Alive with meaning and emotion, like fireworks exploding behind your eyes.
Some kisses rifle through you with sheer electricity, leaving a burning residue in their wake. A good burn. Electrifying.
Hmm…well, I don’t know if electrifying is a strong enough word for Jamie Carie’s books. Whew, I just finished reading Love’s First Light and I felt like I held my breath from page 1 all the way to page 311. My next book on the Carie list is The Duchess and the Dragon which you’ll gain a sneak preview of today.
Jamie’s books pack a powerful punch of adventure, energy, angst, and romance. Characters are swept from one near-death scene to another, with a few intense romantic interludes woven in between. To learn more about Jamie’s books check out her website at www.jamiecarie.com
You can also read an interview I had with her and learn more about how she thinks as a writer. http://pepperbasham.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/an-interview-with-jamie-carie-loves-first-light-2/
So now, let’s get onto the ‘goods’, as Jamie called it 😉
What do you think makes a good kissing scene?
I’m definitely in the slow building up tension camp! It’s great to have them almost touch and then almost kiss and then the big payoff. I’m also a fan of the wedding night scenes. I think closing the door on that can work but sometimes I’m disappointed if I don’t get a glimpse of how it went – LOL! I have two scenes from The Duchess and the Dragon I would like to share. The first one is an almost kissing scene and the second one is a wedding night scene.
Scene One – Drake (a duke from England on the run for his life has come to America as an indentured servant) has gotten into a fight and been knifed. Serena (a sweet Quaker girl whose father is training Drake to become a silversmith, so he lives with them) is cleaning and bandaging the wound.
Once inside the small, warm room, Drake leaned against the counter and pulled his shirt over his head. He winced as the sleeve pulled against the cut, then held it out for her to examine. “You wouldn’t have any brandy, would you?”
Serena shook her head then stopped and thought a minute. “Wait here, I will go and get something from the neighbors. They will have something.”
Drake watched her go, her straight spine intent with purpose, the back of her pale neck, slim and elegant, the white cap covering her glorious hair. He closed his eyes and thought of her hair all around her, like a living veil . . . When she returned bearing a dark bottle, he had to clear his throat before he could speak. Her face was close as she grasped hold of his arm, then tilted the bottle with careful precision over the wound.
It burned, deep into his flesh, but he was so busy watching her face that he barely felt it.
Serena. How to describe her? He wanted to memorize this moment, knowing that they would change, hoping that they would grow old together but knowing that she would never look exactly this way again.
Her skin was ivory, with a rosy tint here and there, a flush on her forehead and cheeks and chin. Eyebrows like wings of reddish gold swooping out, giving her a regal mien when she was serious, and an elfish delight when she was happy and laughing. Her face was oval, her chin a little pointed, and her lips, her lips were the coral of a shell he’d seen once, thin with a delicate curve at the top of the upper lip. No dimples. No, she had lean cheeks and high cheekbones, a rather wide forehead accentuated by the scraping back of her hair to fit it all in the cap.
Suddenly she looked up at him. “What art thou doing, sir?”
Drake smiled, allowed all he felt for her to glow from his eyes. “I am remembering you just as you are now, so I’ll have that picture in my mind for years to come.”
She stared at him, a deep smile coming into her green eyes, happiness and something else that she’d recently learned—a flirtatious, admiring look—curving her lips. “I would like to do the same.”
Drake offered a wicked grin for her answer. “Then you shall. Are you finished with that bandage?”
Serena nodded, looking shy and eager at the same time. She tied the two ends together, making a perfectly fitting bandage over the cut. “’Tis only a flesh wound and should heal in a few days.” She washed her hands in a bowl of water, dried them on a muslin towel and then turned to face him, so unsure now, her hands loosely held behind her back, her head down.
“Come here, Serena.”
She moved closer, then lifted her face to stare into his eyes.
“Look at me.”
She took a deep breath, her hands still safely behind her back, her eyes roaming over his face. He felt himself flush, surprised that he could be embarrassed by something so simple as a woman’s scrutiny. And yet, it was as powerful as anything he’d ever imagined.
