Sweet Nothings–09/21/13


The Secret by Albert Bartholome

The Secret
by Albert Bartholome

“Let me whisper sweet nothings in your ear.”

Welcome back to Sweet Nothings, a little shadow of Sweet Saturday Samples, until that sweet treat starts back up.  Until that happens, I’m doing a little weekly blog where you can post a “sweet” excerpt  (PG 13 or milder) from one of your works.  Remember: please  hold the excerpt to 350 words or less. But if your cutting needs just a few more words, that’s okay too.  I won’t be counting. LOL

Today’s “Sweet Nothing” is an excerpt from my Georgian historical novella, Only Scandal Will Do, the first book of my House of Pleasure series.  This snippet shows one of Duncan’s attempts to appease Katarina. 

Kat drew a careful breath. “I am sorry to have disturbed your evening. As I said earlier, I was fatigued from my unaccustomed exertions in the match. But I thank you for your kindness in sending the tray. And for looking in on me.” She managed to smile even though she wished him far away from her at this moment. Tears threatened again.

He bent closer and took her face in his hands, catching two teardrops that finally spilled from her eyes.

“Please, my lord,” she whispered. Captured by the great dark pools of his eyes, she could think of nothing else to say.

As though they had done this time and time again throughout eternity, he leaned closer, angled his head at the last moment and snuggled his lips against hers. They were soft and warm and sweet from the wine he’d had at dinner. A glow built in her center, a warmth that radiated outward, reaching down her arms, down her legs, between her thighs. Up through her neck and into her head, the warmth pulsed. Just at the touch of his lips on hers.

With the tip of his tongue, he drew the outline of her lips then, oh, so slowly traced the seam across the middle. All her bones seemed to come loose in her body. She parted her lips to protest, but Duncan accepted her invitation, sliding his tongue between them most naturally.

Then he dallied. Dawdled. Meandered about in her mouth, touching, tasting, teasing, until finally she retaliated and stroked into him, hesitant at first, then with greater abandon.

She only came back to herself, to sanity, when he deserted her lips and she opened her eyes. Duncan was still seated on the bed. He frowned a little and ran his finger over the curves he had possessed.

“If that was ‘just a kiss,’ my lady, I will be happy to try again.” His dark eyes danced with merriment in the candlelight and his mouth puckered as he attempted to stifle a grin. Swiftly, he leaned over, mere inches from her face, and she gasped.


Okay, now it’s your turn to share a “Sweet Nothing.” 🙂

This entry was posted in House of Pleasure Series, On Only Scandal Will Do, Promotion, Sweet Nothings and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Sweet Nothings–09/21/13

  1. This is such a great little feature of Jenna’s Journal. All the snippets are wonderful. Here’s mine; it’s a bit more brief than normal. In this, Stormy is sitting in Jeff’s bathroom the morning after doing something wild and crazy. This is how she remembers it beginning.

    They chatted for a while and she had several more glasses of wine. Stormy grew more comfortable with him as they talked about movies, favorite musical bands, and good places to dine out in Vegas. He asked her to dance when the DJ picked a slow song, and she accepted the invitation.

    Jeff was so warm. He held her gently, but not tentatively. There was nothing hesitant about Jeff, and yet he treated her respectfully. As they danced, he pulled her in closer to his body and eventually, she rested her cheek on his lapel.

    The memories flooded back as she sat on the lid of the commode. He’d taken her out on the hotel terrace during the reception and they’d stargazed for a while as he held her hand and rubbed her back, their wine and the rest of the world left behind in the adjacent ballroom.
    Stormy didn’t remember much about the drive from the hotel to his condo, except for how they’d groped each other as he drove. They’d barely made it through his front door before she practically yanked the clothes off him while he kissed her soundly.


  2. Brenda D says:

    Jenna, loved your sample.
    Here is mine from my paranormal romance, Prophecy’s Child.

    Katherine crossed her arms over her middle in an effort to hold herself together. “How am I supposed to deal with this? To know Ike will grow up and have to fight in this war…What if he doesn’t want to? Doesn’t he have a say in his destiny? Are we all just puppets on a stage?”

    “We have free-will. Tons of people ignore their destiny,” Kal said. “But is it wise? I turned from my fate when I left you, and I was miserable. And as for Ike. What if he wants to follow his destiny? When he’s grown, you won’t be able to stop him, Kat.”

