I. Am. SO EXCITED. As soon as I saw that today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was a
Valentine’s KissingBooks Day freebie, I knew immediately what my post would be about. Way back in August, I wrote my KissingBooks 101 post and it remains one of my most popular/highest viewed posts. But since then I have discovered some additionally swoon-worthy KissingBooks – or remembered some that I forgot about when I was writing the first lesson. I’ve had several people ask me to do another KissingBooks 101, and I am nothing if not accommodating when it comes to this topic 😉
Before I begin our lesson, I need to make sure you have the necessary supplies. An absence of any of the following could prove detrimental to your overall well-being as you progress through today’s notes. Please remember: I am not responsible for any injuries incurred from a) lack of oxygen, b) overheating, or c) swooning.
Class Supply List:
- a fan. More than one would not be remiss.
- alternative sources of oxygen
- I’m serious about that fan.
- a fainting couch
- in the absence of a fainting couch, a reasonable gathering of pillows and/or cushions will suffice to soften your fall in the event of a swoon
- Not kidding. A fan.
- the official KissingBook scale (created with my friend, author Pepper Basham)
If you make it to the end of the post in a close facsimile of your right mind, you will have the chance to enter an AMAZING bundle giveaway from the authors I’m featuring today. One winner. ELEVEN BOOKS! I told you this was exciting!!
Ok. Enough chit-chat. Let’s read some kissingbooks! 😀
The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz is more than your typical marriage-of-convenience story. Rife with tensions from every side, this is a touching story of history – of healing, of new beginnings, and of friendship. And some great kisses 😀 All Seamus has to do is say “Aye” and I melt into a little puddle with a goofy grin on my face. And when he puts his mind to kissing…. Well… goodness.
Slowly he pressed his lips to her palm and then her wrist, moving up her bare arm to the lacy waterfall of her sleeve. She shut her eyes, well beyond thought. Beyond words. His kisses lingered like a trail of fire on her skin.
Dawn Crandall’s writing style simply embodies talent – from her prose to her characterizations to her kissing scenes. (More on that in a second!) Amaryllis and Nathan quickly became one of my new favorite romantic pairings. In fact, I forgot to breathe so many times during The Hesitant Heiress that I’m surprised I didn’t need medical attention by the end 😉
When it was obvious I was kissing him back and telling him everything he wanted to know, he drew me even closer, melding me to his chest. And then, as if that wasn’t close enough, he pressed me against the side of the deep sofa, his hands traveling up my back, then down again and then up my sides, as if he wasn’t able to touch enough of me to be satisfied.
Not only do you have the chance to win The Hesitant Heiress today on my blog, you can also enter Goodreads giveaways for all three books released so far in The Everstone Chronicles series by Dawn Crandall. Just follow the links below!
The Suspect’s Daughter by Donna Hatch has it all – romance, suspense, great characters, skilled writing, and some quite spectacular kisses. Grant is a Mr. Darcy/Beast type hero. Jocelyn is full of humor and heart. In short, the perfect setup for some sizzling chemistry between them!
His expression defied description. Whether he was aghast at her boldness, or terrified at the new path on which they’d taken a step, or simply shocked that she’d want to kiss him, she couldn’t say. Before she had too long to agonize over his reaction, he gathered her into his arms, kissing her over and over and over, a ravenous man setting upon a feast – no words of affection, no gentle touches, he simply devoured her in raw, true need.
By now, you’ve probably already had to reach for a fan and I would like to take this moment to point out that all the books included in today’s lesson are classified as either Christian fiction or “clean” romance. But as you can already plainly see, that in no way means that they are without passion.
In A Hope Undaunted, we crank up the heat a few notches with my absolute favorite Julie Lessman couple. Their chemistry plus a great redemption story equal a truly fantastic read. Whew.