He watched her study his hair, his eyebrows and forehead, his nose. He grinned then, unable to suppress it, knowing he had such an aristocratic nose, the nose of his Celtic ancestors. She smiled back, her breathing deeper now. Her gaze traveled across his cheeks like she was studying the hollows and planes of a map, then they stopped at his lips. Her lips curved into a slow smile as she took another deep breath.
Pressing her lips together she seemed to force her gaze lower, to his chin, studying the stubble as it grew in a thick patch down his throat. He truly hated shaving and only managed it every other day.
She didn’t stop, as he thought she might, as he had. No, her study continued down to his shoulders and then his chest until he thought he might explode—
Serena backed up suddenly, eyes wide, cheeks flushed. “What art thou doing to me? What power dost thou have over my mind and heart?”
Drake shook his head. “It is the same for me, love. I am undone.”
She stared into his eyes, so many emotions in those beautiful depths: fear . . . longing . . . tenderness . . . more fear.
She swallowed hard, the slim column of her throat working. “I do not know what to do. I have painted it. I have gone to meeting and . . . I thought I knew, but . . .”
Drake wanted to take her into his arms and reassure her. He wanted, more than anything, to kiss her doubts away and tell her that everything would work out perfectly, but he couldn’t. Only she could make this decision.
He pushed away from the counter, slipped his shirt over his head and walked toward the door. Turning, he gazed at her, standing there in the late afternoon sun. “I would give up everything to be with you, Serena.”
It was the truth and that was the best thing he could
He turned and walked away.
And now for the wedding night scene. They’ve run from the church through a thunderstorm to a nearby inn. Serena does not know that her new husband is none other than the Duke of Northumberland!
Dinner was soon brought up. Drake directed the placement of the meal and ordered the wine poured with an authority Serena was fast becoming accustomed to and knew was as natural to him as breathing. She leaned her chin onto her palm, watching him from the small table set up for them, their faces reflected in the flickering firelight, hers in grinning fascination as the serving woman curtsied her way out of the room in apparent awe.
“How dost thou do it?”
“Do what, my love?”
“Command such fearsome respect in others.”
Drake motioned toward the food and grinned back at her. “If you will sup, madam, I shall tell you all of my secrets.”
The heated timbre of his words caused her to shiver. “Secrets, my lord?”
He seemed not to notice her flirtatious tone, and Serena had to wonder if that, too, was as natural to his ears as the trickling of water is to river rock.
He handed her a glass of wine. “Drink. It will relax you.”
She took a sip. “Tell me, why do they all bow and scrape in thy presence?”
Drake shrugged out of his waistcoat, tossing it on the bed as he sat down across from her. He loosened his cravat, a picture of an elegant gentleman at ease. “I have found that if you expect certain standards and speak with the authority of one who is used to expecting those standards, people generally—” he shrugged—
“do what is expected.” He smiled, one side of his mouth quirking in a way that left Serena a little breathless.
“Very philosophic of thee. May we eat, my lord? I am
Drake frowned, but the smile stayed in his eyes. “You tease me, I know, but . . . call me anything but that.”
A glimpse of pain, quickly extinguished, gave her heart a pang. Determined to banish it, she said playfully, “Anything? How about Kitten? Or Peaches?” She laughed as he came around the table and pulled her into his arms.
Kissing her quiet, he murmured. “How about husband. I think I might like the sound of that.”
“Hmmm, husband. It fits thee.” She leaned back, his strong arm supporting her waist. “I like it that I am the only one who may call thee that.”
“Let me take your hair down.” His fingers dug into the coif, finding pins and tossing them on the table before she could protest.
“Should we not eat first, husband . . . while it is still hot?”
Drake ran his fingers through the long tresses, freeing them from their braids. “I want to sit across from you thus. It is a glorious thing, your hair.”
“Vainglorious, dost thou think?” Mock concern filled her voice.