    Right there was the crux of the problem. She couldn’t stop Ike if he chose to become a warrior, just like countless parents whose children decided to join the army. All she could do was pray and have faith God would watch over him.

    Katherine slumped onto the chair. It felt like the bones in her legs had dissolved. Kal was right. She couldn’t fight destiny, and she was tired of trying. This time when Kal reached for her hand, she didn’t pull away. Instead, she clasped his fingers tight.

    “Katherine, I love you more than words can express. I’ve loved you from the moment we met. Something…drew me to you—drew us together. My life is incomplete without you. Please, don’t ask me to live without you. I…can’t. I’m not strong enough.”


  3. Cara Marsi says:

    Thank you for this opportunity. I’m posting an excerpt from my short paranormal romance, Love Potion, from Boroughs Publishing Group. Just in time for Halloween.

    “Come, please. Now. Madame is very busy.” The fortuneteller bobbed her head up and down. The dangling gold ornament of a tiger pinned to her silver turban swayed back and forth. A promise or an omen?

    Nicole swallowed around the dryness in her throat and scanned the small waiting room. Madame, busy? Nicole and her friends were the only ones there. Blowing out a resigned breath, she followed Madame into an even smaller room, dark except for candles placed on marble-topped stands that encircled the room.

    Madame gestured for Nicole to sit at a round table covered with a shiny gold cloth. A crystal ball rested on the center of the table.

    Nicole sneezed at the overpowering scent of patchouli, even heavier here in the airless, dim room. Madame’s dark eyes glittered with impatience as she waited until Nicole finished sneezing. The fortuneteller gestured again for Nicole to sit.

    Nicole sank into the delicate, velvet-cushioned chair and waved a hand at the crystal ball. Silver, like clouds, swirled through it. “Seriously? A crystal ball?”

    With a sharp look, Madame sat across from Nicole and ran her talon-like fingernails over the ball, studying it.

    Nicole fidgeted. Why had she let Jen and Erin talk her into this? She didn’t need a man in her life. She was perfectly content with things as they were. She wasn’t looking to get married. Her mother and grandmother had seven marriages between them. The Caruso women were not good at marriage.

    “Ah! I see.” Madame’s words jerked Nicole from her thoughts.

    “See what?”

    A sly smile curving her lips, Madame stood, reached into the pocket of her voluminous multi-colored skirt, and pulled out a tiny bottle containing shimmering gold liquid. “Monday at precisely three o’clock in the afternoon, put this potion on your wrists,” Madame intoned in a deep, dramatic voice. “Then go to the corner of Main and Jessup. The man who Fate has decreed is your destiny should be there. I see a green jaguar.”

    “Potion?” Nicole said, glaring at the bottle. “You’ve got to be joking.” She shook her head with a derisive smile. “Is it Love Potion Number Nine?” She wrinkled her nose. “I thought you were supposed to drink that stuff. Not that I want to.”

    Madame gave her a blank look.

    “You know, like the song,” Nicole said. “‘Love Potion Number Nine.’” She hummed a few bars of the classic rock ditty.

    “Madame does not joke,” the fortuneteller said with a huff. She grabbed Nicole’s hand and pressed the tiny bottle into it, then closed Nicole’s fingers. The surprising heat of the bottle sent warmth flowing up Nicole’s arm. “Remember what I have said. We are finished here.”

    With that, Madame swept through the black curtains behind her.

    With a shrug, Nicole left the small dark room, too.


  4. These samples have all been wonderful. Old fashioned gallants, vile curs and trifles. All sweet in their own way. Here’s an excerpt from Cooking Up Love, due out November 4. Jack, my hero, finds Jem, my heroine, shedding angry tears in the kitchen of her new cafe. She’s just found out the man she thought she’d marry is cheating on her. This marks twice in one day that Jack has rescued her. He’s taken her to the bay to watch a sunrise and shares a bit of his history with her. Enjoy!

