A Rake for Christmas
It is always special when a book comes out. This one is a short story, my very first Christmas themed book. I got the idea for the setting when I visited Keates's house on Hampstead Heath one summer. Not that my rakish hero is a poet. Far from. He's a very bad boy.
But like Keates he does share his house with a very lovely lady. The house is divided into two apartments, not up and down, but side by side. He has been watching her chase her cat in the garden, and calls her the cat lady, and she has been listening to his shenanigans through the walls of her house.
Their meeting is explosive, to say the least:
One more try and then she’d go home. She knocked harder and longer.
The door flew open as if blown back by the wind. “I knew you’d be back,” a deep mocking voice said.
He stepped into the lamplight.
Mouth open she stared at the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. A blond blue-eyed archangel. Elegant of stature, he looked thoroughly masculine in his shirtsleeves and open collar. Perfection in a state of disreputable undress. Not the raddled roué she’d expected, but a Greek god and a dangerous pirate all rolled into one.
A gust of wind drove snow in through his door and flakes clung to his long golden lashes. So pretty. So enticing. Heat rushed through her body. Like a bolt of hot lightning, longing trembled in her bones.
Yearning for something she could not have.
“Only one of you?” Summer-sky eyes tracked down her length from head to toe.
Oh how she wished she’d worn something less shabby than her old cat-catching shawl. “I—”
A smile of appreciation curved his sensual mouth. “Well, since Heaven sent you, I’m sure you’ll make up for the lack. Come on in before you freeze.” He grabbed her by the hand and pulled her over the threshold and closed the door.
Astonished she gazed up at him. Before she could utter a protest, his hands went to her waist and he brushed his warm dry lips across her mouth. A sigh of appreciation forced its way up her throat. She barely managed to contain it.
Instinctively, she placed her free hand on his shoulder, intending to push him away, parting her lips to to tell him to stand back. She was sure that was what she meant to do, but when his tongue swept her mouth, warm and silky and tasting of brandy, the spicy scent of his cologne filling her nostrils, instead of pushing, her fingers curled into the soft cambric of his shirt and pulled him closer. Memories of the pleasure of kisses and caresses melting any thought of resistance.
Slowly, lingeringly, he kissed her, exploring her mouth with the leisurely strokes of a master seducer. Finally he broke the kiss and she stood breathless, dizzy, held up only by the strong hands in the indentation beneath her ribs. It was all she could do to keep her feet, to not collapse from the delicious assault on her senses.
His kiss had set free all the pent up desires of the past few weeks. Her insides ached and fluttered.
He looked down at her, a lock of unruly tawny hair falling over his brow, a wicked smile curving his sensually carved mouth. “I just had to see if you tasted as good as you looked.” His smile broadened. “You do. Lucky me.”
Not that the path to true love is ever that smooth as he is about to find out.
Well that's all from me, until next time happy rambles.