Drake laughed. “I doubt you have a vain bone in your body, but if you did, no doubt your hair would be the femur.”
“Femur? What is that?”
“The largest bone in the body.” His hand glided down the side of her body to her thigh. “Here.” He leaned her back against his ready arm and then kissed a trail of sweetness from the slim column of her neck up to her chin, then her lips.
Her eyes fluttered shut. “What wilt thou do with me tonight?”
He chuckled, deep and mischievous in response. “You will see.” Abruptly, he righted her and then sat her in her chair. “Eat, madam.”
They ate in silence, each anticipating the advancing darkness of night, their eyes catching and holding over the flame of the candle slowly dripping in the center of the table, seeming to Serena like an hourglass counting down the minutes.
Serena finished first and took a long, slow drink from the wine, tasting it on her lips with the tip of her tongue. She watched Drake through lowered lids, the air humming with the tension of tightly coiled springs.
“I never tire of looking at thee.” What freedom, to speak her thoughts aloud.
A flare ignited in his eyes, telling her he liked hearing such things. She gave a little jump when he suddenly stood. Swallowing, she watched him toss back the remainder of his wine and come around to her side of the table. Her heart was pounding as he reached for her arm. It rose of its own accord to drape about his shoulders and held onto him as he lifted her.
“Hast thou had much experience in these matters?” she whispered against his chest.
“Enough to know what you might like. But you will not appreciate that yet.”
“What does that mean?”
Drake sighed in mock exasperation. “Do you want me to talk to you or kiss you?”
Serena shrugged a shoulder and gasped as her sleeve slid half way down her arm. Looking down she saw that he had undone the ribbons on the front of her gown. “However didst thou do that?”
He answering grin was wicked. “My vast experience.”
The next hour was a haze of pleasure to Serena. She had not understood how two could become one, until he made sense of it. Their breaths intermingled, their hearts pounding in urgent accord. Sensation became a new kind of direction, with touch its map. Before, she had only been able to look at him and she had thought that wondrous. Now, she used all her senses to explore him. She reveled in the essence that was Drake, the taste of his mouth, warm and rich with the wine. His scent, a mix of her mother’s soap from his wedding bath and his own unique fragrance, delighting her. She breathed him and knew him and lost herself in the world that he showed her. She gave all that she had, her trust complete.
It was nearly painful, loving him thus.
Drake had thought himself experienced. How humbling to learn he had only known the physical, never this joining of souls that had somehow, miraculously happened with Serena. What magic did she possess?
In the face of her sweet generosity, he felt the hard edges of his self-possession crumble. There was no room for the shroud of protection he had worn as effortlessly as his own skin for as long as he could remember. In the face of her love it melted, giving way to flesh and flesh, blood and blood. Left in its place was a sense of awe that this act of loving could be so humble—and yet so core deep.
He would never look at marriage the same way. Those few he’d seen that had seemed so connected . . . now he knew. Now he knew love. And nothing would ever be the same.
I’m fanning my face, my neck, the chocolate melting by my desk and in my refrigerator. Gracious sakes, is that drool? 😉 Whew, Jamie… didn’t I mention electrifying earlier? Yep, I’m still right 😉 This definitely calls for a Song of Solomon verse for today. I don’t know if any other would fit.
Thanks for sharing these two scenes into your writing. I think I’ll go stand in my refrigerator now…for a long time, maybe with a copy of The Duchess and the Dragon in my hand.
Kissing Quote for the Day:
“O love! O fire! once he drew
With one long kiss my whole soul through
My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.”
~ Alfred Tennyson
Inspirational Quote for the day:
“Yes, and yours are, too—my love’s kisses
flow from his lips to mine.
I am my lover’s.
I’m all he wants. I’m all the world to him!”
Songof Solomon 7:9-10
“The sweet, fragrant curves of your body,
the soft, spiced contours of your flesh
Invite me, and I come. I stay
until dawn breathes its light and night slips away.
You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love,
beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless. ”
Song of Solomon 4:6-7
“nough Said 😉 Whew…