Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Kiss Twenty-five Years in the Making

Sometimes it's not the first kiss between characters, but the first real kiss that matters. I write women's fiction, but almost always include an element of romance that is, at times, strong enough to be the sub-plot of the story. One of my own favorite scenes is from my novel, Next Time I'm Gonna Dance, when Sonny plants a knee-weakening kiss on Emmie.

To set up the scene for you: Emme Steele is recovering from a divorce and a second bout with breast cancer. Chemotherapy has left her weak, and surgery has stripped her of confidence in herself as a woman. Sonny Palucci had been Emmie's date for the senior prom, only because their friends engineered it. What Emmie has never known is that Sonny has been in love with her since high school. Now divorced and beginning to feel better following treatment, Emmie has gone out to dinner with Sonny. And here is what happens...

~ * ~

Their dinners arrived, and Sonny stared at his plate. “Now I know why French people are so thin. This looks more like an appetizer.”
Emmie laughed. “I thought you said you’d been here before.”
“I was. But then the place was called Hank’s, and they served a twenty-two ounce prime rib.” He jabbed at the plate with his fork. “I hope they have a good dessert menu.”
After dinner, Sonny suggested a movie, but Emmie felt the familiar signs of exhaustion creeping up on her. “Maybe another time. I need to go home.”
“Okay, we’ll have to have a second date, then.”

He parked in the driveway and rushed around the truck to open the door for her. “Let me help you down. I really should think about getting a car for occasions like this.”
“I like your truck. It has…character.” She reached back inside for her handbag. “Thanks, Sonny. I enjoyed this evening.”
He walked her to the door and when she removed her keys from her purse, he took them from her. “I hope it won’t be another twenty-five years before we do this again.” He unlocked the door and handed her the keys.
“Twenty-five years? Oh, the prom. Was that actually a date? As I recall, Lynn, Brett and Andy arranged for us to go together because neither of us had a date.” His eyes sparkled under the porch light. “Did you ever wonder why that was?”
She wrinkled her forehead. “I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t date anyone in particular, and neither did you.”
“Emmie, for someone so smart, you can be oblivious. I didn’t date anyone because of you.” His mouth claimed hers in a kiss that was at first soft and sweet, then more demanding.
While the voice in her head shouted, “Stop!” Emmie’s body responded as she leaned into the kiss, heat pooling in her belly.
His hands pressed against her back, drawing her closer.
She trembled and relished the warmth that flooded her. “Sonny…”
He put a finger to her lips. “Don’t, Em.”
“What did you think I was going to say?”
“You were going to tell me you can’t do this.”
She nodded. “Not in those words, but…”
He cupped a hand behind her head and kissed her again. “I’m not demanding anything. I don’t have any expectations of you, Em. Just…don’t close off the possibilities.” He smiled into her eyes. “Thank you for a lovely evening. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” He turned and strode to the truck, leaving her weak-kneed and holding onto the doorknob for support.

Next Time I'm Gonna Dance has finaled for a 2011 EPIC e-Book Award. It is available from Champagne Books.

Cover artist, Trish FitzGerald, has also finaled for an Ariana Award for the cover art of Next Time I'm Gonna Dance.

Linda Rettstatt is a transplant from Pennsylvania who now resides in Mississippi. She is the author of nine women's fiction and contemporary romance novels and is published with Wings ePress, Champagne Books, and Class Act Books. She shares her home with her cat, Binky, who lets her stay because she pays the rent and buys the cat food. Her books have finaled three times for EPIC e-Book Awards and she has been nominated for Author of the Year for 2010 at Champagne Books. You can visit her website at: and her blog at


Elie said...

Sounds like the whole story is very emotional and powerful. Thanks for sharing.


Kasey said...

I love stories where the characters come back together after years of being apart. Sort of like finding their way back together again. Really sweet and very realistic.

linda_rettstatt said...

Yes, and Sonny is just the guy to look past Emmie's scars--the emotional ones and the physical ones--and be there for her.