Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Peek at Destiny by Victoria Gray - The First Kiss


Destiny is an adventurous, sexy abduction story. Major Jack Travis is a daring Union cavalry officer and Emma Davenport, the woman he takes captive, the spirited daughter of a powerful Northern senator.  The abduction isn’t what it seems – Jack’s not after ransom or secrets. He’s out to keep Emma safe from a scoundrel. He can protect her from the dangers that pursue them. But he soon finds out he's going to have a hard time protecting her from himself.  Here's an excerpt featuring Jack and Emma's first kiss:

Jack’s body tightened with awareness when she shuddered against him. Her hair smelled faintly of lemons, but something else, a subtle, indefinable feminine essence, aroused his most primal hunger.  
This is torture.  Against his will, he grew rigid against her softness.  He swallowed hard against the insistent demands of his body.  He’d been a damned fool to think he could ignore her femininity.  He ached to kiss her. Hell, he ached to tear off every button on her ridiculously high collar, bare her creamy skin to his eyes, and kiss her everywhere his gaze traveled.
All his male instincts demanded he pursue this moment.  Emma would not resist his touch. Her every breath, her every movement, betrayed her attraction.  But she was vulnerable.  Too damned vulnerable.   
“You’re safe,” Jack breathed as a fierce battle waged within him.
“You killed it.”  Emma’s voice had not lost its tremor.
“Without a doubt.”
The shimmer of tears in her eyes nearly destroyed his tenuous control. He wanted to kiss her until the thought of anything but his touch was a distant memory. Instead, he took her by the hand and led her away from what remained of the snake.  He stopped at the creek bank.  The soft rhythmic sound of the water’s flow seemed to relax her, though her skin was still unnaturally pale, and her features appeared drawn with tension.  His arm draped her shoulders.  She nestled against his chest and allowed him to comfort her. 
Emma’s tears erupted again.  “I shouldn’t be such a ninny.”
He brushed the fat, wet drops away with his fingertips as she raised her face to meet his eyes.  “You have good reason to be upset.  That snake could have killed you.”  He swallowed hard and braced himself to resist the traitorous response of his body to her tear-misted eyes.
Her weeping ebbed, and she sniffled against him.  “Why did you take me from the train?” she whispered with a sigh.
“I have my reasons.”  Jack’s fingers brushed an errant tendril of her hair behind her ear, and he reached to caress her face, but he stopped himself.  Touching her was damned foolish.  Did he think he was made of stone?
“I don’t want to see you die,” Emma blurted the words in a torrent of emotion. “Release me, and I’ll never identify you.”
Jack lowered his gaze, unable to bear her anguish. “I can’t let you go. Not yet.”
“Why? Why do you need to keep me here? My father will hunt you down, and he will not rest until you are dead.”
“I can’t release you.”
“You saved my life. I can save yours.” The husky note in her plea stirred a long-forgotten yearning deep within his soul.  “I promise I won’t betray you.”
“That doesn’t matter.”
“My father won’t pay a dollar in ransom.”
“I don’t care about ransom.”
Emma backed away. “Then why am I here?”
“There are more important reasons than money.”  He stared at the ground for a long moment. “Someday, you may understand.”
Emma stepped out of his reach and regarded him with wary eyes.  “You protected me. You saved my life. Yet you insist on keeping me here – in danger.”  She’d lowered her voice to a hush.  “How can you think I will ever understand?”
“I’ll protect you. But you need to trust me.”
Emma threw her head back, covering her face with her hands as she stared at the sky. “I cannot trust a man who insists on keeping me a prisoner.”
“At this point, you don’t have much choice.” Jack shrugged with a carelessness he did not feel and walked away.  He glanced back over his shoulder.  “Are you coming with me?”
“I’ll take my chances.” The color returned to her cheeks as she planted her hands on her hips.
He turned and came back to her. “Are you sure about that?”
“Very.”
His mouth curved into a smile. “I can’t afford to let you take any more chances.”  Giving her no time to evade his grasp, he lifted her into his arms and rested her flailing body over his shoulder.
“Damn you!” she cried. “Put me down.”
Jack shook his head. “Such language from a lady. Your father would be shocked to hear those words from his daughter’s mouth.”
“Put me down, you oaf!”  Her fists drummed against his back.  “Put me down this minute.”
He stopped in his tracks. “Was that a request?”
“Take your hands off me!” Emma grated through clenched teeth. “No one has ever treated me this way!”
“Miss Davenport, if you don’t stop squirming, I can’t guarantee I won’t drop you on your shapely backside.”
Emma gasped. “How dare you! How dare you comment on my...my...backside!”
Jack grinned as he carried her toward the cabin.  “Just speaking the truth, ma’am,” he drawled.
“Put me down,” she persisted.  “I insist you put me down this instant.”
“As you wish,” he relented, depositing her on her feet.  “Since you already know I’m a brute, I am going to take another liberty with you.”
Emma tried to retreat, but Jack allowed her no quarter. He leaned closer and brushed her lips with his own.  
The instant his mouth touched hers, he knew he’d made a mistake.  The thrill of possession shot through his body like a lightning bolt.  How the hell could he stop at one kiss?  Deepening the caress, passion flamed beyond his control.  He’d intended to infuriate her.  Emma was so damned pretty when she was angry.  But he hadn’t anticipated her response.  Her arms encircled his neck, and she molded against him as she returned his caress.
“I have to take you back to the cabin,” he said, his words a hoarse whisper against her lips. He needed to release her, but he was having trouble finding the strength to part with her warmth.
He claimed her mouth again, more gently this time. The fleeting kiss left him starving for more.
Emma’s eyes locked with his as his arms dropped to his sides.  He took a step back while extending his hand. “Come with me.”
“I can find my way,” she replied woodenly.  Her breath steadied as she watched him beneath the veil of her lashes.
“Emma, I can’t leave you here. It’s too dangerous.”
Her eyes narrowed in accusation. “And you are not?”


If you enjoyed reading this excerpt, check out Destiny at The Wild Rose Press. It's available in e-book and print. Here's the link:    http://www.thewildrosepress.com/destiny-p-4018.html 





9 comments:

Virginia said...

Oh wow great excerpt, loved it

lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

Kasey said...

Like that he can't stop after kissing her. That's what I like to hear! LOL. I'll be sure to check out your work.

mharris299@gmail.com

Victoria Gray said...

Thanks! Glad you liked it!

Linda Swift said...

Wonderful excerpt. I like these characters. Makes me want to read more. I wish you much success with this book. Linda

mysticmother said...

I love how the excerpt ended, leaving you wanting more. Very hot.

Victoria Gray said...

Thanks, Ladies! Glad you liked it :)

Chicks of Characterization said...

Wow, I loved this excerpt!! I am in LOVE with anything in this time period! Its definitely going on my TBR pile! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Andrea
atsnider@verizon.net

RRR said...

This is my kind of story! I can't wait to go over and buy it! Thanks for sharing!

RRR said...

This is my kind of story! I can't wait to go over and buy it! Thanks for sharing!