    He turned to face Jem and put his finger under her chin, turning her face his direction. Cupping his hand over her cheek, he rubbed his thumb along the smooth skin he found there. He prayed she’d lift her head enough to let him press a kiss to her lips, but she remained still, her eyes searching his. “That sun, right there, is your new opportunity. If you stay unhappy for a few days, or even years, it’s okay. Tomorrow, and every day after, the sun will come back with the same offer. And one day, you’ll be ready to accept it.”
    He dropped his hand to her shoulder and scooted closer to her, easing his arm around her. Jem didn’t shift away from him, but didn’t lean into his solid warmth, either. Her sigh was audible as she turned her face back toward the brilliant orange globe on the horizon. Side by side, they watched the new sun rising over the water, brightening the day first with a rosy glow, then a fiery glare that made them squint. Bathed in an otherworldly glow, Clooney played in the surf as the rising sun painted vivid colors on the sea and sky.
    “Thank you,” Jem said softly as Clooney finally wore himself out and trotted back to Jack’s side.
    Jack rubbed his hands across the dog’s wet coat, slicking water off his back. “You’re welcome.”
    Jem sat silently for a moment longer. The sky was a kaleidoscope of colors as the world came alive around her. Looking at her, he imagined them accepting the promise of the sunrise together. He allowed himself to think about what his days could be like, if he greeted the sunrise with this attractive woman at his side. A future slowly rolled out, the type of life he’d never foreseen with Tessa. He knew instinctively this woman would be a safe harbor. Just as instinctively, he knew her hurt was too new; it was too soon. She needed the type of healing only time could provide, to get over the anger and rawness of her shitty boyfriend’s betrayal. He understood the pain of a cheating partner. Tessa had strayed from their marriage vows and he almost didn’t recover from the hurt.
    Wise words from his father, Caroline’s quiet support and a shiny sunrise had helped him shed the anger, and lit the way for him. Jem would find that too, eventually.


  5. Daisy Banks says:

    I have loved all these excerpts. I Hope you enjoy this from my up coming release A Gentleman’s Folly.

    She couldn’t avoid his face so close to hers and couldn’t pull back. “You’re a vile cur. Let me go.”
    “For the sake of silence.” He caught the back of her head in his palm and brought her face much closer to his. Warm and smothering, his mouth covered hers, and all the time, her body sang in answer to his kiss.
    A cascade of shivers shot through her, stalling her doubts. Desire flooded her blood at the first contact of his lips. An instant, heady, insistent craving for his most intimate touch blazed to heat her body. She opened her mouth to accept the seeking warmth of his tongue, and her knees softened like wax under a flame.
    He gathered her closer, tightening his grasp, and hauled her tight against him. Their kiss deepened until each movement of his brought an echo of hers. A whimper of satisfaction stole from her as she twined her tongue around his. She sucked the warmth of him deeper into her mouth so his taste and hers swirled and mingled, and she closed her eyes.
    Time ceased to be anything other than velvet, pulsing darkness as his mouth worked on hers. He demanded more and more of her, and never had she been so willing to give herself up. She pushed forward against him, curled her fingers through his hair at the base of his skull, and kissed him while trembles made her shiver in readiness for his hands to seek her skin. Joyful, she climbed the steps of desire, until he pulled away.


  6. Loved the excerpts! Here’s mine from Marriage Minded Lord. It’s my latest Regency that just released on Tuesday:

    “Which one of you requested to see Cook?” Her French-accented English was as flawless as if she’d spoken the language all her life. Plush lips formed the words. With great effort, he wrenched his gaze from her mouth to focus on her. She held a crystal trifle dish in both hands. Every layer of the dessert was clearly visible, all purple jam, pale pastry cream and pound cake.

    His mouth watered. His pulse pounded. Sweat trickled down his back and dampened his shirt. What an enchanting creature. “I did.” Felix rose. He resisted the urge to straighten his clothing in her presence. “I’m Felix Darrington, well, I used to be until I assumed Earl of Swandon title.”

    She curtsied. “Very good, Lord Swandon.”

    Olivia rapped her knuckles on the tabletop. “Clarice, I must tell you—once again—that talking about your betters to the kitchen staff will not be tolerated.”

    The Frenchwoman nodded. She cast her gaze downward. “I understand, my lady. I do apologize for making my comments so loud that you overheard.”

    Felix stifled a snicker at the last second. The chit was clever. He liked her even more.

    Color blazed in Olivia’s cheeks. Her eyes glittered. “Be that as it may, I intend to hold back two days of pay from your salary this month for your insolent attitude. Perhaps that will teach you more than my words do.”