As if under a spell, his gaze was drawn to her lips, parted and full, and the sound of her shallow breathing filled him with a fierce longing. “Oh, Katie,” he whispered, no power over the pull he was suddenly feeling. In slow motion, he bent toward her, closing his eyes to caress her mouth with his own. A weak gasp escaped her as she stiffened, but he couldn’t relent. The taste of her lips was far more than he bargained for, and he drew her close with a raspy groan. With a fierce hold, he cupped the back of her neck and kissed her deeply, gently, possessive in his touch. His fingers twined in her hair, desperate to explore.
And then all at once, beyond his comprehension, her body melded to his with an answering groan, and he was shocked when her mouth rivaled his with equal demand. Desire licked through him, searing his body and then his conscience. With a heated shudder, he gripped her arms and pushed her back, his breathing ragged as he held her at bay.
Head to Julie’s site to read her favorite romantic scenes from each of her books. Bring a fan there too. 🙂
Also, an FYI, A Hope Undaunted will be available for FREE download starting on March 1st through the end of May! Trust me, you will want to read this entire book.
With Isle of Hope, Julie Lessman made her first foray into contemporary romance and oohlala what a read! Isle of Hope will tear out your heart and put it back together, a little sore for the process but sweetly soothed all the same. It’s emotional and raw and convicting … but healing. But never fear, my faithful romantics!! There are kisses and sparks and HEAT aplenty!!!!! Ooooh boy- are there ever!
He paralyzed her with a possessive kiss that obliterated all protest, any denial utterly lost in a groan that ached all the way up to her lips, which now trembled more than her limbs. Breathing shallow, she just stood there with eyes closed as if in a trance, barely aware he had pulled away for the chaotic beat of her pulse and the traitorous thrum of her body.
Julie Lessman will be offering Isle of Hope on sale for HALF-PRICE starting tomorrow (2/10) through the 14th! You can click on the Amazon button just above to go add it to your wish list and watch for the sale to kick in 🙂
The prequel novella A Glimmer of Hope is also available – only $0.99 on Amazon!
**ANOTHER CHANCE TO WIN ISLE OF HOPE (and another chance to read some pretty WOWZAH kisses!) – Head over to Seekerville today and check out Julie’s article on “Kisses, Kisses, Kisses“!**
Justified by Varina Denman is a beautifully written story of second chances – giving them, knowing when to stop, and learning the fine line between the two. When I read the first book in this series and tried my hardest to dislike Fawn, never in a million years would I have predicted who she would end up with in Justified. And oh honey! This romance? Wow!!! Full of sparks… and kissing! The Texas heat won’t be the only thing to raise the temperature 😉
But then his hands gripped my shoulders in the darkness, and he frantically inched them up my neck to the sides of my face, finding my lips with one of his thumbs before pressing his mouth firmly against mine.
It started quickly. Unexpectedly. One second we were sort of arguing, and the next second he was kissing me.
I laughed out loud a lot while reading Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand. I cried a lot too. Oh yeah … I can’t forget to mention the kissing. WHEW! First of all, Zach is trying to be a man of honor which just makes him dreamier as far as I’m concerned, and while he’s not perfect he is sincere. Which makes the first kiss a doozy. 😀
Without a second’s hesitation, he pulled her into him as if she were his missing piece. His solid arms enveloped her as he pressed his lips to hers and kissed her like a thirsty man in search of water. All she could do was hold on tight and hope that her legs would still support her when he let go.
Though Now & Forever is the second book in the Wild at Heart trilogy, it’s my favorite of the three. It’s truly Mary Connealy at her best. Madcap adventure, hilarious dialogue, toe-curling kisses, and characters that you wish you could invite to dinner. There’s a lot of laughter, a lot of kisses, and a lot of tenderness. I of course had to pick a kiss that encapsulated all three 🙂
“…Those nightmares you have, when was –?”
She kissed him.
When the kiss ended, Tucker lifted his head and frowned, though there wasn’t much serious about it. “Don’t try and distract me.”
She kissed him again, harder, deeper.
“If you do this every time I try and ask you about the war” — Tucker kissed her so hard he bent her back over his arm — “then you are going to find yourself questioned about it many times a day.”
