”
“Oh. Out where? I was kind of worried.”
“Really?” She paused. “What’s that smell?”
“I made dinner. Aren’t you hungry?”
“No. I ate.”
“Oh.” His heart sank a little. “Okay, then.” He rubbed his palms over his thighs.
Melina picked up the mail from the table and flicked through it.
“Where did you go?” he asked.
She lifted her head and looked at him. “Just out. I’m going to go change.”
She disappeared down the hall and with slow steps Gavin returned to the kitchen, feeling heavy and hollow.
What was going on? She was apparently pissed about something. What? What did he do?
Christ, he hated this shit. He stabbed a chicken breast with a fork and lifted it onto a plate, scooped up some salad. Then he sat down at their small table and stared at his meal.
It looked like crap. Hopefully it tasted better.
He heard Melina move around in the bedroom, go into the bathroom, then come back out. Then she appeared in the kitchen door, dressed in…good God. She hadn’t worn those pajamas for a while. Grey and blue flannel pants that were probably big enough for him hung on her, and a thick grey sweatshirt hid her beautiful body. She’d pulled her pretty, long blonde hair back into a ponytail.
She eyed the food. “You made that?”
“Yeah.” He forked a piece of chicken into his mouth and chewed. Uh…he looked at the piece on his plate. It was kind of pink inside. That was okay, wasn’t it?
He cut through the middle of the meat, and grimaced. It was practically raw. Very unappetizing. He set down his knife. Well, there was still the salad. You couldn’t go too wrong with vegetables.
The salad was pretty disgusting, too.
Melina got a bottle of water out of the fridge, cracked open the lid and drank from it. The silence in the room was as thick as the fleece sweatshirt she wore.
Gavin sighed and put down his fork.
“What’s wrong?”
She gave him a blank look. “Nothing.” (See below)
“Bullshit.” He shoved his chair back and stood. “Something’s wrong. You disappeared for hours and now you’re acting colder than January. Come on, Mel. Didn’t we agree we were going to talk things out from now on?”
Her pretty mouth pressed tight and her eyes dropped. He could almost predict what she was going to say next. “If you don’t know…”
“I’m not a fucking mind reader!”
He shoved a hand through his hair, did a half turn away from her, hand on the back of his head. Oh, man.
Melina turned and walked out of the kitchen.
He stared at her back. This couldn’t be about the bachelor party, could it?
He should follow her, ask her that.
But goddammit, if she couldn’t even talk to him about it, why should he be the one to bring it up? If she was going to pretend she was fine with it, even though she clearly wasn’t, how was he supposed to know any different? Right?
He tossed the obnoxious meal into the trash, loaded the dishwasher and started it, turned out the kitchen light. He’d watch TV until bedtime and if she didn’t want to talk, fine by him.
Back-to-back reruns of CSI were the perfect thing to take his mind off their…uh…fight? Argument? No, they hadn’t argued over anything. Conflict? Disagreement? Whatever.

For the men:

Nothing: In “woman words” this is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in “fine”.
Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

Had to turn up the A/C, didn't you? For more information on all of these books, check out our author websites or Samhain Publishing

1 comment:

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