Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Guest Blogger Karen Stivali - First Kiss

There are several things I can guarantee you’ll find in all my books: romantic love stories with happy endings, decadent descriptions of food and plenty of steamy sex. I love writing those things and could never pen a book that didn’t contain all those elements. But you know what my favorite thing to write is? The first kiss. As much as I enjoy crafting all the other bits, that’s what always gets me. I’m a sucker for a first kiss.

In my new contemporary romance, Leave The Lights On, Parker and Sophie’s first kiss is over a decade in the making. Although they’ve secretly crushed on each other since grade school, one thing or another has always kept them apart, until now. Neighbors again for the first time in years they’re both single, both healing from traumatic events and both experiencing a resurgence of all the feelings they never had a chance to express when they were younger. So, in honor of those heart stopping moments when the object of your affection finally makes the move, here’s a sneak peek at Parker and Sophie’s long-awaited first kiss.

Excerpt from Leave The Lights On:

I’m kissing Parker. Sophie repeated the words to herself but couldn’t quite believe they were true. His hand left her face, and she instantly missed his touch until she realized he was just moving it lower. A strong arm curled around her waist, drawing her closer. Broad chest pressing against hers. Hips rocking into her. Tongue. Oh, God, velvety soft tongue circling hers. Words ceased to exist as she rode the mind-numbing swirls into a blissful oblivion.

His lips closed, brushing hers once more. “It’s still raining.”

“I hadn’t noticed.” She was breathless enough that the words came out as a whisper.

She caught the quick grin that passed over his face before his mouth returned to hers. Holy shit. She’d always imagined he’d kiss well but nothing like this had ever even entered her fantasies. Gentle yet hungry, subtle but commanding. She moved in toward him, somewhat dizzily aware of the fact that he was hard. Her heart beat so fast she was sure he could feel it through their drenched clothes.

“We’d better get to the car.” His voice startled her, and she realized her eyes were still closed.

Shaking her head, she felt the heavy, water-soaked tips of hair hitting her cheek. “Okay.” She’d have agreed to pretty much anything he suggested at that point. All she really wanted was another moment with his mouth on hers.

“Come on.” Parker held out his hand, and she slipped her fingers into his.

He’s holding my hand. Her fourteen-year-old self did a happy twirl in her head. Her twenty-four-year-old self felt more excited than she had in… When was the last time she felt this? Heat flooded her face. Breathless, she ran with him through the rainy streets until they finally reached the car.

Parker opened her door, and she climbed in, tossing her purse into the backseat. Watching in the rear-view mirror, she saw him open the hatch and stow the bags. God he looks good soaking wet.

The door slammed shut, and Parker trotted to the front of the car, swinging into the seat next to her. His shirt clung to the muscles of his chest, his hair dripped. This must be what he looks like in the shower. She felt her cheeks tingle, realizing she was picturing him naked.

“You okay?” he asked, raking his hair off his face, beads of rain still clinging to his long dark lashes.

Nodding, she tried to focus on getting the keys in the ignition. “You?”

“I’m great.”

She turned to find him looking at her with a smile she’d never seen before. His eyes were dark and expectant, twinkling at her like two mischievous sapphires. Tumbling over its own beats, her heart danced a jig.

The rain continued, battering the car in solid sheets as she made her way home. By the time they pulled into her driveway it was nearly three thirty. “Sorry we got back so late. Are you going to make it to your appointment?”

“It’s right in town. I’ll be fine.” He got out of the car and opened the hatch.

“I’ve got it, you go. I don’t want to make you late.”

Grabbing the tote bags, he laughed. “Will you please just get in the house?”

Sophie fiddled with the keys until she found the right one. She held the door, sneaking a look at Parker’s clingy shirt from behind as he moved past her. The defined muscles of his back looked just as tempting as his chest. Not to mention his ass. Get a hold of yourself, will you?

“Good thing these bags are waterproof, or all those samples would have turned into soup.” He set the bags on the kitchen counter.

“What? Oh, yeah.” Free samples were the last thing on her mind. She wished he didn’t have to go.

“Thanks for taking me to the show. It was great.”

Great didn’t begin to cover it. “Anytime.” Say something else. Her brain refused to function.

“I better get going or I really will be late.”

“Oh, okay. Sure.” Think, dammit.

Parker headed back to the door.

“Do you want to borrow an umbrella?” Brilliant. Very seductive. How can he possibly resist a come-on like that?

“You can only get so wet, and I think I’m there.”

You and me both. She held her breath, hoping she hadn’t said that out loud.

Parker reached for the handle of the screen door then paused. “I’ll be done with PT by six—do you want to grab dinner later?”

There was nothing she’d rather do but she shook her head. “I can’t. I’ve got to meet with one of my clients tonight. Her fiancé lives out of state, and this is the only time they’re both available before the wedding.”

“Okay.” Parker’s eyes shifted away from hers.

“But I’m free tomorrow night.”

The smile that curved across his lips sent a tugging sensation from her heart straight to her thighs. “Tomorrow’s great. It’s a date. How’s six o’clock?”

“Perfect.” A date. She had to keep from bouncing on her toes.

He leaned in and gave her a soft kiss that left her feeling completely devoid of oxygen. “See you then.”

Nodding, she watched as he stepped back out into the downpour and jogged back to his car. I have a date with Parker. What the hell do you wear on a first date with the guy you’ve been pining after for over a decade?

Blurb for Leave The Lights On:

When love throws you a curve, swing for the fences.

Parker Wood’s dreams of becoming a professional baseball player are shattered when he’s injured in a devastating car crash. After two years in hospitals and physical rehab facilities, he’s ready to move back to his childhood home and take over the family landscaping company. The house and business are his, now that his father has passed.

Sophie Vaughn has suffered through a hellishly public divorce from a husband who couldn’t manage to stay faithful for two months of marriage. Determined not to let her personal drama impact her successful wedding and party planning business, she buys her parents’ old house, hoping the comfort of familiar surroundings will help her heal.

When Parker and Sophie discover they’re neighbors once again, it’s as if time has stood still. Their friendship is quickly rekindled, along with the decade-long crush neither of them ever admitted having. Then the heat between them exposes a long-held secret that threatens to tear them apart…unless they can detach from their painful pasts and move forward—together.

Warning: Contains sultry summer nights, steamy pool-side encounters, and you’ll never look at a jar of peanut butter the same way again.

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. She is a multiple award winning author of contemporary and erotic romances for Ellora's Cave, Turquoise Morning Press and Samhain Publishing.

Website: http://karenstivali.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenstivali

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5170527.Karen_Stivali

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005KWSFGO

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/karen-stivali

AllRomanceEbooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Karen+Stivali


Kelly Jamieson said...

Welcome to the Naughty Nine, Karen! I love the sound of Leave the Lights On! Friends to lovers, also reunited friend to lovers- two of my favs!

Meg Benjamin said...

HI, Karen, welcome to the Naughty Nine. Leave the Lights On looks great!

Skylar Kade said...

Oh, kissing in the rain!! That is the best to read. "Leave the Lights On" sounds like a fun read!