Ok. First things first. That cover. Be still, my book-boyfriend-collecting heart! I could quite happily stare at this cover all day. BUT inside is a story that will engage all of your emotions. My friend Georgianne and I were talking about Jody Hedlund’s A Noble Groom, and she remarked that “it wasn’t an easy read, but the sweet romance made the pain and heartache easier to bear.” Agreed. The sweet romance… and one particular kiss in the rain 😀
He slid down from the post and stepped into the rain. With a jerk he tossed his hat to the ground. Then he came toward her, his eyes hungry, his footsteps certain, his eyes trained on one place – her lips.
The rain trickled down her face and her neck. Her body trembled with the strange need for his fingers to follow the path of the rain. He stopped in front of her, and his breath came from deep within his chest. His gaze didn’t waver from her lips, even when he reached up both hands – one on either side of her face – and intertwined them into the long damp strands of her hair.
Her breath caught in her throat.
His fingers dug deeper into her hair, drawing her to him, and she was helpless to do anything but fall against him. He dipped his head toward hers, and his lips came down on hers decisively, without faltering, almost as if he’d made his decision to kiss her and wouldn’t let anything stop him.
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson was one of the books whose absence from my first KissingBooks 101 post was most bemoaned. (Julie Lessman and Dawn Crandall’s books also were among the championed.) You were right to raise an outcry at my exclusion of all of the above. Edenbrooke is for Regency fans, for KissingBook fans, for Austen fans. The romance is full of intense emotions that will leave you breathless – and just when you think you might be on your way to oxygenating normally again, this kiss happens:
He crossed the room to me and grabbed me by the shoulders. In three steps, he had me backed up against a bookcase. Before I could do more than catch my breath, he took my face in his hands and kissed me.
Trust me when I say that the romance in Pepper Basham’s The Thorn Keeper is delicious and toe-curling and oh-so-heart-clenching. Catherine – sassy, sweet and strong in spite of her brokenness, yet in many ways uncertain. David – focused, dedicated and true but carrying the weight of forced burdens on his shoulders. When he turns that focus and dedication and true-ness in Catherine’s direction??? SWOON!!! Oh… and you’ll find that you suddenly develop a craving for peppermint. Or maybe that last part was just me. 😉
She pulled him to her and they stumbled back against the cold, stone wall, his hand cupping the back of her head. Peppermint and a warm glow surrounded her, intoxicating and glorious. His kiss. The man she’d come to not only love, but admire. The friend who teased her and kept her couched within the comfort of his care. The man who caused her heart to ache with such a powerful love, she thought she might explode. A fairytale? Fresh tears blended with the heat on her face. How could she ever deserve such sweet affection?
“Heaven help me, you taste like Christmas!” She breathed between them, keeping her mouth close enough to feel the warmth of his breath. To encourage another sampling.
(I’ve become slightly obsessed with that last line of Catherine’s … “Heaven help me, you taste like Christmas!” Whew.)
The Thorn Keeper comes out on February 28th but it’s available right now to preorder at a great price of only $4.99!
So if you’re still with us… and you haven’t fallen into a kissingbook induced swoon, you’ve made it to the most incredibly awesome part of today’s post. One of my lucky readers will win ELEVEN books, all donated by the authors and publishers featured on this post!!! I am so honored and grateful for their willingness to humor my love of KissingBooks and to participate in this bundle giveaway.
Included in the KISSINGBOOKS 101 LESSON 2 GIVEAWAY are:
The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall, A Noble Groom by Jody Hedlund, Now & Forever by Mary Connealy, Justified by Varina Denman, The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz, Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, Huckleberry Hearts by Jennifer Beckstrand, The Thorn Keeper by Pepper Basham, The Suspect’s Daughter by Donna Hatch, Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman and Romance-ology 101 by Julie Lessman.
Click on the graphic below to enter at the Rafflecopter link. Some prizes are paperbacks, others are digital copies. Choice is at the discretion of each author/publisher. Giveaway will be open until Sunday February 14th. US mailing addresses only.
Feel free to get a jump on the giveaway by answering the following question in the comments:
What is YOUR favorite KissingBook?