    “Yes, my lady.” Though Miss Delacroix kept her gaze to the floor, Felix swore he felt the heat of anger come off her even though the length of the table separated them.

    Olivia nodded. “Very good. Now, let’s have a look at the trifle. And pray, tell me why Cook refused to join us.”

    Miss Delacroix moved around the table until she stood at its head, pausing between him and Olivia, her gaze fixed on Felix. Mischief and slight annoyance warred for dominance in that bright gaze. “Cook is too shy so she requested I come in her stead.” A faint smile curved her lush rosy lips. “However, she’s pleased you enjoyed her meal, and I think you’ll enjoy the dessert as well.”

    “I’m looking forward to it.” How would those lips feel against his? Would her voice sound as sultry whispering endearments in the dark? He banished his wayward thoughts.

    “For the love of God, put down the trifle, Clarice.” Irritation clung to Olivia’s voice. “We’re all anxious to finish, and I’m certain you have other tasks to perform that don’t include bothering my guests.”

    “I do, thank you, Lady Drummond.” With a barely discernible wink, Miss Delacroix turned a slow, deliberate half-circle as fluid and seamless as her voice, then she upended the trifle dish directly into Olivia’s lap.


  7. Lovely, Jenna and Carrie-Anne. Here is mine from the Seduction of Lady Phoebe, which released on Thursday.

    She searched his face. Barely a foot separated them. If only he would reach out to her. “You were in Littleton for the fight last week.”

    “Yes, I attended with a friend,” he replied, his tone, intimate.

    Phoebe tried to steady her thudding heart. “I remember your voice. You rescued me from the young man pounding on my chamber door and spent the night guarding me.”
    She drew a ragged breath. Why was it so hard to breathe? “You didn’t want to be thanked. You have now saved me twice from importuning young men.”

    His gaze seemed to focus even more intently on her. “Yes, I took him from your door. I thought, at the time, I didn’t need to be thanked.” His lips curled into a provocative smile. “I may have been mistaken. You may thank me, if you wish.”

    Phoebe had no idea what she was doing. She’d never before been affected like this. His eyes and his body willed her closer. She ignored the small voice urging caution. Her pulse thrilled and there was no more space between them.

    Tilting her head up, she put one hand on his face, resting her fingers lightly on his cheek. “Yes, I would like to thank you.”

    He bent his head and lightly, very lightly, touched his lips to hers. They were warm and firm and so enticing.

    Phoebe lips tingled just as her hand had when he’d touched it, but that was through gloves. This was a great deal better. “I have never been kissed before. I don’t know what to do.”

    A flame lit in her knight’s eyes. “I’ll teach you.”


  8. Carrie-Anne says:

    I wish my ex knew how to kiss even half that well! Maybe I’ll be luckier if there’s even a next time.

    Here’s something from one of the earlier chapters of my current WIP, Journey Through a Dark Forest. Using Vsevolod again in the third book, let alone as a main character this time around, was never in my original outline from 2001, not was his couplehood with Vera, but I’m glad I let the storyline organically go where it wanted. Seva has come to Vera’s apartment with flowers and a little present on their first date, after he finally professed his love and found out Vera has feelings for him too.

    “Where did you find this, at some craft shop in an Asian neighborhood? I do like it,” she quickly adds. “It’s very sweet, and I’m glad you didn’t spend an exorbitant amount of money on me on only the first official date.”

    “I made it myself,” he announces proudly. “I made it a long time ago, before I knew I’d meet you and fall in love with you. I knew you existed, from Lyolya talking about her sisters, but never dreamt you’d be mine. I made the beads from reindeer antlers and dyed them blue and green. It was intended as a present for the woman who’d become my wife, to give her a little taste of where I come from. I love you so much I just can’t wait till you’re my wife or even my fiancée. Here, let me put it on your wrist.”

    Véra holds out her left arm and lets him gently fasten it around her wrist. She can’t imagine any of the other men she’s dated having done anything like this. And if this bracelet was made and intended for his future wife, this has to signify that he doesn’t intend to love her for just a little while. A sweet, old-fashioned man like this would never cavalierly give that kind of token to his flavor of the month.

    “It looks very good on you,” he smiles, caressing the palm of her hand. “Like you were made to wear it. Can you wear it every day, to remind you of how much I love you? Of course, when I have more money, I’ll buy you more expensive jewelry.”


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